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Taking A Break From Academia

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Panel: Taking a Break from Academia

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.1120.1 - 14.1120.8



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Paper Authors

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Bevlee Watford Virginia Tech

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Lesia Crumpton-Young University of Central Florida

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Susan Davidson University of Pennsylvania

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Leigh McCue Virginia Tech

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Noel Schulz Mississippi State University

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Taking a Break from Academia


This paper presents the input received from four faculty members who “took a break” from their regular academic life. The panelists responded to the following questions:

• Where were you in your academic career when you decided to take a break? • What were the factors that motivated you to pursue this activity? • What exactly did you do? • How did you find out about options available to you? • What do you recommend to faculty considering these options to make sure that they make the most of their opportunity?

The information provided can be utilized to encourage and support faculty members to expand their perspective and take advantage of the numerous opportunities available. These opportunities can enhances both teaching and research capabilities as well as provide a mechanism for enlarging an individual’s world view.


This paper presents the input received from 4 faculty members who took a break from the academic life. The pane is moderated by Bevlee A. Watford. The four panelists are

• Lesia Crumpton-Young, NSF Program Officer, University of Central Florida • Noel Schulz, Sabbatical, Mississippi State University • Leigh McCue, ASEE-ONR Summer Faculty Research Program, Virginia Tech • Sue Davidson, Fulbright Fellow, University of Pennsylvania

Lesia Crumpton-Young is a full professor at the University of Central Florida. She earned her BS, MS and PhD degrees in Industrial Engineering from Texas A&M University, College Station. Her research interests include human performance modeling, industrial ergonomics and ergonomic designs for special populations. From August 2007 to August 2009, Dr. Crumpton- Young was a program manager in the Division of Undergraduate Education at the National Science Foundation.

Noel Schulz is a professor of electrical engineering at Mississippi State University and holds the TVA Endowed Professorship of Power Systems Engineering. She earned her BS and MS degrees from Virginia Tech and her PhD from the University of Minnesota. Her research interests involve the application of computers, including intelligent systems, to solve problems in power systems operations. In fall 2008, Dr. Schulz spent a sabbatical in Wales.

Leigh McCue is an assistant professor in the department of aerospace and ocean engineering at Virginia Tech. She earned a BS degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering from

Watford, B., & Crumpton-Young, L., & Davidson, S., & McCue, L., & Schulz, N. (2009, June), Taking A Break From Academia Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--4801

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