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Human Resources & Inclusive Community

Division and Department Resources

People Development

Mentor Program

Mentor Program

Welcome to the Mentor Program.

Objective: Mentoring is an opportunity for an experienced member of the University of Denver community (staff and/or faculty) to provide personal, professional, and/or career-related guidance to a fellow staff or faculty member (mentee) seeking such assistance.

Eligibility: All DU employees (benefited and non-benefited) are eligible to participate.

How the Program Works

  1. The prospective "mentee" looks over the list of available mentors (see Current Mentors Across Campus) and identifies the mentor they'd most like to work with. It's always a good idea to have a second choice just in case.
  2. The prospective mentee then completes the online mentoring application ( listing their first (and second) choice of mentors. Please note: A jpg photo is not required for mentees with your application, just mentors. Also, email Greg Giesen when you've submitted your application just so he can be on the lookout for it.
  3. Once we (the People Development team) receive the completed application, we will contact the mentee to go over the program, answer any questions, and firm up their mentor choice(s).
  4. We will then work to create a match. When a match is confirmed, both parties will be notified.
  5. Prior to your first mentoring meeting, we will provide some guidelines and suggestions to help get your mentoring relationship off to a good start.
  6. Because each mentoring relationship is different, we'd rather not mandate how many times to meet. Typically, most mentoring relationships meet for at least three sessions spread out over a few months.
  7. At the end of the mentoring relationship, a program evaluation will go out to both parties.


DU Contact: Ken Pinnock, People Development,, 303-871-7511


What is a mentee?

A mentee is someone (staff or faculty) at DU who wants to develop his/her knowledge, skills, and/or awareness in a particular area. The mentee is the "driver" of the mentoring relationship.

What is a mentor?

A mentor is someone (staff or faculty) at DU who has a special interest in helping another person develop his/her knowledge, skills, and/or awareness in a particular area and who has a wealth of experience or insight to offer.

How do you become a mentor?

We'd suggest you first read through all the information available here on the website and watch the video below explaining the program. This should give you a pretty good sense of the program. Please reach out to Ken Pinnock at or 303.871.7511 to discuss next steps. 

Check out the class Mentoring Others on LinkedIn Learning. It gives great advice on how to mentor.

What if I'm not sure I need a mentor?

We'd suggest you request a coaching session first for some help in sorting that out. You don't want to sign up for a mentor unless you are clear on what you are looking for and believe the mentor you selected can help. A mentor's job isn't to brainstorm with you. His/her job is to answer questions and provide guidance.

What if there isn't a mentor on the list that has what you are looking for?

Again, request a coaching session from us and we'll help you come up with some other options. Because this program is fluid (meaning that new mentors will be added while other mentors will be taken and unavailable while they are mentoring), new and available mentors will be popping up continuously. Keep checking the mentor list and trust that your mentor will show up eventually.

How is "coaching" different from "mentoring"?

With coaching, the focus is on the coachee and helping him/her find the answer. Rarely will a coach tell you what to do or provide advice. It's important for the coachee to own the process. With mentoring, the focus is on the mentor's experience and insight. You seek out a mentor because you want their opinion. Thus, the focus is primarily on the mentor. That's why it's so important to know what you want before seeking out a mentor.

Mentoring Guidelines

The following guidelines must be discussed and agreed upon between a mentor and mentee right up front (first meeting) as this common understanding will establish the framework for your mentoring relationship.

  • The mentor/mentee relationship is voluntary and needs to be working for both parties.
  • It is recommended that you meet a minimum of three times during a three-month period (if possible). How you meet, where you meet, and when you meet is up to each mentoring team.
  • The mentor's advice and opinions are their own and do not necessarily represent the University of Denver.
  • It is the responsibility of the mentee to drive this process. If you're the mentee this means knowing what you want, initiating the meetings, and asking for what you need.
  • It's imperative to spell out expectations around confidentiality and trust in relation to your mentoring relationship and all things discussed.
  • Keep your commitments to each other. This includes showing up for scheduled meetings, being on time, and being responsible if you have to cancel by notifying each other ahead of time.
  • Include a "no-fault" provision for ending the mentoring relationship.
  • Define what success looks like for both mentor and mentee in your mentoring relationship in your first meeting.

Current Mentors Across Campus

Click here for the list of current DU mentors.