Tiffany Willoughby-Herard wins UCI Academic Senate Distinguished Faculty Award for Mentorship

Tiffany Willoughby-Herard wins UCI Academic Senate Distinguished Faculty Award for Mentorship

  Office of the Dean October 25, 2021

She is recognized for training the next generation of scholars

Tiffany Willoughby-Herard, associate professor of African American studies and equity advisor in the School of Humanities at UCI, has been named the 2021-2022 recipient of the campus’ Academic Senate Distinguished Faculty Award for Mentorship – one of the most prestigious awards University of California professors can receive from their colleagues. She is recognized for making significant contributions to the university through mentorship.

Last summer, Willoughby-Herard and Jessica Millward, associate professor of history and core faculty in African American studies, co-led a six-week research and graduate admissions pathway program on digital humanities for some of the most promising students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) across the nation. This program helped pair visiting HBCU undergraduate research students with UCI mentors who could train them how to conduct archival research and oral history interviews, all with the goal of creating an open-access digital repository of interviews and archives called “Activist Studio West,” and to create a pathway to UCI for the next generation of Black scholars.

“When I mentor, I take my future colleagues’ ideas seriously. I let myself be graced by what I learn from their emerging work,” said Willoughby-Herard. “Mentoring is ‘heart’ work, and it is deeply humbling. But it always gives me perspective and allows me to laugh at myself, let go of my grand schemes, and always be willing to be a student again.”

Willoughby-Herard has been recognized before for mentoring the next generation. In 2017, she received the Pipeline Award from the National Conference of Black Political Scientists (NCOBPS) for serving as an outstanding mentor and introducing the most students to the conference. As the president of NCOBPS, she engages undergraduates in research opportunities starting their first year to expose them to more career opportunities and help them understand how research is applied to solve real-world problems. She is also a two-time winner of the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Fostering Undergraduate Research.

During a presentation and reception taking place on March 9, 2022, she will receive a commemorative plaque from the Academic Senate in honor of her Distinguished Faculty Award.

“Professor Tiffany Willoughby-Herard exemplifies what great mentorship looks like. She shows a passion for uplifting undergraduate students and gives them priceless tools for their futures,” said Tyrus Miller, dean of the UCI School of Humanities. “We are very proud to have her as a leader and colleague in the school.”