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Academic Year: Fall/Winter 2014/2015

Term: 1

Day/Evening: E

Instructor: Dr. Anna Moro


Office: L.R. Wilson Hall 4041

Phone: 905-525-9140 x

Office Hours: TBA

Course Objectives:

This course affords senior undergraduate students from across the University the opportunity to participate in a learning-centred leadership opportunity within the Faculty of Humanities. The opportunity will involve peer-to-peer mentoring of first year undergraduate students, either in Humanities or in the new MELD (McMaster English Language Development) program for international students whose first language is not English. Students will know which peer mentorship opportunity applies to them, upon admission to the course (by application).

The program is structured and high-impact, and uses aspects of the learning-centred mentoring paradigm, such as reciprocity, collaboration, development, and the achievement of mutually-defined goals. Leadership: the Art of Mentorship provides up-front and on-going training and development in cultural literacy, academic transition, and active leadership and mentorship.

By the end of the course, mentors will have learned:

  • how to set objectives and measure outcomes in the mentor-mentee relationship
  • best practices and principles in successful mentoring (e.g., communication strategies)
  • principles of excellence in leadership
  • how to connect one's 'applied' experience (with mentees) to aspects of the professional world
  • how to connect theory with practice through reflection and discussion



Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

We are using a non-traditional leadership text to explore key themes regarding leadership and mentorship. In addition, several practical worksheets will be distributed in class, and insights from relevant education literature will be discussed.

Course text

Morrell, M. and Capparell, S. 2002. Shackleton's Way: Leadership Lessons from the Great Antarctic Explorer. London: Penguin Books.


Method of Assessment:

  • 40% = Weekly meetings and work with mentees: meeting logs, goal-setting, reflections
  • 30% = Attendance and contribution to: mentor meetings and instructor-lead training, discussions, reflections on readings, observations
  • 30% = Learning Porfolio presentation based on mentorship experience


Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

This is a self-reporting tool for undergraduate students to report absences DUE TO MINOR MEDICAL SITUATIONS that last up to 5 days and provides the ability to request accommodation for any missed academic work. Please note, this tool cannot be used during any final examination period. You may submit a maximum of 1 Academic Work Missed request per term. It is YOUR responsibility to follow up with your Instructor immediately (NORMALLY WITHIN TWO WORKING DAYS) regarding the nature of the accommodation. If you are absent for reasons other than medical reasons, for more than 5 days, or exceed 1 request per term, you MUST visit your Associate Dean's Office/Faculty Office). You may be required to provide supporting documentation. This form should be filled out immediately when you are about to return to class after your absence.

Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.

Topics and Readings:

The eight short chapters in Shackleton's Way serve as a point of departure for key leadership/mentorship themes that we will explore through the course. Each chapter ends with a 'Working it in' section dedicated to a 'real world' (business) example of using the lessons from the chapter.

  1. path to leadership (thoughtful leadership)
  2. the importance of optimism
  3. creating a spirit of comraderie
  4. getting the best from individuals
  5. leading effectively in crisis situations
  6. how to get team members to help each other
  7. overcoming obstacles to reach a goal
  8. leaving a legacy

Other Course Information:

Please note:

  1. This course is co-taught by Dr. A. Moro (Associate Dean, Humanities) and Mr. D. Kingma (Director of Finance and Administration, Humanities).
  2. Administrative support for the program is provided by Ms C. Huelgas (Administrative Support for MELD)
  3. Although the course is scheduled as 'EVENING', the mentor-instructor meeting times will be decided in consultation with all mentors. No specific time for the course has been allocated yet.