What is mentoring? I have read and pondered many definitions of mentoring. Somehow, the words of a definition fail to measure up to the experience of being a recipient of mentoring. During my master’s program, mentoring was a faculty member encouraging me to transform my course paper into a manuscript to submit to a journal. As a new faculty member, I understood the meaning of mentoring when the associate dean listened to the complexities of a student situation and validated my plan of action. Another day, during a family crisis, a colleague provided just the words I needed to hear to trust myself and move ahead. I had a mentor who found an opportunity for me to consult with a large hospital, another who provided a different perspective on a course I was developing, and another who helped me write a manuscript for submission. These experiences and others have defined mentoring for me.
My desire for you as a potential or current student is that you will experience mentoring during your academic program. To that end, we have made a significant investment of time and money in a formal mentoring program coordinated by Dr. Susan Baxley. We have solicited the assessment of mentors and mentees in refining the program and developing new approaches to mentoring. I look forward to your involvement in the mentoring program and your input on how we can make mentoring come alive for you.
Best wishes for your academic success,
Dr. Jennifer Gray