Albuquerque, New Mexico
June 24, 2001
June 24, 2001
June 27, 2001
6.142.1 - 6.142.5
Advice to “Professor Mom”
Elaine Cooney and Barbara Christe Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis
Few engineering and engineering technology faculty are women, and fewer still have children. Is it a choice: “A Wife or a Life?” (Ms Mentor’s Impeccable Advice for Women in Academia, Emily Tooth, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1997). Such a view makes having a family and gaining tenure sound either impossible or easy (if your husband is helpful). Reality lies in between.
In order to recruit and retain women into engineering and engineering technology fields, female faculty must be present as successful role models. It is essential that faculty and administrators understand the issues faced by working mothers to create an environment where success is possible for all faculty members.
Two engineering technology faculty members have some practical advice for “Professor Mom.” Set your priorities and live with them. Give your best to your family first. As successful men retire, they often wish they had spent more time with their family and less time at work. As “Professor Mom” (realize mothers are exceptionally prone to guilt), it is even more important for you to be a crucial part of the life of your family. And, “Professor Mom,” give your smartest to your career. Spend your time wisely and document everything so nothing your accomplish gets forgotten. Tie your two roles together. And remember that neither time “in rank” or childhood lasts forever.
This paper was prompted by a section of the book, Ms. Mentor’s Impeccable Advice for Women in Academia by Emily Tooth1. Ms. Mentor received an inquiry about balancing family responsibilities with academic career. She titled her reply “A Wife or a Life?” Her basic premise was that it was practically impossible to be an involved mother and wife with a successful tenure career. We believe women faculty can find balance between their many roles, but must be given the freedom to so.
We are 1) a single mom and 2) a working mom with the perfect husband (he cooks, he cleans, he spends his vacation days taking kids to the doctor) and we know many of stay at home moms - we are all harried and stressed. We need to dispel the myth that “if my husband did more, everything would fine . . .” There are never enough hours in the day because we love our children and want to do the best we can for them. There is always something more we either feel we should, or would just like to do for them.
Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright 2001, American Society for Engineering Education
Christe, B. L., & Cooney, E. M. (2001, June), Advice To Professor Mom Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. https://peer.asee.org/8892
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