Professional News

UK Staff Senate to Launch Mentorship Program

graphic that says Staff Senate Mentorship Program. Learn. Network. Engage.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 23, 2020)  The University of Kentucky Staff Senate is launching a university-wide mentorship program that begins in January and runs through June 2021. Applications for the program are being accepted until Dec. 9.

The Staff Senate introduced this program last year and received significant interest for mentor/mentee matches. Due to COVID, the program had to quickly transition to online and adapt to other engagement opportunities for the duration. The program’s cycle for this next session will also encourage mentorship pairs 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 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 Dale Davis, now a staff senator, said he and his mentor’s experience was excellent, even despite of the pandemic.

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

Mentor/mentee applications for the January 2021 session must be submitted via Qualtrics no later than Dec. 9. 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 2021.

For more information about the Staff Senate Mentorship Program, contact Jon Gent (jon.gent@uky.edu) or Caitlin DiBiasie (caitlin.durbin@uky.edu) at 859-257-9242

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.