North Central Sociological Association 2018 Teaching Address: John F. Schnabel Lecture Teaching as Mentoring; Mentoring as Teaching

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Graduate student mentoring is widely considered a critical element of postbaccalaureate education, yet the mentoring of undergraduates is a frequently neglected topic in academic discourse. The benefits of mentoring are all too often reaped by only a small group of students who demonstrate academic promise. Yet the impact of mentoring on undergraduate student persistence is resoundingly positive, especially for students in the academic middle and the students most at risk of abandoning the pursuit of higher education. Much of the academic discussion of mentoring undergraduate students focuses on the possibilities presented via independent research projects, academic advising, and more formal mentoring programs. Although substantial debate exists regarding what mentoring is, and how or whether it is achievable en masse, I propose that teaching itself can exist as a form of mentoring, and vice versa, especially within the small liberal arts university environment.