AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of 21 April, 2006
eds. Patricia Knezek, Jim Ulvestad, & Joan Schmelz
This week's issues:

1. Mothers in Academia

2. St. Cloud State University Positions

3. How to submit, subscribe, or unsubscribe to AASWOMEN

1. Mothers in Academia
From: Meg Urry [meg.urryyale.edu]

I just got this very inspiring note from a young physicist, about combining 
family and work. Since I know this is a frequent topic of discussion on 
AASWOMEN, I asked her if I could forward it to this listserv and she agreed. 
I hope young women are encouraged by this very positive experience.


Dear Prof. Urry,

I read the cover article in the recent Yale Alumni Magazine about mothers 
in academia.  I just wanted to tell you how refreshing it was to read your 
point of view in the middle of an article that was otherwise largely 
pessimistic.  I recall reading similar comments from you once previously 
as well.

Having gotten married in my early twenties, I felt that starting my family 
toward the end of my Ph.D. in physics was a great time.  When would I ever 
be more flexible?  I also felt that I'd be able to take on even greater 
responsibility and leadership later on in my career, with older, more 
independent children by then.  And with some advance planning, I didn't 
feel I was limiting my short-term career progress at all.

My son is now 17 months old, and everything has gone extremely well for me.  
I knew travel would be more difficult for a while after I had him, so I gave 
18 talks in the 12 months before he was born.  I defended my thesis the day 
before his first birthday, getting my Ph.D. from Columbia in a total of seven 
semesters, so even if it took me a few months longer than it might have 
otherwise (which may or may not have been the case, since I believe in some 
respects I would have been less motivated to finish quickly), my Department 
certainly couldn't object.  Interrupting postdoc interviews to pump milk 
didn't seem to hurt me, either, as I received offers from five of the six 
institutions with which I interviewed.  All along the way, I was pleased 
to see how supportive just about everyone around me was of my decision.

I commend you for setting a confident example for others to see and follow.  
As you say, women who end up in academia are by nature among the most 
advantaged and resourceful of all working women.  If we can't perform our 
jobs well while simultaneously dedicating ourselves to our families, who can?

Christine Aidala
Yale College 1999, Physics

2. St. Cloud State University Positions 
From: Harlander, John M.  [Harlanderstcloudstate.edu]

The Department of Physics, Astronomy, and Engineering Science at St. Cloud 
State University invites applications for two Fixed Term positions at the 
level of Instructor or Assistant Professor.  Appointment will begin on August 
28, 2006.   A M.S. in physics or related area is required with preference 
given to candidates with a PhD.    The successful candidates will be expected 
to teach undergraduate courses with laboratories at all levels in the 
department.   One of the candidates will be expected to teach a junior-level 
electronics course.  Both candidates will be also expected to participate in
continual development of departmental curriculum and assessment activities 
and have demonstrated ability to teach and work with persons from culturally 
diverse backgrounds.  To apply, send a letter of application, curriculum 
vitae and have three letters of reference sent to: Search Committee, Dept. 
of Physics, Astronomy, & Engineering Science, St. Cloud State University, 
MS-324, 720 !
4th Avenue S., St. Cloud, MN 56301-4498.  Email applications will not be 
considered.  Review of applications will begin May 12, 2006 and will 
continue until the positions are filled.   SCSU is committed to excellence 
and actively supports cultural diversity. To promote this endeavor, we 
invite individuals who contribute to such diversity to apply, including
minorities, women, GLBT, persons with disabilities.  

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