Communication Studies Doctoral Student Jessica Moore
"I read about the IE program when I was a doctoral student at UT and it seemed like a good way to start developing skills as a mentor since I knew that I would ultimately want and need to mentor undergraduate and graduate students in my career as a professor. Thus, in 2004 I approached Anita Vangelisti, who was my doctoral advisor, and asked if she would serve as an IE faculty mentor if I were to identify a student that wanted to work with me on an independent research project the year I was beginning my dissertation. Dr. Vangelisti agreed and, through conversations with several undergrads in the Department of Communication, Ashley Middleton emerged as a student who had research interests similar to my own and who also was contemplating the notion of pursuing graduate school. We worked on a research project together and our study was ultimately presented at the International Association of Relationship Researchers conference in Providence, RI. Though I accepted a position as an Assistant Professor at NC State University and left Austin soon after working with Ashley, we stayed in touch and she soon thereafter made the decision to pursue her MA at UT (under Dr. Vangelisti, I believe). With the expert guidance of Dr. Vangelisti, Ashley then went on to a doctoral program at the University of Illinois to work with a leader in the field of relationship research, John Caughlin, who is also a former doctoral student at Texas.
Since working with Ashley I have gone on to work with many undergraduates and graduate students at NC State where I received numerous citations for excellence as a faculty mentor and teacher. I continue to enjoy sharing my research program to this day with students at Butler University, where I was recently hired as a Program Director/Department Head in the College of Communication. I was so pleased to recently read that Ashley has attained this goal she set for herself so long ago. I can also see from her dissertation project that she, too, is now sharing a similar model by working with undergraduate students to help fulfill her goals alongside theirs. What a full circle experience. As a first generation student myself, I can't imagine anything more rewarding!"