Message from the Dean, Dr. Anne-Liisa Longmore – April 2022
Dear PSB Colleagues,
Have you ever had one of those moments when you find yourself at the intersection of serendipitous circumstances that all seem to be reinforcing the same message? Recently, mentorship has been showing up so much that I am compelled to write about it today. I wish to celebrate a small cross-section of our work and advancement in this space.
Many in our PSB community are actively engaged in mentorship as part of their practice. Indeed, many faculty colleagues consider the role of educator as a dual role of teacher and mentor whether it is in the classroom, as a case competition coach, advisor, or program coordinator. In addition to mentoring our learners, many in our community (faculty, admin, and support staff) selflessly mentor one another as well – providing guidance on careers, supporting one another in learning new methods, onboarding new colleagues, or providing psychosocial or socio-emotional support to one another. I, too, am the beneficiary of the many mentors – many of whom are in PSB – and who continue to mentor me today. I often will reach out to seek advice, check-in, and explore ideas. Those whom I am fortunate to have as mentors in my life listen carefully, ask excellent and sometimes difficult questions, help me to gain a deeper understanding of my purpose, and help me to trust my instincts when I am unsure.
Whether in an official capacity or as a thoughtful gesture with a colleague, I witness the unwavering kindness and commitment to serve one another across our community every day.
Our First-Year Experience team has been applying a mentorship approach by exploring the factors that contribute to a successful first year for our students. In particular, the pivotal role faculty play in helping students develop a sense of resourcefulness and connecting them to a variety of Sheridan resources. In this edition, the team reminds us of the student supports available, along with a list of responses and links to resources, based on questions commonly asked by our students, especially at the end of a term.
Over the last several months, Dr. Anne Coulter and Dr. Brian Chama have been working closely with the Afro Caribbean Business Network (ACBN) and alum Ryan O’Neil Knight to prepare for the “Black Futures Conference” on June 16th. The intention of this conference is to provide entrepreneurs in attendance with opportunities to network, mentor, and learn. We are tremendously fortunate to be working and learning so closely with Ryan and ACBN.
On Friday, April 22nd we held our first of three value proposition Strategy Hive sessions. The theme “Embedding Confidence Building in Everything We Do” was enthusiastically explored by all who joined in. As you can imagine, the notion of mentoring, the role it plays in confidence-building and how we can amplify it in our practice across PSB was robustly discussed. Mentorship also emerged during our April 25th session, with the theme “Designing for True Agility and Flexibility”. The notions of courage to experiment and having the support to do so, and the value of communities of practice and faculty learning, with and from one another, were among other ideas shared. I’m thinking there is a high likelihood that mentoring will emerge as a strong theme again during our Wednesday, April 27th hive session entitled “Integrating a ‘Making a Difference’ Ethos into the Student Experience.” For those who are interested and available to join the Strategy Hive session on Wednesday, April 27, here are the registration details:
Strategy Hive #3: Wednesday, April 27th, 3:30-5:30 pm – Integrating a “Making a Difference” Ethos into the Student Experience –
For those who are unable to attend one or more of the Hive sessions, please consider sharing your thoughts and perspectives by completing the following Surveys. The survey links will remain open.
In closing, it is apparent that mentorship is a significant and important theme in PSB. I wonder how we might more purposefully identify and celebrate our mentors and the work we are doing in the mentorship space. I also wonder how we might leverage our successes to scale our mentorship capacity – with our learners and with each other? To all mentors (both formal and informal) thank you for the difference you make in the work, life, and practice of those you mentor. You make a difference – each and every day – just by being there and by listening without an agenda.
For our faculty colleagues going on vacation during 7A starting April 27th, I hope your vacation is filled with great weather, moments of joy, rejuvenation, and time with those you love. For faculty colleagues about to start the spring/summer semester, and to our valued administration and support staff colleagues, I hope this semester goes well – with interesting learning and fun along the way.