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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 5 Collaborative Cultural Mentoring: An Academic Compass


Ahmet Atay

I did not want to write this essay for a variety of reasons, partly because writing this essay meant reflecting on my mentoring relationships. It also meant that in order to write an autoethnographic piece, I needed to remember my academic journey and my time in all the institutions I attended, an emotional task I did not want to undertake. To flesh out my stories and theorize about mentoring, I knew I had to emotionally and mentally return to my life as a graduate student and a junior faculty and my mentoring experiences, all of which requires meaningful reflections. Writing about the past requires reliving the pain, the joy, and sometimes the loneliness of academia. I also did not want to write this essay because it meant that my writing, stories, and experiences might resonate with you as a reader, impact your life, and invite you to think about how you make sense of your mentoring relationships as a mentor or mentee.

In this autoethnographic essay, through personal stories, I will examine the role and types of mentoring in the different stages of our academic journeys. Collectively, these stories are threaded together to illuminate different facets of mentoring relationships, which range from academic advising to mentoring in research, and from tenure to promotion processes. The stories also highlight the role that the differences in and dimensions of our cultural identities play in mentoring, who is being mentored, how mentoring relationships are established, and who...

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