Raising children is one of the most challenging and opportunity-filled experiences most people will take on in their lives. Raising children as a member of the academy brings an additional layer of complexity. This panel will present challenges and opportunities encountered by the panelists while raising children and trying to succeed in academia. The panelists will also provide concrete, achievable strategies that have worked for them to overcome those hurdles and how they have leveraged the opportunities available to them. The session will allow time for Q&A during which audience members can share their own challenges and success strategies with the broader group.
Some possible topics include:
- Emotional demands of mothering
- Timing the birth or adoption of children
- Traveling for work with children
- Succeeding on the tenure track with children
- Balancing the demands of children and a challenging job
Dr. Kaitlin Mallouk
Dr. Kaitlin Mallouk is a tenure-track Instructor in the Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Experiential Engineering Education at Rowan University. She has a BS in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University and an MS and PhD in Environmental Engineering in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois. Kaitlin has been married for 8 years and has a 4.5 year old son who was born while she and her husband were in graduate school and a 1 year old daughter who was a “perfectly timed” academic baby, born in May of 2016.
Dr. Rachel Louis Kajfez
Dr. Rachel Louis Kajfez is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Engineering Education at The Ohio State University. She earned her B.S. and M.S. degrees in Civil Engineering from Ohio State and earned her Ph.D. in Engineering Education from Virginia Tech. Her research interests focus on the intersection between motivation and identity of undergraduate and graduate students, first-year engineering programs, mixed methods research, and innovative approaches to teaching. She has a two year old son, Joey, who keeps her and her husband, Matt, on their toes all the time. She believes that flexibility is the key balancing both professional and personal success.
Dr. Cheryl A Bodnar
Dr. Bodnar is an Assistant Professor in the Experiential Engineering Education Department at Rowan University. Prior to coming to Rowan she worked as a non-tenure teaching assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh in the Chemical Engineering Department. Her research interests relate to the incorporation of active learning techniques such as game-based learning in undergraduate classes as well as integration of innovation and entrepreneurship into the engineering curriculum. In particular, she is interested in the impact that these tools can have on student perception of the classroom environment, motivation and learning outcomes. She was selected to participate in the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Frontiers of Engineering Education Symposium in 2013 and awarded the American Society for Engineering Education Educational Research Methods Faculty Apprentice Award in 2014. Dr. Bodnar has been married for 16 years and has two children; a girl that will be 11 years old in July and a boy that is turning 9 years old at the end of June. She spends her weekends watching her daughter play tennis and her son play hockey.
Dr. Mary E. Besterfield-Sacre
Dr. Mary Besterfield-Sacre is the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Nickolas A. DeCecco Professor in Industrial Engineering in the Swanson School of Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. She also serves as founding Director for the Engineering Education Research Center (EERC). Her principal research is in engineering education assessment, which has been funded by the NSF, Department of Ed, Sloan, EIF, and VentureWell. Regarding assessment, Dr. Sacre conducts primarily quantitative analyses and statistical modeling; and this work is well published in the engineering education literature. Dr. Sacre’s current research focuses on three distinct but highly correlated areas – innovative design and entrepreneurship, engineering modeling, and global preparedness in engineering. She also serves as an associate editor for the AEE Journal. Mary is married and has two wonderful active (and aggravating) teenagers (17 and 14)!
Dr. Mahnas Jean Mohammadi-Aragh
Dr. Jean Mohammadi-Aragh is an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Mississippi State University (MSU). Dr. Mohammadi-Aragh earned both her M.S. and B.S. in computer engineering from MSU, and her Ph.D. in engineering education from Virginia Tech. Her primary research focuses on the formation of engineers during their undergraduate degree program, and the use of computing to measure and support that formation. Dr. Mohammadi-Aragh has been recognized for her research with multiple awards including the 2013 ASEE Computers in Education Best Paper, the 2013 ASEE Educational Research and Methods Division Apprentice Faculty Grant, and the 2016 ASEE Aerospace Division’s Best Paper. Dr. Mohammadi-Aragh’s energetic and curious daughter was born in November 2016.