The fifth day of the week-long Faculty Improvement Programme at KISS-DU featured a session on “Mentoring the Mentor” on 16th November 2021. Speaking on the subject, Dr. Sucheta Priyabadini, Director, Student Counselling, KIIT said that a mentor is as valuable as a teacher for the overall growth of a student as a balanced person, in intellectual terms as well psychological and emotional terms.

Institutions are not mere service providers to treat the students as clients; rather they should be treated as partners, she stated. Mentors should systematically gain access to the inner and invisible personal world of the mentees and intervene to repair whatever damages they suffered there. Each student is like an iceberg, with many psycho-social problems that remain invisible to the teachers like the huge submerged part of an iceberg that can trigger negative attitudes, unruly conduct and even violent behaviour of some students. Hence the mentor must closely study the life cycle of the mentees on the campus from the entry to the exit point, and gain their trust in order for them to open up to the mentor, said Dr. Priyabadini, who is an experienced social psychologist.

The mentor, for his or her part, should be impartial, unbiased, and clinically objective, although compassionate and empathetic while dealing with the mentee, she continued. In order to develop bonding and win the mentee’s confidence and trust, the mentor should be a good listener, maintain a pleasant demeanour with a smile, and be very reassuring in a tone so as to be a perfect confidante. Dr. Priyabadini introduced a new concept, namely ‘feed-forward’ that explains a student-centric, prospective and solution-seeking approach, which is as necessary as the usual feedback approach.

The talk was highly appreciated. Among others, Professor Deepak K. Behera, Vice-Chancellor, KIIT-DU; Dr. Prashanta Kumar Routray, Registrar and Professor Ashok K. Mohapatra, Chairman, HRDC were present. Dr. Chittaranjan Bhoi, Director, HRDC proposed a vote of thanks.