Page 65 - Summer 2018
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“Through the years, there have been a lot of compromises to make the two-body equation work. I have been encour- aged to apply for great positions in DC, Massachusetts, and even Italy. However, accepting a job in any of these locations would have disrupted my husband’s position. Therefore, we have chosen to stay and enjoy Austin.”
Be Patient
Tessa Bent (ASA Strategic Task Force 2 Chair) and her hus- band needed patience as they navigated the uncertainties as- sociated with securing suitable jobs. Tessa and her husband met when she was working as a postdoctoral fellow at Indi- ana University (IU), Bloomington.
“One of the most difficult aspects of our career situations was that I was looking for faculty positions. I had known for years that I would need to go wherever the job took me and that I may not have a lot of choice about where that would be if I wanted a tenure-track position. For my husband, this very “up-in-the-air” existence was a challenge; as a comput- er programmer, he could essentially live anywhere he liked. The stars eventually did align, and one month before our wedding, I was offered a faculty position in the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences at IU. We were happy living in Bloomington and thus the decision to take the position was straightforward. Again, we prioritized my career over the next few years. My husband consulted part time, and af- ter three years, took a full-time position within the Informa- tion Technology Systems Department in Bloomington. Al- though it took many years, we are quite happy to both have full-time jobs that we find fulfilling.”
Be Realistic
When Megan Ballard (ASA Underwater Acoustics Technical Committee \\\\\\\[TC\\\\\\\] Chair) was two years into a PhD at Pennsyl- vania State University, University Park, her husband took a job at ARL:UT, selected such that Megan would have oppor- tunities to participate in the student community at UT and collaborate with researchers at ARL while finishing her PhD.
“The next step in my career was to obtain a postdoc position. Together, my husband and I decided it made the most sense for me to do my postdoc at ARL:UT because he was already working there. Because the postdoc would only be a tempo- rary position for me, it did not make sense for us to move to a new city where my husband (who was becoming an es- tablished researcher at ARL:UT) would also have to find a temporary job. Near the end of my postdoc, I interviewed for several faculty and research positions. I received one job
offer from a prestigious research university, but, ultimately, I did not take the job. The reasons were partially because my husband was reluctant to move to a new city without a job lined up for himself and also because I was pregnant with our first child and not confident about starting a demand- ing job with a new baby in an unfamiliar city without any support system. After much consideration and prayer, we decided to stay at ARL:UT, and I was hired as a research as- sociate. ARL:UT is a great place for both of us to work, and we have both developed successful careers.”
Be Creative
Andrew Morrison (ASA Musical Acoustics TC Chair) and his wife experienced many years of commuting; she com- muted a long distance while he was in graduate school, and then they worked and lived two hours apart and saw each other on the weekends.
“During this time, I applied for and was offered my ‘dream job’ out of state. At the same time, my wife was earning an- other promotion and raise, and, ultimately, we decided that her career was going to determine where we lived. I turned down the dream job and worked a string of visiting faculty appointments for six years before I was offered a tenure- track position at a community college in the area.
“I certainly did not anticipate teaching at a two-year col- lege, and building a research program there has been more challenging than it would have been at a university, but my college has always tried to give me whatever I have asked for with an educational purpose. So, although it doesn’t look like what I thought it would, I am ultimately doing what I set out to do originally: teach and use research as an extension of teaching.”
Be Open-Minded
Veerle Keppens (ASA Physical Acoustics TC Chair) met her husband at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Ten- nessee, when she was a visiting postdoc from Belgium. They were engaged when her fellowship required her to return to Belgium for two years. After a few months, she applied for a physics faculty position at the University of Mississippi (UM), Oxford.
“I’d only been a couple months out of the country, but I decided to apply anyway to see what would happen. They ended up offering me the job and found an exception to the fellowship rule. I took the faculty position at UM, which was only 500 miles, instead of 5,000 miles, away from my fiancé. Measurable progress.”
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