Mentoring From My Perspective As I eagerly anticipate receiving my clinical doctorate in speech-language pathology, I cannot forget the long journey to reach this goal. A significant part of this accomplishment can be attributed to my participation in ASHA’s mentoring programs. Gabrielle Linette Haliburton, MS, CCC-SLP In 2001, I enrolled in ASHA’s first ... First Person on the Last Page
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First Person on the Last Page  |   February 01, 2012
Mentoring From My Perspective
Author Notes
  • Gabrielle Linette Haliburton, MS, CCC-SLP, is a speech-language specialist at Burlington County (New Jersey) Special Services and an adjunct professor at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. Contact her at lynette74@hotmail.com.
    Gabrielle Linette Haliburton, MS, CCC-SLP, is a speech-language specialist at Burlington County (New Jersey) Special Services and an adjunct professor at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. Contact her at lynette74@hotmail.com.×
Article Information
Professional Issues & Training / First Person on the Last Page
First Person on the Last Page   |   February 01, 2012
Mentoring From My Perspective
The ASHA Leader, February 2012, Vol. 17, 39. doi:10.1044/leader.FPLP.17022012.39
The ASHA Leader, February 2012, Vol. 17, 39. doi:10.1044/leader.FPLP.17022012.39
As I eagerly anticipate receiving my clinical doctorate in speech-language pathology, I cannot forget the long journey to reach this goal. A significant part of this accomplishment can be attributed to my participation in ASHA’s mentoring programs.
Gabrielle Linette Haliburton, MS, CCC-SLP
In 2001, I enrolled in ASHA’s first mentoring program, Pathways to Success (now part of the Student to Empowered Professional program), designed to help minorities succeed in communication sciences and disorders. Each participant was assigned a mentor who lived nearby—mine was Jeanne Katzman, a UCLA speech-language pathologist—to help develop goals and a plan. Katzman told me about the various job settings for SLPs and invited me to visit UCLA. Although we did not get to meet, we continued to e-mail for the remainder of the program.
After receiving my graduate degree in speech-language pathology at Nova Southeastern University, I decided to begin the clinical doctorate program in May 2007. I completed my classes, but the applied dissertation courses proved challenging.
I chose to write my concept paper on the effectiveness of various treatments for articulation and phonological disorders. However, after leaving my job in regular education to work in special services, I had few students with articulation or phonological disorders, and had to change my topic.
I entered a long period of frustration and confusion. Because my new caseload included various speech and language disorders in addition to autism, cognitive delays, behavior disorders, and sensory deficits, it was difficult to identify a research topic. I ultimately chose issues related to collaboration, and worked with my advisor and the author of a valid survey to develop, revise, and write a new paper.
I knew I needed to connect with individuals who understood or experienced my struggles, and enrolled in ASHA’s Student to Empowered Professional (STEP) program. Without the assistance of my mentors—Regina Lemmon (2008–2009) and Kenyatta Rivers (2009–2010)—I am not sure I could have completed my dissertation. They provided support, encouraged me to persevere, and provided advice.
I have decided to “pay it forward” by mentoring other students through STEP—a Kean University student last year and a University of Connecticut student this year. I am thankful to have participated in ASHA’s mentoring programs and I look forward to establishing more mentoring relationships in the future.
ASHA Mentoring Programs

ASHA has sponsored several mentoring programs, including Pathways to Success (2001–2003) and the Minority Student Leadership Program Mentoring (2001–2004), which are now part of the STEP program initiated in 1994. Mentoring Academic and Research Careers (MARC) also was created in 1994. More than 2,500 students, new faculty, and professionals have participated in these programs. To learn more, visit ASHA’s Gathering Place website.

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February 2012
Volume 17, Issue 2