Mama, PhD at UC Riverside

May 19th, 2009

A nice piece today in the Press-Enterprise about the women who organized our event at UC Riverside:

In 2006, Cassandra Vasquez, a UC Riverside graduate student researcher, was shocked she didn’t qualify for maternity leave and surprised how little information there was on campus for soon-to-be mothers.

When seeking advice, a university official told her to take academic leave — a move that would have cut her off from everything from her student housing to library privileges. Instead, she spent hours researching options.

She worked out a solution, thanks in part to an understanding adviser. It has allowed her to, first, care for her daughter, and second, continue studying wasps as an alternative to pesticides. She expects to graduate in a year.

Hoping future graduate students won’t go through a similar situation, Vasquez and fellow graduate student/mom Genet Tulgetske have organized a panel discussion Wednesday about parenthood and academia.

Click here to read the rest! And contact us at editors AT if you’d like us to come to your campus!

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Happy Mother’s Day from Moms Rising!

May 6th, 2009

In appreciation for the hard work of mothers everywhere, MomsRising has made it possible for every mom to get a personalized Mother of the Year award — announced online in a faux news cast. Check it out! Send it to your favorite mothers so that they can be congratulated by President Obama, celebrated by Hollywood stars, praised by a remarkably articulate baby, and more. Make sure to check out the crawl under the newscast; they snuck in a nice little bit of educational content.

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Good News for Working Women

January 29th, 2009

I’m thrilled that President Obama has signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act today, a big step toward assuring women equal pay for equal work:

“Goodyear will never have to pay me what it cheated me out of. In fact, I will never see a cent from my case,” Ledbetter said. “But with the … president’s signature today, I will have an even richer reward. I know that my daughters and granddaughters and your daughters and your granddaughters will have a better deal.”

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Seeking Input on “Engaged Scholarship”

December 1st, 2008

Our good friend Girl w/Pen wants to hear from you! From her blog today:

At the gracious invitation of the wonderful and savvy Renee Cramer (see her prescient GWP post, “This Bridge Called Barack”, from February), I am giving a workshop at Drake University on Friday on the topic of being an engaged scholar. Engaged, as in, with a public outside of the academy. As always, I’m encouraging folks to try to FRAME issues in public debate rather than simply react when others do the framing for us, and rely on shoddy evidence to support their claims.

And so I thought I’d ask GWP readers who have had experiences “crossing over” from a more academically-inclined universe to more “pop” or public writing and speaking.

And if you have not (YET!) done some of that crossover activity but want to, what holds you back?  Please tell me, in comments.

Click on over to Girl w/Pen to give your response.

Calling Arkansas and Montreal Mothers in Academe

November 4th, 2008

Dear ARM Members and Friends,

Andrea O’Reilly will be in Little Rock, AK for a conference Nov 4-8 and Montreal, QC for a Fellowship Nov 11- Dec 10.

While there, she should like to do some interviews for her research on being a mother in academe.

For more information on this study, please visit

If you are interested in participating, please email Andrea directly at

Calling all Ohio Parents at Home with PhDs

October 7th, 2008

Calling all Stay-At-Home Doctorates!

We are exploring opportunities for stay-at-home Parents Holding Doctorates (PHD) to use their training and expertise in creative ways.

Monday October 13, 2008 7:00-8:00 pm


Wednesday October 15, 2008 1:00-2:00 pm

Museum of Biological Diversity
1315 Kinnear Road
Columbus, OH 43215

For more information, please contact
Joan Herbers herbers.4 AT osu DOT edu
Donna Wenzel dwwenzel AT msn DOT com

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Survey of PhDs in the Nonacademic Workforce

June 23rd, 2008

Listen up! Paula Chambers, of WRK4US, is conducting a survey of PhDs and ABDs who have left the academy and entered the nonacademic workforce.

“The purpose of the study is to provide a credible, research-based description of what those individuals feel, do and experience while transitioning into
post-academic careers. This information will be very helpful to
graduate students who feel anxious about making that decision, and
also to those who counsel them on career choices, such as career
counselors and professors.

I am looking for people who meet the following criteria:

* are PhD or ABD in any discipline (i.e., must have at least taken
qualifying exams)
* do not also have a JD, MD or MBA degree
* currently have a post-academic career (between jobs OK)
* are not currently a graduate student, tenure-track faculty member or
academic researcher in any academic department
* are not a K-12 teacher
* do not currently spend more than 10% of their total paid working
hours teaching or doing scholarly research.

If that’s you, you meet all the criteria and are invited to participate.

The study will be conducted by means of an online survey which will
take about 20 minutes to complete, plus however much discursive
writing the respondent chooses to do. All questions are optional.
Respondents can even go away and come back later: there is no pressure
to finish the whole thing in one sitting.

I cannot offer monetary compensation, but there are benefits.
Participating offers a rare opportunity to…

* Reflect on this important career transition
* Express your thoughts, feelings and experiences to a keenly
interested audience (me and my collaborator Dana Landis)
* Contribute to scholarly knowledge about people like you
* Relieve pain for grad students who would like to know what to expect
in this type of career transition

If you meet the criteria and would like to participate, here’s the link to the survey. If you’d like to know more about it, click anyway
and you will get more information. Clicking on the link does not
commit you to participate.

If you know other PhDs and ABDs who meet the criteria, please forward
this post to them so they can join in. We want the study
population to be as big and diverse as possible. Anyone who meets the
criteria is welcome and every response will be valued.”

Lovely Lady Lumps

December 15th, 2007

Read Elrena Evans’ column, “Lovely Lady Lumps” in the “Nutshell” section of the Winter 2008 issue of Brain, Child magazine. Elrena writes about the new trend in postpartum plastic surgery, with an insight into the issue from Mama, PhD contributor Jessica Smartt Gullion.

Mary Ann Mason at the Huffington Post

October 18th, 2007

Former UC Berkeley graduate dean, Mary Ann Mason, is now an occasional blogger over at the Huffington Post; check out her report on what young women want from their president:

*A Federal initiative for pre-school and after-school childcare for all families: a fact in many European countries

*A flexible work place that allows both mothers and fathers time off to accommodate pregnancy and the critical right to re-enter a full-time track when they are ready to do so.

*Part-time work that receives equal compensation to the rate of full-time work, with full benefits for those who work at least 50 percent of the time. This may be a permanent choice to many parents.

*Family leave that is fully paid for a minimum of 16 weeks (only California comes close to this goal.)

*Social security benefits which count periods of childcare at home

Now, that’s a plan I’d vote for. Let’s see if any of the candidates will add it to their platforms.

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Shortening the Road to the PhD

October 10th, 2007

Princeton’s work on shortening the amount of time it takes to earn a PhD merited an article in the New York Times recently. Readers, what do you think of this? While I don’t think it’s useful for people to languish in graduate school, one drawback of this plan (and similar ones at other universities) is that it can produce university professors without much teaching experience. I also don’t see any reference here to one often happy delay in a graduate career: starting a family. Now, if Princeton and other universities could continue to find ways to support their graduate students in their professional (writing groups; more frequent meetings with advisers) and personal lives (health benefits; parental leaves), then I’d stand up and cheer.

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