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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 10 Mentoring, Emotional Labor and Risk in Academia: Exploring What We Really Learn Through Research Through a Lens of Critical Communication Pedagogy

Extract

Katherine J. Denker, Kayla Duty, Michael Will, Isa Escobio, Abigail Gibbs, and Jacob Fox

We came together about a year and a half ago before we started on this project. A group of individuals interested in studying what was or was not working in relationships. We called ourselves a research collective. And by all accounts we were successful. We got a paper with our undergraduate students to a conference. As a team (undergraduate students, graduate students and faculty), we collected data for another project. We had a plan for the next few studies. And then an acceptance to write a book chapter. I was so proud of the work we did, and what the students were doing. We could be the exemplar of how to be a communication research lab. And then we started writing this. And I read my students’ stories. And I cried. And after the unburdened honesty, we changed, some of us still committed, others drifted away, and more found different paths. And I wondered how I missed their uncertainty and their emotions. And I questioned the work that I was doing, and the approaches that I took- Are we always having a positive impact in our mentoring relationships?

Scholars have long argued the importance and impact that mentoring has on the lives of our undergraduate and graduate students. Even when mentors work ←185 | 186→to actively remove power distance in the relationship or are engaged in feminist mentoring practices, the mentoring relationship...

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