Gabor, Sotolongo, named recipients of the 2020 Mariel M. Muir Excellence in Mentoring Award
Caitlin Gabor, a professor in the Department of Biology, and Michelle Sotolongo, a student development specialist in the Honors College, have been named recipients of the 2020 Mariel M. Muir Excellence in Mentoring Award at Texas State University.
The awards are given annually to one faculty member and one staff member who provide exceptional support of and show exceptional commitment to assisting less experienced individuals in becoming more proficient in their professional activities. The award is named for the former dean of the College of Science and Engineering, Mariel M. Muir, because of her passion for ensuring the success of students, faculty and staff through mentoring.
As student development specialist in the Honors College, Sotolongo mentors first-generation students, opening the door for them to succeed and thrive at the university and in the Honors College. Her focus and expertise in mentoring immigrant and DACA students has made her a source of guidance for students, faculty and staff. In addition, Sotolong’s has given national presentations on supporting immigrant and DACA students in higher education that have increased awareness at Texas State and beyond about the issues students face and overcome.
Gabor has officially and unofficially mentored hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students during her 20 year career at Texas State. Many of her mentees have authored or co-authored papers in top-tier journals, presented at national conferences, received grants and awards, and embarked on successful careers.
Garbor’s mentoring success reflects her goal of helping students develop into independent, creative, innovative, critical thinkers. She maintains student involvement and interaction via organized lab meetings, student-centered journal discussions and one-on-one meetings. Garbor created a web page devoted to helping student find funding opportunities and jobs. She has twice received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Scholarly/Creative Activities, received two Fulbright Scholarships, and was the Erskine Fellow at Canterbury University in 2016.