Advice for the Tenure Track in Speech Sciences

May 16, 2022

Alumna Taryn Malcolm, a professor at Mercy College, shares what helped her stand out.

Class of 2022: Taryn Malcom SLHS
Taryn Malcolm, a member of the class of 2022, earned a Ph.D. in Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences. (Photo courtesy of Tayrn Malcolm)

Taryn Malcolm (Ph.D. ’22, Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences) started in September 2021 as an assistant professor in the Department of Communication Disorders at Mercy College. At the Graduate Center, she worked with Professor Loraine Obler (Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences, Linguistics, Cognitive Neuroscience) in the Neurolinguistics Laboratory. Malcolm spoke to us about how the Graduate Center prepared her for the tenure track and shared her advice for current students.  

The Graduate Center: What do you think made you stand out when you began looking for a tenure-track faculty role?   

Malcolm: One thing that made me stand out when searching for a tenure-track role was my certification as a speech-language pathologist and experience teaching at CUNY during my doctoral work. This allowed me to have teaching and clinical experience that both complemented my research and gave me the needed experience for a tenure-track position. 

GC: What surprised you the most about your Graduate Center experience? 

Malcolm: My Graduate Center experience was surprisingly collaborative and supportive. In addition to an excellent education, I was able to meet wonderful friends and colleagues that supported me both in my doctoral work and now as an Assistant Professor. 

GC: How would you describe your research to someone who is unfamiliar with your field? 

Malcolm: My research looks at differences in grammar between Jamaican Creole and English, and how that would impact someone with language difficulties (aphasia) following a stroke. 

GC: What advice do you have for students who are hoping to follow a similar career path? 

Malcolm: I would say to make a plan and stick to it. Earning a Ph.D. is long, hard work, but it has been incredibly rewarding both personally and professionally. It made me a strong candidate for jobs, and it helped me think more deeply and critically about how we’re looking at issues related to our field and the broader population. 

GC: Is there anything else you’d like to add about your Graduate Center experience?

Malcolm: The Graduate Center really has the wonderful advantage of having somewhat larger cohorts compared to other schools’ doctoral programs. This allows for more collaboration and camaraderie, which overall resulted in not only a fantastic educational experience but also a wonderful way to meet and work with smart, friendly individuals in my field.  

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