Book Reviews

Book by Jeanne Nakamura and David J. Shernoff 
Review by Christine Frezek
School of Communication
American University


Having a mentor can be a great experience or it can be disappointing. As advisors, we know why it is important that students have a great mentoring experience, but often how to cultivate a great experience is not addressed. Jeanne Nakamura and David Shernoff, in their new book Good Mentoring: Fostering Excellent Practice in Higher Education, strive to define good mentoring and offer details on how it can be achieved. 

To reach this goal, the authors conducted a research study to determine the practices that make mentors effective and what kind of relationships support good mentoring. Though the authors conducted their research in the field of science, the results can be applied to many fields. 

The book is divided into three sections. The first section provides thorough examples of three distinct styles of mentoring. Whereas the second section looks at how the values of a mentor are transmitted from mentor to mentee. The final section discusses how the preceding information can be applied in real situations.

The most relevant chapter to advisors is chapter nine. Here the authors impart general advice for good mentoring that can be applied to many disciplines. This chapter contains a list of suggestions for mentors and mentees, as well as for institutions. Referencing data from their research study, the authors elaborate on their list and provide a rationale for why particular items are important to being a good mentor Readers who can look past the research paper writing style of the book will find good suggestions for anyone striving to become a good mentor.


Good mentoring: Fostering excellent practice in higher education. (2009). Book by Jeanne Nakamura and David J. Shernoff with Charles H. Hooker. Review by Christine Frezek. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 336pp. $40.00. ISBN: 978-0-470-18963-4
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