Joel Malin, Assistant Professor, Department of Educational Leadership, Miami University of Ohio & Don Hackman, Professor, Education Policy, Organization and Leadership, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
We present findings from a study of educational leadership professors who have received the Jay D. Scribner Award, in recognition of their practices as exemplary mentors of doctoral students and novice faculty. This study was intended to learn why faculty members engage in mentoring and to identify activities and supports they provide for their mentees. Content analysis was conducted of the 148 nomination letters written in support of the Scribner recipients. Semi-structured interviews were held with the 12 award recipients and 24 individuals they had mentored. Mertz’s conceptual model of mentoring was used to guide data analysis and the identification of themes. Findings revealed that the Scribner recipients were intrinsically motivated to mentor doctoral students and junior faculty because of deep commitment to the future of the educational leadership profession.
Mentors and mentees reported that relationships primarily emerged informally, included individual and group mentoring experiences, were characterized by relational equality, and frequently resulted in long-term research partnerships and deep friendships. Activities were tailored to mentees’ unique needs, based upon their career stages and institutional contexts, and experiences were aligned with Mertz’s continuum of mentoring relationships. Given the descriptions of group mentoring arrangements, it may be beneficial to redefine mentoring to include an array of situational consultations and group experiences, so students and novice faculty can recognize and access supports that depart from traditional mentee-mentor dyads. Additional research is needed to identify mechanisms that promote universal access to mentoring, particularly for females and persons of color.
Dr. Jennifer Delaney
Higher Education Collaborative and the Forum on the Future of Public Higher Education