Ahmet Atay, professor of communication studies and chair of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and Global Media and Digital Studies programs at The College of Wooster, is the co-editor of a book that focuses on the mentoring of both faculty and undergraduate and graduate students in the communication studies discipline. Mentorship and Communication: Theories and Practices was published in May 2021 by Peter Lang and co-edited by Diana Trebing. “We took a critical and cultural perspective to carefully examine what mentoring means and why it is important in academic settings,” Atay explained.
The book was conceptualized through the editors’ personal experiences with mentoring as former students and then eventually as faculty members. “All my experiences with students and faculty at Wooster, in one way or another, led me to envision this book,” Atay said, citing conversations with historically marginalized faculty and students. “It pushed me to think about the importance of mentoring to survive and thrive in higher education.” Approaching the topic of mentoring through case studies and authors’ own lived experiences, the project fills a gap in mentoring research in communication studies and “provides a much-needed scholarly discussion about its role in academic lives.” In addition to editing, Atay co-wrote the introductory chapter and authored another chapter on collaborative cultural mentoring. “I emphasized the importance of taking a cultural perspective and having multiple mentors in different locations,” he said. “Hence, we can create webs of mentors.”
Additionally, Atay considered the ways he can incorporate the book into his role mentoring faculty and students at Wooster, proposing “a reading group where both groups come together and talk about mentoring.” He also hoped to include some of the chapters in his own courses. “We hope that this publication will create more academic spaces to talk about mentoring and provide tools for faculty to mentor students as well as other faculty,” Atay said.