Our Mentorship Program connects sustainability staff and faculty with peers to share knowledge, cooperate on projects and advance the field of higher education sustainability. It provides a semi-structured process to facilitate ongoing collaboration between mentors and mentees, who are matched based on desired goals, relevant experience and overall expertise. Applications to participate are accepted each summer. If you have any questions, please contact Daita Serghi.
Mentors provide mentees with general guidance and support, and, if desired, advice in implementing a specific project. Mentors and mentees connect approximately once a month over the course of a year through virtual meetings, phone calls or in-person at our annual conference & expo. At the conclusion of the one-year term, mentees are expected to share a case study or other materials resulting from the project through the Campus Sustainability Hub.
Those working on sustainability initiatives on their campus need to be able to tap into the wealth of experiential knowledge and hard won insights of our peers, especially those who have been successful in initiating fruitful projects. The mentoring help I received was invaluable in helping me, as a newly appointed campus coordinator, to focus and prioritize my energies, identify reasonable short term and long term goals, utilize resources and instructive models, and become far more aware of important trends in academic institutions related to sustainability goals. – Cynthia Smith
Participants in the program are selected and matched by AASHE staff based on applications received through an annual call for mentors and mentees open from July 18 through August 24, 2018. It is possible that not all applicants will be provided a match.
Participant Roles & Responsibilities
Mentees are expected to:
- Develop with their mentor a set of goals for the relationship. This could include completing a specific project that is feasible within one year. Ideally, these goals should include one or more tangible products.
- Submit a brief description of the goals and the expected deliverables to AASHE within 2 months. A link to the form will be provided shortly after a mentor/mentee match is made.
- Initiate phone or in-person meetings with their mentor at least once a month to update them on progress in relation to the goals and solicit their guidance.
- Share any products resulting from the collaboration (e.g., case studies, photos, videos, blog posts, syllabi, reports, outreach materials) through the Campus Sustainability Hub.
- Respect their mentor’s time and understand they have other professional commitments.
Mentors are expected to:
- Help their mentee develop a set of goals that are feasible and that leverage their expertise.
- Offer ongoing support and guidance to their mentee (not necessarily exclusively related to the goals).
- Attempt to connect with their mentee at least once a month over the term of the project.
AASHE’s mentor program allows seasoned professionals the opportunity to share real world experience with mentees that results in a mutually beneficial relationship with far-reaching impact. – Ken Botts
Participation as a mentor or mentee is a one-year commitment, though we hope that the relationships forged between mentors and mentees will continue long after.
The Mentorship Program will be focused primarily on sustainability staff and faculty. A single individual may apply to be both a mentor and a mentee and, if selected, could serve both roles simultaneously.
Participants must be affiliated with an AASHE member organization when they apply. In the event that a mentor or mentee leaves an AASHE member organization or their organization’s membership status changes during their term, the mentor or mentee may complete the remainder of their term.
Benefits to Participants
Both mentors and mentees benefit from the Mentorship Program through an expansion of their professional networks, the creation of new personal relationships, development or enhancement of their skills, and exposure to fresh perspectives. AASHE will recognize both mentors and mentees on our website and, upon completion of the program, participants will receive an electronic certificate.
Mentees benefit by:
- Getting access to independent and objective perspectives
- Successfully implementing a project
- Developing new skills and expertise
- Gaining confidence in dealing with challenges and issues
- Receiving support during times of change and transition
Mentors benefit by:
- Deriving satisfaction from helping someone else, and the campus sustainability movement, to grow
- Enhancing their leadership skills, especially communication and interpersonal skills
- Staying in touch with emerging issues
- Reflecting on their own practices
- Developing a reputation as subject matter experts and leaders
- Receiving recognition from AASHE
- Earning points for your institution in STARS through the Inter-Campus Collaboration credit