Fifth Anniversary Update: Rosemarie Emanuele

December 15th, 2013

I found the request for essays for Mama, PhD when I was searching for information on how to balance the life of a professor with that of a mother. I was hoping to design a workable maternity leave program for my college, one that, unlike the current use of medical leave, would include new fathers as well as adoptive parents. In the back of my mind, I thought that designing such a program would help me achieve the rank of full professor. I never did find the answer, but instead found my essay published in Mama, PhD.

Five years later, I am still in search of a good answer to the maternity leave issue, but even with this need unmet, I am now a full professor with a daughter who is now a pre-teen. What is more, I am now a regular blogger for the Mama, Ph.D. column in Inside Higher Ed. While I have, for some time, been a math professor by day and an economist by night, I now consider myself to be somewhat of a part-time writer, too. Being published in that book opened options for me that I previously did not know existed.

Five years ago, most of us would not have known what a “MOOC” was, nor would many of us have given a second thought to the plight of our adjunct professors among us, or the large amount of debt that some of our students take on to earn their degrees. The academic would has changed greatly in these past five years, but many of the challenges for women remain. The tenure clock still strikes women at the heart of their child-bearing years, and many women still find themselves making compromises with their careers in order to find a balance between being an academic and being a mother. I would like to see academic institutions evolve in the coming years to better support parents of both genders who want to contribute as academics and also do their best as parents. In addition, I hope that some of the issues that seem to bring “disruption” to academia help us all evolve into a part of the economy that can best use the talents and skills of all of those working in this sector.