by Jenna Coplin
Sponsored by the SHA’s Gender and Minority Affairs Committee and the Academic and Professional Training Committee.
The purpose of the Mentoring Program is to support diversity in historical archaeology, to strengthen the discipline and improve the SHA by facilitating full participation of all people. Your participation as a mentor or mentee will help to ensure that people with diverse perspectives are given equal opportunities to grow and develop as strong archaeological professionals. Any SHA member can participate by filling out an application here:
Make sure to include any particular goals you may have for participation so we can best pair you. We only share your contact information with your partner. All other information remains confidential.
How Mentoring Partnerships Work
Mentoring partnerships can take a variety of forms, and we encourage participants to create a partnership that works for them. Participants can be from any area of archaeology(academic, commercial practice, non-profits, etc.). Partners form relationships of trust based on communication and confidentiality. All types of partnerships benefit from clearly outlined goals and boundaries. Program staff can help you get started and offer support for building a stronger partnership
Students as Mentors
Mentoring is not just something for students – students can also be mentors. Students at all stages of the education process have much to offer one another, and can share aspects of academia only seen and experienced by them! Students can help each other negotiate administrative issues, find available resources, and develop collegial and scholarly skills. Being a mentor or mentee can develop important skills necessary for long-term success in
the discipline.
Potential Goals for your Partnership
All partnerships can help mentees to negotiate job/workplace/school stressors, whatever they may be. This includes issues related to race, gender, ability, etc. which are pervasive. Success in any area of archaeology requires a supportive and diverse environment; one that helps address challenges faced by all people at every stage of education and work life cycles. As a result, partners have an infinite number of productive goals to choose from and it may be difficult for some to decide. Specific goals exist in each area of archaeological
practice. Here are a few examples to help you get started.
Academic success
  • Engaging areas of interest (choosing courses, research directions)
  • Pursuing funding/support
  • Finding a field school/running a field school

Changes in academic status

  • Choosing a graduate school or post-doc program
  • Preparing for the job market
  • Preparing for Adjunct teaching- benefits and pitfalls

Participation in SHA

  • Understanding benefits of participation and how to get involved
  • Preparing presentations or organizing symposia
Participating in social events, networking, etc.
Work success
  • Developing skillsets for a career in cultural resource management or other area of archaeological practice.
  • Negotiating salaries and other workplace issues.
  • Finding the right publication venues
  • Preparing papers for submission; understanding style and writing guidelines
  • Navigating the peer-review process


Sign up
Joining the program is easier than ever. Follow this link
( and fill out the form. You will hear from the
program staff within a few weeks about next steps.
For more information, email