The Culture of Mentoring Award
The USC Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) Program believes that constructive, supportive, and highly individualized mentorship is critical to advancing the careers of women and men within the academy. As researchers, scholars, and educators, we are committed to furthering knowledge and innovation; we recognize that individuals are most likely to succeed in environments in which wisdom about science and scholarship is passed freely. We maintain that mentoring should be founded upon a similar exchange of ideas and experiences. As mentors we share our own experiences and advise colleagues and students on career development, the academe, and the culture of individual institutions, organizations, and disciplines. We provide honest, objective, and non-biased feedback and assist in developing realistic strategies to meet career expectations and milestones.
First and foremost, we advocate for mentoring relationships that are crafted around the unique needs of individuals. We encourage mentors to listen attentively and to understand the needs of their mentees. Successful mentoring relationships and outcomes are grounded in values such as trust, respect, and empathy; they are well intentioned, non-judgmental, and fluid. We allow for the goals, hopes, and expectations of individuals to shift, and we offer advice responsive to these needs. We advocate for and promote mentoring at all stages of a scholar’s career – from their early years as an undergraduate through graduate school, postdoctoral training, and all stages of faculty life. We value and seek to promote a culture at USC that, through our program and by effecting institutional change, enables scholars to thrive in their professional as well as personal lives.