The newly developed informal mentoring program has been designed to include multiple aspects of academic life, including balancing professional and family obligations. The programs are intended to freely address the needs of the participants as they advance through their careers to create a sense of belonging, community and support network among students, faculty and staff in the College.
The new mentorship program is broken down into three categories — junior faculty where members will have the opportunity to be paired with senior faculty to receive guidance on career development, all faculty and staff, where members could be mentored by volunteers from different academic units including the dean’s office, and undergraduate and graduate students where students will be paired with alumni or other successful professionals with a passion for mentoring and a dedication to WVU and the College.
It is expected that the mentors and mentees engage in a mutual partnerships to establish an open and beneficial growing space/environment, unrestricted by an academic unit. Additionally, the informal program is designed to be attentive to mentoring across different backgrounds, professional stage, gender, sexual orientation, race and culture.
In 2021, for instance, the inaugural mentorship programs for faculty and staff were successfully launched with 16 participants. The student mentoring program has included over 400 different students either as part of different student organizations or on individual callings.