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Mentoring and Communication

Theories and Practices

Edited By Diana Trebing and Ahmet Atay

Although mentoring occupies a paramount role in higher education and is part of a faculty’s expected duties, nowadays increasingly so, it is not an area to which graduate schools pay close attention. There is no formalized training and faculty and graduate students alike are expected to know how to mentor effectively once they graduate or start a new teaching or administrative position. This book tackles two interrelated issues: the role and importance of mentoring in the communication discipline as well as critical/cultural studies and using critical communication to illuminate the ways in which students and junior faculty among others are mentored in higher education. The authors of these chapters present a position or an issue in regards to mentoring students and faculty or the lack of it in higher education. Their goal is to generate a scholarly discussion by utilizing qualitative and narrative-based research approaches and critical and cultural perspectives to promote awareness about the importance of mentoring. Additionally, the authors highlight some of the important issues in mentoring as a form of critical communication pedagogy and present some guidelines, ideas, and examples to mentor more effectively. This edited book will be helpful for various audiences. First, it will provide guidance for graduate students, junior and senior faculty members who are asked to mentor others at various stages of their academic careers. Second, it will help students and faculty who are currently trying to identify and work with mentors. And third, it gives ideas on what to do and not to do in successful mentor-mentee relationships.
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Introduction: Theoretical Approaches to Mentoring


Ahmet Atay and Diana Trebing

Over the years, as the editors of this book, we had several deep and meaningful conversations about mentoring. Since we both graduated from the same doctoral program, our conversations allowed us to remember mentoring that we received, mentoring that we wish we had, and types of mentoring that we did not want to have. These ongoing conversations not only allowed us to reflect on mentoring as an act and as a relationship, but they also enabled us to co-construct a narrative that helped us to become more effective, mindful, advocate-centered, and culturally attuned mentors. We are not perfect mentors by any means, but we are willing to have these much-needed conversations and discussions about mentors and mentoring, and more importantly, who is doing mentoring, who is being mentored, and who is left behind. These conversations are the premise of this book. The joys and frustrations related to these discussions led us to organize panels at regional and national conferences, and also pushed us to take leadership and mentoring roles to mentor others, including undergraduate and graduate students, and junior faculty within and outside of our immediate contexts. We believe that mentoring plays a crucial role in academic settings for undergraduate and graduate students as well as junior and mid-career faculty. This book embodies these commitments.

Although we carried out informal conversations about how much we were or were not mentored, together we also had conversations about the ways in...

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