The Staff Mentoring Circles Program is a yearlong professional development and mentoring initiative for Case Western Reserve staff, created in response to ongoing feedback from long-standing and newly hired employees who attempt to manage information flow across campus and by departments within divisions. These circles aim to increase the exchange of information between members of different department/units from across the university.


Staff Mentoring Circles were also designed to enhance personal and professional skills, forge new relationships and develop strategies to increase performance. The model of a mentoring circle lends itself to an open exchange and dialogue of various perspectives, including informal support networks; and the program runs from October through April.



What happens in a mentoring circle?

Each mentoring group consists of 7 staff participants (mentees) that meet once a month with one designated facilitator (executive mentor) for the purpose of enhancing leadership practices, networking skills, and knowledge transfer. Participants simultaneously act both as mentors and mentees under the guidance of the Executive Mentor as they exchange experiences, challenges, opportunities, and advice for the purpose of enhancing self-confidence, communication skills, leadership practices, and commitment to one’s career.


Why mentoring circles?

Mentoring circles are based on an action learning methodology whereby circle participants are encouraged to facilitate learning through asking open questions rather than offering advice and are encouraged to engage in self-reflection practices. Participants remain together as a co-hort throughout the program but will also meet as a larger group to share insights as well.


Who are the executive mentors?

Our mentors are executive level staff that have been selected based on their past experiences, expertise, and desire to support professional development initiatives for staff level employees. They serve as guided discussion facilitators that encourage learning and self reflection.


Eric Dicken

Senior Executive Director

Donor Relations, University Events, and Presidential Protocol

Topic: Powerful Networking


Denise Douglas, Ph.D.

Associate Dean for Executive Education

Weatherhead School of Management

Topic: Career Development


Lolita Hines

Assistant Vice President for Finance and Administration, Information Technology Services

Topic: Managing Professional Relationships


John Lawer

Associate Vice President for Campus Planning and Facilities Management

Topic: Leadership Presence



Staff Mentoring Circles program structure:

The Staff Mentoring Circles program takes place from September through April of the following year. Participants must be prepared to commit to all sessions. Mentor facilitated sessions are brown bag lunch sessions that will take place at various locations throughout campus. Lunch will be provided at co-hort group sessions.


Staff Mentoring Circles Program 2013/2014
Orientation/meet & greet - (lunch provided) September 12, 2013 12:00-1:30 pm
Thwing 1914 Lounge (2nd Floor)
Mentoring Circle Session 1 October 10, 2013 12:00-1:30 pm
Assigned locations
Mentoring Circle Session 2 November 7, 2013 12:00-1:30 pm
Assigned locations
Group Networking - (lunch provided) December 5, 2013 12:00-1:30 pm
Thwing 1914 Lounge (2nd floor)
Mentoring Circle Session 3 January 9, 2014 12:00-1:30 pm
Assigned locations
Group Networking - (lunch provided) February 6, 2014 12:00-1:30 pm
Thwing 1914 Lounge (2nd floor)
Mentoring Circle Session 4 March 6, 2014 12:00-1:30 pm
Assigned locations
Closing Reception - (lunch provided) April 3, 2014 12:00-1:30 pm


Open enrollment begins Monday, August 26. Registration is first come, first served.

Registration for the 2013/2014 Staff Mentoring Circles Program is now closed.