The Meaning of Mentorship

PLU community members reflect on what mentorship means to them and what qualities make an outstanding mentor

The Meaning of Mentorship

The Meaning of Mentorship 150 150 Zach Powers '10
Troy J.H. Andrade ’07

Be a guide, don't decide

“Mentorship means listening with your mind and heart, serving as a non-judgmental sounding board, and providing honest feedback. A mentor never forces a mentee to change, but rather guides them to the best version of themselves. Above all, mentorship means providing opportunities and access to those most marginalized to ensure that they can continue to be successful and give back to our community. I now have the privilege to mentor students and young legal professionals. I tell these amazing people the lessons I have learned as I help guide them on their own journeys of life. For me, being a mentor is, by far, one of the most rewarding things I have experienced.”

Troy J.H. Andrade ’07
Assistant Professor of Law at University of Hawaii,
PLU Regent

Tamara R. Williams

Selflessness is spectacular

“Ultimately, mentoring is a form of communication that allows an individual’s unique understanding of life’s meaning and purpose to show up, be celebrated, and encouraged to grow.”

Tamara R. Williams
Professor of Hispanic Studies and Executive Director of the Wang Center

Ann Auman

Nonjudgmental sounding boards

“Mentorship means caring about the whole person and engaging in meaningful conversation by asking probing questions that help guide one to find their own answers, listening as a sounding board along the way. Mentorship is supportive and nonjudgmental in the best of times, the worst, and everything in between. Mentorship is long-lasting and is built upon a foundation of mutual respect and trust.”

Ann Auman
Professor of Biology and Dean of Natural Sciences

Melannie Denise Cunningham

Sharing time and talent

“Mentorship means investing my time, resources and unique talents to help people develop to their highest good.”

Melannie Denise Cunningham
Director of Multicultural Outreach and Engagement

Mark Gould ’91

Objective viewpoints

“It can be tempting to rely on our closest friends and colleagues for advice, because they are usually sympathetic and supportive. But my best mentors and advisors are all outside of my organization. I find it really helpful to have objective views that are not colored by office dynamics.”

Mark Gould ’91
First Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco,
PLU Regent

Zach Powers '10

Zach Powers '10

Zach Powers '10 is PLU's director of communications and editor of ResoLute. Prior to working in higher education, he worked in nonprofit marketing, managed a number of political campaigns and was a freelance writer for the Weekly Volcano, Tacoma Weekly, Anchorage Daily News and others.

All stories by:Zach Powers '10