Participants say:

“It felt like we had a little community, which helped a lot. I didn’t feel alone on my journey.”

–Graduate Writing Fellow (GWF)

“It has prompted me to think more about my own teaching strategies in the classroom and to try to make my classes more interactive based on some of the examples we discussed over coffee.”

–Long-time faculty member/mentor

Within the Writing Program, we have been spending a great deal of time and thought on mentoring. How can we mentor graduate students, new to teaching writing classes? New hires? Adjunct faculty? Faculty going up for promotion? Women and members of groups historically under-represented in the academy? Through professional development, reading, and a renewed focus on the advantages of mentoring for both mentors and mentees, we have begun a Collaborative Mentoring Initiative (CMI) that we hope to continue and expand in the future.

Created in 2017, CMI is a mentoring and collaboration program consisting of clusters of two Graduate Writing Fellows (GWFs) and two faculty members. Each cluster meets regularly throughout the year in order to break down divisions between different groups teaching writing, mentor new instructors, and circulate innovative ideas about the instruction and assessment of college writing.

The structure of this initiative strives to meet the needs of new faculty while providing seasoned faculty with space to further develop their own teaching practices. It is also shaped by current scholarship on concepts such as co-mentoring partnerships, formal and informal mentoring, and perceived expectations of the varied members of the mentoring relationship.

Beyond all the pedagogical and professional gains, CMI offers participants a great community of passionate people that love what they do and love to share it.

Above, Writing Program faculty and administrators interested in discussing mentoring further met with Sarah Chobot Hokanson, Assistant Provost for Professional Development & Postdoctoral Affairs, in February 2020.

Below, CMI participants from 2018-2019 attended and presented at a mentoring conference in Santa Fe in October 2019.