Graduate College Mentoring Network

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:

  • Promoting community-building, cultural and academic diversity, engagement and inclusion through identity-based mentoring initiatives;
  • Connecting graduate students and post-doctoral scholars to academic and career-related mentoring resources across academic colleges;
  • Recognizing and rewarding outstanding mentors and mentoring initiatives across ASU;
  • Supporting academic departments and graduate faculty in creating and sustaining mentoring initiatives, best practices and programming models.

The GCMN fosters these values through four networks: community-building initiatives, faculty mentoring resources, mentoring excellence recognition, and academic and career development.

Two students participating in peer mentoring.

Community-building initiatives

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.

SHADES cross-cultural mentoring

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.

SHADES is open to all graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. Apply to join the 2017-2018 cohort as a mentor or mentee today. Note: you must have a current ASURITE ID to apply.

SHADES 2017-2018 Mentor/Mentee materials:

HUES LGBT+ mentoring

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.]

HUES 2017-2018 Mentor/Mentee materials:

Graduate Student Organizations

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.

Upcoming Events

Graduate College Mentoring Network (GCMN) Spring Programming

Join the Graduate College and its SHADES cross-cultural graduate student peer mentoring project and the HUES LGBTQ+ mentoring project for our monthly social mixers and workshops. Whether you are already a member of SHADES or HUES or are interested in learning more about these programs, this is an opportunity to ask questions, learn about the program structures and supports, meet potential mentoring partnership matches, and become a part of these two exciting mentoring opportunities!

SHADES cross-cultural mentoring project is open exclusively to new or currently-enrolled graduate students and post-doctoral scholars, and specifically is designed to create and enhance community around cultural similarities, differences and experience.  The HUES LGBTQ+ mentoring project is open to undergraduate, graduate, and post-doc scholars; faculty and staff may join the project as mentors.

Fall 2018 programming schedule coming soon!

A professor counseling a graduate student.

Faculty mentoring resources

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.

Mentoring new faculty and postdocs

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.

Mentoring graduate students

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.

Graduate College recognizes and rewards outstanding mentoring by faculty.

Mentoring excellence and resources

As part of its commitment to and acknowledgement of mentoring as a vital component of the graduate student experience, the Graduate College recognizes and rewards outstanding mentoring and strives to demonstrate the essential nature of mentoring to student success and professional development. The Graduate College recognizes and supports excellence in mentoring institution-wide through its annual Outstanding Faculty Mentor Awards.

Outstanding Faculty Mentor Awards

Each fall, up to three faculty, based upon nominations from the graduate student community, are recognized for the Graduate College’s Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award. Read more about our current and previous Outstanding Faculty Mentors, their mentoring philosophies, and their inspirations hereNominations for the Fall 2018 Outstanding Faculty Mentor awards will open in August  and will be collected through October. Nomination details and processes coming in July 2018.

Mentoring Resources and Best Practices

Effective and meaningful mentoring starts with making the right mentoring connections. Before exploring the mentoring resources below, download the GCMN quick reference guides, The Mentoring Connection: Choosing a Mentoring Program and The Mentoring Connection: Peer Mentoring, to learn more about:

  • Choosing the right mentoring program within that structure;
  • Evaluating mentoring goals and outcomes;
  • Selecting a mentoring structure that best fits your needs;
  • Types of mentoring programs.

Mentoring opportunities are available university-wide.

University-wide mentoring support

The Graduate College is a member of the ASU Mentoring Council, an affiliation of mentoring initiatives institution-wide. By sharing resources and cross-promoting mentoring opportunities, the ASU Mentoring Council advances the visibility of mentoring programs across the university.

Academic and career development resources connect graduate students and postdoctoral scholars to academic and career-related mentoring resources across academic colleges.

ASU offers many opportunities, both formal and informal, for students and scholars to connect in mentoring communities.

Undergraduate mentoring opportunities

Graduate mentoring opportunities

Connected Academics (Graduate College, languages and literatures)
Thunderbird Mentor Program (Global Management, alumni mentoring)
Graduate Nurses Organization Mentoring Program (College of Nursing and Health Innovations graduate DNP program; peer to peer)