From the regional chapter of VPhD:
Our next VPhD Western Mass meeting will feature Heidi
Garrett-Peltier (PhD Economics). Heidi is a researcher at the
Political Economy Research Institute who will discuss her own
“alt-ac” career and give advice to those looking at or thinking
about a profession utilizing research skills–skills that are honed
in the process of obtaining a PhD. Note that she is not speaking on
behalf of PERI, but of her own observations and experience.
For those of you who attended Chris Humphrey’s talk, alt-ac would
constitute one of his four quadrants of career opportunities for
PhDs. Research positions, however, can be both within higher
education institutions or outside of them. In fact, many are
somewhere in between.
So if you’re thinking about a post-PhD career using your research
skills, whether you’re in HSS or STEM, come talk to Heidi about what
she sees as important in obtaining this type of position. More
information will follow. Heidi is local, so you can speak to her in
We will meet at the Amherst Room of the Jones Library (upstairs), 43
Amity Street, in downtown Amherst. Time: 6:00 p.m.
This is an interesting item on the adjunct situation from administrators’ point of view.
There’s now a local chapter of Versatile Ph.D.! They will be hosting a session this coming Saturday, February 7, with Chris Humphrey of Jobs on Toast (see jobsontoast.com). The topic: “How to market yourself for a career outside academia.” Jones Library, Amherst Room, 1-3 PM.
We’ll have more to say soon about common ground and possible collaboration with VPhD.
So I walked into Amherst Books the other day, and there on the front table was the latest from Emily Monosson, Unnatural Selection: How We Are Changing Life, Gene by Gene. Emily is a toxicologist and an impressive example of what an independent scholar can be and do. This book explores the effects on natural selection of chemicals developed by human beings and used for human purposes.
Read more about the book here: http://islandpress.org/unnatural-selection
Emily Monosson is also the author of Evolution in a Toxic World: How Life Responds to Chemical Threats, and editor of Motherhood: The Elephant in the Laboratory. And she developed the “Science Moms” blog (see blogroll to the right).
Just a couple of news items: Longtime independent scholar Ray Kibler is organizing a conversation at the upcoming meeting of the American Academy of Religion in San Diego, hoping to bring together independent scholars and those employed in the academy.
And the American Historical Association is conducting an extensive and thorough study of contingent faculty. “It is impossible to develop practical policy recommendations when we know so little about the influence of crucial variables in shaping this population,” notes of the committee responsible for the survey. Watch this space for further news.
For those of you who teach as adjuncts, or have taught in that capacity, here are a couple of interesting items.
The UMass faculty union, the Massachusetts Society of Professors, is taking an interest these days in adjuncts who teach in the Division of Continuing and Professional Education. Read about it here: http://umassmsp.org/cpe
And here is a story from an adjunct professor who used to be on the tenure track, tellingly titled “I Used to Be a Good Teacher.” What she says about teaching in a vacuum is especially astute. Check it out. Thanks to Elizabeth for this. https://chroniclevitae.com/news/668-i-used-to-be-a-good-teacher?cid=gs&utm_source=gs&utm_medium=en