As a product of the British higher education system through my MA, I was taught to basically fend for myself and not to rely on mentors. Since moving to the U.S. in 1989 to start my PhD, my thoughts about mentorship have changed radically. I benefited from important mentoring relationships when I was in grad school and having since advised dozens of graduate students over the past 20 years, I have come to realize how important mentoring is to students. I define mentoring very broadly. To me, its essence is treating each person individually, listening and working together to define, and then achieve desired goals. I draw from my considerable experience when mentoring but I try never to impose my own ideals or ideas on a student. I see my role as helping the student figure out what they want to do and then doing whatever I can to help them get to that point.
David adds: I am from a working class background and was the first person in my family to finish either high school or college.
David adds: I have dealt with the number of physical and mental health issues over the years and empathize with those in similar situations
David adds: I am an atheist and would describe my political beliefs as an eclectic combination of communism and anarchism. I have extensive experience in anti-fascist and anti-racist organizing and I oppose all forms of discrimination with a visceral passion.
David adds: I have two kids and am used to the difficulties of balancing work and family responsibilities
David adds: I am a British expatriate and was a student visa and then a green card holder before becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2005.