Queen's MIR Mentorship and Coaching Programmentorship

Program Overview

One of the most valuable assets that MIR students earn with their graduate degree are connections with a diverse and very supportive alumni network. The MIR alumni network plays a key role in helping to train the next generation of HR/LR leaders.
In this spirit of supporting MIR students and the program, MIR alumnus Mark Coulter raised the idea of creating a Mentorship/Coaching program to help connect MIR alumni with current students. Our goal with this initiative is to create an accessible mentorship program that requires limited time commitment on the part of participating alumni, but gives a big boost to the early career development of current MIR students.

For more information, contact Tanya Ligthart 

How the mentorship program works

Mentoring is an intentional relationship designed to foster the growth and development of mentees. The relationship is predicated on a mutual willingness to learn and share. The focus of this alumni-MIR student mentoring relationship is on early career development including the exploration of various career paths and discussion of skills and competencies needed for a particular role.
In September each year, the MIR Program will issue a call for alumni volunteers to participate in the mentorship program. Current MIR students will form small mentee pods of 2-3 students. We will then work to match the mentee pods with an alumni mentor. Monthly meetings begin in October. There will be a 'career development theme' for each month, but mentors and mentees can take their virtual water cooler talks in any direction. The program will conclude in May with a celebration gathering on campus at Queen's for those able to attend.

MIR Alumni Mentorship Council

An MIR Alumni Mentorship Council made up of senior alumni with mentorship experience will support the volunteer alumni mentors. This will include an orientation session at the start and an evaluation session at the end of the annual program. The Mentorship Council will work with faculty and staff to organize the program, to select the monthly themes, and to provide coaching and troubleshooting advice to volunteer mentors.

MIR Alumni Mentors

The only pre-requisite for serving as a volunteer mentor is a willingness to share your experience and knowledge in order help train the next generation of HR/LR leaders. No prior mentoring experience is required - Council members will provide coaching and training as needed. A good mentor:

  • Has strong communication skills
  • Stimulates MIR students' own thinking and reflection and supports their development
  • Is available and willing to connect with mentee group, giving appropriate guidance and feedback
  • Is open-minded, flexible, empathetic, and encouraging 

Major Duties & Responsibilities

  • Connect with mentee group at least once per month (via zoom) to lead discussions and to answer questions related to your career and careers related to Employment Relations.
  • Provide insight into strategies for starting a career in employment relations, including human resource management and labour relations. 

Time Commitment

  • The MIR Mentorship Program will involve an eight-month (October – May) volunteer term. 
  • Volunteers are expected to connect with their mentee group at least once per month for an hour. 
  • Total maximum time commitment of two hours per month.

Faculty and Staff support

MIR alumni mentors will work closely with the faculty lead and the Outreach Coordinator, Tanya Ligthart,  They will provide mentors with logistical support and help facilitate communications between mentors and mentees.


Thank you for choosing to give to Queen's University Employment Relations Studies.

The department has a number of different initiatives that rely on the support of our loyal alumni and community.



If you would like to donate by mail, please send a cheque payable to Queen's University to:

Employment Relations Studies
Queen's University
Robert Sutherland Hall, Room 209
138 Union Street
Kingston, Ontario
Canada, K7L 3N6

We really appreciate your support.

Every gift counts!

Master of Industrial Relations Trust Fund

This fund provides discretionary support for supplementary student-related academic activities, and program support and development for the MIR and PMIR programs.

Donate to the Trust

Hon. Warren K. Winkler Speaker Series

Established and named in honour of The Hon. Warren K. Winkler, who has made outstanding contributions to the study and practice of industrial relations in Canada, and who was appointed Chief Justice of Ontario and President of the Court of Appeal for Ontario in 2007.

By supporting this lecture series, you can help introduce our MIR students to the best and brightest in the field of industrial relations, greatly expanding their knowledge and understanding. 

Donate to the Speaker Series

Richard Safka Alumni Speaker Series

Established in February 2022 by friends, family, and colleagues of the late Richard Safka, MIR 2005, who passed away in 2013.

By supporting this alumni speaker series you will help bring talented and successful alumni leaders in the field of industrial relations to campus to offer their expertise and valuable experiences to our students.

Please email Sarah Bernard at to give to this fund.

Donate to the Safka Speaker Series

The Kumar-Wood Professional in Residence

The Kumar-Wood Professional in Residence was established in 2008 to recognize the significant contributions of Dr. Pradeep Kumar and Dr. W. D. Wood to the study and practice of industrial relations. The Endowment is intended to provide funding to bring leading practitioners to Queen’s to contribute to the learning experience of students in the MIR program.

Donate to the Kumar-Wood Fund

H Carl Goldenberg Scholarship in Industrial Relations

Established in memory of H. Carl Goldenberg (1907-1996), lawyer, advisor to provincial and federal governments, Royal Commissioner, Senator, and one of Canada's most eminent labour mediators and arbitrators. Awarded to a student with a record of strong academic achievement who is pursuing a Master of Industrial Relations degree with a focus on industrial relations. The recipient will be encouraged to develop a research initiative based upon Carl Goldenberg's interest and work in dispute resolution and to make use of the Queen's Archives Goldenberg Papers Collection. Recipients of this award will be known as the Goldenberg Scholar. 

Donate to the Goldenberg Scholarship

Master of Industrial Relations Alumni Fellowship

The Alumni Fellowship Fund was created by graduates of the MIR program to support exceptional scholars who demonstrate financial need and commitment to the field of industrial relations. Alumni Fellowships are awarded annually and are critical to enhancing access to graduate studies in industrial relations.

Donate to the Alumni Fellowship

MIR Class of 1985 Bursary

Established by members of the Master of Industrial Relations Class of 1985. Awarded on the basis of demonstrated financial need to students in the Master of Industrial Relations degree program at Queen's University.

Donate to the MIR'85 Bursary

"The MIR program, is a very special place where you will not only receive an outstanding education, but will make life long friends and connections, building a network of professionals that cannot be replicated." 

Katie and Andrew Follwell, MIR ‘05