The heart of new knowledge creation at a research university lies in the mentoring relationship between graduate students and faculty members.
But what is a mentor? A good mentor will play many roles in the course of the relationship. A good starting definition is that provided by Morris Zelditch:
"Mentors are advisors, people with career experience willing to share their knowledge; supporters, people who give emotional and moral encouragement; tutors, people who give specific feedback on one's performance; masters, in the sense of employers to whom one is apprenticed; sponsors, sources of information about and aid in obtaining opportunities; models, of identity, of the kind of person one should be to be an academic."
"In academics, mentor is often used synonymously with faculty adviser. A fundamental difference between mentoring and advising is more than advising; mentoring is a personal, as well as, professional relationship. An adviser might or might not be a mentor, depending on the quality of the relationship. A mentoring relationship develops over an extended period, during which a student's needs and the nature of the relationship tend to change. A mentor will try to be aware of these changes and vary the degree and type of attention, help, advice, information, and encouragement that he or she provides."
CWRU is committed to promoting and recognizing good mentoring practices. In order to achieve these goals:
In addition to the links on the GSS resource page, other good sites that deal with mentoring from the faculty persepctive are from the University of Michigan, Vanderbilt University, the University of Tennessee, University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison (also here).
The University of Wisconsin has also published a free evidence and research-based book Entering Mentoring that can be downlloaded in pdf form.