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For Young Faculty on the Rise, A Helping Hand
Date: January 1, 2013
When cardiologist Roy Ziegelsteinwas rising through the ranks at Johns Hopkins as a young faculty member in the early 1990s, life was good. Faculty typically received “start-up packages” to jump start their academic careers, often in the form of funds or equipment to help run their research program during their first few years on faculty. NIH funding was more plentiful than it is today, and it was relatively easy to find like-minded mentors.
“It was expected that you would develop into a grant-funded ‘triple threat,’ and you had mentors who connected you to the right people to help make that happen,” says Ziegelstein, vice chairman of the Department of Medicine at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.
Nowadays, he says, “it’s just a more lean, mean environment.” Federal research money is in shorter supply, and there are more demands on a young faculty member’s time.
In his role as the new senior associate dean for faculty development, Ziegelstein, working closely with Vice Dean for Faculty Janice Clements and a team of colleagues, wants to push more strongly for mentorship and skill development courses, ensuring that all faculty members fulfill their professional potential.
“We have a range of faculty development programs at Johns Hopkins,” Ziegelstein says, “but it’s not clear they are being used to the extent they could or should be.”
They are looking into formal mentoring programs; stronger promotion of courses for faculty at all levels; and developing ‘master mentors’ within departments to help develop junior faculty. He and others in the Office of Faculty Development also will make themselves available for one-on-one coaching to supplement traditional mentor-mentee relationships.
“I really love mentoring, coaching and helping to guide young faculty,” says Ziegelstein, a recognized expert in research on depression and cardiovascular disease. “It’s one of my favorite things to do here.”
A key advantage to being at Hopkins, he says, are the senior faculty experts and resources that young faculty can connect with as they come up through the ranks: “I’ve been here for 26 years, and I know a lot of people and resources. Sometimes that’s all it takes.”