Professional News

UK Staff Senate Launches Mentorship Program

photo of Staff Senate Mentorship Program graphic
Staff Senate Mentorship Program is taking applications through Dec. 4.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 27, 2019)  The University of Kentucky Staff Senate is launching a university-wide mentorship program that begins in January and runs through June 2020. Applications for the program are being accepted until Dec. 4.

The Staff Senate introduced a small pilot program earlier this year to gauge interest in mentorship and to lay the groundwork for the large-scale launch. After successful completion of the pilot program, senators felt the time was right to include all UK staff as potential participants.

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 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 “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.

Misty Wright, application analyst for UK HealthCare, signed up to be a mentee in the pilot program. Wright was looking for advice on a possible career change to pursue the work she would love to be doing. She was paired with a mentor in the strategic communication/marketing area at UK. Wright said her mentor mentioned being nervous about the pairing since Wright had over 20 years of experience, but when her mentor asked her what Wright wanted to gain from the relationship Wright said everything started coming together.

“We spent time talking over lunch about career details, workflows, and everything in between. I was able to not only get information, but in-person interaction for the work I wish to one day do, and I made a friend along the way,” Wright said.

Pilot program mentor Julianne Kravetz, a student affairs coordinator in the College of Pharmacy, said she and her mentee experienced the program in both roles, taking turns being both mentor and mentee. 

“Everyone has something to teach and something to learn,” said Kravetz, who added that both of them benefited from the pairing by getting to know each other personally and professionally

Mentor/mentee applications for the January 2020 session are due to the Staff Senate Office no later than Dec. 4. The mentorship program application can be found online at Mentor/mentee pairs will be announced in December and the official program will kick off in January 2020.

For more information about the Staff Senate Mentorship Program, contact Jon Gent ( or Caitlin Durbin ( 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.