Faculty Reflections on the Institute for Aging and Social Work Experience

Robin Bonifas, Gita R. Mehrotra

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    3 Scopus citations


    Considerable research highlights the value of mentorship to the professional development of early career faculty in academia, yet less research focuses on factors motivating individuals to provide formal guidance to junior colleagues. Given that new social work faculty, in particular, may not receive sufficient mentoring, understanding what attracts senior scholars to serve as mentors can inform the development of future endeavors to promote mentorship programs in social work. This article presents findings from interviews with eight out of nine faculty leaders from the Summer Institute on Aging and Social Work, an advanced training program in aging research for social work faculty, regarding what prompted their participation in an ongoing mentorship role and how they were impacted by serving in such a capacity. Results from thematic analysis reveal three primary domains in faculty mentors' narratives: (a) their role and experiences in the institute, (b) reflections on the program itself, and (c) advice for emergent social work scholars in aging. Faculty unanimously asserted that the personal and professional satisfaction stemming from mentoring early career academics strongly motivated their participation in the institute. In addition, they appreciated the mutual learning that arose as they shared expertise in research and grantsmanship, while gaining knowledge from institute participants regarding social work's unique perspective on aging-related issues. Advice for emergent scholars centered on encouraging resilience during the grant application and reapplication process and effectively aligning research agendas with the teaching and research expectations of their respective institutions.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)301-314
    Number of pages14
    JournalEducational Gerontology
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - 2014

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Education
    • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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