Opening the “Black Box” of Mentoring
Author Information:
Muller, Carol,
Founder & Executive Director
College of Engineering
One Washington Square
Reno, NV USA, 95192-0080
tel. 408-924-4070, fax 408-924-4069

Mentoring has been hailed as a strategy to improve retention of women in engineering and related fields, in higher education and in industry. The buzzword of the last decade, there is a “mentoring explosion” in popular culture and mentoring is posited as the solution to many social ills and inequalities. But what is mentoring, really? How can we unpack that nebulous, if familiar, word to understand better the principles and practices that make a difference, and separate hype from actual benefit? What are some of the potential benefits of mentoring? How can you find a mentor? What makes a person a good mentor? How can a protégé(e) make the best use of a mentoring opportunity? How do you get started on a successful mentoring relationship? What are the responsibilities of each party involved? What about mentoring anytime, anywhere, via email? What are the typical stages of mentoring relationships? When and how should a mentoring relationship end? This interactive workshop will address these questions, and related others of interest to those participating. It will build upon research about mentoring, practice in operating a large-scale electronic mentoring program, and the experiences in mentoring of those participating in the workshop.