Griffin: Acknowledge Identity for Stronger Mentoring Relationships

Professor in a red suit giving a talk

~ March 25, 2024 ~  

If you want to build a strong mentoring partnership, don’t discount the importance of bringing identity into the conversation, says Kimberly Griffin.

Griffin, dean of the College of Education and professor of higher education at the University of Maryland, presented the 2024 MAC Public Keynote on Feb. 29, tilted, “Equity-Minded Mentorship—Why and How Identity Matters.”

“Mentorship is an integration, for me, of career development, academic development, and psychosocial commitment,” she said. “It is not a mentoring relationship, in my mind, unless there’s a sense of caring between two people.”

While advisors can also be mentors, it is common that different individuals inhabit these roles, Griffin said. The advisor-advisee relationship is often focused on specific tasks leading to the attainment of a goal, while the mentor-mentee relationship is not unique to one system or target accomplishment and is characterized by a relationship quality that benefits both the mentor and the mentee.

Griffin’s research reveals that making space for identity in these relationships helps set mentors and mentees up for success.


Read full article by Katya Hrichak on the Graduate School website