Professional News

Meet Professional Goals With Staff Senate Mentorship Program

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 30, 2021) — The University of Kentucky Staff Senate is launching a university-wide mentorship program that begins in January and runs through June 2022. Applications for the program are being accepted until 5 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 16. 

The Staff Senate introduced this program in 2020 and has had significant interest for mentor/mentee matches. The program will primarily be virtual; however, mentorship pairs can choose to meet in-person if that works for both mentor/mentee. By hosting the program virtually, both on-campus and remote staff can engage in the mentorship program. Mentorship pairs are encouraged to continue to meet virtually and will be given tools to have a successful partnership and utilize university resources.

The program’s objective is to help staff grow in their career goals by allowing newer staff members to gain perspectives, develop new relationships and grow professionally with leadership from seasoned staff members.

Full-time (.75 FTE or greater) staff members can apply to be either a mentor and/or a mentee. The program will match a mentee with a mentor from UK’s staff who has the experience, knowledge and insight to assist the mentee’s professional goals. The program is designed to benefit both parties, not just the newer staff member/mentee. Mentors can also gain leadership skills, be exposed to new ideas and interests, and gain networking contacts.

Mentors and mentees will have access to a Microsoft Teams “toolkit” with resources, articles, best practices and other tips to help them navigate the program.

Additionally, the Staff Senate's monthly “Lunch and Learn” series will feature topics of interest to both mentors and mentees, as well as all UK staff. Topics such as networking and relationship building, personality traits and professional development opportunities at UK will be covered during the mentorship program timeframe. The Lunch and Learn events are open to all UK staff, but will coincide with that month’s meeting agenda for the mentorship program participants. Staff members do not have to be a participant in the mentorship program to attend any Lunch and Learn workshop.

First year mentee and now staff senator, Dale Davis, said he and his mentor’s experience was excellent, even despite of the pandemic.

“My mentor had a lot of wisdom to share,” said Davis. “I think at a large university, it is important to focus on wisdom and utilize the leadership this university has to offer.”

Mentor/mentee applications for the January 2022 session must be submitted via Qualtrics no later than 5 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 16. The mentorship program application can be found online here. Mentor/mentee pairs will be announced in December and the official program will kick off in January 2022.

For more information about the Staff Senate Mentorship Program, contact Professional Development Committee Chair Stephen Reed (, Marie Marefat (, and/or Staff Senate Vice Chair Courtney Chafin ( at 859-257-9242.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $501 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.