June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
Women in Engineering
15.1151.1 - 15.1151.6
Survival Tips from the Trenches Susan A. Lantz, Ph.D.; Trine University; Adrienne R. Minerick, Ph.D., Michigan Technological University; Donna S. Reese, Ph.D., Mississippi State University; Beena Sukumaran, Ph.D., Rowan University
Abstract: Panel Discussion: Four women in academia---one with 5-10 years of experience, two with 10-20 years of experience, and one with 20-plus years experience---will offer advice, suggestions, and discuss tips and techniques that worked (or did not work) for them. The panelists include a woman who left academia for nine years, but returned two years ago.
Between them, these four women have five children, 148 referred journal publications, three book chapters, six books (novels) and two novellas, and 76 research grants and contracts, totaling $9.4 million.
Susan’s Top Ten Tips for Academic Survival 1. Live close to where you work. The more time you spend commuting, the less time you spend working or with your family. 2. Love your work. If you aren’t passionate about either teaching or research, your work will become a job, not a career. 3. Balance your personal and professional lives. This can be difficult to do, and you can’t always maintain a perfect balance, but strive to maintain the balance most weeks. (And don’t forget to include an hour or so for yourself every day.) 4. Learn how to say no. Remember to use that word (in moderation) when asked to take on tasks that will not advance your career. (Corollary: Don’t get bogged down with time- consuming tasks. Get through them as quickly as possible, then concentrate on activities that are more meaningful.) 5. Papers do not have to be perfect to be accepted; proposals do not have to be perfect to be funded. Well-written (but not perfect) proposals will be funded, and well-written (but not necessarily perfect) papers will be accepted for publication. The time spent polishing a paper or proposal from “very good” to “perfect” is, therefore, time that could be better spent. 6. Be active in your professional society. Committee membership or service as a session moderator at conferences is an excellent way to increase your recognition within your profession. 7. Learn to delegate (at work and at home). Convince your husband/significant other to cook two or three days a week, or to do the laundry, or to clean the house/apartment. Let a graduate student or postdoc do background research for your next paper or grant proposal. 8. Make friends who aren’t academics. They might not understand everything you do, but they will understand you. 9. Find a mentor or role model. It is helpful to have a mentor within your department, within the university, and within the profession. Each mentor/role model will provide a different perspective on your career, all of which are valuable.
Lantz, S., & Minerick, A., & Reese, D., & Sukumaran, B. (2010, June), Survival Tips From The Trenches Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. https://peer.asee.org/16796
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