Assistant Clinical Professor Dwayne Whitten, from the Department of Information and Operations Management, was named the first recipient this spring of the Dr. Robert M. Gates Inspiration Award for exemplary assistance to students who are the first in their families to attend college.
The award, which is named in honor of former Texas A&M president Robert Gates, was presented to Whitten at the annual Regents’ Scholars Banquet in April to honor his commitment to mentorship.
Whitten, who is in his first year serving as a faculty mentor in the Freshman Business Initiative, was nominated by his Regents’ Scholar, Mays student Stacey Barnett. Whitten was also a first-generation college student. He explained he could readily identify with the challenges Barnett was facing as he met with her countless times over the past year.
“It is inspiring to see such hard work and dedication in her,” Whitten says. “I really enjoyed being a part of the Regents’ Scholars program. Although it is primarily a program geared toward the student, I also grew from the experience.”