The Faculty Impact Award recognizes members of the Post University faculty that reach beyond the standard expectations for online and/or main campus instructors. These faculty members are a true testament to the Post University values and make it personal by forging a strong connection and relationship with students, providing outstanding educational guidance based on field expertise, and inspiring students to become the best version of themselves.
Human Services and Psychology Associate Faculty member Nathan Smith credits his father with sparking his passion for teaching. “My father is and always has been my inspiration for pursuing teaching,” Smith said. “He instilled meaningful values and exposed me to various learning opportunities throughout my childhood.”
Recipient of the University’s Faculty Impact Award for the 2021 late summer term, Smith understands how integral mentoring is to the success of the students he teaches. With more than a decade of experience in the mental health and substance abuse fields, educating future professionals is what drives him.
“I have had the privilege of multiple professionals mentoring me and believing in my potential,” he shared. “I want to be that support for future psychology and human services professionals.”
Smith takes pride in his role as a mentor and providing personal support to every student he teaches. Ranging from introductory courses that lay the foundation for the field to upper-level courses on multiculturalism and diversity, he knows how important it is to share his experiences as part of the learning process.
“I hope that my students take away an understanding of expanding their world views working with individuals,” Smith explained. “One example that stands out to me is a student I worked closely with to explore his academic/professional interests. I met with this student for one-to-one conversations about graduate degree program options and remain receptive to providing guidance even after completing my course. It isn’t required to keep an ‘open door’ after completing a course, but I want him to know of his potential and if I can support his success, I will.”
When Smith learned he had been named the recipient of the Faculty Impact Award, he was both speechless and filled with joy.
“I felt validated knowing that I have enriched the lives of so many students,” he wrote. “As an African American male and mental health/substance abuse professional, I believe representation matters. Further, it is essential to provide mentorship opportunities and professional guidance to future psychology and human services professionals. Go the extra mile, send an encouraging email, show students that you CARE and can be relatable. Thank you to my Post University family, students, colleagues, and the fantastic Psychology and Human Services Program Chairs and Assistant Chairs.”