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Peer Mentor Handbook

Oct 21, 2014

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Education

 

Microsoft Word - Peer Mentor Handbook Maggie 11-12.docx

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Paulo Freire on Mentoring:

The fundamental task of the mentor is a liberatory task. It is not to encourage the

mentors goals and aspirations and dreams to be reproduced in the mentees, the

students, but to give rise to the possibility that the students become the owners of

their own history. This is how I understand the need that teachers have to transcend

their merely instructive task and to assume the ethical posture of a mentor who truly

believes in the total autonomy, freedom, and development of those he or she

mentors.

From Mentoring the Mentor

Table of Contents

A Word from Dean Childers ...............................................................................................1

Introduction and Acknowledgements ................................................................................2

What is a Peer Mentor?.....................................................................................................3

Why Be a Mentor? ............................................................................................................4

Common Misconceptions about Mentoring.......................................................................5

What Does a Mentor Do? ..................................................................................................6 Avoid these pitfalls: .................................................................................................................11

How Do I Begin Mentoring?.............................................................................................12 Establishing Your Mentoring Relationship. ..............................................................................13

Frequently Asked Questions from Peer Mentors .............................................................14

Mentorship Issues Within A Diverse Community .............................................................16 Common Themes Across Groups..............................................................................................17 Themes Particular to Specific Groups.......................................................................................21

Women Graduate Students .......................................................................................................21 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Queer (LGBTQ) Graduate Students ............................23 Underrepresented Minority Graduate Students .......................................................................25 International Graduate Students...............................................................................................28 Graduate Students with Family Responsibilities .......................................................................30 Graduate Students from Working-Class Backgrounds...............................................................32 Graduate Students with Disabilities ..........................................................................................35 Returning Graduate Students ....................................................................................................38

Wrapping It Up................................................................................................................40

Graduate Division Contacts ...........................................................................................41

Academic Integrity Guidelines.......................................................................................44

Web Resources for Peer Mentors...................................................................................46

Works Cited and Consulted ...........................................................................................47

1

A Word from Dean Childers Dear Graduate Student Peer Mentors, Congratulations on being selected to UC Riversides Graduate Peer Mentor Program. I am excited to welcome you to the launch of a project I see as essential to the success of graduate students across the curriculum. Mentors have always played a crucial role in the accomplishments of graduate students, and here at UCR, faculty have embraced that responsibility. This year, we are fortunate to have the resources to create mentoring teams that include both faculty and graduate students. In doing so, I believe we have begun to create a kind of mentoring relationship that will help our diverse population achieve great successes. Mentoring styles are many and varied, and I know that most of you likely have had some experience either with being mentored or wishing you had been, knowing now in retrospect what you needed most. The purpose of this guide is not to interfere with your understanding of the mentoring process, but rather to provide support for the skills you have, remind you of details and situations you may have forgotten, and provide resources specific to UCR so that you might utilize them in your mentoring. We also hope that this will be a helpful tool for those who are new to mentoring in an environment as diverse as that of UCR. The first year of the mentoring program helped us identify successful practices for mentors. As we enter the second year of the program, I urge you to track carefully your processes, progress, and successes so that we can reproduce your efforts in the future. All of your feedback is important both to me as we continue to improve our Graduate Peer Mentor Program. I appreciate the time you commit to reading this guide, your commitment to your education, and your dedication to the rewarding work of mentoring your fellow graduate students.

Joe Childers Graduate Dean UCR

2

Introduction and Acknowledgements In putting together this UCR mentoring handbook, we consulted resources and materials

from multiple peer institutions. We adapted many aspects of mentoring handbooks developed

by the Rackham Graduate School at the University of Michigan; University of Nebraska,

Lincoln; Washington University, and others. Their themes resonated well with our own

campus experience, and we thank them for generously sharing their work. UCRs graduate

students, faculty, and staff were likewise instrumental in adding to our handbook their

insights and experience. Finally, thanks to the UCR community who put together so many

great programs upon which we lean in making our mentoring program successful.

This handbook will change and grow as our program develops and our goals and outcomes

become clearer. It will improve as both mentors and mentees provide us with accounts of

triumphs and failures, of challenges and solutions, of ideas and innovations.

3

What is a Peer Mentor?

A mentor is a knowledgeable and experienced

guide, a trusted ally and advocate, and a caring

role model. An effective mentor is respectful,

reliable, patient, trustworthy, and a very good

listener and communicator. Peer mentors are

graduate students, just like the mentees. They

are there to help in the way one friend helps

another. Because peer mentors are most like the mentees, they are often their strongest allies,

the people with whom the mentees feel they can share their deepest concerns without fear of

consequences.

Peer Mentors

take an interest in developing another persons career and well-being.

have an interpersonal relationship with those whom they mentor.

advance the mentees academic and professional goals in directions most desired by

the individual.

tailor mentoring styles and content to individuals, including adjustments due to

differences in culture, ethnicity, gender, socio-economic opportunity, physical ability,

etc.

share stories with students about their own educational careers and the ways they

overcame obstacles.

help students manage interaction with professors both in class and during office

hours.

show students how they learned time management.

listen to students describe personal problems and explore resources at

the university to deal with problems.

help new students understand how to use resources at the university.

4

Why Be a Mentor? Mentoring benefits new students!

Students are less likely to feel ambushed by potential

bumps in the road, having been alerted to them and

provided resources for dealing with stressful or difficult periods in their graduate

careers.

The knowledge that someone is committed to the students progress, someone who

can give them specific advice and be his/her advocate, can help to lower stress and

build confidence.

And it rewards mentors in an abundance of ways:

Your mentees will engage you in their research interests, which will keep you abreast

of new knowledge and techniques and will apprise you of promising avenues.

Your networks are enriched. Helping students make the professional and personal

connections they need to succeed will greatly extend your own circle of colleagues.

Being a mentor is personally satisfying. Seeing your mentees succeed can be very

rewarding.

5

Common Misconceptions about Mentoring Misconception: In a university, you need to be an older person with gray hair (or no

hair) to be a good mentor.

Reality: In a universi

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