For National Mentoring Month, the Graduate and Professional School Celebrates the Success of Its Graduate Mentoring Academy
Event to take place on Thursday, January 26
COLLEGE STATION, January 10, 2023 – When Graduate and Professional School Associate Dean Julie Harlin launched Texas A&M’s Graduate Mentoring Academy (GMA) in October of 2021, she didn’t quite know what to expect. “I knew there was interest from graduate students and faculty and that the university had made it a priority to expand mentoring programs on campus. But I wasn’t sure how long it would take to get buy-in.”
As it turned out, it would be no time at all. “Those first few workshop offerings in fall 2021 filled up immediately and we were inundated with emails from people trying to register,” Harlin said. “It’s an understatement to say engagement has far surpassed our expectations.”
To date, over 1500 students, faculty and staff have attended sessions either virtually or in person, with 230 completing the program and earning certification as Graduate Mentoring Academy fellows.
GMA and its parallel program, the Faculty Mentoring Academy (FMA), form the core of Texas A&M’s effort to promote a “culture of mentoring” at the university.
To recognize the success of GMA and FMA, the Graduate and Professional School will host celebration of mentoring at Texas A&M on Thursday, January 26 from 4:00-5:30 p.m. at the University Club. Everyone who has participated in Graduate Mentoring Academy and Faculty Mentoring Academy workshops is invited. Additionally, two faculty mentors – nominated by their academic departments – will be presented with Outstanding Graduate Mentoring Awards. The event coincides with “Thank Your Mentor Day,” the last of a series of important dates in January that commemorate National Mentoring Month.
Throughout January, organizations across the country seek to raise awareness about and promote the value of mentoring 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.
Harlin points to the inclusivity and uniqueness of Texas A&M’s mentoring programs as keys to their success. “We involve students, faculty and staff equally,” she said. “And rather than matching mentor and mentee like a lot of mentoring programs, our approach is to recognize everyone as both mentor and mentee. That way we all learn from each other and promote a view of student-faculty-staff relationships as collaborative rather than hierarchical.”
Harlin explained that this philosophy, along with allowing rolling attendance with no time limits or expiration dates for completing the program, really set Texas A&M apart and accelerate cultural change. “We’re doing something really special here. When making presentations about our mentoring efforts at national conferences, feedback from people at other institutions is incredibly positive. They see us as a model to be emulated,” she said.
Aggies across all campuses are invited to share about their mentoring experiences on the dates listed below – and throughout National Mentoring Month – using #TAMUMentoring and #NationalMentoringMonth.
January 11: I am a Mentor Day
January 16: Dr. Martin Luther King Day of Service
January 17: International Mentoring Day
January 26: Thank your Mentor Day
For more information about mentoring or National Mentoring Month, visit https://www.mentoring.org/campaigns/national-mentoring-month/.
And to learn more about the Graduate Mentoring Academy, to see the schedule, or to sign up for a session, visit https://grad.tamu.edu/academics/academic-success-resources/mentoring