Higher Education Webinars

University of Venus

GenX Women in Higher Ed, Writing from Across the Globe

October 29, 2012 - 8:12pm
Course evaluations: everyone knows them and uses them, but does everyone know what are they good for? Opinions are very much split on how to evaluate the evaluation. University teachers differ from university administrators, for example, when they assign importance to the results of course evaluations.
October 25, 2012 - 9:03pm
We all have our tricks with time management. Some are effective and others have the appearance of helping you manage your time, but might just make you think that you're organized. I don't have any easy answers, but I will share how I manage my time effectively. I first have to thank a colleague for insisting that I establish boundaries for getting work done. About four years ago, Dr. Matt James politely encouraged me to shut my door.
October 23, 2012 - 9:11pm
The U.S. Supreme Court will soon rule (again) on so-called affirmative action in higher education. The details vary case to case, but the underlying fear that a person of color stripped a paler would-be pupil of an opportunity remains constant. Programs to guarantee underrepresented minorities presence in the academy make tempers - including mine - flare whether in support or rejection of their aims. I feel particularly prone to pique at this time of year. Accomplished students from privileged families apply for awards to study overseas funded by governments or foundations. They can, and they should. However, they should also remember that the rules apply to them.
October 21, 2012 - 8:08pm
Sometimes, I want to be wrong. I suspected it would to be tough to return to the grind this fall after the glorious summer I had.  Particularly, after a three-week gig teaching Shakespeare to junior high students, I wondered how I could (once again) face a first year composition class at the big university where I’m working on my doctorate.
October 18, 2012 - 7:57pm
I am opting out. Not out of my career, but out of the educational system. I have a seven year old who started second-grade this year.  A few weeks into second-grade, we decided to finally act on a decision that’s been a long time coming. We decided we’re going to home-school her – at least for this year.
October 16, 2012 - 9:12pm
Initially, I wanted to write about ‘the benefits’ instead of mentioning a term with intrinsic conflicting, and not always positive, connotations. On the other hand, while trying to make a mental summary of my ideas, I discovered that, in fact, the option of being an independent researcher may present several serious challenges.
October 14, 2012 - 7:29pm
I was outside yesterday, enjoying some early fall weather after dinner with my son. I was pushing him on the swing, doing exaggerated “karate” moves and noises whenever I pushed him. He loved it and was giggling uncontrollably. The more he laughed, the more ridiculous I tried to make my moves. And in that moment, I realized something: I’m having fun, too.
October 10, 2012 - 9:15pm
When I graduated in March last year, I expected to enjoy the pomp of the ceremony, the sumptuous and faintly ridiculous robes and hat of formal academic dress, and the joy of receiving my doctoral degree with my parents in the audience. And I did enjoy all of this, but what surprised me was my pleasure at being able to call myself Dr Duff. I have a title which is absolutely gender neutral, and it reflects the decade’s worth of hard work which went into my university education. But I never expected to insist that others use my title, and I still feel slightly odd calling myself Dr Duff.
October 8, 2012 - 8:03pm
For the majority of my research career, I was a one-woman show. Except for the services of a research assistant to arrange my travels, make the field preparations and sort the paperwork, I do all of the thinking, from conceptualizing the proposal, implementing the project (including facilitating the focus groups and conducting the interviews) to the final write up. In this solitude, the only intellectual conversation transpires inside my head -- between the data and the literature to which I am hoping to contribute. I have had previous experiences of “research collaboration” but it was rather a short-hand for “I do it my own way; you do yours,” with the tying up of findings falling into my lap. The collaborative aspect has also proven contentious, with serious disagreements about methodology and fashioning a suitable output.
October 4, 2012 - 10:10pm
As a former biomedical researcher, a field I left in favour of a different career, I was recently asked to act as a speaker at a careers’ day designed for early careers researchers and Ph.D.s interested in (or forced to explore) alternative careers to academia. Interestingly, there were more women than men both in the audience and amongst the speakers. Is it because women don’t mind admitting they are open to all career options, or is it that they have less confidence in their ability to sustain a lifelong successful research or academic career? In fact, I am not sure.

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