California State University, Dominguez Hills
Katy Pinto, Ph.D., sociology professor at CSU Dominguez Hills, is recognized for her innovative approach to advising—encouraging students' self-advocacy and professional development—which has led to increased graduation rates and less time to degree completion.
Dr. Pinto's relational advising approach establishes trust, communication and connection with graduate students. Pinto encourages students not to internalize failures or barriers by enlisting them as partners in advising to shed light on their most pressing problems.
As a response to some of the biggest reported challenges from students, Pinto overhauled exam and project formats, improving students' learning outcomes. She also began to cohort students to prevent them from feeling isolated on campus. To help students prepare for life after graduate school, Pinto created graduate classes in writing and professional development.
Pinto systematically analyzes barriers to student success and works diligently to develop solutions. As a result, students convey greater satisfaction with the degree program and the university for supporting their success.
As the current chair of CSUDH's graduate council, Pinto is working closely with faculty to shape graduate education across campus.
“Dr. Pinto's innovation has helped to further integrate graduate students into the CSUDH community, has encouraged the development of personal agency in her students and has supported graduate students' sense of accomplishment, belonging and satisfaction," says Claudia G. Peyton, Ph.D., interim dean of graduate studies and research at CSU Dominguez Hills.