What It’s Like To Be A Woman In The Academy: Mentoring Edition by Linn Marie Tonstad

Linn Marie TonstadIn my first post, I promised to return to the topic of mentoring. Mentoring is a survival strategy for feminists inside hostile or difficult-to-navigate environments; in its best possibilities, mentoring is a strategy for flourishing, not just surviving. But when a mentoring relationship goes wrong, it is so destructive an experience that it may even be characterized as traumatic. Mentoring is also a practice rife with possibilities for abuse: the recent Yale study of gender bias in the sciences shows the extent to which gender alone serves as a significant variable for scientists assessing the possible rewards of mentoring a student.

I have given a lot of thought to mentoring in recent months – as I transition into new mentoring roles in a new institution, as I negotiate changing relationships with current and former mentors, as I reflect on successful and unsuccessful mentoring relationships I’ve been involved in, and as I seek to develop policies and practices that will serve me (and more importantly, my mentees) well.  Continue reading “What It’s Like To Be A Woman In The Academy: Mentoring Edition by Linn Marie Tonstad”

Getting Tenure, Part I: It Took a Village by Grace Yia-Hei Kao

 “[T]he many sacrifices made for my career have not been borne by me alone….Here are some of the ‘villagers’ to whom I owe a debt of gratitude.”

On December 1, 2011, the full professors at Claremont School of Theology unanimously recommended two of my colleagues and me for tenure. Provided that the Board of Trustees approves their recommendation and two extremes never come to pass (either “financial exigency” compels my institution to start laying off people willy-nilly or I do something professionally or morally egregious enough to be dismissed “for cause”), I now have a job for life! :)  Continue reading “Getting Tenure, Part I: It Took a Village by Grace Yia-Hei Kao”

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