Blue Devil of the Week: Embracing Mentorship

La Tondra Murray helps Duke students reach their potential

“There’s a saying that ‘to whom much is given, much is required.’ I feel mentoring is a requirement. I feel like it’s part of my mission in life to share what I’ve learned and help other people reach their potential. It’s about being empathetic and listening, but also coaching and helping people discover the answers within.

I love seeing our students shine when they realize they control their destiny and become successful. They get to make the choices that shape their lives. That’s the crux of mentoring, helping other people realize their potential. I do that by asking a lot of questions and reflecting what I hear from people back at them and challenging them. You have to ask uncomfortable questions to get to the root of answers, which is when you really impact people. I see so much bold courage in the face of youth.

Everyone has a gift to give. Everyone has expertise in some area or even just an experience or perspective that’s worthwhile. When you share that perspective with someone else, you give a gift. You may give insight someone may never have had, but you also get to reflect on your own viewpoint, which helps you grow, too. I think a lot of people are already mentoring in one way or another and they don’t realize it.”

La Tondra Murray
Director of professional masters programs, Pratt School of Engineering
7 years at Duke

Murray was the 2013 recipient of the Pratt School's Capers and Marion McDonald Award for Excellence in Mentoring and Advising.

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