2023 Summer Institute on Youth Mentoring


The 14th annual Summer Institute on Youth Mentoring will be held in-person at Portland State University in July 2023. The upcoming Summer Institute will focus on the theme of mentoring to address the public health issue of loneliness and social isolation. Sessions with leading scholars will explore how mentoring can promote connection, social inclusion, and a sense of belonging. The Summer Institute is co-sponsored by MENTOR and MENTOR Canada.


The Summer Institute offers a distinctive educational opportunity for experienced mentoring professionals to engage in highly interactive discussions that provide an in-depth view of the research and examine its implications for program policies and practices. Participants attend an intensive four-day seminar presenting the latest developments in theory and research on youth mentoring. Sessions are led by prominent scholars and include time for participants to think critically and creatively about program issues and explore opportunities for innovation.


To encourage an active exchange among professional peers and with researchers, the Summer Institute seminar is limited to 25 participants. Ideal participants have several years of experience in the field of youth development and are seeking an advanced level of professional development. They are experienced professionals who hold positions enabling them to influence the training and supervision of staff, the development of program models, and the implementation of service delivery changes based on the latest advances in the field (e.g., CEO’s, program directors).


Researchers presenting at the Summer Institute are selected for their expertise and influence in

mentoring and youth development. These scholars give presentations and contribute their insights to the discussions throughout the week. The Director of the Summer Institute is Thomas Keller, the Duncan and Cindy Campbell Professor at Portland State University. Speakers for 2023 include Polly Gipson Allen of University of Michigan, Westley Fallovollita of University of Virginia, Oscar Prieto Flores of University of Girona (Spain), Michael Karcher of University of Texas at San Antonio, and Lindsey Weiler of University of Minnesota.


Prospective participants complete a short application and provide a current resume. Space is limited to 25 participants. Participants are expected to attend the entire seminar. Application information is available at the Summer Institute website.


Tuition for the institute is $550. Tuition scholarships are available and can be requested at the time of application. Hotel accommodations at a discounted rate are available at University Place Hotel.

2023 Dates

The Summer Institute will be held at Portland State University from July 24-27, 2023.

Applications and scholarship requests are due by May 8, 2023.

For Information and/or Application

Visit http://www.pdx.edu/youth-mentoring/ or write to siym@pdx.edu


Summer Institute on Youth Mentoring 2023 Speakers


Institute Director

Thomas Keller, Ph.D., is the Duncan and Cindy Campbell Professor for Children, Youth, and Families with an Emphasis on Mentoring and Director of the PSU Center for Internship, Mentoring & Research. Professor Keller has conducted numerous studies of youth mentoring programs and has written about the potential for mentoring to address social isolation and loneliness.

2023 Presenters

Polly Gipson Allen, Ph.D., is a Clinical Associate Professor, Associate Chair for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and Director of the Trauma and Grief Clinic in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan Medical School. Dr. Gipson Allen is a licensed clinical psychologist with expertise in trauma- and bereavement-informed assessment and intervention and suicide risk assessment and intervention. Her research addresses the consequences of low social connectedness among youth, and she is an investigator on the LET’S CONNECT mentoring program for adolescents wi th peer social problems.

Westley Fallavollita is a doctoral student in Clinical and School Psychology in the School of Education

and Human Development at the University of Virginia. He served for two years in the national service programs AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) and City Year Washington, DC and is a recipient of the President’s Volunteer Service Award. Working with his research mentor, Dr. Mike Lyons, he has published several articles on youth mentoring, including an examination of mentoring and social acceptance from peers and implications for addressing loneliness and social isolation.

Òscar Prieto-Flores, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor at the University of Girona (Spain). He was a Visiting Scholar of the Center for Migration and Development at Princeton University and Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity at Stanford University. Dr. Prieto-Flores and his colleague, Jordi Feu, lead the Nightingale Project, a mentoring program with youth of migrant background. His research investigates the social integration of newcomers through mentoring, and he co-edited a book entitled Mentoring Children and Young People for Social Inclusion: Global Approaches to Empowerment.

Michael Karcher, Ph.D., Ed.D., is a Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Dr. Karcher, a Co-Editor of both editions of the influential Handbook of Youth Mentoring, has done extensive research on school-based mentoring programs and their influence on connectedness to family, school, friends, and self. He is an expert on adolescent connectedness and is developer of the Hemingway Measure of Adolescent Connectedness.

Lindsey Weiler, Ph.D., LMFT, is an Associate Professor of Family Social Science in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Weiler’s research focuses on developing and testing interventions for youth that leverage relationships and social capital to promote positive outcomes. She has studied numerous youth mentoring programs, paying attention to how they can support a sense of belonging and mental health. Dr. Weiler and her colleagues also have proposed a model of caregiver-initiated mentoring to reduce social isolation.