DOI: 10.14704/nq.2011.9.3.459

Mentors and Muses

Allan Combs


The author examines the role of mentors and muses in graduate education, illustrating from his own experience. Mentors are teachers, doctoral committee chairs, or other faculty members who take special interest in a student, guiding him or her through the difficulties of graduate training, and imparting special knowledge about the profession that they do not learn through formal education. Mentors may also defend or protect their students until they are sufficiently mature to take care of themselves in the professional world. This article also discusses some important ethical issues in the relationship of the mentor and the mentee. Muses, unlike mentors, are persons who inspire a student or young faculty member toward rewarding directions in their personal and professional growth.


education, ethics, graduate school, graduate training, mentor, muse, student

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