As Associate Co-Directors of Membership and as new members of the Board, we would like to begin by talking about our experiences in our new shared position.
One of the exciting parts of this position is getting an email from our administrator, Nancy Der, informing us that we have a new member. We welcome the new person, we answer questions, and we get to know about the member. We offer new members the opportunity to be interviewed for the newsletter and we extend an invitation to become a part of the mentorship program. Our enthusiasm about welcoming new members is that we are inviting them into a community that is warm, open, accepting, and professionally solid. We hope our excitement about our community is infectious.
ICP+P’s total membership is now almost 240. In the past six months, we have welcomed 12 new members, coming from diverse professional backgrounds. In an effort to make our membership more affordable, the Board passed a new fee structure. We will continue to have four levels of membership: full member, beginning professional, student, and retired. For two years, new full members will now have a discounted membership fee and discounted rates for conferences. As in the past, beginning professional and student members will continue to have a discounted membership rate and a newly discounted conference fee.
Another enlivening aspect of our job is offering new members an opportunity to be involved in our mentorship program. We believe it is a vital feature of the ICP+P community. What is a mentor? What does a mentor do? The word comes from Homer’s Odyssey. When Odysseus left to fight in the Trojan War, he asked a friend, named Mentor, to serve as teacher and guide for his son, Telemachus. The word mentor now means trusted advisor, teacher and sage. Examples of mentoring relationships include philosophers Socrates and Plato, singers Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan, and writers Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. Mentoring is a basic form of human development, where one person nurtures the growth and ability of another.
In our role, we work to pair new members with caring ICP+P veterans, who volunteer their time to facilitate the transition into our community. Mentoring, like many aspects of parenting, is implicitly learned. As such, the mentors in ICP+P are utilizing a core part of themselves to enhance a relational experience with the mentees. This experience between mentor and mentee serves as a model for the relational experiences members find within the larger ICP+P community.
The role of an ICP+P mentor is varied and evolves according to the needs of the new member. In many ways, ICP+P is transparent; however, having an experienced member to act as a guide can introduce the new member to the many opportunities our organization offers. There is no protocol for how to be a mentor. A mentor offers advice on how to become involved in ICP+P, might describe study groups, and may connect new members to others in the community. As you can see, there is so much to gain in being an ICP+P mentor or mentee. If you are interested in being a mentor or mentee, please contact Alexandra at firstname.lastname@example.org or Nancy at email@example.com.
A final stimulating aspect of our job is attending Board meetings. The work that goes on in these meetings is creative and it is refreshing to be involved with fellow members who are dedicated and extremely hard working, all the while enjoying a good laugh.
We look forward to continuing our service on the ICP+P Board and to working with new and existing members alike.