Mentoring & Coaching

The human connection between even two people is enough to provide support, encouragement, and direction, whether it's between junior and senior scholars, peers, or other formal or informal relationships. For this reason, mentoring is a central component of the TRELIS program. 

Some related ideas worth knowing about, updated on a regular basis:

  • 'Belonging' can help keep talented female students in STEM classes. (Interview with Nilanjana Dasgupta, August 2016, NSF Discovery News). The absence of a network of peers, even if it's a small one, is disheartening and discouraging to women in STEM fields. It can make the difference between staying and leaving, and is a key contributing factor of the retention problem. It's one of the reasons why the pipelines are leaky. We know it's important, and Dasgupta offers specific recommendations for addressing the problem. 
  • Do I need a mentor or a coach? (Ann Rolfe, December 2016, Korean Journal of Medical Education). These two roles are clearly related to each other, but this author suggests that being able to clarify your needs and expectations and increase the likelihood that the exchange is productive.Coaching is a more targeted activity with discrete and specific outcomes expected, while mentoring is more subjective and concerned with longer-term goals. 
  • What do good mentor-mentee relationships look like? If you haven't yet experienced a particularly positive relationship with a mentor, it's difficult to know how best to set one up. Rodney Cate, a professor emeritus from the University of Arizona who was honored for his mentoring skills during his career, described the mentoring relationship with an academic research context of faculty and grad students in this article, What does good mentoring look like?  Management Mentor's blog posting on This is What Effective Mentoring Looks Like may have been written for a business audience, but its pointers for structuring the exchanges and setting goals and boundaries are good for all situations.