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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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chapter 4 One Class Can Make a Difference: The Intersecting Paths of Mentoring Friendship


Elizabeth A. Petre, Grace A. Giorgio, James T. Petre, and Jeffrey M. Harshbarger

Volo ut sis: I want you to be.


It was a warm fall day right at the beginning of the semester. One of those beautiful days early on where the sky is a piercing shade of blue with just a few clouds. The weather was so pleasant that we just had to have class outside. My boyfriend and I were students in Grace’s class. We didn’t know it at the time, but that day’s class discussion would plant the seeds for a mentorship that would become a close friendship that continues to grow and change as we age.

Liz: We were learning about the Toulmin model and how to construct an effective argument. “Can someone give me an example of a claim?” Grace asked. Before anyone else could respond, Jim didn’t miss a beat and called out “Bush is an idiot!” This caused everyone to laugh, and Grace seemed surprised and a little bit amused. Perhaps she was expecting there to be crickets—we were outside, after all. As a professor now myself, I know how it feels to anticipate the questions that tend to give students pause, so to have someone respond so quickly with an unapologetically political answer might be unexpected, maybe even a little jarring.

I don’t really remember much else from that day, but it always makes me smile to think back...

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