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The ProfHacker Series on Mentoring

Later this week, ProfHacker begins a series of posts on the topic of mentoring. Mentoring is one of those vague and slippery terms: sometimes you know (good) mentoring when you see or experience it; sometimes you only figure it out in retrospect. Sometimes it becomes a buzzword or the focus of administrative structures; sometimes it represents authentic attempts to nurture and develop potential talent.

This series of posts grew out of some conversations among the ProfHacker contributing writers, who include people at many different levels of academe, and who as individuals have very different experiences with mentoring and being mentored. We hope to create a conversation here on the site that will not only recognize the significance of personal experience, but will also help create strategies, tools, and techniques for mentoring that will help enhance productivity and growth for all involved.

Some key questions we hope to address include:

  • how might social media be used to create or improve mentoring relationships?
  • what strategies and tools could enhance peer mentoring (among grad students or faculty)?
  • what challenges and obstacles exist for formal mentoring programs for junior faculty?
  • what strategies and tools could help faculty in mentoring grad or undergraduate students?
  • how might technology be used to form mentoring communities for dissertation writing?

Please let us know in the comments if you have particular questions or topics you’d like to see addressed in this upcoming series.

(image by flickr user TeoJPG/CC licensed)

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