Higher Education Webinars
GenX Women in Higher Ed, Writing from Across the Globe
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.
October 2, 2012 - 9:07pm
I Will Now Stop Resenting the B+ I Earned Last Fall Quite So Much... I was offered a position as a marking assistant in the Women and Gender Studies department, and offer that made my day/week/month. I felt like I had finally “arrived” to be tapped on the shoulder like that. In my undergrad years I always envied the students who were asked to RA or TA for faculty members. They always seemed somehow smarter, or more together than I was. So to be asked now brought me back to my twenty-one year old self, validating my worthiness as a student. Silly, I know.
September 30, 2012 - 6:54pm
The more education the better for each and all. So why are there not enough resources?
September 27, 2012 - 9:15pm
In putting together my dossier, I am forced to revisit my past teaching evaluations, and my student comments. For the most part, I receive a great deal of positive feedback, but of course, every once in a while you have that student who hates you with a ferocity that is only matched by his or her immaturity and insensitivity. I’ve blogged about that before, but now I want to do the thing you know we all want to do: answer them.
September 25, 2012 - 8:40pm
I went to see a good female friend of mine this week. I was feeling pretty low about not hearing about a new job and the grind of the upcoming semester. We have both been traveling quite a bit (me more than her, but she just got back from a vacation) and have been busy. When all of the chaos surrounding my job application happened, there wasn’t really time to consult with my friends here where I live (nor did I want to announce it, in case I didn’t get an interview). We hadn’t really spoken about it yet.
September 23, 2012 - 9:38pm
In August, Amy Rubens (@ambulantscholar on Twitter) posted a thoughtful post on her personal blog about her plans for the semester and how to continue her research agenda while teaching (and also adjusting to a new town and new school). Amy and I met via Twitter some time in the past year when we were trying to finish our dissertations, balance work along with dissertating, and blogging about our phd exploits. We both graduated last May, and are embarking on new jobs this fall. In her post, Amy pointed out that in order to get her conference presentations done in time she will be blogging about her reading; it's a way for her to stay accountable and to digest the information on a long-term. She also discussed how she thinks of her blogging as a form of public scholarship, an idea I sympathize with.
September 20, 2012 - 9:13pm
Let’s say that you have spent almost 20 years of your life learning and reading and writing and now it is about time to finally be on your own, outside the university gates. Your parents are proud of you, your neighbors and friends are envious of your achievements, even though you might have no idea what you want to say in your Ph.D. paper and know even less about how the Ph.D. graduate succeeds at buying his or her clothing and daily food. On various occasions, I am asked what the medical domain is that I am covering as long as I am a doctor. Then, I should answer embarrassed that I am not ‘that kind of doctor’ and that my doctoral knowledge won’t save any life at all.
September 18, 2012 - 9:23pm
In my 20 months as Division chair, I have seen the departure of several male junior colleagues for graduate school in Manila and abroad. It may sound like no big deal, but to any young man few years out of college or who hasn’t lived abroad previously, starting graduate school far from one’s comfort zone is daunting. Like any mother hen, I did the usual “let’s have a serious talk about your academic career” and “what the University expects from you” routine with each one of them. A walk through choices of graduate school and programs, housing, fellowship applications, return service obligations, University clearance -- this process takes a lot of time before they can finally board the plane and begin the next 2-4 years away from the demands of teaching.