The relational selves of female graduate students during academic mentoring: From dialogue to transformation

Mirka Koro-Ljungberg, Sharon Hayes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


This study, framed by social constructionism, retrospectively examines how faculty mentoring influenced the transformations of 10 female graduate students’ relational selves and their professional identities as qualitative researchers and scholars. Participants reported that effective mentorships often resulted in collaboration on research projects, as well as shared decision- and meaning-making. Effective mentoring also led to the development of the students’ research skills while simultaneously constructing their professional and academic selves. These situated mentorships were shaped by the diverse values, expectations, and hopes that the participants associated with mentoring. Additionally, the local practices, power structures, and relationships at the department or university level influenced, and possibly discouraged, active communication and ongoing dialogue regarding the individuals’ experience of mentoring. Ultimately, participants described how their experiences of mentoring welcomed them into the scholarly community and ensured their professional competence as researchers and academics, which, in turn, transformed the students’ broader sense of self.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)389-407
Number of pages19
JournalMentoring and Tutoring: Partnership in Learning
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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