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As the 14th volume of Michigan Family Review is published, I am pleased to offer an important (and often under examined) look at the intersection of teaching and mentoring family scholars and practitioners. I believe that if each of us were to reflect back over our personal and professional development no doubt we would be able to identify several individuals who contributed in meaningful ways, and played a major role in who we now are as academics and practitioners. Upon more critical reflection it is likely that a few key individuals would emerge above others, and most of us would be able to identify something inherently unique about our relationships with these particular individuals. Within these relationships much teaching and mentoring likely occurred, leaving a transcendent mark of sorts on us, and us on them. In fact, most of the articles in this volume speak directly to the unique and reciprocal nature of teaching and mentoring relationships. Teaching and mentoring are linked intrinsically, and the art of each relies heavily on a balance of skills ranging from support and guidance to tough love and more red ink than anyone should use or receive in a lifetime. In many ways, good teachers and mentors act as professional parents and often use an authoritative-like approach. Again, there is much potential reciprocity here if one is open to it.
The invited and regular articles contained in this volume are separated into three sections, each focusing on a particular intersection. The first section includes articles based on the theme of mentoring and personal biography. Goddard and Long and colleagues discuss how their early experiences of being mentored influenced their professional trajectories and contributed to the development of their own models of mentoring, which they provide for readers. The second section focuses on the intersection of mentoring and social justice. Henderson and colleagues, McGeorge and Carlson, and Poole use critical perspectives to examine the nature of mentoring and how it can be used as a tool for social justice either in the academy or working with current and future practitioners. The final section speaks directly to the intersection of mentoring and teaching. Walker and colleagues provide the design and lessons learned related to transitioning a parent education graduate program to an online delivery format with special attention given to maintaining relationships with students. Williams examines the use of debates and student engagement in the teaching process as an active approach to learning. Finally, McGuire and Doty provide their model for teaching and mentoring students to become family life educators via the use of service-learning in the classroom. Taken together, each of these articles truly demonstrates the importance and long-lasting influences of mentoring and teaching.
Given this is the first volume published under my editorship, and with its focus on mentoring and teaching, I would like to take the opportunity to thank Dr. Martin Covey (Former Editor), Dr. Libby Balter Blume (Founding Editor), the Editorial Board, and the Scholarly Publishing Office team at the University of Michigan Library for their assistance during the seamless transition of the Editorial office- it is a joy to work with such a skilled team. It is important to thank my own professional mentor, Dr. Kay Pasley for her continued mentoring and friendship. I also want to express my deepest gratitude to all the reviewers used for this volume. As a result of their efforts, I believe this set of articles is particularly strong, insightful, and practical. Last, I would like to thank all of the authors whose work is so rich and to be commended, and a special thanks to the invited authors included in this volume.
The MFR team is excited to begin work on the next volume, which focuses on Families & Transitions. This will be a particularly timely special collection, and I look forward to reading the manuscripts as they come in for review. To the readers, I hope you will consider submitting your manuscripts and I look forward to working with each of you during the review process. Enjoy the volume!
All my best,
Brad van Eeden-Moorefield, MSW, PhD, CFLE
Editor, Michigan Family Review
Central Michigan University