This feature introduces some of the outstanding people who have participated in the IAPHS Mentoring Program. The program introduces individuals needing advice on career-building in population health to mentors willing to help them along.
In this Mentoring Spotlight we feature mentor Jason Beckfield and mentee Tiffany Joseph. Jason is Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology and Associate Director of the Center for Population and Development Studies at Harvard University. Tiffany is an Associate Professor of Sociology and International Affairs at Northeastern University. They started meeting a year ago, when Tiffany sought out the IAPHS Mentoring Program to sharpen her skills as she juggled the demands associated with getting tenure. They have checked in with each other almost every month since then.
Tiffany reports that Jason has provided great guidance on a wide variety of issues: working with grad students, managing increased service expectations, learning about the grant writing process, and getting feedback on a paper in progress. Jason has supported her as she adjusted to the new demands placed on her as a tenured professor, and encouraged her to take steps towards goals that will prepare her for her promotion to full professor. Tiffany says:
“At this stage in my career, learning how to maximize my research productivity alongside the increased service demands associated with being a tenured professor has been essential. Having Jason as a mentor has provided insight and a model for how to balance multiple roles and when and how to delegate tasks to others. Despite his busy schedule, he is willing to be a sounding board for my research ideas and provide constructive feedback on manuscripts and grant proposals to help me keep my research agenda moving forward.”
On his part, Jason feels that he’s been fortunate to have Tiffany as his mentee. He tells us:
“Our mentoring relationship is very much a two-way street. I get to learn about another academic context, areas of research I enjoy learning about, and a super-exciting scholar at the cutting edge of her field. As a bonus, I get the good moral feeling of trying to ‘pay forward’ the generous mentoring I’ve been so lucky to receive over the years. I am grateful to the IAPHS for establishing this program, and to Tiffany for a productive and fun mentoring relationship!”
Tiffany and Jason are now continuing their mentoring relationship into a second year. We wish them continued success!