Susan O'Doherty

Susan O'Doherty, Ph.D. (http://www.susanodohertyauthor.com/) is a writer and clinical psychologist who specializes in the creative process. Her stories and essays have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Mama, Ph.D. She is the author of Getting Unstuck without Coming Unglued: A Woman's Guide to Unblocking Creativity (Seal, 2007). Her popular advice column for writers, "The Doctor is In," appears each Friday on Buzz, Balls & Hype.

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Most Recent Articles

January 17, 2010
Historians discuss backlash against hiring female and minority professors -- and emerging ideas about recruiting gay faculty.
January 10, 2010
Over the past several weeks, I have discussed the impact of attending a traditionally female college in the early 1970s. I wasn’t there that long — like most students of the time, I got on the train at 18 and disembarked at 22 with a diploma. But those four years were formative, shaping the rest of my personal and professional life in some important ways:
January 3, 2010
Last week I described some of the advantages of attending a mostly women’s college. Here are some ways in which I feel that my peers who attended more mixed institutions were better off:
December 27, 2009
As described last week, I entered college in the fall of 1970 with some trepidation. Recent exposure to a group of extremely ladylike women’s college alumnae had left me concerned that I would feel out of place and intimidated. A spread in Mademoiselle’s fall college issue, shot on my college’s campus and featuring students as models, didn’t ease my anxiety any.
December 20, 2009
Recent discussions on this blog about gender balance in colleges and universities have sparked a number of memories of my own college experiences. I thought it would be interesting to share them here and to invite you to share yours, as well. As noted previously, in 1970 I entered a small college that had, until that year, been the “sister school” of a nearby men’s university. There were only a handful of men in my class, and of course none in the more advanced classes.
December 13, 2009
Last week, Public Agenda released a report exploring the reasons why only 20 percent of young adults at two-year institutions finish within three years, and only 40 percent at four-year colleges finish within six years. The study compares backgrounds and experiences of students who dropped out of school with those who have finished. The entire report is worth reading, but here are two excerpts that seemed particularly relevant for readers of this blog:
December 6, 2009
Our family spent the Thanksgiving break in Dublin. I thought about the discussions here while on a tour of Trinity College, when our guide pointed out a statue of the Reverend George Salmon, the college’s provost from 1888 to 1904. Salmon was infamous, he told us, for having announced that women would be let into the college “over my dead body.”
November 29, 2009
--My son, who turned 15 over the summer, is a great person, someone I would want to know even if we weren’t related. --Despite the difficult economic climate, my degree has enabled me to build a deeply satisfying practice, to work at a job that engages me and uses all of my skills and resources, and to do meaningful pro bono work with a very disadvantaged population. --I’m still friends with a number of people I went through graduate school with, and it’s a joy to see their careers and their children flourish.
November 22, 2009
As usual, I was fascinated by the responses to last week’s column. I am still looking for the place where I wrote, as “Anonymous” charges, that I “didn't like and continue not to like the fact that [my] alma mater went mixed.” I actually had no desire to attend a women’s college—that was my parents’ idea. I had a brother and no sisters, and two out of my four closest friends in high school were smart, decent, kindhearted boys. I enjoyed male energy, as I continue to do (fortunately, since I live with two men).
November 15, 2009
The undergraduate institution I attended went co-ed the year I matriculated. It had previously been an all-women’s college, the sister school to a nearby men’s university that began admitting women the same year.

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