How can mentoring benefit the mentor?

Mentees aren't the only ones with something to gain from mentorship. Beyond filling an area on your promotion and tenure documents, mentoring can prove to be a rewarding and beneficial experience for faculty. As Walker et al. point out in The Formation of Scholars, faculty gain "new ideas, infusions of energy and excitement, the satisfaction of developing the next generation, and intellectual legacy" (105). Such reciprocal gains are part of what makes mentoring relationships central to the intellectual community of the department. In more concrete terms, scholars and students can also mutually benefit from collaborative work on poster presentations, conference papers, publications, and workshops for such programs as the the PLAN Initiative, the series of professional development workshops for graduate students that is sponsored by the Graduate School at University of Louisville.

But the benefits of mentoring are not limited to the traditional mentoring dyad. The intellectual community of the department can be enhanced by establishing informal groups for sharing work-in-progress, reading recent publications from your discipline, or discussing a shared research interest among faculty and students. In these ways, a culture of mentorship can benefit students, faculty, and the department and university communities.