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A Reflection and a "Call for Thoughts"

  • 1.  A Reflection and a "Call for Thoughts"

    Posted 02-01-2019 10:46 AM

    Today marks the first day of African-American History month. As such, I wanted to take this opportunity to share some reflections I have and get your thoughts as well.

    African-Americans have made an impact on this nation's history and on my life's journey. With the hope and, at times, the promise of freedom, African-Americans fought in the Revolutionary War to be rid of Great Britain's heavy hand of oppression so that America can be an independent and free nation. During the Civil War, African-Americans joined the military to help bind the nation together. With essentially no confidence in African-American Aviators, an "experiment" was conducted in World War II, which resulted in the Tuskegee Airmen's extraordinary success in escorting American bombers. During the Vietnam War, my father did not have to serve and was not eligible to be drafted as he was an only child. He volunteered to serve this nation at a time when citizens were forced to serve. I am honored to follow my father in the military, to have the opportunity to fly helicopters because the Tuskegee Airmen proved that it was possible for African-Americans to be Aviators, and as a current Army Reserve Audiologist, I am thankful to the thousands of African-Americans who have served this country throughout its history.

    I recognize that this is a forum on leadership and not about history. But, let's imagine a satellite camera focused on you as an individual. And then the lens begins to zoom out and we can see an ever-increasing image and can view the larger picture. We can see connections in things that we might otherwise have missed and those connections help make us the leaders we are and inspire us to do better things.

    With that said, do you have a "connection," story, or inspiring person in your life that helped you be you? Please share your thoughts.



    ------------------------------
    David Alexander, AuD, CCC-A
    Towson University - Audiologist - Clinical Assistant Professor
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: A Reflection and a "Call for Thoughts"

    Posted 02-02-2019 07:12 AM
    David,

    I loved reading your post and being reminded of the important contributions that African-Americans have made for our country throughout the history of our nation. I think history and leadership are critically intertwined. I believe it is important for leaders to have a solid knowledge of history in order to make progress. It is through understanding of the history of "experiments" as you noted that we make progress.

    Thank you for sharing your reflection as we celebrate African-American History this month. And thank you for continuing your family's legacy of service to our country.



    ------------------------------
    Lynn Williams, PhD., CCC-SLP
    Associate Dean and Professor
    ASHA Vice President for Academic Affairs in Speech-Language Pathology (2016-2018)
    College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences
    P.O. Box 70282
    East Tennessee State University
    Johnson City, TN 37614
    p: 423.439.7469
    f: 423.439.4240
    e: williamL@etsu.edu
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: A Reflection and a "Call for Thoughts"

    Posted 02-02-2019 05:07 PM

    David,

     

    Thank you for this post and for sharing your thoughts and a little piece of history too!  I wanted to respond to your "call for thoughts" in terms of a "connection," story, or inspiring person in my life that helped me be me.  I have been blessed to have MANY people in my life who have inspired me or pushed me along in my life (both personally and professionally).  One of those folks from a professional standpoint was Dr. Martha Anderson.  She was a speech-pathologist and audiologist and she was my undergraduate professor (and ultimately, the reason that I became an audiologist).  But one of the ways that she impacted me the MOST and that is most memorable to me was that she challenged me – she pushed me to do more than I was doing.  She saw something in me that I didn't see in myself, and she set the bar high.  To this day, I am grateful for her excellence and her high expectations because she pushed me to be more than I was.  At the time that I was an undergraduate, I was not very grateful for the level of excellence that she expected (mostly I was grumpy and complained that she was too hard on us).  I am glad that she knew better! 

     

    Donna

     

    Donna Fisher Smiley, Ph.D., CCC-A

    ASHA Fellow
    Audiology Supervisor/Audiologist
    Arkansas Children's Hospital

    1 Children's Way ● Slot 113  ● Little Rock, AR 72202

    (501) 680-2718  direct  ● (501) 364-6881 fax
    WebsiteFacebookTwitterLinkedIn


    ACmasterbrand

     

     






  • 4.  RE: A Reflection and a "Call for Thoughts"

    Posted 02-05-2019 09:56 PM

    Donna,

    Thank you so much for sharing your story about Dr. Anderson and how she has shaped your life! Truly wonderful! I admired how you stated, " I have been blessed to have MANY people in my life who have inspired me or pushed me along in my life (both personally and professionally)." That is so true how mentors guide us along our journey and, like you said, push us on those occasions where we don't think we don't have the energy, or maybe motivation, to continue along our path. Thank you again for this wonderful story!

    Regards,
    David



    ------------------------------
    David Alexander, AuD, CCC-A
    Towson University - Audiologist - Clinical Assistant Professor
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: A Reflection and a "Call for Thoughts"

    Posted 02-05-2019 09:35 PM

    Lynn,

    Thank you for sharing. I liked how you stated "I believe it is important for leaders to have a solid knowledge of history in order to make progress." I agree and feel that it is so important for leaders and all people to not only learn and reflect on "History," but also learn from recent personal "history," so that we can continue to evolve ourselves and others. Again, thank you.

    Regards,
    David



    ------------------------------
    David Alexander, AuD, CCC-A
    Towson University - Audiologist - Clinical Assistant Professor
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: A Reflection and a "Call for Thoughts"

    Posted 02-02-2019 07:04 PM
    Wow! Thank you so much for sharing this "food for thought".  It is easy to forgot all of the major contributions African Americans have made in this world because it is not what's being taught.  You have to redundantly learn only about who some feel are significant such as Martin Luther King Jr and Rosa Parks.  Hopefully this too will change.

    To answer your question.  My grandmother, who didn't even know her exact date of birth due to the restrictions back in her day, inspired me.  She did not have any college training, but was the head nurse at her job.  She managed other employees and ensured her patients were getting great care. She overcame the limitations that were the times.  I am constantly challenged to be a "better me" when I think of all the strength, fight, and determination it took to get where we are today.  I am also inspired by the Word of God.  He selected me, made me exactly who He wanted me to be (flaws and all), entrusted me with gifts of life and dreams, and constantly refines me through my challenges.  I keep reminding myself that any day could be my last.  Life is an assignment and I don't want to die with all of the great things that God has put down on the inside of me to do!


    ------------------------------
    Tiffany Star Skillern
    Uniontown, OH
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: A Reflection and a "Call for Thoughts"

    Posted 02-05-2019 10:19 PM

    Tiffany,

    Thank you for sharing such a truly inspiring story! Thank you for illustrating how you draw strength as you look back and reflect on your strong grandmother while simultaneously having your eyes looking forward and upward to your ultimate source of power, God. Thank you so much Tiffany.

    Regards,
    David



    ------------------------------
    David Alexander, AuD, CCC-A
    Towson University - Audiologist - Clinical Assistant Professor
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: A Reflection and a "Call for Thoughts"

    Posted 02-04-2019 10:31 PM

    David

    What a great way to start the month. You are so right. I'm sure all of us have a person or people in our lives who have inspired us to do more and go farther.  I think this is especially true when I think about leadership.  Many of us have had the experience of someone seeing leadership potential in us that we may not have realized in ourselves. That person who tells you that you can do something you never imagined. Or the person who says, "If you'll take two steps in this direction, I'll take one step with you and together we will make three."  Or the person who sees you struggling with a leadership task and offers to help.  That is one of the things that makes leadership such a gift: the people who walk the leadership path with you, encouraging you, supporting you and cheering you on.  It may not be the same person all the time or maybe it is. Sometimes it is a person or people you don't even know are watching you, but they share a positive word with you when you need it, or they make you aware of something that will make a difference as you seek to lead. Those people are as much a part of your leadership journey as the people you seek to influence and lead. Where would we be without them?



    ------------------------------
    Dr. Elise Davis-McFarland, CCC-SLP
    ASHA Fellow
    ASHA Immediate Past President- 2019
    Charleston, SC
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: A Reflection and a "Call for Thoughts"

    Posted 02-05-2019 10:50 PM
    Elise,

    Thank you for sharing your salient points about how much stronger we are when we have individuals who are partner with us as travel along our leadership journey. We can only go "so far" if we try to do everything on our own, but can go "so much farther" with other people who inspire us and help share the load. Thank you so much for sharing!

    Regards,
    David

    ------------------------------
    David Alexander, AuD, CCC-A
    Towson University - Audiologist - Clinical Assistant Professor
    ------------------------------



  • 10.  RE: A Reflection and a "Call for Thoughts"

    Posted 02-05-2019 10:06 AM

    Thank you for your post David. This one really spoke to me because I too have been reflecting on those who have inspired and supported my journey into leadership. While leadership exists all around us in some form, it is not until you begin to identify with leaders that you begin to watch what they do and try to emulate them. This is why representation matters. My professional leadership awakening happened when my mentor Dr. Joyce Harris took me to my first National Black Association for Speech-Language and Hearing (NBASLH) Convention in Milwaukee in 2001. As a 2nd year graduate student a month away from graduation, I was awestruck at all of the leaders in our profession that I met who looked like me. I had never seen anything like it. I came back again and again for the same "feeling." Over the years I met many people and gained a whole group of formal and informal mentors such as Elise Davis-McFarland, Sharon Moss, Eugene Wiggins, Tommie Robinson, Bernadette Mayfield-Clarke, Vicki Deal-Williams,  Arnell Brady, Joan C. Payne, Kay Payne, Ronald Johnson, Robert Mayo, and countless others who either encouraged me, helped me hone my craft, asked me about my future, or wrote letters of support at various stages. I met colleagues at similar stages in their careers and made life-long friends with whom to share this journey. So, as we reflect on the contributions African Americans have made in this world, let's also think about the contributions they have made to our professions and how many still work to promote our professions and grow the next generation of leaders.



    ------------------------------
    Valarie B. Fleming, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
    Chair and Associate Professor
    Department of Communication Disorders
    Texas State University
    ------------------------------



  • 11.  RE: A Reflection and a "Call for Thoughts"

    Posted 02-05-2019 05:40 PM
    I have been meaning to post a reflection since David's initial post last week. This conversation gives me the perfect opportunity to share a personal story of my own Black History.

    A couple of years ago, I began having a growing interest in researching my lineage. As African-Americans we are often limited in knowing our historical familial story and often accept the basic understanding that we are the decedents of slaves who - for a large portion of our ancestors -  gained some sense of autonomy post-slavery through sharecropping, serving in the military, generations migrating into education and higher learning while fighting for equal civil rights along the way. As I began this journey of digging into my family history with no expectations of what I would find, I was blown away by the Black history within my own family.

    I discovered that my paternal great grandfather, Dr. Lilton Daniel Blaney, was a surgeon attending Howard University for his undergraduate study and then graduated from the Leonard Medical School (affiliated with Shaw University) in 1911. He completed his residency at Freedmen's Hospital in Washington, DC (now known as the Howard University Hospital). A book published in 1921 (History of the American Negro: Virginia Edition) includes a biography of my great-grandfather describing him as:
    A successful physician and surgeon of Richmond [and] has, in less than four years, made for himself a prominent place in the professional life of the capital city of Virginia. This is due to the character of his work and to the fact that he took the necessary time to prepare himself before beginning practice.
    The biography goes on to mention that he "aspired to a life of larger usefulness" and had a "desire for an education" fully knowing that the journey would not be easy.

    Bringing this back to David's initial post, imagine my astonishment not simply because I had no idea that my great-grandfather was born and raised 20 minutes from my home during my time in Harrisonburg, VA or because I had no idea that my great-grandfather also attended Howard University where I also received my Master's degree. My astonishment also came from knowing that I am the descendent of an African-American who was a leader in his own right, choosing a journey less traveled. My desire for an education and to have an impact on the lives of children who stutter is grounded in my DNA!

    Paraphrasing from David's post, I am grateful to have made this connection and truly believe that some part of my leadership and desire to contribute to the lives of those who stutter is birthed out of this legacy and will continue to inspire me to do better things!


    Have a great rest of the day and Happy Black History Month!

    Kia



    ------------------------------
    Kia Noelle Johnson, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
    Associate Professor
    Dept. of Communication Sci. & Disorders
    University of Houston
    100 Clinic Research Center
    Houston, TX 77204-6018
    Office: 713-743-6777
    Kjohnson6@uh.edu
    ------------------------------



  • 12.  RE: A Reflection and a "Call for Thoughts"

    Posted 02-05-2019 05:49 PM
    Kia,

    Thank you so much for sharing that!  I am so happy you were able to uncover some awe-inspiring facts about your lineage!  VERY cool!

    Melissa S. Passe M.A., CCC-SLP
    Director,  Speech and Hearing Clinic
    Truman State University
    660-785-7425 (office)
    660-341-6621 (cell)

    As of January 1, 2020 everyone who supervises a student or mentors a CF will need 2 CE hours in supervision training.  Ask me how to do this right now FOR FREE!

    Curious about my real life?  Join me at midlifemelissa.blogspot.com and read all about it.



    Sent from my iPad 





  • 13.  RE: A Reflection and a "Call for Thoughts"

    Posted 02-05-2019 11:45 PM
    Kia,

    Wow....you have written such a powerful and personal post! From the bottom of my heart, thank you for sharing your legacy and being so transparent! Wow, this was a truly awe-inspiring post. Thank you....thank you.

    Respectfully,
    David

    ------------------------------
    David Alexander, AuD, CCC-A
    Towson University - Audiologist - Clinical Assistant Professor
    ------------------------------



  • 14.  RE: A Reflection and a "Call for Thoughts"

    Posted 02-06-2019 02:33 PM
    David, Kia, and Company:

    Your moving stories of leaders, both family and mentors, who inspired you; particularly Kia’s story about her Great Grandfather, remined me how fortunate I was to have been mentored by my maternal Grandmother. Exactly 100 years ago this month, she immigrated to the United State by herself to find a better life. She traveled through New York’s Ellis Island and, with limited English and resources, made her way to Illinois where she married, raised a family, and created an amazing community of friends. While growing up, she would often tell all of us, the more difficult the climb the more rewarding the achievement and the community you create along the way will sustain you after you arrive. I wish I could share the interesting mix of English and Italian she used. She encouraged all of us to pursue our goals, no matter how difficult, by working together with others to create community. It is very gratifying today, that her son, my uncle, went on to earn a PHD from New York University. He established a scholarship in my Grandmother’s name at prominent university in Illinois. As she immigrated to the United States in February of 1919, my Grandmother could not have imagined that achieving her goal of US citizenship would result in a scholarship in her name that would create an international community of scholars or that her motivating words of wisdom might also inspire this community of ASHA leaders.


    Sent from Mail for Windows 10




  • 15.  RE: A Reflection and a "Call for Thoughts"

    Posted 02-07-2019 09:21 AM

    Dear all,

    I have truly enjoyed the shared stories of family and mentors.  Through the sharing of stories, we are able to inspire each other.  I don't have a grand story to share.  Just a grandmother and a godmother who always reminded me that I could do whatever it is I set my mind to doing.  As a first generation college grad, I hope I have made them proud!  Through this Leadership Academy and various mentoring opportunities ASHA provides, I aspire to nurture the same confidence and passion in those I am blessed to call colleagues, friends, students, or mentees.

     

    Have a great day!

    Carol

     

     

     

    Carol L. Koch, Ed.D., CCC-SLP

    Professor and Graduate Program Director

    Communication Sciences and Disorders

     

    205-726-4576 | office

    ckoch2@samford.edu

    http://www.samford.edu/healthprofessions/

    800 Lakeshore Drive, Birmingham, AL 35229

    Samford School of Health Professions Logo

     

     






  • 16.  RE: A Reflection and a "Call for Thoughts"

    Posted 02-20-2019 07:59 PM

    Thank you so much for sharing about how your grandmother and godmother helped shape your life!

    David



    ------------------------------
    David Alexander, AuD, CCC-A
    Towson University - Audiologist - Clinical Assistant Professor
    ------------------------------



  • 17.  RE: A Reflection and a "Call for Thoughts"

    Posted 02-05-2019 11:22 PM
    Valerie,

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I appreciated how you remarked about the fact that there are so many leaders, and as you mentioned, "leaders who look like us," are right here amongst us here in ASHA. Just as you have been reflecting I have been recently reflecting as well....I remember as an undergrad, walking into my undergrad class in the field and as I stepped through the doors....I literally (I mean this in the "literal" sense of the word) stopped in my tracks I broke the threshold of the doorway by a few steps due to my quick scan of the students who were already in their seats and comparing them to me. Although I forget the specific CSD class it was, someone asked if I was looking for that class and I said "yes" as I tentatively continued into the class to find a seat. Recently, I was in Rockville at the ASHA Headquarters building looking and admiring the pictures of past presidents and looking at the beautiful diversity of those who have volunteered their time to serve this organization. Yes, I agree with you in that we should acknowledge the contributions of African-Americans, as well as other under-represented populations, on our shared profession. Again, thank you for sharing.

    Regards,
    David

    ------------------------------
    David Alexander, AuD, CCC-A
    Towson University - Audiologist - Clinical Assistant Professor
    ------------------------------



  • 18.  RE: A Reflection and a "Call for Thoughts"

    Posted 02-08-2019 09:55 AM
    All,
    Your stories are inspiring and serve as a reminder in the tough/busy days that we may be unaware of the impact we have in someone's life.

    Thank you all for sharing,
    Kathy

    ------------------------------
    Kathy L. Shapley Ph.D. CCC-SLP
    Chair and Professor Speech Language Pathology
    College of Nursing and Health Sciences
    Mississippi University for Women
    1100 College St MUW-1340
    Columbus, MS 39701-5800
    Phone: 662.329.7270
    Fax: 662-329-7460
    ------------------------------



  • 19.  RE: A Reflection and a "Call for Thoughts"

    Posted 02-20-2019 08:13 PM

    Kathy,
    Thank you sharing....and you gave me an idea for another post and build from your comment about us having "tough and busy days."

    David



    ------------------------------
    David Alexander, AuD, CCC-A
    Towson University - Audiologist - Clinical Assistant Professor
    ------------------------------