Mentoring Arena

The four chapters in Part I of this book practitioners, researchers, and university leaders prepare a firm foundation for their formal mentoring program. Garvey begins chapter 1 with an in-depth synopsis of the origins and meaning of mentoring, beginning with the ancient Greeks and ending with modern developments. Mentoring is differentiated from other developmental relationships such as counseling, coaching, or academic advising. Of great practical importance in chapter 1, Garvey explores the difficulty of creating a singular definition of mentoring in academia and provides an alternative approach to looking at how the dimensions of mentoring can be applied to the practice of mentoring.

Often in academia, discussions about theoretical frameworks and how they impact mentorship programs may seem abstract to practitioners. The authors of chapter 2, Hager, Hales, and Dominguez, help practitioners base their mentoring program on one or more theoretical frameworks. They begin by helping practitioners understand their mentoring program’s key components and variables. Then, they focus on broad frameworks and how they might align with the program’s needs and goals. Next, the chapter gives examples of how customizing theoretical frameworks inform the practice of mentoring. Lastly, in chapter 2, Hager, Hales, and Dominguez articulate how research design can contribute to the body of knowledge regarding theoretical frameworks.

In chapter 3, Murrell and Onosu focus on different mentoring relationships found in academia, including hierarchical mentoring relationships, peer mentoring, group mentoring, and reverse mentoring. Based on research and best practices, mentoring in academia is moving beyond a single mentor-mentee relationship into a diverse range of multiple relationships forming a social network promoting personal, academic, and career support. The authors conclude chapter 3 by exploring how mentoring can serve as a buffer, be a tool for social influence, and a catalyst for identity work as members of the academy progress in their academic and professional journeys.

Novice program coordinators may not distinguish between formal mentoring programs and informal mentoring opportunities. Arocho and Johnson present a framework to differentiate between these two opportunities in chapter 4. By formalizing and customizing mentoring programs to meet the needs of their students, staff, and faculty, universities will more equitably distribute the benefits of mentoring among their members. Arocho and Johnson summarize the benefits of mentoring for the university, the mentors, and the mentees. When discussing the benefits of mentoring, an often-overlooked, unintended consequence is the adverse outcomes of the mentoring program. The authors of chapter 4 acknowledge these risks and advise how to mitigate these unintended consequences.


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