Mentoring Away the Glass Ceiling in Academia: A Cultured Critique is different in that it calls attention to the role mentoring has played on the “glass ceiling” phenomenon in higher education. Narratives by and about the experiences of women of diverse backgrounds in the United States and beyond the borders of this nation shed needed light on the ways in which mentoring influences identity formation and internal coping mechanisms in environments often characterized by marginalization. Through these narratives, these women serve as “quasi mentors” and create spaces for other women to survive and thrive within the educational arena.
This text honors and extends previous work on the experiences of women academics from diverse backgrounds. Through this book, there is a call for new ways of understanding the vital role that narratives play in speaking truth to the power of mentoring. The insights present an exposé of the extent to which politics, policies, and equity agendas for mentoring have supported or failed women.
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Brenda L. H. Marina is associate professor at Georgia Southern University, teaching graduate courses in educational leadership and higher education administration. She is a mentor for women in these areas as well.Review:
Marina has edited a powerful collection of personal narratives from women in various roles in academia. Regardless of setting and stage, the writers speak to the challenges they confronted and the importance of mentors who helped them meet the overt and covert obstacles. Each essay delivers a moving message about the importance of identifying mentors to assist in career advancement, and the collection as a whole helps readers understand the varied ways women can find support in academia. The essays are grouped into three separate sections but can be read independently as well. Understanding the obstacles from varied roles (student, faculty, staff, administrator) and from different cultural and contextual perspectives is vital as campus leaders work to create opportunities for women to move into positions of influence and leadership. The narratives and stories about successful mentoring (both peer and traditional mentoring) give readers an opportunity to reflect on different strategies for supporting women on campus. Marina concludes with a case study analysis of the data from the narratives and leaves readers with significant suggestions for mentoring away the glass ceiling in academia. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals and practitioners. (CHOICE)
Mentoring Away the Glass Ceiling in Academia: A Cultured Critique is immensely readable. At last, a book that is deep and revealing about the importance of mentoring as women shatter the glass ceiling in academia. It is difficult to imagine any woman in academia who would not benefit from reading these wonderful narratives shared by women in the trenches. This timely book comes at a critical moment in our country’s history when women leaders are rising to the top in all types of settings—educational, business, industrial, government, and health. Absolutely, a must read. (Patricia A. Mitchell, School of Education, University of San Francisco)
Dr. Marina's book could also be titled, 'When Having a PhD is Not Enough.' To expand the resources that women of color may or may not have access to, she calls to the community to provide effective strategies in navigating the obstacles that women can face in academia. Yet, academics in general should find this as a useful resource. (Tara T. Green, University of North Carolina at Greensboro)
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