Mentoring is part of the foundation of SWS. Many of us have friends, faculty members, and colleagues who fulfill these roles. Sometimes, however, it is helpful to have someone outside of your institution who can offer guidance and counsel.
In the late 1980s, SWS began what was then called an Author-Mentor Program. Under this Program, SWS members who needed help with writing were paired with mentors who agreed to work with the authors for a year. In practice, many of these author-mentor relationships extended well beyond this scope, and the program evolved into one that paired junior and senior SWSers for a variety of different purposes.
Recognizing that there are many situations in which we might need mentoring, the program began to match junior and senior SWSers for a variety of projects like job hunting (job skills, interviewing, vitae writing, etc.), manuscript preparation, dissertation support, tenure and promotion review, and career development.
Building on recent scholarship on mentoring (including by some of our members), the SWS Professional Needs Mentoring Program is shifting to a model that assumes that ALL members have skills, experience, and insights to offer and that peer, and junior as mentor matches have much to offer.
To support the needs of our members and to be mindful of time commitments, the program focuses on meeting very specific needs in well-defined and time-limited mentoring relationships. In addition to facilitating one-to-one mentoring pairs, the program will also develop small Mutual Mentoring Teams to engage in mutual mentoring. PLEASE consider what YOU have to offer to a paired or Mentoring Team.
SWS Mentoring Programs
To support the needs of our members and to be mindful of time commitments, the SWS Professional Needs Mentor Program is shifting to a model that focuses on meeting very specific needs in well-defined and time-limited mentoring relationships. In addition to facilitating one-to-one mentoring pairs, the program will also develop small Mentoring Teams.
The SWS Mentoring Program assumes that ALL members have skills, experience, and insights to offer and that peer, and junior as mentor matches have much to offer. PLEASE consider what YOU have to offer to a paired or Mentoring Team.
Paired Mentoring is well-suited for concerns that are time-limited, especially individual (e.g. substantive feedback on a paper), or are quite personal/require significant confidentiality. Mentoring Teams may provide regular and long-term support and diverse perspectives. It may be important for you to have a mentor or mentoring team with whom you share an identity (e.g., BIPOC, trans*, parent, LGBTQ, first generation, etc.). The program will work to assist you.
Examples of Needs Appropriate for Paired Mentoring may include substantive feedback on scholarly work, promotion and tenure materials, job market materials, or creating a Resume from a CV. They may also include specific needs related to navigating graduate school or tenure and promotion (including to full professor), specific advice on choosing service commitments, individualized help with time management and prioritizing, specific concerns related to navigating toxic departments, committees, colleagues, etc.
Mentoring Teams may be comprised of peers or a mix of experienced and less experienced members. Depending on the number of requests, teams may be formed based on institution type, career stage, identity, or other characteristics. Examples of needs appropriate for Mentoring Teams may include general support for navigating graduate school, contingent faculty status, significant professional transitions, and toxic workplaces or colleagues. They may include discussions around managing work-life strain, teaching strategies, collegiality, and advice on scholarly activity, grants, and publications or accountability committing time to achieving professional and personal goals.
The above are not exhaustive lists, but provide examples and inspire reflection. What do you need? How can you help?
Mentoring for Change and other related publications, Dr. Jen deVries
Feminist Mentoring and Underserved Rock Stars, The Society Pages
Knapsack Institute – Group Mentoring Program University of Colorado, Colorado Springs
Job Market Workshop Resources, Joya Misra
Inside Higher Ed Resources