The Plank Center recognizes and promotes the critical role mentors play in helping to develop leaders and advance the profession and honors leaders throughout the profession who, by word and deed, have demonstrated a superior commitment to mentoring others, and who are committed to accelerating the success of others in the field at its annual Milestones in Mentoring Gala.
Our question and answer series introduces the 2018 Milestones in Mentoring award recipients.
Meet Dr. Cathy Rogers.
Since Dr. Cathy Rogers joined the Loyola faculty in 1990, her work with students in a prestigious national public relations competition has placed the School of Mass Communication in the national spotlight. Of Loyola’s 13-year participation in the Bateman Case Study Competition sponsored by the Public Relations Student Society of America, Rogers’ students have earned national recognition every year. Four of those years, her teams placed first in the competition.
What advice would you tell your early-career self with respect to finding a mentor?
That you can find mentors in the unlikeliest places, that you may have a variety of mentors through your life and that you may have different mentors for different parts of your life.
How has your mentoring style changed over time?
I listen more carefully instead of constantly thinking about what I’m going to say next.
What is one powerful thing you’ve learned from mentoring someone different from you?
The power of reverse mentoring – that I have as much to learn from someone who is different from me as that person can learn from me.
What top three ways can you mentor our profession’s best and brightest right now so they will be prepared to assume leadership positions in the future?
B. encourage them to join professional associations such as PRSSA
C. encourage them to volunteer their time
Summarize your professional career and its high and low points. (How did you work your way up the ladder? How has having a mentor influenced your career path?
What have you learned along the way? What factors contributed most to your success?) My lowest points of my career generally have occurred right before a high point – being desolate as I finished my dissertation right before the consolation of a promotion or being desolate trying to balance my career with parenting my young children and then the consolation of another promotion or my students won consecutive national championships in a student competition. I worked my way up the ladder with persistence and believing that every day is a new one and that mistakes are treasured lessons. My earliest mentor was my academic advisor who influenced my undergraduate college major and helped me see that English and journalism were the right majors for me instead of an allied health program in dental hygiene. My grad school director and dissertation advisor was an influential mentor as I began my academic career. Turning to mentors, which were a variety of people, when I needed support or encouragement has been key to my success. When I didn’t believe in my own capabilities, my mentors reminded me of my strengths and dreams. Daily prayer and meditation has contributed a great deal to my success – the time of reflection and self awareness – has played a significant role in my development.
What’s your favorite way to spend a Saturday?
Favorite place to vacation and why?
Seagrove Beach, Fla. Because it is rich with memories of annual family vacations and the water soothes my body, mind and spirit.
My leadership tip is… Find a person’s strength, what gives them joy, and help them leverage it.
My mentorship tip… is listen, challenge and reassure mentees to find their potential.
Every mentor is… a perspective-provider.
Go-to news source… is the New York Times and my local newspaper.
Lesson that took you the longest to learn… to be myself and to be confident in who I am and not what I think others think I should be.
Habits in your daily routine that strengthen your leadership skills… Look for the best intentions in people. Separate myself from toxic people as much as possible. Practice gratitude. Make a list of three things I want to accomplish every day.
More from Dr. Cathy Rogers:
- Plank Mentor Speech
- Student Mentoring Session (2018)
- Plank Center News: Honoring Seven Influential Mentors