Every Faculty Member is a Mentor: Making the Invisible, Visible 

Feb 20, 2024

By: Michele TysonDirector of Faculty Advising, and Heather MartinFirst-Year Seminar Faculty Director and Director & Faculty Fellow of Mentoring Initiatives  

On February 16th, faculty from across campus came together to discuss ways we communicate about our impact as undergraduate advisors and mentors. While some faculty are formally assigned the advisor role, we all serve as informal mentors and advisors in our students’ larger constellation of support.

As you consider you own formal and informal advising and mentoring roles, here are a few topics for reflection:

1. Think about the academic mentors you had on your academic journey. What did they provide you with? Perhaps they offered encouragement or straight talk; maybe they fostered professional connections or assisted with networking; or perhaps they extended an open invitation to talk about anything on your mind. Explore the larger impact they had on your experience. How would you like to pay that forward to your students?

2. Be open to the “mentoring moment.” Mentoring isn’t always a formal conversation. Sometimes mentoring can happen in a moment, like when a student expresses distress or approaches you with a question. Often, your response can influence the student’s actions or thinking….and you may never even know it!

3. Know your resources. Advising and mentoring can be challenging. Course selection, DU policies and procedures, important dates and deadlines: there is a lot to know! But you are not alone. Several campus resources support faculty advisors and mentors. The Office of Academic Advising; Friends of Advising; quarterly professional development; learning modules in Canvas; and an annual advising training are all available to assist you.

For opportunities to continue your development as a mentor and/or advisor, see https://duvpfa.du.edu/ or https://academicaffairs.du.edu/academic-advising

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