New Faculty Find Way through Mentoring

For new faculty, the university environment is not necessarily new but can be an overwhelming entity of operations during the first years. At Tech, many find their place among their peers on campus through mentoring.

To some, mentoring is a formalized one-on-one relationship with a senior advisor; to others, it’s casual conversations, relationships that form over time, or short bursts of well-timed advice.

Susan Thomas, assistant professor in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, appreciates all types. Since arriving at Tech in 2012, she has found mentorship to be beneficial in all aspects of her work and in helping her find a sort of on-campus family. 

“In formal settings, you don’t feel bad asking questions because that’s what the person is there for,” she said. “But I also like the informal settings because the mentor-mentee relationship doesn’t expire.”

Though the Woodruff School does not assign mentors, Thomas has sought out those in her department with similar philosophies when she needs advice. Colleagues have helped provide guidance for cultivating research resources, recruiting and working with graduate students, and strengthening her teaching.

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