Mentoring the social work academic: Oops, I broke Alice's Lookin Glass

  • Elizabeth KimJin Collardey PhD, LMSW, Assistant Professor of Social Work University of Michigan, Flint


In this essay, I tell my history of what mentoring has meant to me and what mentoring has done to "grow " me into the professional I am. This autobiographical narrative is written in dialogue with the literature on mentoring in an effort to make sense of recurring themes and experiences leading up to my most recent academic assignment. Although mentoring has an established body of knowledge in business, education, and medicine, a cursory review of the literature reveals the discipline of social work as a late adopter in understanding and creatively embracing it as an integral process of educating educators. I conclude my story by highlighting what I want my college, profession, and higher education in general to understand about mentoring practices for female facility of color in social work education.


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