Full-time Nontenure Track Faculty Mentoring Circles


ADVANCE Office of Faculty Development and the Center for Advancing Teaching and Learning through Research (CATLR) are offering Full-Time Non-Tenure-Track Faculty (FTNTT) Mentoring Circles in the 2020-2021 academic year. Northeastern FTNTT Mentoring Circles are groups of faculty who meet together regularly, over the course of the academic year, to exchange experiences, challenges, and opportunities for the purpose of enhancing self-confidence, communication skills, leadership practices, and/or commitment to one’s career. Each Mentoring Circle is composed of 4-6 faculty members and facilitator(s). There will be up to seven Mentoring Circles this year.

The 2020-2021 FTNTT Mentoring Circle Topics and Facilitators are:

  • Building Strong Connections through Critical Communication Skills
    Facilitators: Diedra Wrighting, Executive Director of ADVANCE Office of Faculty Development and Lauren Garlick, Communication Consultant

Faculty wear many hats. Whether the goal is to motivate, inspire, provide feedback, network, or promote inclusion, all require critical communication skills. In this circle, we will learn how to best collaborate, manage challenges, create clear messages, ask questions of curiosity, and engage in active listening. We will strive to better understand others, respond to their wants and needs, and develop the critical communication skills to create and sustain strong connections online and face-to-face.

  • Charting Your Professional Pathway Toward Promotion
    Facilitators: Amit Shesh, Teaching Professor in Khoury College of Computer Sciences and Tova Sanders, Associate Teaching Professor in the College of Professional Studies

A good recipe for professional success is to realize why you are here, where and what you want to be, and play to your strengths and passions. Whether it be specifically for promotion, or to become more intentional with your contributions and professional growth, it is important to envision, plan, and chart your own trajectory. In this circle, we will discuss ways to identify our professional goals and ambitions and explore opportunities for professional growth and contributions that align with Northeastern’s goals and priorities.

  • How to Get Published: Writing Your Journal Article in 12 Weeks
    Facilitators: Diedra Wrighting, Executive Director of ADVANCE Office of Faculty Development and Lindsay Portnoy, Associate Teaching Professor in the College of Professional Studies

This mentoring circle will progress through Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks: a guide to academic publishing success by Wendy Belcher. From initial planning, to crafting a submission letter, and every step in between, this book breaks the publishing process down into manageable, prioritized, steps and provides concrete instructions and exercises that help writers proceed through each step. Circle members will work on an article at their own pace while supporting one another through the process, cheering successes, and sharing advice. To join this circle, you must have a draft manuscript or concrete idea for 1-2 manuscripts.

  • Inclusive Teaching
    Facilitators: Kat Gonso, Teaching Professor in the College of Social Studies and Humanities and Sheila Winborne, Associate Teaching Professor in the College of Social Studies and Humanities

Inclusive learning approaches should be both overt and lived within classes. It is something that should be directly addressed and made clear through course documents as well as embodied through professors’ actions. An inclusive teaching environment can help lead to greater opportunities for success for students of all cultures and backgrounds. We will include an introductory examination of the topic and an exploration of some best practices.

  • Mindfulness and Contemplative Practices for Teaching and Learning
    Facilitator: Alexia Ferracuti, Sr. Associate Director, Center for Advancing Teaching and Learning Through Research

Mindfulness and contemplative practices cultivate a critical, first-person focus, sometimes with direct experience as the object, while at other times concentrating on complex ideas or situations. Incorporated into daily life, they act as a reminder to connect to and embody what we find most meaningful. In this circle, we will explore how we incorporate mindfulness and different contemplative practices into our own teaching and learning, with a particular focus on experiencing these practices first-hand, and reflecting on how these practices can sustain our well-being as well as deepen our commitment to supporting inclusive, equitable learning environments.

  • Striving for Work-Life Fit in an Academic Career
    Facilitators: Erinn Taylor de Barroso, Assistant Director and Dorie Campbell, Program Coordinator for ADVANCE Office of Faculty Development

It is easy to feel overwhelmed with the competing demands an academic career requires. Work demands pull from home life, and vice versa, with no clear “balance” in sight. In this circle, we will examine our core values and take a deeper dive into the challenges and barriers that make it difficult to integrate these values into our daily lives. Armed with these challenges, we will work to identify potential solutions and possibilities for concrete action to meet our individual and collective needs.

  • Surviving and Thriving: An Exploration of Our Work in NUflex
    Facilitators: Amy Lantinga, Teaching Professor in the College of Professional Studies and Laurie Nardone, Teaching Professor in the College of Social Sciences and Humanities

Transitioning to NUflex has pushed us to adapt our traditional forms of teaching to suit a hybrid environment. In this process, we have the opportunity to examine, reinvent, and reflect upon our practices. Join us for an exploration of how the shift to teaching online/on-ground may change how we build community in our classrooms, capture student voice, develop dynamic assessments, and alter our instructional design. This circle will provide an environment of support dedicated to problem-solving, sharing best practices, committing to something new, and reflecting upon the outcomes.



The deadline to apply for the 2020-2021 Mentoring Circles is September 18th.  Inquiries should be directed to Erinn Taylor de Barroso (e.taylordebarroso@northeastern.edu), Assistant Director of ADVANCE.

The goals of the FTNTT Mentoring Circles are to:

    • Offer a group mentoring experience for FTNTT faculty
    • Develop interdisciplinary networks for FTNTT across colleges
    • Provide opportunities for FTNTT to interact with peers around career development strategies
    • Develop mentoring experiences that increase faculty job satisfaction and create a meaningful sense of belonging
    • Develop a mentoring model that can be shared with other universities

Description and Logistical Information

Applicants will need to identify and rank three circles they are interested in. ADVANCE and CATLR will review proposals, select discussion topics from those proposed, and set the meeting times. The FTNTT Mentoring Circles can be composed of junior FTNTT, mid-career, full professors, or a mixed rank group.

Faculty participants commit to:

  • 2-4 hours a month
  • Participation in the monthly FTNTT Mentoring Circle meetings
  • Participation in the Orientation (October 6th, 3-4 pm), Mid-year Check-In, Closing Celebration, and program evaluation
  • Signed contract stating their commitment to participate and to keeping all information shared in the FTNTT Mentoring Circle confidential
  • Full participation in the FTNTT Mentoring Circle discussions

The FTNTT Mentoring Circles program can be used as a model peer mentoring program. ADVANCE and CATLR will disseminate the FTNTT Mentoring Circle model to a wide audience within and beyond Northeastern.

ADVANCE is proud to have recently partnered with the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, the College of Social Sciences and Humanities, and NU Future Leaders to expand the program to staff.