The UC Berkeley Graduate Assembly Faculty Mentor Award (FMA) honors members of the Berkeley faculty and teaching staff who have shown an outstanding commitment to mentoring, advising, and generally supporting graduate students. A committee of delegates composed of graduate students from a variety of disciplines selects and presents awards to three faculty members each spring.

The Chancellor’s office publicly recognized this most recent cohort of awardees in March 2020.

Here we highlight the 2020 FMA recipients: 

Nikki Jones

Nikki Jones, Professor of African American Studies

“My world was being turned upside down before my eyes. I apprehensively shared my legal troubles as an undocumented student during a discussion in Professor Jones’ class. After class, she pulled me aside and assured me that around her, I was safe. She told me, ‘If they want to get to you, they will have to get through me.’ Her words were the most validating and comforting affirmations I had heard during my time at UC Berkeley. She did not know me personally and I had never talked to her, but she was willing to put her body on the line for my safety and that meant the world to me.”


Erin Kerrison

Erin Kerrison, Assistant Professor of Social Welfare

“While I have met many great people, none have approached mentorship with the full-on dedication that seemingly comes natural to Erin. I have told her on more than one occasion that she gives too much of herself and I worry that her cup may one day overflow, yet she just smiles her warm smile and says: ‘you let me worry about that. Just pay it forward and help others rise up. All you have to do is worry about getting this degree so you can change the world like you were meant to do.’”

G. Cristina Mora

G. Cristina Mora, Associate Professor of Sociology

“Professor Mora has taught me that scholarship is not only about developing creative arguments; it is about participating in a community of people who have devoted their lives to understanding. Truly honoring this involves relating to each other as complete individuals who care not simply about the scholarly debates, but about the deep personal values that motivate our research and the human experience that underlies the creation of insightful academic work.”



See the GA Press Release for the 2020 Faculty Mentor Awards