To those who know Eric Hall, associate professor of exercise science, it should come as no surprise that he has been named the 2010 Ward Family Excellence in Mentoring Award recipient. He lives to mentor students. Literally.
As the current faculty-in-residence in the William R. Kenan Jr. Honors Pavilion, Hall finds himself surrounded by some of Elon’s brightest students every day. In the classroom, he introduces other students to the core concepts of exercise science, the rigorous process of scholarship and the sophisticated technology critical to research in the exercise science field.
“On a campus with high standards for mentoring and within a department of outstanding mentors, Eric Hall represents the best of the best,” say his colleagues in the Department of Exercise Science.
Hall joined Elon’s faculty in 2000 and since has an amassed an impressive body of research, becoming a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine in 2006. He often includes students in his research but also works tirelessly to support them in their independent endeavors, often with impressive results. In the past year alone, two students he mentored won first prize in the master’s/bachelor’s division of the Southeast Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, a significant accomplishment for such young scholars. Their success is a testament to Hall’s exceptional mentorship.
“He taught me the research process and constantly made himself available to assist me,” says one student, “but was hands-off when necessary so I could make my own mistakes and then learn from them.”
Says an alumna who worked with Hall, “I can remember late nights at the library where I would send Dr. Hall emails with questions, and he would respond within minutes. All of my friends who were working on their projects were jealous that I had a mentor that was so attentive and responsive to my questions.”
Hall’s influence on his mentees doesn’t end when they cross the stage at graduation; his mentorship has also been instrumental in helping students successfully begin their professional and academic careers.
“My interviewer read me the first sentence of Dr. Hall’s recommendation and said it was the best letter he’d ever received,” says a former student who’s currently enrolled in Duke University’s doctor of physical therapy program. “It was at this moment I realized my mentorship with Dr. Hall was unique and had been critical to me in achieving my academic goals.”
Hall is the third recipient of the Ward Family Excellence in Mentoring Award. The award was established by Tom and Beth Ward; their sons A.T. ’05, Christopher ’08 and Chase; and Tom Ward’s mother, Dorothy Mears Ward, to honor faculty or staff members who demonstrate a commitment to Elon undergraduates through outstanding mentoring.