Kennesaw, Georgia | January 23, 2023
Kennesaw State University Associate Professor Darlene Xiomara Rodriguez received the 2022 Award for Excellence in Mentoring Undergraduate Studies in Social Sciences for her dedication to her students and colleagues.
The Undergraduate Research Council, a leading organization advocating for high-quality mentored undergraduate research and scholarship, presents the award. Rodriguez said he takes pride in helping undergraduates pursue their passions and lead them to successful and fulfilling professional lives.
Rodriguez said, “I am humbled that this level allows for things that people never see, like opening my home and my heart to my students and seeing them become my colleagues.” “I am especially grateful to Dr. Amy Buddy and the entire undergraduate research team for their investment in me so that I can feed a new generation of applied scholars.”
Rodriguez said he prides himself on the close ties he has with past and present students. As a social work and welfare professor remembers how difficult it was for her to navigate the U.S. education system on her own as a minority, immigrant, and first-generation college student, she goes far beyond them. He said that there is
Buddy, the head of the undergraduate laboratory, called Rodriguez a relentlessly positive and bright champion for the students.
“Every time I see her interacting with her students, she encourages them, sharpens their studies, and guides them to work towards the careers they want,” Buddy said. “Her students have a great experience with her when they work with her. Her receiving this award is a testament to her ability to guide her students.”
Taylor Lane, who graduated fall 2022 with a degree in Human Services from Wellstar College of Health and Human Services, said Rodriguez’s mentorship has helped her academic and professional success. Lane said she knows she can continue to rely on her former professor as a source of continued support for her in her career.
“Dr. Rodriguez takes the time to understand different perspectives and works to ensure that I have the knowledge and skills to help others,” Lane said. Encouraging and motivating, her dedication to her work and students is an inspiration to be a mentor.”
Rodriguez attributes as much success to the many high schools, dual enrollments, and undergraduates she mentors as she does in her mentoring role.
“This accreditation is a credit to the students’ commitment to doing good, relevant research and to KSU’s willingness to support these efforts,” she said.
– Thomas Hartwell
A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to more than 43,000 students. Kennesaw State University is a member of the University of Georgia System with 11 academic colleges. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global connections and entrepreneurial spirit attract students from across the country and around the world. Kennesaw State University is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it in an elite group of only 7% of US universities with R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.