Entries by Jean Rhodes

Prof. Harold Grotevant, leading adoption researcher, discusses mentoring

Questions for Harold Grotevant (HG), Rudd Family Professor, Psychology Dept., UMass Amherst. Interviewed by Laura Yoviene, Ph.D. LY:  As the nation’s leading adoption researcher,  how did you first become involved in adoption research? HG: Thanks for the compliment, but let me hasten to say that I’m very excited by the increasing number of great adoption […]

Complicated lives, complicated excuses

by Jean Rhodes I maintain an email file of the student excuses I’ve received in my 20 years as a professor at UMass Boston. Some are predictable for college students, “I spilled coke on my computer and it turned off and won’t come back on,” or “This is embarrassing but I was several pages into […]

What we talk about when we talk about transference

by Jean Rhodes Transference is what happens when someone redirects unconscious feelings about one person onto someone else. In mentoring, a mentee might redirect his or her feelings, such as anger/disappointment with a parent, frustration with a teacher, ambivalence toward an older sibling, etc. onto a mentor. Mentors, who are typically unschooled in the nuances […]

Five skills for navigating the transition to adulthood

by Jean Rhodes I’m sometimes alarmed that so many of my undergraduates seem adrift and unclear about their futures. I find myself wondering how they can bring themselves to pay tuition, go to class, study for tests, and go about their daily lives without a detailed, ambitious plan for their future careers. But, I’ve come to realize that […]

Charlotte, Wilbur, and the myth of the selfless mentor

Why did you do all this for me?” [Wilbur] asked. “I don’t deserve it. I’ve never done anything for you.” “You have been my friend,” replied Charlotte. “By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift my life a trifle. Heaven knows, anyone’s life can stand a little of that.” E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web By […]

Winner takes all?: Mentoring programs in the age of inequality

By Jean Rhodes In his recent best-selling book, Winner Takes All, writer Anand Giridharadas sheds light on the complexities and potentially self-serving nature of focusing on individual solutions and one-off opportunities in an unjust world. Through this lens, private solutions, including youth programs that promote skills, can be seen as a counteroffer to essentially public […]