Congratulations to Dr. Matthew Kirkhart who was awarded the first Mentoring Award by the Maryland Psychological Association of Graduate Students (MPAGS). The award was given at the annual MPAGS Convention and Internship Fair on March 30, 2007 held at the Sheppard Pratt Conference Center.
“I was pleasantly surprised and very flattered,” said Dr. Kirkhart. “I guess if I had to pull out one thing that is most important to me at Loyola, mentoring students would be that for me.”
Dr. Kirkhart was presented with a plaque honoring his achievements by Tara Wagner and Jessica Rothstein, then Chair and Chair-Elect of MPAGS.
“As the award criteria state, the recipient should act as an experienced role model while providing acceptance, encouragement, moral support, wisdom, advice, counsel, and coaching to graduate students in psychology,” explained Ms. Rothstein.
In the nominations MPAGS received on behalf of Dr. Kirkhart, students indicated that he is held in high regard, not just as a professor, but as someone that they trust and would like to emulate, calling him the perfect embodiment of what a mentor could and should be for graduate students.
“I remember when I was a graduate student thinking What does my mentor want from me? I used to think it was to achieve what he had achieved—to step into his footsteps and stand in for him when he was gone. But, like all good mentors, he did not want me to achieve what he had. He wanted me to find my own way and to surpass, not equal, his achievements. I hope all of you have had good mentors, and I am sure they all share this same wish.” - Excerpted from Dr. Kirkhart’s acceptance speech