Mentorship plays a critical part in personal, educational and professional growth. On October 4, Dr. Ronald Rochon, University of Southern Indiana Provost, met with doctoral students and faculty of the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) to discuss the importance of mentorship and its place within the institution of learning.
In his presentation, “It Takes a Village,” Rochon described the nature of mentoring relationships in the setting of graduate education, but also emphasized the doctoral experience. Speaking to current and future professors, he highlighted the importance of innovative communication practices.
“We have to turn university paradigms upside-down. The days of waiting for students to come sit down in your office to talk is over,” he said. “As a professor, you must realize how important community outreach is – proactive engagement is the key to the survival of the institution of higher learning.”
Rochon, a former CEHD faculty member, briefly touched on the history of minorities within centers of higher learning. He pointed that individuals can no longer be identified based solely on appearance or background.
“Do not make assumptions about the person sitting next to you – what they bring to the table could blow you away.”
Increasing the level of student success is also the vision of the CEHD. Faculty, staff and students remain firmly committed to enhancing education and health outcomes for all.
“Faculty members will gain priceless experiences by giving back to the community and identifying future scholars,” said Rochon. “If you only have thirty seconds to impact a young life, conveying to them how special they are is so important. Whatever their gift is, help them understand that they have so much promise, they are the future.”
Summarizing his message to students and faculty, Rochon left his audience with the following message, “Empower students to teach you as well, it will strengthen your effort to promote a holistic environment.”
Promoting positive mentoring relationships enhances the academic climate of CEHD to meet the challenges of future students and faculty.