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From Student to Scholar: Mentoring Underrepresented Scholars in the Academy (Transitioning from Student to Academic: The Role of Mentorship in the Evolution from Doctoral Student to Assistant Professor)

Harris-Pierre / Palgrave MacMillan / April 2020

As a first-generation college student, my experiences in higher education have been new and intimidating. I have, however, utilized my resources and taken advantage of opportunities to gain knowledge and advice from my professors in order to more efficiently navigate my journey to the PhD. Specifically, I developed relationships with friendly and approachable professors, volunteered to serve as a teaching assistant, and volunteered to assist in research projects in order to further develop relationships and gain invaluable experience relevant to advancing academically. While obtaining my PhD, I recognized the importance of having various mentors to support me in specific areas of my development. As I graduated and moved to another state to begin my career as a Counselor Educator, I found myself needing to establish another support system and mentorship team, which proved to be a challenge. This chapter will provide an overview of the role of mentorship in the processes of completing a PhD and beginning a tenure-track academic position. Moreover, this chapter will speak to the challenges I faced in finding mentors, the need for me as a faculty of color to have mentors and be a mentor, and specific considerations when developing mentorship relationships.