Returning to the land of the employed June 28, 2016Posted by mareserinitatis in career, engineering, teaching.
Tags: academia, career, job
I’m so excited! I finally have something to post about! And it’s not just cat and dog pictures! Or discussions about comic book characters!
I will be starting a new job in the fall as an engineering professor at a small liberal arts college.
I’ll be honest: no one is more surprised about this than me. Until recently, I hadn’t ever thought about liberal arts colleges as a possible career choice. Over the past couple of years, however, I’ve gotten the sense that I don’t fit well into a lot of research universities. Despite a lot of places saying they wan’t people who do interdisciplinary research, it’s become pretty plain that they still want you to have all your degrees in one field. Grant reviewers don’t like grants that are too far outside their expertise, either, which makes it hard to get funding.
All of that pushed me to start thinking about liberal arts colleges, particularly since I have a strong interest in education and pedagogy. That ended up being a good decision.
The program is brand new, so I’ll be setting up some classes and labs from scratch. While that’s daunting, it’s also exciting, especially because of the educational aspect. Designing classes around a student-centered, hands-on approach is going to be easier (I hope) than trying to remake everything. I hope my students will be okay being guinea pigs. I’m certainly okay with getting to play with lab equipment. The classes will initially be pretty small, but I don’t think they’ll ever get huge. (I’ve been informed the largest classes at the school are around 50-60 students, and those aren’t common.)
The down side is that the school isn’t in town, so I’m in the process of finding a buying a new place to live. It IS close enough that I’ll be able to come home frequently, but a little too far for a daily commute. I am therefore also in the process of trying to teach the younger offspring how to cook…well, something other than mac and cheese or toast.
Anyway, the pace of life has definitely picked up, but that’s a good thing.