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Graduate Mentoring and Advising

The role of graduate advisor and mentor is critical - not only to our students, our disciplines, and the University, but to all who stand to benefit from the contributions made by those we advise and mentor. Despite its importance, few faculty receive any formal training to meet the demands and challenges of the advising and mentoring role. The resources listed provide a brief
overview of graduate student advising and mentoring by...

  • articulating characteristics of exemplary advisors and mentors;
  • discussing challenges associated with advising and mentoring relationships;
  • suggesting "best practices" for advising and mentoring; and
  • offering the mentoring philosophies of several award-winning graduate advisors.

Graduate Mentoring and Advising

Advising and Mentoring Graduate Students

Annotated Bibliography of Selected Resources

Note: Most of the resources listed are currently available on-line. If you have difficulty accessing any of them, or want copies of items that aren’t available through the Internet, contact the Faculty Center for Teaching and e-Learning (ext. 3022).

Gold, C.M. (1997) “Some thoughts on Advising.” University of Wisconsin-Madison; Department of Educational Administration. (available at –

This article articulates one faculty member’s expectations for graduate advisor/student relationships. Although written for students (and containing some information pertaining to a specific Educational Administration program), the article outlines useful principles and models a mechanism for clarifying expectations to students.

Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies, University of Michigan (1999). How to Mentor Graduate Studies: A Guide for Faculty at a Diverse University. (available at –

In addition to providing general suggestions for good mentoring practice, this handbook also explores some of the special challenges and rewards of advising an increasingly diverse graduate student population.

Fine, M.A. and L.A. Kurdek (1993). “Reflections on Determining Authorship Credit and Authorship Order on Faculty Order on Faculty – Student Collaborations.” American Psychologist 48(11):1141-1147. (available at :

Fine and Kurdek use a series of case studies to raise issues related to authorship decisions and suggest guidelines for discussing and determining authorship. The authors explore the problems associated with faculty who assign too little – or too much – credit to student contributions. Although the cases involve Psychology faculty and students, the issues and the advice cross disciplinary boundaries.

Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy (1997). Adviser, Teacher, Role Model, Friend: On Being a mentor to Students in Science and Engineering. National Academy Press: Washington, DC. (available at -

This booklet provides a comprehensive overview of advising and mentoring relationships between faculty and a broad range of students (i.e., undergraduate to post-doctoral). Different mentoring/advising roles are addressed along with tips for being a successful mentor. Issues related to diversity and professional ethics are also examined.

The Dead Thesis Society (available at – and The Dead Thesis Society Resource Library (available by following the Resource link at

Founded at Memorial University of Newfoundland in 1998 (and now with branches at Dalhousie and Humboldt State), the society provides a thesis support communityfor graduate students. The website is a window into graduate student issues (including those related to “stalled” dissertations) and a unique resource to pass on to advisees.

Essays on Mentoring from Utah State University

Written by winners of Utah State University’s Graduate Mentoring Award, this series of thoughtful essays discusses good mentoring practice, as well as the personal mentoring styles of faculty in disciplines ranging from poetry to soil science. Essays include:

Brewer, K.W. (1998) Mentoring Poets. Department of English (Poetry).

Bugbee, B. (2001) On Mentoring. Department of Plants, Soils, and Biometerology

Miller, B.C. (2000) On Graduate Mentors and Mentoring. Department of Family and Human Development

Salzberg, C.L. (1996) Reflections on Mentoring. Department of Special Education and Rehabilitation

Provenza, F. (1999) On Mentoring. Department of Rangeland Resources


Deborah M. Langsam, 2002
Faculty Center for Teaching and e-Learning
University of North Carolina at Charlotte


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