Later this summer, ACH will be piloting for 6 months a new, slightly more formalized mentoring program. The program represents 4 years of discussion, research, integration, and revision of mentoring programs from several scholarly organizations and institutions. The goal of the program is to target 3 common areas where mentoring is typically requested and where there is a wealth of experience, to create clear scope for expectations on the part of the mentor and mentee, to clarify expectations for the desired outcome, and to provide a mechanism for feedback, revision, and improvement of the program over time.
In broad strokes, the ACH Mentoring committee will send out a call for mentors who are willing to provide mentoring in the three specific areas we are piloting:
- DH Conference proposals
- Mentors and mentees spend 2-3 hours in a combination of either meeting online using Zoom or Skype to discuss topic ideas, providing feedback on drafts, or assistance with responding to reviewer comments during the proposal process.
- Face-to-Face Conference Mentoring
- Mentors and mentees agree to meet for 60 minutes or so over coffee at a disciplinary conference (DLF, ASA, MLA, or AHA for example, exact conferences depend upon mentor sign-ups), with the potential for 30 minutes of follow up remotely by email or Skype.
- Career Mentoring
- Mentors agree to provide up to 6 hours of consultation through a combination of regular Skype or other video conferencing (45 minutes per month over 6 months, for example). Mentees may ask for feedback on their CV or portfolio website.
Next, we’ll issue a call for mentees that clarifies areas of expertise, conferences where mentors will be available, and career types that mentors have expertise in. The call for mentees will be open for a limited period of time, in which applications will be accepted as space and areas of interest allow. Importantly, mentees must be a member of ACH and will need to include a membership number with their application. We estimate about two weeks for mentor and mentee matching.
Mentors and mentees will receive a matching letter that explains the scope and terms of the mentoring program, a statement of expectations for conduct, and details for a grievance procedure. From that point on, the mentor and mentee will be responsible to one another for meeting their agreement. When mentoring is complete, the mentor and mentee will be asked to return feedback to ACH’s Mentoring committee, who will use comments and feedback to make subsequent, necessary adjustments and improvements to the program.
Since the idea is to keep the mentoring experience scoped and focused so that expectations are clear, neither the mentor or mentee are expected to continue their relationship beyond the agreed period of time. However, if mentors and mentees mutually agree to continue their relationship, such an arrangement is possible.
We’ll issue a call for mentors and mentees in late summer. Stay tuned to the ACH website and Twitter account for more information.
Meanwhile, if you are interested in serving on the Mentoring committee, we are looking for 3 non-Executive Council volunteers to help implement the program. In particular, we’re looking for help in recruiting mentors, developing some brief training materials, revising draft letters and guidelines, matching mentors with mentees, and then evaluating the program after 6 months. You could expect 2-3 weeks of higher levels of participation in August/September, light participation via email correspondence during the following 5 months, a slightly more intense period with 1-2 Skype calls in January, and similarly light participation via email through next June 2019. If you are interested, please get in contact with either Purdom Lindblad (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Lisa Rhody (email@example.com) by July 31st.