Page 71 - Spring 2018
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What makes you a good acoustician?
I will forever be inquisitive. I love learning and I am fine with the fact that there will always be someone who knows more than me! I think that I am becoming increasingly ready to be wrong and to ask more questions when something isn’t clear. It makes me a better acoustician and teacher. I am a willing and motivated collaborator, ready to hear others’ ideas and points of view. Specifically, in being a musical acoustician, it obviously helps to be a musician. I have an enormous appre- ciation for the beauty in my subject and the joy it can bring as well as the physical complexities the instruments contain.
How do you handle rejection?
It is early in my career so I haven’t dealt with too much re- jection because I haven’t had enough time to try, just yet. I think what’s nice is watching your peers, colleagues, and predecessors; they have so much work out there, but they’ll never lie and say that they haven’t been told no. I think it’s important to see their success as a whole and not focus too much on one particular portion of your work. Especially early on, I hope I will be able to, even under large amounts of pressure to publish, step back and see that big picture (a 40+ year career and all that this could entail).
What are you proudest of in your career?
I am not sure yet; ask me again in about five years. Some things I am proudest of so far: seeing my first research stu- dent present at the Boston ASA meeting and reaching out to foreign research collaborators, which allowed me to study abroad during my graduate degree. This move made it pos- sible for me to learn from many impressive mentors and ac- ousticians in France and one that thankfully required me to learn to speak/read/write in French in my mid-20s, skills for which I am now forever grateful.
What is the biggest mistake you’ve ever made?
I make it often – not speaking up when I don’t understand.
What advice do you have for budding acousticians?
Ask questions, now and forever! I spent a lot of time being scared to look silly or stupid. In fact, I still struggle with this.
Try everything! You don’t have to specialize so early. Get a taste for it all to see what you like. Don’t let someone tell you that you have to know what kind of acoustician you will be as you enter graduate school (or even early in your profes- sional career). There’s always time to pivot. I never thought I would be where I am, and I am glad that I didn’t listen to those who told me that musical acoustics research was not an option.
Have you ever experienced imposter syndrome? How did you deal with that if so?
Daily. I try to talk about it a lot, with others feeling just like me and with those who don’t seem to be affected by it. Some- times I get self-conscious because I feel it borders on “com- pliment fishing,” but I just find people I trust and talk it out. If I keep it in too much, I begin to shut down and give up a little. Then again, I like competition and winning a little too much, even if the competition is usually against myself. I like setting goals and accomplishing them so if I do shut down, it isn’t for long. It’s usually at conferences or when reading other people’s papers during the semester when I don’t have time to do research and publish as much that I start to feel like an imposter. I say this to my friends: “It’s amazing that they trust me with a classroom full of students. I can’t believe I got this scholarship or that one ... it’s probably because ... well, I am sure they’ll be better than me because ... well, I could never do that like them because...”
I think the biggest thing is to keep going – you got where you are because of hard work. No matter the circumstances.
What do you want to accomplish within the next 10 years or before retirement?
(1) Remain active in the society and serve on the Technical/ Executive Council of ASA.
(2) Publish, with a (undergraduate) student!
(3) Have a research student go into a career involving acous- tics! (Inspire!)
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