Last week, I had the good fortune attend the inaugural mentoring conference, put on by the University of New Mexico Mentoring Institute. Mark Smith of the Institute had invited me out there, and it was an excellent time of learning for me. I now have many ideas about how to improve ESN’s Mentoring Program (and many leads to follow up on, and not enough time to do it!).
A few highlights:
- Brad Johnson of the U.S. Naval Academy and Johns Hopkins, speaking on the necessary traits of good mentors. (Johnson is also the co-author of The Elements of Mentoring)
- Lewis Schlosser of Seton Hall, speaking on multicultural and cross-cultural mentoring.
- Izzy Justice of EQmentor, Inc., an online mentoring system designed for businesses and middle managers. Justice’s “big ideas” are 1) anonymous mentoring and 2) “network” mentoring, in which a mentee receives one-on-mentoring, peer mentoring from a community, and access to a knowledge base.
- Florence Hamrick of Iowa State, who led a roundtable discussion on mentoring for institutional transformation. (More on this soon, too.)
- Mark Searby of Beeson Divinity School, who led a breakout session on “Leaders Who Last,” about identifying why leaders in academic, business, and the pastorate fail and what can be done to prevent failure.
- MaryJane McReynolds of Central New Mexico Community College, who lead a breakout on best practices for mentoring professional and graduate students, from the perspective of leading mentoring programs in two vastly different contexts: business managers enrolled at DeVry Institute, and MD/PhD students at UNM.
- Though I wasn’t able to make her session, I had an excellent lunch conversation with Lani Gunawardena of UNM about her experience in designing an e-mentoring program that matched faculty in Sri Lanka with graduate students at UNM, using the open source program Moodle.
- A burrito platter from the Frontier Restaurant across the street from UNM. Yum!
I was also pleased to see a couple of my “neighbors” from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, who presented a poster on Children’s mentoring program for African American employees.
There is much more to say and process, and I’ll be writing about some of what I learning in the coming days.