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Returning to the land of the employed June 28, 2016

Posted by mareserinitatis in career, engineering, teaching.
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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.

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Comments»

1. The Smiling Pilgrim - June 28, 2016

Haha we all really like dog and cat pictures though!

In all seriousness best of luck on your job and continued happiness 🙂 Go get em!

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2. Ronica - June 28, 2016

So happy for you! And your assessment of big research Unis is spot on. This is what my husband deals with daily (and he’s totally interdisciplinary.) I hope you love it there!

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3. Doug LeQuire - June 29, 2016

W00t!…and congratulations! Best of luck in getting the “baby” program out of the nest and flying high. I’m still looking for full-time employment myself so I know what the struggle is like all too well.

Unrelated side note: In this time of political messiness, have you ever wondered how the whole dominant-two-party system came to be in the first place? Time to put in a shameless plug for my favorite YouTuber, CGP Grey. He’s and educator who’s posted an excellent series of short videos, including quite a few on voting systems, the Electoral College, etc. In your free time (what little you probably have :-)), check out his video on “first-past-the-post” voting and proceed from there. I promise, it’ll be well worth it.

Anyway, best of luck again on the new job, and maybe we’ll bump into each other at a Lovely Dozen event up in G.F. or somewhere.

P.S. I can teach Younger Son how to do a mean stir-fry…even if he doesn’t have a wok. Although a nice hand-hammered wok would help.

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4. Zane - June 29, 2016

Knock ’em dead!

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5. nicoleandmaggie - July 6, 2016

Congratulations!

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mareserinitatis - July 7, 2016

Thanks!

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6. xykademiqz - August 26, 2016

Congratulations — I just saw this! This is wonderful news! And it’s great you don’t have to move cross country for the job. So happy for you!

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