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Influential Mentors:

A Guidebook for Building Mentoring Skills and Capacity

Ethiopian Edition 

Dawn L. Comeau

Miliard Derbew

Damen Haile Mariam

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Influential Mentors:

A Guidebook for Building Mentoring Skills and Capacity (Ethiopia Edition, 2019) teaches important mentoring skills to faculty, students, researchers, and health professionals. Each chapter covers foundational mentoring concepts with activities for reflection and skill building.  

  • Becoming a mentor

  • Setting Expectations between Mentors and Mentees

  • Communication for Influential Mentoring Relationships

  • Mentoring Diverse Trainees 

  • How to be a Successful Mentee

  • Building Mentoring Capacity 

  • Evaluating Mentorship


The book was developed by the principal investigators and the leadership team from the MEPI Scholars Clayton-Dedonder Mentorship Fellows Program in Global HIV/AIDS Research and Research Training at Addis Ababa University (“CD Mentor Training”), a program funded by the Fogarty International Center (FIC) at the National Institutes of Health.  

Funded in part by the NIH Fogarty International Center 



Dr. Dawn L. Comeau,

Atlanta, Georgia, US


Professor Miliard Derbew

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


Professor Damen Haile Mariam,

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


In Chapter 1, we provide an overview of mentoring definitions

and concepts. The chapter outlines typical roles and responsibilities

of mentors and mentees. At the end of the chapter, the activities

lead mentors through a series of questions that identify

their unique values and desired goals as a mentor. Most importantly,

the chapter includes a table that solicits comparisons and clarifications

between the roles of mentors, supervisors, advisors and

other similar positions.

In Chapter 2, we focus on setting expectations between mentors

and mentees to develop a solid foundation for a successful relationship.

The chapter includes guidance on how to create an individual

development plan (IDP) that is used for mentees to outline

their career goals and receive feedback from their mentor. We also

share how to develop a mentor-mentee agreement which is a written

document that describes the key dimensions of the mentoring


Chapter 3 focuses on building strong communication skills between

mentors and mentees. We provide guidance on how mentors

can give mentees feedback in ways that are more likely to be applied

by mentees. These tips are essential for successful mentorship

given that communication is at the core of all mentoring interactions.

In Chapter 4, we review important considerations for building diverse

mentoring relationships. The chapter includes a discussion

on how to mentor across different cultural and social identities.

The chapter provides models and strategies for mentors to use to

ensure they are considerate of the diverse needs of mentees who

come from a wide range of backgrounds.

Chapter 5 is a bit different from the other chapters as it is written

directly to the mentee. We urge mentors to review the chapter and

then share it with their own mentees. The chapter provides activities

that allow mentees to thoughtfully determine how to select

and approach a mentor. The chapter guides mentees on how to use

their mentor’s time effectively and efficiently in order to optimize

the benefits of the relationship while remaining respectful and


In Chapter 6, we address building mentoring capacity in an academic

department, school or university. The activities take each

reader through a structured process to identify how mentoring fits

within the realm of the department or university’s mission and vision,

and concrete steps for developing and implementing a mentoring


Chapter 7 provides strategies on how to evaluate mentorship and

mentoring programs. This is a critical component to successful

mentorship. Mentoring relationships and programs should be

monitored and adapted to the changing needs of faculty, students,

and academic and health care settings.

As part of this guidebook, we interviewed several Ethiopian physicians

and scientists about the people who influenced their career

and life decisions. These people were not called “mentors” but they

filled mentor-like roles and responsibilities. We have paraphrased

excerpts from these interviews and included them in between the

chapters in the guidebook.

At the end of the guidebook, we provide a list of additional resources

on mentoring that go into more depth on some of the topics

we cover in the guidebook.


What People Say about the Book

"This book taught me what I needed to find the mentors needed for my career." 



"Everyone should use this book! It's a great resource for mentors, mentees and leaders. Easy to read and easy to use."

Contact us to learn about our mentor programs in Ethiopia, Cambodia, Georgia, Nigeria and the United States. 

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