April 28, 2011

Graduate Faculty Mentor Elana Michelson Named to Turben Chair in Mentoring

40th Anniversary Logo

Elana Michelson, a faculty mentor with the School for Graduate Studies, was awarded the fourth Susan H. Turben Chair in Mentoring at an awards ceremony at the All College Conference in late March.

“I am both moved and excited to receive this honor,” Michelson said after receiving the award. “The Turben chair is a chance to consider how best to make a contribution, and to work in a focused way to further both the intellectual nurturing of individual adult learners and the creation of a world that treasures and nurtures the intellectual capacities of all human beings.”

Elana Michelson is flanked by Susan H. Turben and President Alan R. Davis

Elana Michelson is flanked by Susan H. Turben and President Alan R. Davis

“I am so pleased to have been able to be present when Elana Michelson was awarded this year’s Turben Chair in Mentoring,” said Susan H. Turben ’72, whose family foundation supports the position. “Through her work educating adult learners – and I am thinking specifically of her hard work developing a proposal for a new master’s degree in adult education – Elana has contributed to the support and success of adult learners. Her important work will surely benefit students like me, who entered college as an adult and as a Head Start mom. I am proud that I was able to complete my degree and make contributions to my chosen field of early childhood development, because of the flexibility and support of Empire State College.”

he Susan H. Turben Chair in Mentoring is awarded annually to a faculty member with the “ potential to make a significant contribution to the theory, research and practice of mentoring,” according to the award guidelines. The new recipient is announced at the All College Conference in March. The appointment is for one year, and the recipient receives a $6,000 cash award, a half-time reduction in teaching and mentoring responsibilities, and funding for travel and research expenses.

Michelson holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the City College of New York and Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from Columbia University. In her 30 years at Empire State College, she has mentored students in The Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Center for Labor Studies, the Hudson Valley Center and in Master of Arts programs. She is respected as a mentor to mentors and many faculty have benefited from her example and guidance.

She was the faculty leader in the development of the Master of Arts in Adult Learning program proposal, and is internationally known for her publications and presentations on adult learning and the assessment of prior learning.

Alan Mandell received the inaugural award in 2008-2009, followed by Susan Oaks and Cathy Davison.

“What would busy people, who are sometimes overwhelmed with work and family responsibilities, do were it not for institutions like Empire State College that believed in us and supported us? Dr. Michelson, as the Turben Chair in Mentoring for 2011-2012, will continue this proud tradition of support and care,” Turben said.

The Turben chair is supported through an endowment from the Susan and John Turben Foundation. Susan H. Turben ’72, was one of the first graduates of Empire State College.

The Turben chair was established to promote excellence in mentoring as the primary relationship between the college’s adult students and faculty working together in person and online. It is awarded to an Empire State College faculty member who demonstrates the capacity to advance scholarship and best practices in mentoring.

About SUNY Empire State College

Celebrating its 40th anniversary throughout 2011, SUNY Empire State College was established in 1971 to offer adult learners the opportunity to earn associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the State University of New York. Students learn through independent studies, online courses, seminars and residencies. Learners also may earn credit for prior college-level learning from work and life experience.

The college serves more than 20,000 students worldwide at 34 locations in New York state and online. Its 60,000 alumni are active in their communities as entrepreneurs, politicians, business professionals, artists, not-for-profit agency employees, teachers, veterans and active military, union members and more.

For additional information, visit www.esc.edu. For more on the 40th anniversary, please follow this link .

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