Planning for Higher Education Journal

Answering President Obama’s Call for Mentoring

It’s Not Just for Mentees Anymore
Journal Cover
From Volume 39 Number 4 | July–September 2011
By Richard J. Reddick, Kimberly A. Griffin, Richard Cherwitz

While mentoring increasingly has taken center stage in national conversations about education, additional research is needed to understand the impact of mentorship on the senior party in the relationship. Mentorship is conventionally understood as a process bestowing significant benefits on the junior party (mentee); recent studies, however, suggest that mentors also benefit from developmental relationships. In this article, we analyze and present selections of qualitative narratives from81 graduate-student mentors participating in the Intellectual Entrepreneurship (IE) Pre-Graduate School Internship at The University of Texas at Austin. These narratives explore the benefits of participating in the program and working with undergraduate mentees.Because of its integration of academic and community engagement, UT-Austin’sIE Consortium offers a promising innovation in higher education worthy of close investigation. Findings suggest that, in addition to personal gains, mentorship can promote four major outcomes related to mentors’ professional lives:a deeper perspective both on themselves and their academic disciplines; the development of advising and mentoring skills; the opportunity to contribute to the diversity of their field by assisting emerging scholars from underrepresented populations; and the knowledge that mentoring can assist both mentees and mentors in reaching their goals.

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