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Mentoring the Mentor

Celebrating the Intersection of Learning Together

A Reciprocal Journey

This book will contain personal stories of a university professor and her student on their respective personal journeys to conduct research for social justice toward more equitable K-12 educational environments. This collaboration led to a circle of mentoring, between a non-traditional first generation college student and career-changer, and a university professor--together they support one another, and have developed a friendship. This book reveals their inspirational relationship as a model to which readers can aspire. This book also is grounded in intersectionality. Author personal narratives and analyses will be supplemented by interviews with our respective networks of mentors, and their mentors—resulting in generations of practical knowledge.


“This is an important book about the power and potential of women mentoring each other. Although mentoring is often viewed as a process that privileges the insights and experiences of  the more seasoned, Martin and Brooks center earlier career scholars as knowledgeable and germane to guiding successful mentoring relationships. Although written by women and especially for women, this book has essential implications for any of us committed to knowing more about what it means to help each other navigate and negotiate the complexities of life – inside and outside of our academic careers.”

—H. Richard Milner IV, author of Start Where You Are But Don’t Stay There

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Jennifer L. Martin, Ph.D. is an assistant professor in the Department of Teacher Education at the University of Illinois at Springfield, recipient of the 2016 AERA Division B’s Outstanding Book Award for Racial Battle Fatigue, and 2019 recipient of the Paula Silver Case Award for UCEA Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership.

Jennifer N. Brooks is an 8th grade history and ELA teacher. She is currently working as an adjunct professor in the College of Education at Illinois State University. She holds a Master's in Education, Policy, Organization and Leadership from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Brooks is currently working on her Ph.D. in Literacy, Language and Culture at the University of Illinois Chicago. She is a 2022 Illinois Teacher of the Year - Early Career Educator of Excellence recipient, 2021; a YWCA Woman of Distinction (2021); chair of the Obama Literacy Fund for the Illinois Reading Council; and owner of Asè Book Boutique, a bookstore focusing on Black and Indigenous authors and stories.   

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