The role of mentor extends beyond the function of advising to become a closer and more active relationship between a faculty member and student. S/he offers advice and encouragement and is willing to take the time to help you become established as a professional psychologist, assisting and respecting your choices. To find a mentor, make appointments to spend a half-hour period with different faculty members so they begin to know you as an individual. The mentoring relationship hinges on the interaction between the student and faculty member.
It is in your best interest to seek a mentoring relationship with someone on the faculty. That person may be a member of the core, joint, or visiting faculty, or may be a contributing faculty member, practicum or clinical supervisor. Regardless of his or her specific role at GSAPP, this should be a person whom you respect, who shares your values, and who can guide you in the development of your career choices. Your Mentor may very well be the person who directs your dissertation, but that is not always true. Some students may find it useful to have more than one person fill the mentoring role to meet diverse interests.
If your Mentor is a member of the full time, joint or visiting faculty, he or she may serve the function of advisor in the Clinical Psychology Department. In the School Psychology Department, advisors must be members of the core faculty. If your mentor is a clinical supervisor or contributing faculty member (i.e., someone who teaches a single course) you will need an Advisor as well.
The role of mentor is an informal one -- there is no list of assigned mentors nor is there any paperwork designating someone as your Mentor. First and second year students are urged to identify faculty members with whom you believe you could work closely and to explore that working relationship through such means as becoming involved in their research, requesting him/her as a supervisor, and/or advisor.