The Graduate Mentoring Center (GMC) was founded in 2014 under the auspices of The University Graduate School (UGS) and through the generous funding of the President’s Diversity Initiatives.

The center uses a contemplative and holistic approach to provide graduate students informal and formal mentorship through mentors, workshops, writing groups, meditation circles, the Trailblazers scholar-in-residence series, and interactions with peers, faculty, and staff. Our programs and services focus on five tenets, referred to as the Five-Fold Path, that address the personal and professional growth and well-being of students: Balance, Community, Culture, Mentorship, and Scholarship.

The GMC serves all graduate students, faculty, and staff, with some programs designated for historically underrepresented faculty and students. The GMC co-creates and co-sponsors these events with an array of university partners to provide the tools and resources necessary for success before, during, and after the graduate school journey.


To provide graduate students informal and formal mentorship through programs that support their successful degree completion and entry into the professoriate and/or other professions.


To develop and help graduate an intentional community of scholars who are diverse, committed to social justice and equity, and who consistently produce innovative research and creative works that have a viable and sustainable impact on their communities.

Emergent and Liberatory Design

By centering graduate students and their experiences in all program and decision-making, The GMC situates itself as an emergent and liberatory brave space. This means that while the center offers standard programs such as mentoring cohorts, writing groups, and training for mentors that it also responds to current events that impact graduate students (e.g., mental health issues, trauma, racial in/justice, human rights) and collaborates with students and/or others to address graduate student needs created by these issues, focusing on how to initiate and maintain change that can support our understanding of how and why they impact graduate students. Based on graduate student feedback, the center committed to changing and transforming its programs to support the overall needs of graduate students

In so doing, The GMC incorporates a collective impact model that is dedicated to bringing the graduate community together to create social and academic change that is relevant to graduate students as they enter the professoriate and other professions as scholars, researchers, scholar activists, and community transformers. This often means taking risks, being fluid and adaptable, and always including graduate students in any dialogue, at any table or circle, that purports to be in their interests. To minimize the risks and harm the center utilizes Contemplative Practices to guide its mentoring practices.


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Mentoring as a Contemplative Practice: Guidelines for Wholistic Mentoring in Graduate School Copyright © 2022 by Maria Hamilton Abegunde and Jennifer Jihae Park is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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