11:56 AM

Poonam Gulati Receives American Society for Microbiology Mentoring Award



Ponam Gulati, associate professor of natural sciences, received the 2015 Faculty Mentoring Award from the Texas Branch of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM). Dr. Heidi Kaplan of the UT Health Sciences Center nominated Gulati based on the professor's efforts to increase student participation in the ASM, and several of Gulati's mentees provided letters of support.

"Great mentors are probably the number one factor that keep students engaged in research and set them forth on successful career paths, said Kendra Rumbaugh, PhD, president of the Texas Branch of ASM. "As evidenced by the extraordinary comments that the nominator and letter writers wrote about the time and effort Dr. Gulati spends mentoring UHD students and the level of success her past students have had, it is clear that mentoring is a priority in her career."

Gulati has been recognized for her mentorship and service efforts with the UHD Excellence in Teaching and two Excellence in Service Awards. Throughout her tenure, Gulati has served as a mentor in various arenas,cluding in Scholars Academy, Honors Program, undergraduate research, student subs, and one-on-one advising for science majors. In addition to these interactions, she seeks internship and research opportunities for her students and encourages them in such pursuits. Under Gulati's direction, her students have hosted large science symposia for high school audiences, created multilingual health brochures for community clinics, and tutored in elementary classrooms.

"ASM is a fabulous organization with many successful mentee-mentor relationships, and they value and reward mentors," Gulati said. "I am truly proud of this award. It means a great deal to me because it recognizes the success of my students."

Gulati believes everyone can benefit from a mentoring relationship, regardless of what point they are at in their career.

"Good mentors can have a strong, positive impact on their mentees," Gulati continued. "Both students and professors gain from these relationships. Students learn of opportunities they may not have known about or thought they could obtain. They also have a sounding board, someone who can write letters of recommendations, and provide connections and resources. The professor learns about the students and their ambitions, provides guidance and then beams with pride when the students shine!"