Mountaineer Mentoring: Peer Mentoring Circles for Staff

What is a Peer Mentoring Circle?

The purpose of peer mentoring circles is to provide support for employees at all career levels. Providing employees mentoring and career support is a central part of the university’s “priority to invest in faculty and staff excellence.” A mentoring circle is a small group of people who meet regularly to discuss specific topics related to their personal and professional development. Similar to individual mentoring, it can consist of one mentor and multiple mentees or multiple mentors and mentees. The key difference here is that circle mentorship requires a facilitator. The co-facilitators take care of administrative duties and multiple mentees who are usually at similar levels in their careers. Peer mentoring can involve several people who support and advise one another in a group or “circle” rather than a one-to-one relationship. 

Why Peer Mentor Circles?

  • Little risk of becoming overly dependent on any one person as might occur in a one-to-one mentoring relationship. 
  • Peer relationships can provide a variety of developmental benefits, many of which are similar to the career and psychosocial functions found in conventional mentoring.
  • Cross-disciplinary mentoring groups give participants a broader perspective of the university community. 

Download this Mountaineer Mentoring Guide for more information roles and responsibilities, and the process and procedures for submitting a proposal.  

Submit a Peer Mentoring Circle proposal.

2024-2025 Peer Mentoring Circles

Agile Project Management Community of Practice

  • Facilitators: Clint Coffey and Julie Taubman
  • Vision: In this peer mentoring circle, we will foster and develop agile project management practices at the University so we can deliver increased value to the University with greater efficiency and joy.
  • Intended Audience: This peer mentoring circle is intended for professionals who may benefit from incorporating agile project management methodologies into their work group, unit or division. 
  • Meeting Pattern: Belk Library room 421 or via this Zoom link
    • Wednesday Aug 14th from 3:00 - 4:00p
    • Wednesday Oct. 23rd from 3:00 - 4:00p
  • Registration Link:

Staff Parents of Young Children

  • Facilitators: Heather Jo Mashburn, Summer Wisdom, Laura Pell and Holly Benson-McQueen
  • Vision: This group is intended to be a support network for staff with kids birth to eight years old. It can be challenging to work full-time and parent full-time, so let’s support each other as we chug along on this journey. We hope that this group offers an opportunity for members to share their experiences, recommend resources, celebrate milestones, commiserate about the challenges, and build relationships with other staff who are parents of young children. We hope that this group allows for community building among staff that are in the trenches of dirty diapers, tantruming toddlers, kids learning to read, and never ending laundry. This group is supportive of Queer and non-traditional family types and all parent (or kid) gender identities and expressions.
  • Intended Audience: Staff members with children between the ages of birth to 8 years.
  • Meeting Pattern: Bring-your-own lunch meetings from 12:00 - 1:30 on the following days:
    • Please contact Facilitators (listed above) for meeting days.
  • Registration Link:

Transitioning to the High Country

  • Facilitators: Katharine Johnson and Brandon Hrovat
  • Vision: We’ll explore the opportunities and challenges associated with relocating to the High Country in an inclusive and welcoming environment designed to support employees as they navigate being newcomers to the area.
  • Intended Audience: This peer mentoring circle is intended for employees who are newcomers to the area, particularly staff who relocated to the area without previous connections to the university or community.
  • Meeting Pattern: Join us for lunch and fellowship from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. at Boone Saloon on the first Tuesday of each month: 
    • August 6, 2024
    • September 3, 2024
    • October 1, 2024
    • November 5, 2024
    • December 3, 2024