The benefit of strong mentors is, without a doubt, the hallmark of virtually every successful career. My career is no exception. Particularly important in my career have been mentors from outside of my own institution. As a surgeon-scientist, there were very few mentors within my own institution who had experienced what was involved in trying to begin a demanding surgical career while simultaneously trying to build a successful research laboratory and portfolio. As such, I reached out to some colleagues across the country who had navigated this territory successfully. Individuals such as Christopher Post and Bob Ruben were incredibly generous with their time, their wisdom and even promoting my career and work at a level that I always felt exceeded the talent that I exhibited. These individuals, and many others, have been the foundation of success and I would strongly encourage young faculty to seek mentorship to build their career both within and outside of their institutions.
— Joseph Kerschner

The ASPO mentor program is led by a group of experienced volunteer members who are excited to share their wisdom with the next generation of pediatric otolaryngologists.  The following mentors have provided their contact information for young ASPO members seeking guidance in one or more of the selected areas of interest.  Please be encouraged to contact them at any time via email.   The relationship and content of discussion, if desired, is confidential between mentor and mentee, and is not contractual nor binding.

We hope our younger ASPO members take advantage of this great opportunity to learn more from the great leaders in our field!

I believe what constitutes a great mentor differs for each of us. For me, my most important mentors fulfilled the following definition - they “model the way, enable others to act, or encourage the heart.” Both how I practice as a surgeon and how I direct my Department are modeled upon fundamental principles I learned from three of my most valued mentors - Drs. Thomas Putnam, Eugene Myers and Joseph Nadol Jr. The national committee opportunities and professional society roles I was offered early in my career were enabled in particular by two much beloved individuals - Drs. Jonas Johnson and Sylvan Stool. Indeed my choice of pediatric otolaryngology as a profession, and my academic focus on education, would not have occurred without the encouragement and support of Dr. Ron Eavey. I would also be remiss if I did not add the counsel of my lifelong colleague and friend Dr. Craig Derkay; our relationship is a shining example that mentorship is a continuous process that does not end when you transition from being a young to an old ASPO member!
— Michael Cunningham

Available ASPO Mentors:


Academic Leadership  

Departmental Leadership  


Organizational Leadership