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At Arizona State University one of the most essential elements of a quality graduate education is the opportunity it offers for connection – to a diverse graduate population, to broader communities of practice and resources, and to faculty and professional worlds. Mentoring offers this connection, providing graduate students with both interpersonal support and academic or career-focused guidance needed to successfully integrate interpersonal and academic identities and navigate career pathways.
The Graduate College Mentoring Network (GCMN), housed within the Graduate College, fosters and promotes a university-wide mentoring culture by:
The GCMN fosters these values through four networks: community-building initiatives, faculty mentoring resources, mentoring excellence recognition, and academic and career development.
ASU attracts students, staff, faculty and postdoctoral scholars from all demographics, and its scholarly communities are strengthened by diversity and inclusion of a multiplicity of perspectives and ideas. The Graduate College mentoring initiatives offer engagement and navigation of academic, cultural and interpersonal identities in meaningful ways that enrich all graduate education and foster pathways between undergraduate and graduate education and professional careers.
The SHADES cross-cultural mentoring program is a peer-to-peer mentoring program designed to encourage and develop intercultural competencies and identities. SHADES provides a forum for students to embrace and discuss the roles of identity in academia and our lives, to seek out peers with shared social or cultural identities, and to explore the intersections of identity, learning and public discourse. The Graduate College’s Interdisciplinary Research Colloquium (IRC) provides a substantive link to academic research and collaboration as a for-credit option to SHADES participants.
Designed to bolster community engagement, increase representation, and provide critical identity-development and engagement opportunities to ASU’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBT+) communities, HUES is open to any LGBT+ undergraduate, graduate student or postdoctoral scholars. Mentoring matches are made based on participant preference with options for peer, faculty or staff matching.
HUES is open to all new and current ASU students. Faculty and staff may apply as mentors only. Apply to join the 2017-2018 cohort as a mentor or mentee today. Note: you must have a current ASURITE ID to apply.]
Although less structured and with a greater emphasis on collect interest and interpersonal development than the one-to-one personal development offered by mentoring, graduate student organizations are an excellent way to build academic and cultural self-efficacies. ASU has over 1,000 student-run clubs and organizations designed to support academics, culture, religion/spirituality, art, politics, sports, and much more, with over 60 specifically created by and for graduate students. The Graduate College encourages graduate students to enrich their ASU experiences by getting involved and networking with other graduate students. In addition to mentoring, joining a graduate student group is an excellent way to develop professional contacts, engage with your academic network, or find connections within the greater Sun Devil community.
To learn more about these opportunities for involvement at ASU, visit our graduate student organizations page.
Fostering strong paraprofessional relationships with faculty allows graduate students and postdoctoral scholars to network and prepare for careers.
The Graduate Faculty search tool encourages graduate students and postdoctoral scholars to identity and connect with graduate faculty resources at ASU, including research professors, scholars, and ASU research affiliates.
For an introduction to the importance of faculty-to-faculty, faculty-to-new faculty and faculty-to-post-doctoral scholar mentoring, we recommend the Jennifer Lundquist and Joya Misra Inside Higher Ed article Faculty-to-Faculty Mentoring.
The graduate student mentor plays many roles -- academic advisor, career exemplar, advocate and support. An integral part of mentoring is nurturing the development of best practices in research and scholarship and instilling professional practices that will support your graduate student not only through their academic program, but into their professional careers. Academic integrity standards are key to the ongoing success of your students. Learn how to model strong standards to your students, with particular mindfulness to the roles sociocultural values and norms can play in students' understanding of academic integrity, in Gabriella M. Gillespie's (University of South Carolina) Guide to Advising International Students about Academic Integrity.
The transition to graduate school can be challenging to even the most academically advanced graduate scholar, as it signifies not only a higher level of learning and research, but an entry point into the professional world. In working with graduate students, it is important to support their non-academic growth and development, too. Strong academic mentoring not only benefits graduate students during their studies and transition to professional life, but can have resounding implications throughout their careers.
In What Do the Best Mentors Do?, (Inside Higher Ed., August 24, 2017), Joya Misra and Jennifer Lundquist spoke to faculty about best, most impactful practices in mentoring graduate students. Among key factors, graduate faculty advised other mentors to recognize the whole person, maintain regular contact, provide timely and constructive feedback, and to embrace the often time-intensive mentoring process as not challenging, but nourishing. Skillfully deployed, they note, mentoring is not only impactful in the long term to the graduate student, but can be among the most meaningful or rewarding parts of the mentor's job as an academic.
For a doctorate student perspective on the mentoring needs of graduate students, see W. T. Ling's Science article The Ideal PhD Mentor -- A Student's Perspective.