In times of transition, I often think about Janus, the Roman god with two faces, the god of transitions—beginnings and endings. Janus reminds me of the importance of reflecting upon our journey as we move into the future.

My daughter is now 16 years old and it is hard to believe how quickly she has grown up. Although she has always been an independent personality, now that she is driving and exploring college options, I am reminded how close she is to being out on her own. 

Angela Shoup, AuD
Angela Shoup, PhD
President | American Academy of Audiology

I may miss her younger years, but I also recognize that some of the most rewarding experiences in life come from observing the success of others whom you have encouraged. I honor and remember her various developmental stages and look forward with excitement to the future she will build. 

At the end of the spring semester, we had many opportunities to observe graduates celebrating their achievements at university commencements, white-coat ceremonies, and the Student Academy of Audiology second annual Send Off. As I participated in these virtual events, I was impressed by the poise, professionalism, skill, and thoughtfulness of the newly minted audiologists.

These events provided an opportunity to celebrate the hard work, dedication, and success of the graduates, while also allowing them to reflect on their journeys. Many expressed appreciation for those who served as mentors on their journeys. These mentors included parents, grandparents, and other family, educators, clinical preceptors, professional peers, health-care providers, and personal friends.

A mentor empowers a person to see a possible future, and believe it can be obtained. App Developer 

—Shawn Hitchcock,

Often, those who have significantly affected our lives are unaware of their influence on us. I think of Janus when I consider transitions because of a particularly passionate high school teacher who taught Greek and Roman mythology. I became interested in audiology as a teen due to my aunt, who also taught me to love science fiction.

The list of those who have had a meaningful impact on my personal and professional growth is endless and I add names regularly. Each has been extremely meaningful and special. Each has helped, taught, influenced, and supported me. 

So, what is a mentor? One definition, by Merriam-Webster (2021), is “a trusted counselor or guide.” 

I have been—and continue to be—inordinately fortunate in the counselors and guides who have contributed to my growth and enriched my life. Many have pushed me out of my comfort zone. 

But isn’t that an important role of a mentor? Someone who encourages you to grow, identifies your talents or potential, and gives you a push. 

In reflecting on these transitions, I am reminded of the debt I owe to those who have mentored and sponsored me through the years. Contributing to the growth of others makes us stronger. It energizes and positively feeds our passion.

Professionals are often encouraged to find a good mentor—but, as author and corporate consultant Mariela Dabbah challenges us, “The question is not only who can be your mentor but also who can you mentor.” 

I join you in honoring the past and committing to the future.

If you want one year of prosperity, grow grain. If you want 10 years of prosperity, grow trees. If you want 100 years of prosperity, grow people. 

—Chinese Proverb

This article is a part of the July/August 2021 Audiology Today issue.


Merriam-Webster. (2021) Definition of mentor. (accessed May 24, 2021). (2021) Hitchcock, Dabbah quotes. (accessed May 24, 2021). (2021) 100 years of prosperity quote/Chinese proverb. (accessed May 24, 2021).

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