Mentoring Handbook

Introduction to BLaST Mentoring

Link to pdf copy here.

Congratulations, you have made a great choice in becoming involved with our mentoring program. Mentoring is an essential component of the BLaST Program. We utilize a tiered mentoring approach that is reliant upon all participants understanding their own expectations and the expectations of others.

Mentoring enables each of us to grow, learn, transform, and accomplish goals in education and our personal lives. Whether you are a world-renowned investigator or you are in the early stages of your professional training, mentoring helps build a dynamic community while ensuring the success of each individual as he or she achieves personal and professional career goals.

In today's complex and often highly competitive world, having a mentor can mean the difference between success and failure. Whether seeking advice on how to ask the right research question, how to best design a new experiment, or how to find all the needed resources, mentoring can help ensure a successful outcome. By serving in the role of a guide, coach, or ally, a mentor can answer questions as they arise and provide you with authentic learning experiences that cannot be found in any textbook.

Mentoring may seem scary or intimidating, but in reality mentoring is mutually beneficial for both the mentor and mentee and can result in a life-long collegial friendship that is an overwhelmingly positive experience.

"Research shows that mentees generally perform better in their programs and after they get out of school" than students without mentors, according to W. Brad Johnson, PhD, a psychology professor at the U.S. Naval Academy and author of several books about mentoring. "Students tend to get tied into the mentor's network of colleagues, and that creates more open doors."

There is no such thing as a “typical” mentoring relationship as each will be as unique as the individuals within it - this guide is not intended to be a one size fits all approach. If you utilize the structure and advice presented here, you will have an awesome experience!

The BLaST Mentoring Handbook supports the mentoring relationship by breaking down the typical progression into four phases - Selection, Alignment, Cultivation and Closure. (More inside the pdf copy)


For more information on the mentoring handbook, please contact Lori Gildehaus at or Aaron Kallas at (Mentoring handbook version 8/31/2017).