The Faculty Award for Excellence in Mentoring honors one faculty member who has had a profound impact on the life, career, or direction of students at Loyola. Mentoring takes many forms as faculty support students outside the classroom in their intellectual, professional, civic, spiritual, and personal growth. This faculty member exemplifies Loyola’s focus on equipping students for lifelong success as they continue to learn, lead, and serve in a diverse and changing world.
Beginning in 2017, this faculty award showcases our faculty’s shared commitment to the Jesuit core value of cura personalis as exhibited through our students’ post-Loyola lives. Selection is based on alumni nominations to a small committee of academic administrators, past recipients, and an alumni affairs representative. The recipient will be announced this year at Loyola's Maryland Day Events.
To nominate a faculty member, alumni may submit a brief nomination (up to 250 words) describing their role as a mentor at Loyola and the influence on post-Loyola success.
Nominate a Faculty Member
2023 - SFC Gene Zhang, military science
Gene Zhang has been teaching at Loyola University Maryland since 2021. He is currently the Military Science Instructor teaching the MS IV (senior) class within the Loyola-Towson Army ROTC program, the Greyhound Battalion. Along with classroom instruction, he currently serves as a mentor to the various clubs and special initiatives within the ROTC program, to include the Ranger Challenge team, the Endurance team, Military Science clubs, and alumni outreach. Sergeant First Class Zhang has served in a variety of positions across a fourteen-year Army career, to include Sniper Section Leader, Drill Sergeant, Platoon Sergeant, and First Sergeant. Additionally, he serves on a centralized committee for US Army Cadet Command during the summers, instructing and validating all ROTC instructors across the country during Cadet Summer Training on marksmanship, tactics, and Cadet evaluation data analysis. He is passionate about guiding the growth and development of future leaders in the Army and is extremely proud to be able to support Loyola University Maryland’s mission, the Ignatian core values, and the Baltimore community.
2022 - Cara Jacobson, psychology
Dr. Cara Jacobson has been teaching full time at Loyola since 2014. She is currently the Director of Doctoral Field Education and an Assistant Clinical professor. She holds a Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from Loyola University Maryland. She has specific interests in cultural humility with intersectional interpersonal relationships, romantic relationships with a focus on adult attachment, interpersonal process group therapy, the treatment of eating disorders, and object relations and psychodynamic psychotherapy. Research interests include the longitudinal factors in the maintenance of romantic relationships. Dr. Jacobson currently teaches graduate students, supervises graduate students and licensed clinicians, and maintains a private practice where she sees adult individuals and couples.
2021 - Sara Magee, communication
Dr. Sara Magee has been teaching at Loyola University Maryland since 2011. She earned her B.A. in Broadcast Journalism and her Ph.D. in Mass Communication from Ohio University, and her Masters in English from Virginia Commonwealth University. Dr. Magee is an Emmy winning former television news producer, anchor, reporter and local National Public Radio host. She currently teaches courses in Broadcast Journalism, Multimedia Storytelling, Media Ethics, Social Media and Culture and TV Production as well as courses in the Emerging Media graduate program. Her research areas and interests include news and entertainment, media ethics and practices, social media and society, and fan and popular culture. She also enjoys being able to mentor and advise current and former students, helping connect them with the people and practices that will allow them to build creative, exciting and innovative careers and connections.
2020 - Kelly Keane, education specialties
Kelly Keane, Ed.D, Senior Lecturer and Director of the Educational Technology Program, has taught at Loyola since 2014. Her research and professional interests encompass technology integration and student engagement, blended and online teaching, Universal Design for Learning, and instructional design. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, she leads Loyola's Digital Pedagogy Workshop each summer for faculty who are interested in transitioning their courses to the hybrid and online environments. Prior to joining the faculty at Loyola, Dr. Keane was a lecturer at Towson University for the Department of Educational Technology and Literacy. She has also worked as the assistant manager for the Preparing Tomorrow's Teachers to Use Technology (PT3) Grant in the tri-state area. Dr. Keane began her career as a classroom teacher and has taught in award-winning elementary schools in Pennsylvania and Maryland. She is passionate about learning, constantly seeking ways to improve, and believes a growth mindset can be your most powerful tool. In her classroom, she incorporates the latest educational technologies and the Jesuit mission and she tries to remain technology-free in her spare time.
2019 - Katherine Stern Brennan, history
After graduating from Mount Holyoke College, Dr. Stern Brennan started her graduate studies at the Johns Hopkins University and received her Ph.D. in French History in 1982. Dr. Stern Brennan focused her research on the seventeenth century, but has loved teaching the European survey course here at Loyola as well as upper division courses on the history of women in Europe, the French revolution, and Napoleon. During the summers, Dr. Stern Brennan often travels to France with her husband, also an historian, and to Vermont where they have a family farm. She is a proud grandmother of 3 and looks forward to having more time with them after she retires. Dr. Stern Brennan will deeply miss the Loyola community, but will carry with her many wonderful memories of students who are eager to grow into young adults and take hold of their world.
2018 - Andrea Giampetro-Meyer, information systems, law and operations
2017 - Christopher Thompson, biology
Christopher Thompson joined Loyola's Biology department in 2007. He teaches courses in Bioterrorism, Cell Biology, and Microbiology while also mentoring students in his research laboratory and functioning as the Co-director of the Microscopy Core Facility. He received his B.S. from Eastern Washington University with a double major in Biology and Chemistry and a concentration in Biotechnology. He earned a Ph.D. in Immunology from the University of Iowa, where he was also an NIH-funded postdoctoral fellow in Infectious Disease. He is a broadly-trained cell biologist whose research focuses on the molecular mechanisms by which complementary and alternative medicines alter cellular functions of the innate immune system, the molecular mechanisms of stress and heat shock, and the microbiome of forensically important insects.