At Saint Louis University, my department supported our students through ongoing mentoring to undergraduates. I averaged more than 20 undergraduate mentees each year in our formal advising assignments, and provided a range of assistance to them such as consulting about courses they planned to take, completing paperwork to study abroad, helping secure transfer credits, and offering career/internship advice and leads.
I coordinated the department's professional mentoring program, which pairs undergraduate and graduate students with working professionals who offer career advice and feedback on student resumes. In addition, I organized an annual networking event for our students and members of the department's advisory board. Between the mentoring program and the networking event, some of these connections have led to internships and jobs!
I also led several professional development sessions for students in which I guide them through creating resumes and their own digital portfolios.
The graduate students are an integral part of the communication department’s community at SLU. I worked closely with several students in formal and informal arrangements because I believe a central component of my position was to help them develop as scholars and professionals. In addition to teaching our graduate Contemporary Issues in Media and Research Methods classes, I led graduate students in independent study courses. I was the formal mentor for two graduate students in the department, and met with them at least twice per semester to discuss their progress in the program and professional development goals. I also was the formal mentor for one graduate student who completed a certificate in university teaching and assisted two others as they designed a teaching portfolio that was one of the materials required for the certificate.
I chaired and co-chaired three applied projects, co-chaired one thesis and served on 11 other thesis or applied project committees. In addition, I chaired one student’s comprehensive exams and served on four other comprehensive exam committees. These students have gone on to a range of successful careers in market research, publishing, freelance writing and editing, social media marketing, corporate communications, project management and public relations.
Beyond SLU, I am a mentor to doctoral students through a program offered by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication's Commission on the Status of Women.
Mentoring other faculty
Because of the relationship I have developed with Saint Louis University’s teaching center staff, I was asked to co-lead a Winter Institute workshop on engaging students in critical reflection. I also wrote a blog post for the teaching center on using online tools for critical reflection. In addition, because the Department of Communication has courses that span the breadth of the field, I consult with other faculty on ways they can incorporate creative projects into their courses.
Because of my experience developing and maintaining the Department of Communication's Advisory Board made up of local professionals and alumni, SLU leaders asked me to consult with other departments as they established their own advisory boards.