UNLV offers faculty mentoring programs to academic and administrative faculty who want an opportunity to engage with peers, make personal connections, and share experiences in a supportive environment. Through UNLV’s mentoring services, faculty can serve as mentors or receive guidance for their academic and professional goals as mentees.
Programs are available to faculty at all levels, including tenure-track, nontenure-track (full-time), administrative, and part-time faculty mentoring groups, a first-generation faculty mentoring group, discipline-specific mentoring groups, and new faculty mentoring groups.
Throughout the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, faculty have benefited from mentorship opportunities, said Joanna Kepka, co-chair of the Nontenure-Track Teaching Circle. She has been working with two mentees.
The Nontenure-Track Teaching Circle is a mentoring group for lecturers and faculty-in-residence. Kepka, an associate professor-in-residence of political geography in the Honors College, organizes monthly mentoring sessions, runs a mid-promotion review workshop each semester, and performs peer reviews of teaching. She also meets for one-on-one consultations in person and virtually.
“Just a few months after arriving at UNLV, COVID-19 closed most of campus,” said Tanya Roberson, an English assistant professor-in-residence. “The Nontenure-Track (Teaching) Circle, and Joanna in particular, helped me stay connected and feel like a part of the campus community.”
Sean Slattery, assistant professor-in-residence who teaches art, said he sees the value in making connections with faculty from various departments.
“As instructors, we help our students learn to navigate UNLV,” Slatterly said. “However, it is rare that someone is always available to help us. Dr. Joanna Kepka, through her service with the (Nontenure-Track Teaching Circle), has been crucial to helping me understand UNLV. She has helped numerous instructors improve our careers and our teaching.”
The Teaching Circle is just one of UNLV’s faculty mentoring programs that provide professional development and build faculty networks. UNLV’s mentoring resources and services are designed to meet the needs of academic and administrative faculty at all stages of their professional careers. To learn more visit Faculty Mentoring Resources.
Becoming a Faculty Mentor
“Mentors first and foremost need to possess knowledge and experience,” Kepka said. “Mentors need to be willing to share that experience with others, be good listeners, and be honest.” Mentors also should be willing to give direct feedback, even if it is meant to address something about a mentee’s performance, Kepka said.
“All expertise is welcome and everyone has something to contribute,” she said, adding that (Nontenure-Track Teaching) Circle events are “a wonderful opportunity to network, connect, and get to know colleagues from other departments that may result in some collaborative work or even friendships.”
For guidance on how to become a faculty mentor as well as resources for navigating mentoring relationships, visit Becoming a Faculty Mentor.
To recognize a faculty member for their mentoring contributions at UNLV, complete the Faculty Center Faculty Mentor Spotlight nomination form.