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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Why Do We Need a Mentor?

By Peg Balachowski, Associate Dean for Teaching & Learning at EvCC 


Many of you reading this post will know that the term mentor comes from the ancient Greek story of Mentor, a friend of Odysseus, who was asked to be in charge of his son Telemachus when Odysseus left for the Trojan War. It seems the definition has not changed much – Dictionary.com defines a mentor as a “wise and trusted counselor or teacher.” Sounds just like what Odysseus was looking for regarding his son.
In my career I have had several mentors – both formal and informal, mentors who challenged me, motivated me, and encouraged me. The mentors that I have had over a long period of time have acted as a coach and in some cases a counselor. Today I want to say thank you to all those amazing people, to let them know that without them, my path would have been significantly different.

Here at Everett Community College, we want to highlight the work of all mentors. On April 7, 2017, we will be hosting our second annual Mentoring Conference. We believe that mentoring focuses on the future; the more successful our mentoring programs are, the more successful we will be as an institution.

Dr. Brandy Brown
This year our plenary speaker will be Dr. Brandy Brown from the University of Arizona South, a Hispanic-serving institution. Dr. Brown is an Industrial-Organizational Psychologist and assistant professor in Organizational Leadership. Through courses like Leadership in Diverse Environments and the undergraduate research lab that she co-created with Dr. Laura Lunsford, The Mentoring and Leadership Collaboratory, she demonstrates the value of mentoring as a tool to empower non-traditional and marginalized students and studies leadership education as well.

Presentation titles this year include: Reflective Practices in Mentor/Mentee Relationships, Engaging the Reluctant Mentee, Mentoring Inspired Supervision: A Model of Connected Experiential Learning, and many others.

Are you interested in learning more about our conference? Check out our webpage, and consider making a presentation on any of the mentoring themes for the conference. We hope to see you there!

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