GenX women in higher ed from around the globe

Author Archive

What’s New at University of Venus? Week Ending 12 May 2012

In Announcements on 2012/05/19 at 10:58
What’s New at UVenus:

What’s New With Our Writers:

  • Lee Skallerup Bessette at ProfHacker’s Teaching Carnival.
  • Ernesto Priego will present a poster at the 1st meeting of digital humanists Red HD in Mexico City. Ernesto has also been organising the book launch of the graphic memoir for children he edited. It will be on Monday 28th May at the Free Word Centre, in London, England.

Our Writers At Other Blogs:

Coming Up:

  • Don’t miss the next #Femlead Twitter chat, on writing and leadership, led by Liana Silva (@literarychica) on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 from 2-230pm EDT.

This post was also published in Inside Higher Ed

What’s New at University of Venus? Week Ending 28 April 2012

In Announcements on 2012/05/09 at 21:50

What’s New at UVenus:

What’s New With Our Writers:

  • Dr. Liana Silva successfully defended her dissertation on April 23rd, 2012 at Binghamton University.
  • Anamaria Dutceac Segesten participated with a paper on religion and nationalism at the 17th Convention of the Association for the Study of Nationalities, Columbia University, New York
  • Melonie Fullick joined the McMaster Public Intellectuals Project (Twitter page is here) working on social media management and research/editing.
  • Janni Aragon participated in a presentation about Twitter Outside and Inside the Classroom; gave a presentation on the 2012 Presidential Election to Silver Threads, a local Active Seniors organization; and co-organized-Breathe Now, a women’s conference.  Janni is finishing up her first year as the Chair of the Academic Women’s Caucus and looks forward to next year’s array of event.
  • Afshan Jafar was a speaker at TEDxConnecticutCollege, April 14, 2012. The theme for the event was “Rethinking Progress” and she spoke on the subject of “Women’s Bodies”. Link to videos coming soon!

Our Writers At Other Blogs:

Coming Up:

This post was also published in Inside Higher Ed

What’s New at UVenus? 14 April 2012

In Announcements on 2012/04/26 at 00:08

What’s New at UVenus:

●        Elizabeth Lewis Pardoe for University of Venus at The Guardian with What Would You Teach if You Could Teach Anything?

●        If you missed our recent #femlead Twitter chat on Sponsorship and led by Jo VanEvery, you can catch up by reading through the archives on Storify.


What’s New With Our Writers:

●       Janni Aragon attended the International Studies Association ( #isa2012 #genderingISA ) and gave two presentations. One on the Teaching Innovations in Feminist International Relations  and the other on Writing Op-Eds. With both presentations she was able to speak to feminisms, gender, and social media.

●        Deanna England presented her paper on Slutwalks at the University of Winnipeg Women and Gender Studies conference last weekend, as a result is now part of a feminist book club – because apparently she doesn’t already have enough reading to do.

●        Mary Churchill and other members of the Education District Committee met with Boston’s Mayor Tom Menino to discuss priorities for Boston’s new Education District in Dudley Square in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston.



Our Writers At Other Blogs:

●        Janni Aragon commented on Students and Email and also commented in two parts about an anti-bullying workshop she attended.

●        Melonie Fullick discussed #DayOfHigherEd, and also Canada’s new Senate Committee report on post-secondary accessibility, at her blog Speculative Diction.


Coming Up:

●         #Femlead Twitter chat on Public Engagement, Higher Education, and Women’s Leadership, led by Mary Churchill (@mary_churchill) on Tuesday, April 24, 2012 from 2-230pm EDT.

This post was also published in Inside Higher Ed

What’s New at University of Venus? 31 March 3012

In Announcements on 2012/04/14 at 22:39

What’s New at UVenus:

  • If you missed the recent #femlead Twitter chat on Mentorship, led by Brenda Bethman, you can find the transcript here.

What’s New With Our Writers:

Our Writers At Other Blogs:

Coming Up:

  • Jo VanEvery will moderate our next #femlead chat on Twitter. April 10, 2012 at 2pm EST. The topic will be Sponsorship.
  • Tomorrow, Monday April 2, will be the first #dayofhighered. Please write, talk, take pictures, and share what your day is really like as a higher education professional.

This post was also published in Inside Higher Ed

Talking Back to Academic Stereotypes

In Conversations on 2012/04/11 at 22:00

Each month, the writers at University of Venus share their answers to a question we pose for the higher education sector.

This month’s question comes to us from Melonie Fullick: What is your least favourite stereotype about academic work?

Melonie’s question for March is prompted partly in response to a recent controversial piece in the Washington Post – Do College Professors Work Hard Enough?. Also see Kaustuv Basu’s response at Inside Higher Ed.

Bonnie Stewart (Canada)

Perhaps the stereotype of academia that frustrates me most on a daily basis – other than the notion that ideas are inherently impractical – is the binary stereotype of faculty vs. administration. I know it gets enacted and perpetuated on both sides, and it has roots in very real differences in perspective on what we are doing in the complicated institutions that are universities. But. But. The more the stereotype gets thrown around and taken up in media, the simpler it becomes, somehow: the more “real.” And then we players take up our various roles and the show goes on. I’ve sat on both sides of the fence; I’ve played my part in reinforcing the walls. And there are real critiques to be made, don’t get me wrong. But this binary opposition? Gives the impression not only of camps but of two equally legitimate yet irreconcilable positions. And I don’t believe that’s true on any count.

Elizabeth Lewis Pardoe (US)

The assumption that all ‘teaching’ happens either in a lecture hall or a laboratory raises my ire.  Some of our students’ most profitable pedagogical moments happen in conversations apart from the structured curriculum.  Faculty and staff presence – mental, physical, and emotional at department parties, dorm events, or just stopping to chat in the hall – transforms the student experience as powerfully as any lecture, lab demonstration, or seminar discussion, but these hours rarely count as valuable and thus billable.

Sarah Emily Duff (South Africa)

I am annoyed by the stereotype that those of us in the humanities and the social sciences don’t work as hard, or produce work as ‘important’ (whatever we may mean by that), as those in engineering, maths, or the natural sciences. This is an irritant on a kind of mundane level – on the level of snide comments from scientist colleagues – but it trickles down to the way in which we’re funded. At a recent meeting about postdoctoral funding provided by the state, I commented that the money available to humanities scholars was considerably less than that for natural scientists. Not only was my annoyance greeted with amusement, but neither the university nor the funding body were willing to engage with my views.

Melonie Fullick (Canada)

The idea that learning and teaching can be rationalised, managed, quantified and controlled. The more governments, students and families “invest” in education, the more we see pressure for accountability about “results”. But as Elizabeth mentions (above) teaching and learning don’t just happen in the classroom during scheduled hours, which is why it’s so hard to “pin down” how much time it takes to learn and exactly how it happens. We also haven’t found a way to measure learning, so attempts at “quality control” in education often do as much harm as good. We’re trying to standardize something that’s pretty idiosyncratic, and when we impose measures on the un-measurable we’re also creating false expectations. So to see these assumptions reinforced on a regular basis in the media is incredibly frustrating.

Afshan Jafar (US)

The idea that the total number of hours we work can be quantified by simply adding our time in the classroom and office hours per week, drives me crazy! That’s simply show time…there’s a lot of work that needs to be done backstage and offstage which most people don’t think about. And that’s just the teaching aspect of our jobs! Don’t get me started about research and service…

Anamaria Dutceac Segesten (Sweden)

I find the idea of the academic as  a nerd to be quite unfair and irritating. I think the iconic photo of Albert Einstein has had a contagious effect and now the quintessential image of the academic/researcher is something between a madman with a bad hair day and a misunderstood genius (and most often a man, as well). Most of these stereotypical academics also wear thick glasses, spend most of their time in a lab, have problems expressing themselves in a common language and feel uneasy in the real world. Obviously, nothing could be further from the truth. We Generation X women have, among other things, the mission to dispel these false notions about academics and let the world see us as we are, beautiful people engaged in and with our societies, who can talk to both the grocer and to the President.

Janni Aragon (Canada)

My least favorite stereotype about academic work is the idea that I don’t work a 40 hour work week. I have kept track and I work between 55-70 hours. I more than earn my salary. Most weeks I work for a few hours on both Saturday and Sunday.

Lee Skallerup Bessette (US)

I can’t stand that people think that I  have no idea what the “real world” is like because academia is so unlike the real world. Like getting fired or no job security or low pay or “expecting results” (anyone remember this scene in Ghostbusters?)Certainly we run on a different schedule, but we deal with all of the same job-related stresses as most professionals (as tenure-track professors) and, let’s be honest, low-wage workers (on the adjunct side). It’s different, but no different than being a doctor, versus being a middle-manager, versus being in sales, versus running your own business.

And that we get 2-4 months off for summer.

Ana Dinescu (Germany)

I cannot stand the dream that academic work is purely academic work. I am keeping myself as far as possible from the image of the academic spending hours and days in the libraries, writing amazing and outstanding books and articles. I wish this is true, but I know that the reality is rather different. Sometimes, you should spend more time writing financial reports than sharing your research and, last but not least, you should take more jobs to enable you to save at least two or three months for independent writing and research.

What about you? Which stereotype pushes you over the edge?

This post was also published in Inside Higher Ed

What’s New at University of Venus? 24 March 2012

In Announcements on 2012/04/06 at 00:10

What’s New at UVenus:

  • If you missed our #femlead Twitter chat on Bridging the Global Divide in Higher Education, hosted by Anamaria Dutceac, you can find the transcript here.

What’s New With Our Writers:

  • Elizabeth Lewis Pardoe attended Northwestern University’s 2012 Best Practices Forum: Ideas to Action and acted on the networking lessons of the UVenus Challenge.
  • Melonie Fullick spoke about academics “building paths to impact” using social media,  at TEDx York U in Toronto on March 10th.
  • Deanna England will be presenting a paper on the implication of skin in relation to the SlutWalk movement at the University of Winnipeg Women and Gender Studies Colloquium on March 31.
  • Janni Aragon gave an invited lecture for the UVIC Recruitment offices to prospective students and their parents and she was on the Real Parenting Radio Show CFAX 1070 talking about Breathe Now and Tweens, Teens and Popular Culture.
  • Mary Churchill acted as a process observer at the March 10th launch of the Improving School Choice initiative with the Boston Public Schools.

Our Writers At Other Blogs:

Coming Up:

  • Don’t miss Tuesday’s #femlead Twitter chat on Mentoring, hosted by Brenda Bethman.

This post was also published in Inside Higher Ed.

What’s New at UVenus? 17 March 2012

In Announcements on 2012/04/02 at 22:22

What’s New at UVenus:

What’s New With Our Writers:

  • Janni Aragon had several Breath Now meetings as the women’s conference date approaches (April 14 and 15 2012).
  • Bonnie Stewart finished teaching for the term, and was part of an exciting revisioning process for UPEI’s Bachelor of Education program.
  • Sarah Emily Duffhas booked her ticket to attend the Colonial Girls/Colonial Girlhoods conference at the University of Melbourne in June. She was also one of a group of lecturers honoured as inspiring teachers by Stellenbosch University.

Our Writers At Other Blogs:

Coming Up:

  • Bonnie Stewart’s proposed session “Beyond the Walls of the Academy: Massive Open Online Courses and the New Game of Higher Education” was accepted to the Society for Digital Humanities SEMI at Canada’s Congress 2012.
  • Ernesto Priego will be a guest speaker at the “Cradled in Caricature” symposium at the University of Kent. His talk is titled “Enabling Comic and Cartoon Art Digital Research: The British Cartoon Archive Online as an Open Educational Resource. A Digital Humanities Perspective”. The draft programme is here.

In Case You Missed it on Twitter:

What’s New at UVenus? 3 March 2012

In Announcements on 2012/03/20 at 07:04

What’s New at UVenus:

●  UVenus at the Guardian – Janine Utell – To Manage or Lead? Applying management theory in the classroom.

●  UVenus at ProfHacker – Elizabeth Lewis Pardoe’s UVenus post, “What If You Could Do Anything?”, was included in the March edition of Prof Hacker’s Teaching Carnival.

●  In partnership with Student Affairs Women Talk Tech, UVenus launched the #femlead Twitter chat focused on women, leadership, and higher ed. The first chat was led by Janine Utell and focused on service v. leadership and led to blog posts from Liz Gloyn at Classically Inclined and from Jo VanEvery. Read more here.


What’s New With Our Writers:

●  Janni Aragon participated on a panel about higher education job market. The attendees were graduated students participating in a professional development series. Janni also gave a presentation to the Federation of British Columbia Community Social Services, Social Media Communication Management and Community Building: Engaging, and Communicating the CSS Goals and Janni gave a talk “Social Media Movement: More than A Moment for Feminisms” at Idea Wave in Victoria, BC.



Our Writers At Other Blogs:

●   Janni Aragon revisited an old post and updated it: Mentoring Grad Students and also reminded students about the importance of planning.

●   Elizabeth Lewis Pardoe finally registered her own “.com” domain, where she muses about a Celtic March.

●   The March edition of  ProfHacker‘s Teaching Carnival included multiple posts from Lee Skallerup Bessette.

How Do You Use Social Media?

In Announcements on 2012/03/17 at 04:58

Each month, the writers at University of Venus share their answers to a question we pose for the higher education sector.

This month’s question comes to us from Janni Aragon.

Janni asks: “Do you find that social media platforms help you with your teaching, research or advising?”.

Ana Dinescu (Germany)The main objection against social media may be that it is time consuming and encourages procrastination. But used wisely, it may provide valuable resources for academics: you may be notified about conferences, new research tools, latest news in the world of academia or valuable articles. All you need is to define your target groups and goals and to focus your social media activity on exploring such resources.

Elizabeth Lewis Pardoe (US)I am tempted to leave it at a one word answer, “Yes!”  I use social media to keep in touch with alumni advisees, students on study abroad, and funding bodies.  I’ve found out about stellar students from their online profiles and been able to give stern lectures to others.  Funding bodies review our student’s profiles.  I want to see them first!

Anamaria Dutceac Segesten (Sweden) I totally embrace social media for academic purposes. It’s piggybacking on some existing habits that students/young people have developed for their private information consumption. If they are online on Facebook or Twitter anyway, why not meet them there, give them a reason to visit academic websites as well, not just entertainment sites. I believe the integration of social media with academic communication to be a success.

Meg Palladino (US)My main use of social media has been as an administrator.  I use Facebook and Twitter to communicate with current and prospective students, as well as colleagues across the world.   I am using LinkedIn to create alumni groups.  These platforms seem to be more effective than email or newsletters much of the time.

Sarah Emily Duff (South Africa) I think we need to specify what we mean by social media: Facebook is useful for keeping up with fellow academics, but I avoid contacting students on it. Twitter is great for networking, although I’ve yet to use it for teaching. Social networking shrinks the academic world: it facilitates faster and more frequent communication. It helps me to feel more in touch with what’s going on abroad.

Melonie Fullick (Canada) I always hate to be an evangelist, but I’ve found that social media have been so useful for so many professional purposes–I recommend their use to everyone. Of course use is context-dependent, but I think academics from very different disciplines are taking up these tools, adapting them to their purposes. I’ve found Twitter invaluable for “networking”, connecting with others who share my interests (higher education policy and theory, and organizational change); it’s also a great way to share news and other relevant items, and start conversations. I have a blog that helps me to make a contribution to the public discussion of  issues relevant to my research.

Liana Silva (US) Social media has been invaluable for me. When I moved away from my home institution to a new city with my family, I had half of a dissertation chapter. Also, I knew almost no one in this new place. Through social media I have found readers for my work but I have also found support and motivation. Social media has provided me with a sense of academic community I had lost when I moved.

Itır Toksöz (Turkey) The best use I have gotten out of social media so far is to connect with academic friends and to share their experiences.  Social media as a place where I get informed about peers’ perspectives on different issues in higher education or in international politics is an alternative resource for me,  which is often highly interesting and original.

Lee Skallerup Bessette (US) How don’t I use social media! I primarily use it to connect with fellow teachers and academics, like with #FYCchat, a weekly chat for those of us who teach Freshman Writing. I’ve been slowly integrating Social Media use in my classes, with varying degrees of success. My students are quite resistant to technology and I am still trying to find ways to make things like Twitter and blogging more relevant. However, my students have readily embraced Facebook as a teaching tool, creating their own course pages, interactive group projects, and other uses as well. This is what they came up with.

Bonnie Stewart (Canada) Social media is the subject of my research, but it’s also the means by which a great deal of it happens. It’s a constant, reflexive chorus for me: research links, new connections, conversations and new perspectives, input on what I share of my emerging work. It’s also a venue for me to mentor students: increasingly, I encourage my B.Ed students to get Twitter accounts so as to participate in the ongoing professional development and networking available to educators there.

Rosalie Arcala Hall (Philippines)- I haven’t been using social media for my classes that extensively. For communicating with them and posting class announcements, I still use good old fashioned email (list generated from addresses gathered at the start of classes). As an administrator, I find social media more effective in disseminating news and gathering quick responses to surveys but not for academic content sharing and opinion expression.


What about you, how do you use social media?

What’s New at University of Venus? 18 February 2012

In Announcements on 2012/03/14 at 07:58

What’s New at UVenus:

●  UVenus was mentioned in 109 Low, The Newsletter of the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences at Columbia University, with a link to Anamaria Dutceac’s recent post.

What’s New With Our Writers:

●  Janni Aragon attended a Town Hall and Live Tweeted the proceedings and she  attended the Canadian Political Science Association pre-conference Chairs’ Meeting. Janni is also enjoying extra meetings during the students’ Reading Break!

●  Rosalie Arcala Hall was reappointed member of the Philippine Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Technical Panel for Political Science. The Technical Panel formulates standards for tertiary educational institutions in the Philippines offering bachelors and graduate degrees in Political Science.

Our Writers At Other Blogs:

●  Janni Aragon offered some advice to undergraduates thinking about life postgraduation  responded to Liana Silva’s post about the importance of supportive networks and is thinking about how organization is useful.

●   Ernesto Priego wrote about continuity in periodical comic books on the Comics Grid and wrote about the spectre haunting Britain: the spectre of Charles Dickens… on Replicante Mag. [Spanish] Ernesto also storified the Digital Publishing Forum on “Measuring the Reader” at University College London and The Comics Grid was featured with a profile at the Comics Bulletin!

●   Lee Skallerup Bessette explains her digital humanities project at the Editing Modernism in Canada site and also gets back to the business of editing her book on Dany Laferriere.

●   At her blog Speculative Diction, Melonie Fullick discussed the difficulties of teaching teacher candidates about knowledge from beyond the school walls, and examined the proposed “teaching-intensive” universities in Ontario.

●   Elizabeth Lewis Pardoe collapses with indecision over how to spend her exercise time.

Coming Up:

●   Rosalie Arcala Hall received word that their team’s bid to conduct an impact evaluation of KALAHI-CIDSS (anti-poverty) program in the Philippines under the (US) Millennium Challenge Fund was approved. Kudos to colleague Dr. Cristina Lim of Ateneo de Naga University for putting together the bid. Rosalie is scheduled to lead a team of field researchers in Western Visayas for data gathering in April and May. Bring it on! Rosalie joins Dr. Agnes Rola of U.P. Los Banos team as Political Science expert in the water governance proposal, which moved onto a next stage in the competition for Emerging Interdisciplinary Research in the UP System. Fingers crossed, we get funded and start rolling by July.