Thomas Landefeld, PhD, professor of biology at California State University, Dominguez Hills, was named the university’s Advisor of the Year for 2017.
Landefeld was presented the award at the CSUDH President’s Leadership and Service Awards ceremony earlier this spring. In nominating him, students pointed to his years of dedication in fostering diversity in health fields and serving as faculty advisor for those interested in entering health careers, such as medicine, dentistry, pharmacology, veterinary, physical therapy, or nursing, to name a few. Landefeld does this in his formal role as the advisor to the Pre-Health Society, the university’s largest student organization, but also assists many students outside of the organization who come to him for guidance as well.
As a mentor, Landefeld works one-on-one with students to tailor individualized plans to help them reach their personal and academic goals, and uses his connections with health professionals and doctoral-degree granting institutions to support his students’ growth as undergraduates. Through his efforts, his students get the chance to hear from guest speakers, school recruiters, and take part in variety of opportunities, from research to conferences and internships – all with the end goal of preparing them for medical school or other graduate programs.
At the event, Pre-Health Society president, Kassandra De Matta thanked Landefeld for his commitment to students, saying, “I cannot emphasis how much he supports us on an individual level but also as an organization as a whole. Because of his leadership, motivation, and commitment for our organization, we have been able to help students find and learn about their health profession aspirations.
“Receiving this award is most gratifying as it signifies that I am effectively mentoring students in pursuing their dreams of a career in healthcare,” Landefeld says of the honor.