SWIG meeting at the AAG

(from the GPOW listserv, posted by the PSU SWIG)

“The Supporting Women in Geography (SWIG) organization at Penn State is organizing a roundtable discussion for all SWIG groups (and those who wish to start SWIG groups) at the upcoming AAG meeting in New York.
The meeting will take place from 12:40-2:20 in the Hilton Americas Hall on Sunday, February 26th (after the GPOW business meeting).

We’re hoping that the meeting will serve as a casual opportunity for all of the SWIG groups from around the country, as well as for any folks hoping to start a SWIG group, to come together and discuss ideas, share success stories, and gain inspiration.”


Negotiating a job offer

A recent study at UBC demonstrated the importance of a job contract’s starting salary.  The cumulative effects of the offer through the course of a career are huge.  (I’ll try to find this study and link it, if I do.)

So what do you do if you get a job offer?

Karen Kelsky (former professor and dept. head and now an academic coach) blogs at The Professor Is In and has some great advice. Here’s a snippet:

Do not, under any circumstances, accept the offer the same day they make it. When they call or email, answer pleasantly and politely, ‘Oh thank you. That is good news. I’m so pleased.’ And then say, ‘I’d like to know more about the offer. When can we discuss the details, and when can I expect a written contract?’ If the Department Head tries to push you for a commitment, simply repeat, “I am very happy for the offer, but I will need to discuss the terms and see the contract before I can make a final commitment. I very much look forward to discussing this further. I hope we can begin soon.'”

The politics of citation

The Female Science Professor blogs/questions the our practices of citation.  She writes:

“A group of colleagues makes a specific effort to cite each other’s papers — those paper not involving the author/s doing the citing, so no self-citation is involved — to help each other get their citation numbers up. They don’t gratuitously cite a paper that is irrelevant to the topic at hand, but they proactively seek opportunities to cite each other’s papers, and, given a range of options for citation of a particular point, they will choose to cite a paper by someone from this group.

If you have not participated in something like this, does it bother you that some people do this?”

She brings up questions about how cite, why, and what is the measurable impact.




What are you doing to enhance your research? How do you treat your research?

Jo VanEvery asks, “Are you treating your research like a hobby?”  She asks some critical questions, and here’s a snippet:

“Enjoyment doesn’t make research a hobby. Nor does struggling make it not a hobby. The key factor that distinguishes a hobby from a job is the value your work provides to someone else.

If you move on from your research before it is useful to someone else, you are not doing your job. You are treating your research as a hobby

If you believe that teaching in higher education requires teachers to be active scholars, what are you doing to ensure that you are an active scholar and that your scholarship has an impact on your teaching?”

How to write a book proposal

Some members of C-SWIG are at the stage where they are considering writing a book.  How does one go about it?  Along with asking mentors and friends to borrow their successful proposals (and don’t hesitate to ask them!), check out the sage advice at The Professor Is In.  The blog post(s) there speak to the various sections of a proposal as well as the submission process.  An excellent resource!  Also, check out some of their other entries, including about building a tenure file and creating a good CV.


How long are your assignments?

Aimée Morrison, over at Hook & Eye, offers a blog post about getting students to be better writers.

Here’s a snippet:

“I’ve dramatically reduced the length of writing assignments I give to students. I figure if I want to help them write and think better or more clearly, they need to write more carefully, more often, and revise and rework more substantively. If I want to teach careful writing, assign more frequent writing, and make rewriting integral to the course, well, the assignments have to be shorter.”

Join the conversation at Hook & Eye by engaging in the comments section there.

Interested in scholarly literature on gender and higher education?

This is just a reminder that our SWIG bibliography (on Zotero).  While it originated with literature in Geography, the bibliography draws heavily from  across disciplines. The bibliography is organized by theme (as well as cross-referenced) for topics including:

  • Academic culture
  • Activism in the academy
  • Equity in the academy
  • Gender in higher education
  • Mental health
  • Pedagogy
  • Publishing
  • Race
  • Tenure