SONIC program:

Student Outreach for Networking and Integrating Colleagues


NOTE [04/2021]: The SONIC program is being temporarily suspended due to the compressed schedule of ASA180: Acoustics in Focus.  The plan is to reassess the goals of the program, collect open-ended feedback, and discuss the program’s role within the larger ASA organization.  If you would like to provide comments and feedback about the SONIC program, feel free to enter them in the 2021 SONIC Program Feedback Form.

Registration Link


The ASA student council is proud to announce a new mentorship program that we hope will benefit current and future ASA student members.  The Student Outreach for Networking and Integrating Colleagues (SONIC) program is intended to help new student members at ASA conferences connect with more experienced students who have similar research interests. The SONIC program is an informal mentorship opportunity where we match first-time student attendees with veteran student members who are eager to share their experiences and guidance.

All of us have been in the same position, where it’s our first time at a conference and there is so much going on that we don’t know where to begin or who to talk to.  In the SONIC program, new student members get an opportunity to ask questions about the ASA conferences and acoustical society as a whole, connect with their academic and professional peers, and immediately get a more comprehensive and engaging ASA experience.

The primary goal of the SONIC program is to have mentors and mentees meet initially at the conference, but there are no requirements beyond this and the program is intentionally open ended.  You can choose how and when to meet so that it works around your schedules, and the SONIC program is completely voluntary at all times. That being said, our hope is that student participants can begin forming professional connections with colleagues and develop friendships that extend into their careers.  Additional resources for helping cultivate a productive and meaningful mentorship can be found in the “Instruction and Guidance” section.

If you are an ASA student member who has been to ASA multiple times, consider volunteering as a SONIC program mentor. This is a great opportunity to get involved in the ASA society in a meaningful way and give something back to the next group of students following in your footsteps. Your help could completely change someone’s first-time experience at an ASA conference.


Registration and Participation

The SONIC program registration form is accessed at: new student (mentee) and veteran student (mentor) participants need to provide personal contact information and be available to attend an initial meeting (virtual if necessary) at the upcoming conference. You will be able to coordinate you own individual meeting based on your availability.

Though the SONIC program is targeted at first-time conference attendees, new and unestablished students are also welcome to participate.  All participants must be at least 18 years of age and registered to attend the upcoming ASA conference.

Veteran student participants must be registered as a current student member of the ASA, have attended at least one ASA conference in the past (preferably two), and have a good understanding of the events, meetings, and sessions that occur at ASA conferences.  The registration roster is reset for each conference, so mentors looking to participate again must re-register at the above link.

All participants are expected to have reviewed and adhere to both the Acoustical Society’s Statement on Racism and Injustice and Harassment Policy at all times in order to maintain a safe environment for everyone.  These policies can be reviewed at: and


Instruction and Guidance

Before the conference, mentors and mentees will be paired based on technical areas of interest.  In some cases, it may not be possible to match every individual perfectly with their primary interests, but the effort will be made to do so.  In some cases, there may be more mentees than mentors, so some mentors may be asked if they would be willing to meet more than one new student. In the case that there are more mentors than mentees, some mentors will not be matched.  Thus, participation in the SONIC program is dependent on the level of enrollment for that specific conference.

An email will be sent jointly to the mentor and mentee to provide contact details and introduce each other. At this point, participants are free to schedule a date and time to meet as they see fit.  At typical conferences and events (i.e. non-virtual), it is recommended that participants meet in person since this is a primary purpose of the conference.  However, there is also the option to meet virtually using video conferencing software if need be.  For virtual events, the mentor and mentee should set up a video call using their personal accounts and free software licenses, such as Zoom, Google Hangouts, and Skype.

For the first meeting between mentor and mentee, please introduce yourselves to each other and come prepared with some information about your background and interests.  Feel free to bring any questions you may have about the society, the conference, or the technical committees.  The initial meeting is anticipated to be around 10-15 minutes so that it fits well between technical sessions or during coffee breaks.  Once you have met with your mentor/mentee, the two of you can decide how best to utilize your time.

Here are some ideas for new student experiences:

  • Ask each other about your personal backgrounds, education experience, interests, etc.
  • Ask them if they have any questions about the acoustical society or the conference
  • Explain how to use the printed program or the mobile itinerary
  • Offer to give a short walking tour of the conference
  • Suggest interesting technical sessions or talks to attend
  • Meet up again for the student or society social events
  • Meet up again for the technical committee meetings
  • Invite each other to have lunch or dinner with colleagues
  • Introduce them to colleagues, especially those with similar interests

The SONIC program doesn’t necessarily have to end after the ASA conference.  Mentors and Mentees are free to stay in contact throughout the rest of the year or plan to meet again at future conferences.  For participants who want to continue and develop the mentorship, here are some additional resources that can be used to guide your experience.


Optional Mentoring Resources:

If you have any additional questions or concerns about the SONIC program, send an email to the so that it can be forwarded to the current “New Student Coordinator”.


ASA Statement on Racism and Injustice (June 3, 2020)

The Acoustical Society of America (ASA) strongly supports racial justice movements and the fight against systemic racism. The brutal killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Michael Brown, Philando Castile, Jamar Clark, George Floyd, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Breonna Taylor, and countless others have incited outrage and highlighted the deeply rooted racial injustices that persist in this country. We, as members of the ASA, are equally outraged. We recognize the profoundly damaging effects that police brutality, mass incarceration, and economic, health, and educational inequities have on Black people and communities of color. It is our responsibility to actively oppose racial injustices and understand the impact of our own implicit biases, acknowledging that we are sometimes complicit within an oppressive system.

The protests and current unrest in our nation and across the world are taking place amidst a global pandemic, which itself has disproportionately impacted people of color. The convergence of these events further highlights the urgent need for genuine change.

ASA is firmly committed to fostering a diverse, equitable, and inclusive acoustics community as outlined in the ASA Policy on Diversity from 2013:

The Acoustical Society of America (ASA) is committed to making acoustics more accessible to everyone, and asserts that all individuals, regardless of racial identity, ethnic background, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, or national origin, must be provided equal opportunity in the field of acoustics. The Society upholds the belief that diversity enriches the field of acoustics, and is working to diversify its membership and the acoustics community in general by identifying barriers to implementing this change, and is taking an active role in organizational and institutional efforts to bring about such change. The Society actively supports efforts by the acoustics community to better engage the knowledge and talents of a diverse population, increase the viability of acoustics as a career option for all individuals, and promote the pursuit of acoustics careers by members of historically under-represented groups.

We recognize that the membership of the ASA does not reflect the demographics of our nation and acknowledge our responsibility to fix this. We must strive to be advocates of justice, to support policy and legislative changes that will decrease systemic racism in our organization and nationally, and to work for institutional reform. The ongoing, deeply destructive effects of systemic racism must be simultaneously addressed at many levels including within ourselves, our local communities, the ASA, and our nation.

Finally, let us be clear: Black Lives Matter. Black lives should have always mattered. Now is the time to transform the system so that Black lives not only matter but also will be respected and valued in the tapestry that is the United States. Then and only then can the country finally live up to the ideals and principles on which it was founded.


ASA Statement of Harassment Policy

It is the policy of the Acoustical Society of America that all participants in Society activities will enjoy an environment free from all forms of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. As a professional society, ASA is committed to providing an atmosphere that encourages the free expression and exchange of scientific ideas. In pursuit of that ideal, ASA is dedicated to the philosophy of equality of opportunity and treatment for all members regardless of any other reason not related to scientific merit. Harassment, sexual or otherwise, is a form of misconduct that undermines the integrity of Society meetings. Violators of this policy will be subject to discipline.


Definition of Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment refers to unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Behavior and language that are welcome/acceptable to one person may be unwelcome/offensive to another. Consequently, individuals must use discretion to ensure that their words and actions communicate respect for others. This is especially important for those in positions of authority since individuals with lower rank or status may be reluctant to express their objections or discomfort regarding unwelcome behavior.

Sexual harassment does not refer to occasional compliments of a socially acceptable nature. It refers to behavior that is not welcome, is personally offensive, debilitates morale, and therefore interferes with work effectiveness. The following are examples of behavior that, when unwelcome, may constitute sexual harassment: sexual flirtations, advances, or propositions; verbal comments or physical actions of a sexual nature; sexually degrading words used to describe an individual; a display of sexually suggestive objects or pictures; sexually explicit jokes; unnecessary touching.


Definition of Other Harassment

Harassment on the basis of any other protected characteristic is also strictly prohibited. This conduct includes, but is not limited to the following: epithets, slurs, or negative stereotyping; threatening, intimidating, or hostile acts; denigrating jokes and display or circulation of written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or group.


Definition of Discrimination

Discrimination refers to a bias or prejudice resulting in denial of opportunity or unfair treatment regarding selection, promotion, or transfer. Discrimination is practiced commonly on the grounds of age, disability, ethnicity, origin, political belief, race, religion, sex, i.e., factors which are irrelevant to a person’s competence or suitability.


Definition of Retaliation

Retaliation refers to taking some action to negatively impact another based on their reporting an act of discrimination or harassment.


Scope of Policy

This policy applies to all attendees at Society activities, including scientists, students, guests, staff, contractors, and exhibitors, participating in the scientific sessions, tours, and social events of any ASA meeting or other activity.


Reporting the Incident

This policy covers first – person incidents only.

Any individual covered by this policy who believes that he or she has been subjected to harassment should contact the ASA President, Executive Director or other ASA Officer. Other ASA Officers include: President‐Elect, Vice President, Vice President Elect, Treasurer, Editor‐in‐Chief, Standards Director. The list of ASA Officers can be found here. The individual reporting the incident is not required nor expected to discuss the concern with the alleged offender. All complaints will be treated seriously and will be investigated promptly. Confidentiality will be honored to the extent possible as long as the rights of others are not compromised.

You may report the incident anonymously with ASA’s smart phone app. Download here…