Alumni Give MARC Program High Marks Faculty interested in revitalizing their careers by mentoring less experienced colleagues and up-and-coming faculty researchers may enroll in ASHA’s Mentoring Academic Research Careers (MARC) program. Through MARC, one of the online mentoring programs that make up the ASHA Gathering Place, junior faculty, post-doctoral scholars, and PhD students are paired with ... ASHA News
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ASHA News  |   August 01, 2011
Alumni Give MARC Program High Marks
Author Notes
  • Silvia Quevedo, MS, CCC-SLP, associate director of academic affairs and research education, can be reached at squevedo@asha.org.
    Silvia Quevedo, MS, CCC-SLP, associate director of academic affairs and research education, can be reached at squevedo@asha.org.×
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Professional Issues & Training / ASHA News
ASHA News   |   August 01, 2011
Alumni Give MARC Program High Marks
The ASHA Leader, August 2011, Vol. 16, 35. doi:10.1044/leader.AN3.16102011.35
The ASHA Leader, August 2011, Vol. 16, 35. doi:10.1044/leader.AN3.16102011.35
Faculty interested in revitalizing their careers by mentoring less experienced colleagues and up-and-coming faculty researchers may enroll in ASHA’s Mentoring Academic Research Careers (MARC) program.
Through MARC, one of the online mentoring programs that make up the ASHA Gathering Place, junior faculty, post-doctoral scholars, and PhD students are paired with seasoned faculty to receive guidance on issues related to academic-researcher careers and working in higher education. Common mentoring topics include completing a doctoral dissertation, negotiating a faculty start-up package, setting up and managing a research lab, scholarly publishing, and grant writing.
MARC was developed in 2006 as a recruitment and retention tool for PhD-level faculty. More than 400 individuals have participated in this unique mentoring experience. The story of Rhoda Agin and SallyAnn Giess illustrates the benefits of the MARC program.
Mentor’s View
Rhoda Agin, who served as a 2010–2011 mentor to SallyAnn Giess, joined the program because she remembered “missing the guidance of experience when I entered academia. The diverse and multiple demands on a new young faculty member, in addition to teaching, can be overwhelming. Setting priorities for your career versus the immediacy and constancy of departmental needs may be a frustrating task. I thought that I might be helpful in sharing my insight regarding those early years, when finding a balance between professional and institutional goals is most challenging.”
Agin quickly learned that many of the same conflicts and frustrations she experienced were still taking place. She developed a sincere and friendly relationship with her protégé and was happy to have the opportunity to guide Giess through the challenges she faced. Despite the 10-hour time difference—Agin was in Tel Aviv and Giess was in California—the nature of the e-mentoring program still allowed for fruitful discussions.
“It was a delight to get to know Sally,” Agin said. “We have had a collegial and friendly relationship, marked by frank exchanges infused with some humor. Her dedication, commitment to learning new skills, passion for her research, and concern for nurturing clinical research interests in her students represent the highest caliber of new faculty in our discipline.”
And it’s not just the protégés who benefit from the relationship, Agin said. As a senior professor setting up an international program, Agin found Giess’s perspective to be helpful, especially when it came to hiring and overseeing new faculty.
“Of course participating in the program as a mentor afforded me the opportunity to share decades of information regarding options, expectations, student evaluations, how most academic institutions function, and making time for your own research, but listening to Sally’s challenges encouraged me to keep in mind the impact of expectations when employing new faculty,” Agin said.
“In recent decades, research has taken primacy over instruction and clinical work in most communication sciences and disorders (CSD) academic programs. Impassioned researchers must be nurtured with the time necessary to develop and carry out their research interests. I am reminded too, that we all seek balance in our lives, particularly those who think we can contemporaneously do it all!”
Agin said she would highly recommend the MARC program to fellow faculty, especially if they have an interest in the future of the professions and want to see quality instructors and researchers in the discipline.
Protégé’s View
Giess entered the MARC program because she wanted an experienced, seasoned professional to guide her in the beginning stages of her teaching and research career. As a new assistant professor in a new CSD program, she had many questions and wanted a place in addition to her college to turn for guidance.
“When I began communicating with Dr. Agin, I found someone who offered constructive ideas and advice that were not influenced by the dynamics of my work setting,” Giess said.
“Knowing that I had a mentor to turn to helped me think through and clearly articulate my questions and ideas. Through my conversations with my mentor, I was really able to get to the crux of the problem or situation I was facing. Having her in a different location gave me a fresh perspective and reminded me of the commonality of issues across locations.”
Not only did Giess find Agin to be an asset to her career, but the two also developed a personal relationship that will extend beyond the MARC program.
MARC enrollment for 2011–2012 closes Sept. 15. To learn more, go to ASHA’s MARC webpage or e-mail marc@asha.org.
Rhoda L. Agin, PhD, CCC-SLP, a professor emerita at California State University East Bay, is professor at Ariel University Center in Israel and director of Communication Associates in San Francisco. Contact her at rhoda.agin@csueastbay.edu.
SallyAnn Giess, PhD, CCC-SLP, is assistant professor at Chapman University and Perspectives editor for Special Interest Group 16, School-Based Issues. Contact her at http://giess@chapman.edu.
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August 2011
Volume 16, Issue 10