Abby Fifer Mandell
- Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship
Marshall Educators Honored with 2023 USC Mentorship Awards
Marshall Educators Honored with 2023 USC Mentorship Awards
Abby Fifer Mandell, K.R. Subramanyam, and Paat Rusmevichientong receive accolades for exceptional commitment.
USC Mentor Awards recognize those who, across the USC campuses, are assessed by students and colleagues as exceptional individuals who go above and beyond what is expected, fostering an engaging, supportive, and inclusive academic environment.
2023 USC Mentoring Award for Faculty Mentoring Undergraduate Students
ABBY FIFER MANDELL, Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship, has been chosen by the Provost as the recipient of the 2023 USC Mentoring Award for Faculty Mentoring Undergraduate Students.
Fifer Mandell’s nomination was led by her past students, now alumni, who were inspired by her profound commitment in the classroom and beyond.
“An expert in human-centered design, Abby walks her methodological talk, her focus on and understanding of student needs helping forge remarkable relationships that transcend campus walls and extend well beyond commencement,” SHA YANG, senior vice dean for faculty and academic affairs, wrote in an announcement to faculty.
“Whether it is meeting with students outside class, making introductions for jobs and internships, writing letters of recommendation for graduate school, or leading massively popular hikes (with huge waitlists) in the local mountains as part of the Peaks & Professors program, Abby goes above and beyond and then even further — setting a high standard as an expert instructor, thoughtful listener, and compassionate mentor whose authentic and deep concern for student well-being and success is evident to all” said Yang.
“Mentoring and teaching students is the great honor of my professional life,” said Fifer Mandell. She spent more than a decade helping launch, direct, and grow the BRITTINGHAM SOCIAL ENTERPRISE LAB (BSEL) as it's executive director, while also serving as an adjunct faculty member in the GREIF CENTER. “They inspire me, every day, in more ways than they may ever know. It’s a gift and a joy to walk with students and alums on their journeys, wherever their paths lead; to open doors, to listen, to hold space, and to support young professionals at a very specific point in their lives. My own mentors in college and graduate school did this for me, and it’s been my life’s work to pay it forward.”
As an instructor, Fifer Mandell has guided hundreds of students to apply user-centered design to challenges faced by individuals and families worldwide, including older adults, farmworkers in California’s Central Valley, and adults diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. She also developed the USC Social Venture Coaching Competition. Fifer Mandell won the Academy of Management Innovation in Entrepreneurship Pedagogy Award in 2018, and she is a Wexner Heritage Fellow.
Mentoring and teaching students is the great honor of my professional life.
2023 USC Mentoring Award for Faculty Mentoring Graduate Students
K.R. SUBRAMANYAM, associate dean of Marshall’s Ph.D. program and KPMG Foundation Professor of Accounting, was selected by the Provost as a winner of the 2023 USC Mentoring Award for Faculty Mentoring Graduate Students.
This award recognizes exceptional faculty at USC who go above and beyond what is expected in mentoring graduate students.
“Since starting at USC in 1993, K.R. has made numerous significant contributions to our Ph.D. programs. Moreover, he has served as a mentor for a great many doctoral students and directed many dissertations,” said Yang. “Doctoral education is clearly a fundamental passion of Professor Subramanyam, and his devotion to the success of our doctoral students has resulted in substantial positive reputational effects for USC. Indeed, Professor Subramanyam’s efforts over the past 30 years have been pivotal in transforming our Ph.D. programs into the highest-achieving programs they are today.”
“K.R.’s contributions to Marshall in terms of mentoring our Ph.D. students have been absolutely critical to our past successes, and they promise to pay large dividends well into the future,” added Yang.
Over the course of his career at USC, Subramanyam has served on 23 Ph.D. committees, including as chair on 10 committees. Perhaps most impressively, he served on the committees of students who accepted tenure-track assistant professor positions at Harvard University, Stanford University, the University of Chicago, Columbia University, the University of Rochester, the University of Michigan, the University of Texas-Austin and many other highly ranked universities. As documented in letters of support that were received from numerous former students, Subramanyam regularly goes far beyond the normal duties of a Ph.D. advisor or committee member to nurture and support his students, including long after they graduate.
2023 USC Mentoring Award for Faculty Mentoring Faculty, Postdoctoral Scholars, Medical Residents, and Fellows
PAAT RUSMEVICHIENTONG, Justin Dart Professor of Operations Management and professor of data sciences and operations, has been chosen by the Provost as the recipient of the prestigious 2023 USC Mentoring Award for Faculty Mentoring Faculty, Postdoctoral Scholars, Medical Residents, and Fellows.
This award recognizes individuals who have exceeded expectations by creating an engaging, supportive, and inclusive academic environment through their mentorship of colleagues.
“Paat's dedication to his mentorship responsibilities is remarkable, especially given his numerous research projects and administrative and family commitments. He has made himself readily available to support faculty across all levels and departments, both at USC and at other top schools. He has generously provided prompt and insightful feedback on various academic materials, including papers, response letters, and grant applications, even when he is not a co-author. He has also actively collaborated with junior faculty members and provided them with professional exposure that has resulted in community-wide recognition,” said Yang.
Under Rusmevichientong's exceptional mentorship, his formal and informal mentees have received recognition through a host of prestigious awards and have been placed, promoted, and tenured at USC and other top business schools. These awards include the Centennial Chair in Business Administration, NSF CAREER Award, POMS Wickham Skinner Early-Career Researcher Award, Marshall Inaugural Dr. Douglas Basil Award for Junior Business Faculty, INFORMS Wagner Prize, INFORMS Pierskalla Award, Dr. Jagdish Sheth Award for Impact of Research on Practice, and the Robert R. Dockson Chair.
“Paat's selflessness and expertise are exemplary, as he never turns down a request for help and consistently sets a positive example for department culture and leadership,” added Yang.