“I learned that good mentoring depends not only on the mentor, but also on the mentee since, after all, good communi-cation is a two way street.”

Graduate Faculty Mentor—August 2012

After receiving the “Graduate Faculty Member of the Year” award my thoughts wandered towards the road that brought me this far. As a graduate student, I re-member struggling with the process of finding a laboratory with a good mentor to do my disserta-tion work. This was not an easy task since laboratories that are well funded are headed by very busy investigators that have very little time to spend with graduate students. I ended up choosing a small laboratory that was headed by a junior faculty member. In retrospective, this turned out to be a wise choice. This young investigator‟s drive to pursue his career goals resulted in a strong impetus for all in his lab to pursue their own goals. One of the most important things I learned dur ing this period is that the relationship between mentor and mentee de-pends heavily on good communication between both parties.

The original character called “Mentor” in Homer‟s Odyssey, was not only a teacher but also a source of wis-dom. During my post-doctoral training I came to realize that investiga-tors that run large laboratories make for less efficient mentors be-cause they don‟t have much time to share their wisdom. By then, however, I was in the proc-ess of converting from mentee to mentor. Once confronted with the responsibility of being a mentor, I realized how serious of a task it really represents to be a good mentor. Luckily for me, I had the opportunity to mentor some excellent graduate students who made the job seem easy. I learned that good mentoring depends not only on the mentor but also on the mentee, since after all good communication is a two way street. It has be-come a great source of joy for me to see how well my former graduate stu-dents have done in their respective careers. This is probably one of the great-est rewards that one can receive as a mentor.

In my capacity as Assistant Dean for Postdoctoral Affairs, I have the opportunity to share what I have learned about good mentoring techniques with our postdoctoral trainees in the Health Sciences Division. My hope is that one day they will develop into excellent mentors and remember all they learned at Loyola University Chicago.