At LSU, you will have access to acclaimed professors—including Nobel Laureates, Guggenheim Fellows, MacArthur Geniuses, National Academies of Sciences and Engineering members, and Senior Wharton Fellows. The relationships you form here will be lasting and impactful, just like that of sociology junior Connor Burruss and Dr. Jose Torres.
When Connor applied for a scholarship, he had no idea his application for and eventual receipt of the award was the beginning of a lasting connection with Dr. Jose Torres. Eventually, he enrolled in a class with Dr. Torres where their relationship deepened further. As an introduction to the class, he shared his professional journey with his students, citing details about his life choices and ambitions. This resonated with Connor and, from then on, Dr. Torres has remained his professional and personal mentor. He makes a point to empathize with his students, offering a safe place for them to go to receive advice. Connor is currently on track to graduate with honors and credits his mentor and lasting connection for a significant portion of his success.
Joining the LSU community ensures one-on-one relationships with professors. Whether it is through advising, mentorship, or collaborative research, LSU is committed to your success.
Q&A with Dr. Jose Torres and Connor Burruss
What is your definition of student success?
Dr. Torres: For students to be successful, they must see their potential, believe in their potential, and be active in pursuing their potential. I believe the tools that make someone a successful student will also make them successful in anything: time management, sacrifice, competitive spirit, reputation, commitment, goal setting, the willingness to be coached, and the ability to delay gratification. I tell my students to treat the classroom like they would their job and to incorporate these principles.
What do you think is the importance of faculty/student relationships and how do you foster them?
Connor: Forming relationships with your professors gives you a sort of face-to-face connection with the university. You can truly feel like you’re actively engaged in the classroom by getting that individual feedback from a professor. Any commitment that we have to our education is a commitment to our own future; we, as students, realize that it starts the minute we arrive on campus.
Dr. Torres: My door is always open to any student that wants to see me. I also love bringing my experiences into the classroom to offer students insight that blends research and practice as it relates to all things policing. By doing that I am showing them that my life experiences are something that you can learn from. Overall though, I would not be here without the mentorship of my own professors. One of my greatest joys as a professor is to return that favor and mentor students in any way I can to help them see their potential and achieve their career goals.
Of what recent achievement are you particularly proud?
Dr. Torres: I am Puerto Rican and watching what Hurricane Maria recently did to Puerto Rico has impacted me for the rest of my life. After it happened, a student reached out to me and we both agreed to try and help in some way. Long story short, we connected with two local nonprofits who gave us the green light to collect supplies that they would help us fly over to Puerto Rico. We connected with the Hispanic Student Cultural Society on campus, and they helped us out in so many ways. Our efforts generated over $4,000, and we had supplies leave on four flights to Puerto Rico. It was life-changing.