Outstanding Mentor – Dr. Bill Hoese

“Mentors enable others to become valued and valuable members of the conversation.” – Dr. Bill Hoese

SACNAS congratulates Dr. William “Bill” Hoese on being awarded SACNAS Outstanding College/University Mentor!

“We have such terrific students at CSUF. I am honored that they nominated me for the mentoring award.” said Dr. Hoese, professor at California State University Fullerton (CSUF).

Dr. Hoese has been involved with SACNAS since 2002, when he attended the SACNAS conference in Anaheim. Since then, he has attended 14 of the last 15 conferences.

Just two years before attending his first SACNAS conference, Dr. Hoese became a professor of biology at CSUF. There he teaches organismal biology and field ecology, researches how students learn, and directs an undergraduate research-training program for students interested in pursuing careers in ecology and environmental biology.

“My classes usually involve field trips,” described Dr. Hoese. “We go to the desert, rocky intertidal, coastal sage scrub–immersed in the habitat is a fantastic way to learn about organisms, communities, and ecosystems!”

Shannon Chou, a third year undergraduate student at CSUF, described Dr. Hoese’s teaching method as focused on enthusiasm and diligence, rather than grades.

“He prefers students to work in earnest rather than trying to chase a perfect score, an attitude which is critical to see in a faculty mentor, especially for underrepresented students in STEM who are uncertain of their path,” explained Chou. “It develops a healthy model for budding scientists to follow as they learn that science depends not on achieving the “correct answer” but pursuing a passion no matter the outcome. “

As co-director of the Southern California Ecosystems Research Program (SCERP), Dr. Hoese has also mentored over eighty undergraduate students, with five to six selected each year to participate in an intensive ecology course.
“Students are handpicked for their enthusiasm rather than their grades, making each year’s cohort a refreshing mix of students from drastically different backgrounds,” explained Chou.

Through the program, young scientists develop and complete independent research in conjunction with a faculty mentor, such as marine ecological issues, desert ecology, animal behavior, or plant-animal interactions in coastal sage scrub.

Students are also encouraged to travel to scientific meetings, like the SACNAS conference, to present their research results.

According to Chou, under Dr. Hoese’s guidance, at least one SCERP scholar has won an Outstanding Poster Award at a SACNAS conference each year since 2008. Since the program’s inception, SCERP has produced fifty-two scholars, a large percentage of whom are first generation and/or underrepresented minority students.

“For Dr. Hoese, any prospective goal is reachable with the right attitude and he works tirelessly to ensure that students are able to do so with as little opposition as possible,” explained Chou.

Also an avid recreational cyclist/bike commuter and occasional juggler, Dr. Hoese added that receiving this award simply reminds him how lucky he is. “I have had wonderful mentors of my own and am so grateful that I can work with students every day,” he said.

A clear champion of fostering success in the next generation of scientists, SACNAS is proud to recognize Dr. William Hoese as a SACNAS Outstanding College/University Mentor.

Learn more about Dr. Hoese
Professor & Co-Director at Southern California Ecosystems Research Program
Dr. Hoese wins the National Award for Innovation in Science Education

If you are interested in nominating your mentor for a SACNAS award, click here to learn more and submit your nomination by June 30!


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