Dr. Lynne Sallot

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Lynne M. Sallot, Ph.D., APR, Fellow PRSA, and Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor of Public Relations, joined the faculty of the Grady College at the University of Georgia in 1993. She began her teaching career as an adjunct professor at the University of Miami (1987-­‐1990). Lynne is this year’s recipient of the “Milestones in Mentoring” Educators Award presented by the Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations. This award honors educators who have been instrumental in mentoring students and future educators. This award is named in honor of Dr. Bruce K. Berger, an exceptional public relations leader and educator. Lynne was gracious to respond to a few questions we had about mentoring and her award. Q: What does it mean to you to be awarded the “Milestones in Mentoring” award? To receive this award is a huge honor. I felt privileged to have worked with Betsy Plank on the Educational Affairs Committee of PRSA and when I edited the 2nd and 3rd editions of the Learning to Teach book published by PRSA’s Educators Academy. So to receive any recognition from the Plank Center, especially with Bruce Berger’s name also attached to it, is a very great honor indeed. I am humbled and grateful to be recognized after those previously selected – my former Grady College Dean Cully Clark, Rochelle Ford, Elizabeth Toth and Judy VanSlyke Turk, all of whom have been outstanding role models in public relations education. Q: When did you realize you were a mentor and leader? Probably when I was teaching as an adjunct professor at the University of Miami in the late 1980s and some of my students in their evaluations of classes I taught expressed appreciation for my efforts to help them beyond the classroom to get firm footings in their careers. Being able to remain in contact with former students over many years after they graduate has been very rewarding. Q: Describe your role as a mentor. I believe my responsibility as an educator is to help my students feel confident beyond the classroom, especially as they encounter new challenges in pursuit of their careers, and I view my role as a mentor as a more intense and intensive extension of my teaching philosophy. Q: What is the biggest challenge in mentoring? Understanding that mentoring relationships are meant to evolve and change over time is a challenge. I have studied mentoring as an academic discipline, which has been very helpful in practice. And I think the fact that I had so many years of professional experience before I enrolled in graduate school to earn the degrees needed for my teaching career has enhanced my mentoring endeavors. Q: What is your advice/tips that you would share with other mentors? Recognize that all of us can learn and benefit from having mentors throughout our careers (and lives, for that matter!), and that you may need a mentor to learn how to mentor! Q: What is your advice for mentees (young professionals, students, etc.)? Recognize that you’ll benefit from mentorship relationships throughout your careers, that mentoring relationships are different from friendships, that mentor relationships change over time, and that it is crucial to make wise choices of mentors as well as it is to recognize when it is time to wind down a mentor relationship. Some mentoring relationships do turn into friendships; others may not but this makes them no less valuable.