Celebrate Good Times… Mentor On!

By Kathy Partlow

As a new and unprecedented academic year begins, the Mentoring Committee took a moment to celebrate accomplishments of the past year and brainstorm new opportunities for the coming year. Committee members submitted words associated with participating on the Committee – like fun, support, dynamic, inclusive, community, and productive –to generate a word cloud. The accomplishments in the past year initiated momentum for mentoring opportunities available to NORDP members in the coming year.

Mentor-Mentee Pairs: The Committee continues to develop and evaluate resources to support mentoring relationships (see the Roadmap and Reflection Resource) for the growing number of matched pairs in the annual NORDP Mentoring Program. This work enabled NORDP to join the national conversation on mentoring at the Mentoring Institute’s annual conference and in The Chronicle of Mentoring & Coaching (see full publication here). In the end of year survey for the 2019-2020 Mentoring Program, 96% of participants would recommend the program to a colleague and 72% plan to continue the mentoring relationship beyond the formal program year. This year, separate cohort meetings (McHuddles) will be available for mentees and mentors to allow each group to interact and learn from each other.

Peer Mentoring Groups: New Peer Mentoring Groups (PMGs) are benefiting from last year’s pilot program and new supporting resources. PMGs allow members with similar interests to share resources, provide feedback, and act as accountability partners for building skills in leadership, proposal development, collaboration, career development, communication, and strategic planning. The invitation remains open to join and meeting times are posted on NORDP’s event calendar. Additionally, the PMG framework is supporting the exciting new NORDP LEAD (Leadership, Engagement and Development) opportunity.

Mentor Training: The RD-adapted mentor training developed from the evidence-based curriculum available from the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN) and Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research (CIMER) was beta-tested in a virtual format this summer. This opportunity for mentor training will be broadly available to NORDP members in 2021. You can indicate your interest for participating in mentor training here.

Additional highlights, benefits of mentoring relationships, and experiences of supporting mentoring at our home institutions will be shared in the second iteration of the well-received Mentoring Lightning Storm. Join us for a fun-filled, fast-paced, and mentoring-focused series of lightning talks on October 23 at 2 p.m. Eastern!

Have other thoughts or ideas you’d like to share with the Mentoring Committee? Feel free to leave a comment or email us at mentorprogram@nordp.org