Identity-informed Mentoring to support Acculturation of Female Faculty of Color in Higher Education: An Asian American Female Mentoring Relationship Case Study. (2020)

ABSTRACT: Female faculty of color need mentoring opportunities that recognize, validate, and nurture their perspectives and experiences as assets—rather than liabilities—to their work. Among studies of faculty of color, there have not been specific studies focused on intragroup mentoring for Asian American female faculty. This collaborative autoethnographic study seeks to explore and unpack the complexities of intragroup mentoring for Asian American female faculty through the examination of a 6-year faculty mentoring relationship between two Asian American female faculty members in the teacher education department of a large public university. The authors examine how intersections and divergences related to their experiences as Asian American women in academia impacted their relationship, their acculturation processes in academia, and their subsequent successful advancements in rank over the course of their mentoring relationship. We argue that drawing from shared elements of our identities, and an awareness of the ways in which our experiences as Asian American women shaped our journeys in academia, helped to foster an enduring relationship that strengthens our work as faculty members. We also explore how differences in our identities (e.g., United States vs. foreign-born adult immigrant; Vietnamese American vs. Taiwanese American) and positionalities (e.g., first Asian American in the department, entering as nontenure track vs. tenure-track entry in a department with several established Asian American faculty) impacted our journeys, challenged us, and enriched our relationship to illuminate a more nuanced understanding of Asian Americans in academia. Through our experiences, we suggest how identity-informed mentorship can be a powerful tool to support acculturation in the academy, particularly for female faculty of color.

Hsieh, B., & Nguyen, H. T. (2020). Identity-informed mentoring to support acculturation of female faculty of color in higher education: An Asian American female mentoring relationship case study. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 13(2), 169–180.

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