New Mentorship Program Launches for SHSU Faculty and Staff
June 21, 2019
SHSU Media Contact: Wes Hamilton
The Learning Academies at Sam Houston State University completed a first-ever training program for SHSU staff and faculty who volunteered to change another employee’s life by becoming a “Master Mentor.”
This new mentorship program, which will launch in the fall, aims to improve employee engagement and retention. Recently, the first cohort of the Master Mentors graduated from a three-month program to prepare them for their new role. The goal of the structured training initiative was to enhance specific skills and prepare the mentors for the challenges and joys of mentorship. During a graduation ceremony in the Lowman Student Center, the mentors were presented a certificate and a gift of an embroidered umbrella to commemorate their completion.
Over the past three months, the mentors attended several trainings about the dynamics of the mentor/mentee relationship. These included: a half-day workshop and two lunch-and-learn sessions taught by Andrew Miller, a practicing psychologist and assistant vice president of Student Affairs and the executive director of the Student Health Center; and “Confidentiality for Mentors,” taught by Gene Roberts, Student Legal & Mediation Services director.
Julie Schwab, executive assistant to the provost, has been on staff at Sam Houston State for 16 years. When she heard of the opportunity to help other staff members, she was excited to share the SHSU culture.
“It is great that this program will help our staff be able to grow. It is about empowerment. It is about having someone there who has been through it who can help others navigate the academic waters,” Schwab said. “I know when I first came here I leaned on senior administrators in order to get to where I am at today. Now my goal is to give back.”
Members of the President’s High Potential Employee Leadership Academy also attended the ceremony and they will act as the advisory group to the program’s 17 participants.
This summer, a call will go out to potential mentees to be matched with the new Master Mentors, many of whom have been unofficially mentoring others in their daily lives prior to becoming “official” Master Mentors. The program, created and administered by Cindy Bradfield, assistant director of Human Resources, and TJ Bittick, professional development coordinator for Human Resources, will have 30, 60 and 90-day check-ins with the subsequent mentors and their mentees.
“We plan to work with the advisory board by mid-July to get everyone matched up, and notify them of their status by the beginning of August,” Bittick said. “We are excited to expand the program after this initial cohort goes through once we evaluate its performance.”
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