COLLEGE STATION, Jan. 4, 2022 – January is National Mentoring Month, a campaign to raise awareness about and promote the value of mentoring to effect positive change in people’s lives. First launched in 2002 by the Harvard School of Public Health, the monthlong public service campaign was first endorsed by President George W. Bush, and has since been endorsed by both chambers of the U.S. Congress.
In higher education, formal mentoring programs are an emerging trend. According to a 2019 report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine entitled “The Science of Effective Mentorship in STEMM,” the University of Wisconsin - Madison’s Center for Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research (CIMER)“ is a recognized leader in evidence-based mentorship development.
CIMER’s curriculum inspired a new mentoring initiative within and across Texas A&M. The Culture of Mentoring initiative is a joint effort of multiple university offices and entities, such as the Office of the Dean of Faculties, Center for Teaching Excellence, Graduate and Professional School, and the Division of Research.
With the Culture of Mentoring initiative, Texas A&M is investing in programming to create and maintain a climate that supports student and faculty development and success. From the Faculty Mentoring Academy (FMA) to Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) and the Graduate Mentoring Academy (GMA), Texas A&M offers a range of mentoring programming and initiatives. For information about upcoming programming, visit the Faculty Mentoring Academy webpage on the Center for Teaching Excellence website or the Graduate Mentoring Academy workshop portal.
Clint Patterson, Instructional Consultant in the Texas A&M Center for Teaching Excellence, explains the impetus of the Culture of Mentoring initiative. “Because mentoring is so important in maximizing the transformative potential of education,” Patterson said, “we really have to approach it thoughtfully, strategically and collaboratively.”
Throughout the month, via a social media campaign using #TAMUMentoring and #NationalMentoringMonth, university offices and entities participating in the Culture of Mentoring initiative will highlight and celebrate the successes of various mentoring programs offered across its campuses. Everyone in the Aggie community is invited to post about their mentoring efforts or experiences, particularly on important dates:
January 6: I Am a Mentor Day
January 16: International Mentoring Day
January 27: Thank Your Mentor Day
For more information, please contact MentoringTAMU@tamu.edu or firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Rob Dixon, Texas A&M University Graduate and Professional School