Mentorship Program

The AASHE 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. Matches are made based on participant goals, experience and interests. Applications to participate are being accepted through Aug. 23. If you have any questions, please contact Daita Serghi.

Overview

Mentors provide mentees with general guidance, support and advice. Mentors and mentees should aim to connect at least once a month over the course of a year through virtual meetings, phone calls or in-person at our annual conference & expo or workshops. At the conclusion of the one-year term, participants are encouraged to share a case study or other materials resulting from the project through the Campus Sustainability Hub.

Joining the AASHE Mentorship Program was definitely worth the time. I was able to gain another perspective on how a large University’s waste diversion system is run and could bounce off ideas and challenges I am facing with someone outside my own system that listens and has much to offer. I now have a colleague that I can call on in the future when needed and vice versa! – John Deuel, Recycling Manager

Selection

Participants in the program are selected and matched by AASHE based on applications received through an annual call for mentors and mentees. Please note that it is possible not all applicants will be provided with a match.

Mentorship Handbook

Get the most out of your mentorship experience with use of the Mentorship Handbook. This handbook will help guide participants through the three main stages of the program: initiation, cultivation and evaluation.

Participant Roles & Responsibilities

Virtual MeetingMentees are expected to:

  • Develop a set of goals for the relationship with their mentor that will be submitted to AASHE within two months through a form AASHE will provide. This could include completing a specific project that is feasible within one year. Ideally, these goals should include one or more tangible products.
  • 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).
  • Be available to connect with their mentee at least once a month over the term of the program.

The mentoring program was a great way for a new sustainability director to quickly learn best practices and get introduced to key leaders in the network. It would also be a method of gaining experience in a specific topic area as well. It was a positive experience.” – Amy Butler, Director of Sustainability

Term

Formal 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.

Eligibility

The Mentorship Program is 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

MentoringBoth 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
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