Bertina Combes, Associate Professor of Educational Psychology, is the inaugrual recipient of the Ulys & Vera Knight Mentor Award. This award recognizes a faculty member who demonstrates sustained excellence in mentoring undergraduate students, graduate students, and/or other faculty. Mentoring may include support and guidance in the areas of teaching, research, service, academic achievement and/or professional development.
Vital faculty members understand the importance of mentoring whether it is helping a colleague navigate departmental tenure and promotion policies or advising a first-time in college freshmen. Nowhere is the value of mentoring more evident than here on the UNT campus where faculty members, like Dr. Bertina Hildreth-Combes, associate professor in the College of Education, make mentoring an integral part of their work in the academy. During her 18-year tenure at UNT, Combes has mentored numerous students and faculty.
Frankie Norris, a second semester doctoral student, recognizes the important role Combes plays in her own confidence and success. "If Dr. Combes thinks I can do it, then, I must be able to do it.” Combes was named Outstanding Faculty Advisor by UNT’s Student Council for Exceptional Children, an honor she adds to her McNair Outstanding Service Award and her Alton Thibodaux Leadership in Diversity Award. Currently, Combes is leading a UNT Mentoring Project, aimed at helping underrepresented faculty through the tenure and promotion process.
Combes credits great mentors along the way, and none have been more influential than her parents, Dr. Eddie Hildreth, a Professor at Southern University and Dr. Gladys Hildreth, a Senior Lecturer at UNT (former professor at Louisiana State University and University of Kentucky), who continually demonstrate the importance of 'paying it forward.' As evidence of their commitment, they established the Drs. Eddie and Gladys Hildreth Scholarship which funds graduate students in special education, family studies, and higher education. Indeed, mentoring comes full circle. Read how more about Dr. Combes' commitment to mentoring in Faculty Success Equals Student Success.
To learn more about this award, please visit Ulys and Vera Knight Faculty Mentor Award.