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EFSC English Professor Honored for Service to Colleagues
February 5, 2018 - Assistant Professor Dr. Brian Maxwell is the recipient of Eastern Florida State College's inaugural Excellence in Faculty Mentoring Award.
Maxwell, who teaches English on EFSC's Melbourne Campus, was honored for serving as a faculty mentor for fellow English instructor John Valliere.
"I had a great experience when hired as a new faculty member in 2013, which made me want to pay it forward," said Dr. Maxwell about why he volunteered for the program. "My mentor, Dr. Sharon Cronk-Raby, was amazing.
"She was supportive, informative, helpful, and most of all, generous with her time. I figured that the least I could do was welcome someone else into the EFSC family in the same fashion."
New EFSC faculty are partnered with one or more seasoned faculty to aid in the transition to full-time status and learn about campus culture, as well as how to navigate the many college processes and procedures.
The new honor, which includes a $1,000 award, is given once each year to faculty mentors chosen from nominations made by their partners.
In his submission, Valliere wrote: "Brian Maxwell's helpful demeanor and wide-open-door policy have made him the most approachable and accessible person in my professional life."
He went on to describe how Maxwell put extra effort into helping Valliere enhance the student classroom experience: "Over the summer break Brian initiated three very helpful brainstorming sessions at a local coffee shop. Teachers always plan on evolving their curriculum over the summers, but life always gets in the way. These three sessions helped me streamline my course... and I have never been so happy with a course shell."
The New Faculty Mentoring Program began in August 2008, and since then more than 100 full-time faculty have contributed as mentors, serving more than 160 new faculty.
The program is guided by three main principles: sharing expertise and experience to assist the partner in teaching and/or service work; advocating and guiding the partner in making connections in administrative, organizational, and/or professional matters; and demonstrating respect, recognition, and care for the partner’s time, effort, and qualifications.
Maxwell began his collegiate experience as an A.A. student at Brevard Community College, now known as EFSC. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Central Florida; his master's degree from Eastern Washington University and his PhD from the University of North Dakota.
"I've come full circle," he said. "I grew up on the Space Coast, and my family resides here. Also: we love the beach; we’re hoping to get our daughter on a surf board before she turns three in March."