Non-Academic Job Searches in DC – What to Know

by on 2014-07-14- 2 Comments

Many graduate students are expanding their job searches outside the academy.  As an advisor, I'm horribly underprepared at offering job advice outside of the academic job market – besides work you can get off of Craigslist, I've never held a real job.  Recently, I had a student come to me with questions about finding a job in the DC policy world.  I asked my great friend (and former student) Kate Kidder for her thoughts, which she agreed to allow me to post at the Duck.

For academic jobs, I really like Michael Flynn's thoughts at The Quantitative Peace.

Kate's Advice:

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An Open Letter from the New DGS

by on 2014-07-02- 11 Comments

Greetings, PhD Class of 2019.  Welcome.   We are excited for your arrival on campus later this summer.  As you enjoy your summer, I thought I’d take this opportunity to write you with some advice for your next adventure.  My comments are just based on my personal experiences but I thought maybe they would be of use to you as you start your PhD.

My first set of comments all revolve around one basic point: this isn’t an extension of undergrad.  The early course work you do in preparation for your PhD should be thought of as something completely different from your past experiences.  Even though the campus might look like your undergrad institution, even though there might be a football team and drink specials on Thursday nights – your days as a high-achieving undergrad are over.  For some of you, you might be 10 or 20 years post-undergrad. You might have multiple master’s degrees and real-world experience.  For others, you might have graduated just this summer.  For everyone, however, graduate school - at this program – is just beginning.  There are going to be lots of differences from your past experiences.  Let me highlight a few:

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ISA – Midwest: Please consider submitting to this conference!

by on 2014-06-30- 1 Comment

Please consider putting in a round-table, paper, or panel submission for the 2014 International Studies Association -Midwest Conference, to be held November 7th through the 9th at the Hilton-Ballpark in St. Louis.  The deadline for proposals is July 1st.

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What do we want? Labor Day! When do we want it? Soon!

by on 2014-06-19- Leave a reply

I'm sure most of you have seen this nice Change.Org petition concerning the dates of the annual APSA meeting.  I really like all the reasons given
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An Academic Woman’s Rant of the Week: Negotiation

by on 2014-06-13- 7 Comments

Sorry, faithful Duck readers, for the radio silence – I’ve been traveling for much of the last month and then – ugh – just started teaching a daily undergrad class.  I promise – real blog posts are coming!  In the meantime, I wanted to fill you in on some information I’ve been digesting in the last month.  The information should be enough for all of us to “rant” about.

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Dear Kansas Board of Regents, Part Deux

by on 2014-05-15- Leave a reply

Dear Kansas Board of Regents,

Greetings.  I don’t know if you received my first open-letter to you in December.  My parents have pretty slow Internet
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An Academic Woman’s Rant of the Week: Personal Information and Office Hours

by on 2014-05-06- 5 Comments

It’s that time of year again: the magical time when my 10 page undergraduate research proposal deadline is enough to cause a health scare among the geriatric population of mid-Missouri.  As the semester comes to a close, my office is typically filled with both undergrads and grads coming to tell me a plethora of problems and stories.  Many times, these problems preface a request for an extension of some sort.  Can I please have an extra week? An extra day? An extra 20 minutes?

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National Day of Prayer, Political Science Edition 2014

by on 2014-04-30- Leave a reply

It’s almost that time again: National Day of Prayer is tomorrow.  It’s a day for us to come together and pray for those who need praying for.[1]  Like last year, I have some political science related prayer requests:

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Call for Proposals: ISA Midwest 2014

by on 2014-04-17- Leave a reply

Dear all,

I'm currently the program chair for ISA Midwest 2014.  The conference will take place from November 7th to 9th at the Hilton Ballpark in St. Louis.  This is a fabulous conference - one I'd really recommend for all scholars but one that is especially inviting for junior scholars.  Here is the call for proposals:

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An Academic Woman’s Rant of the Week: Self-Promotion

by on 2014-04-14- 4 Comments

This week’s installment of An Academic Woman’s Rant of the Week concerns self-promotion and self-citation differences between men and women.

The idea for this installment came to me while I was having a celebratory drink with K. Chad Clay and Jim Piazza at ISA.  We were celebrating our recent Political Research Quarterly article (also coauthored with Sam Bell).[1]  Chad had just presented a new Bell, Clay, Murdie paper[2] at a panel that I wasn’t able to attend.  When I asked Chad if he had any questions from the floor, Chad said that he did get some questions but that he was able to answer them with reference to our forthcoming International Studies Quarterly article (coauthored also with Colin Barry, Sam Bell, and Mike Flynn).[3]

“Doesn’t that make you feel bad?” I said, “It always embarrasses me to have to reference one of my other pieces.”

“No,” Chad replied, “Given all of the recent stuff about the citation gap, I think that's a gendered-thing.”

A gendered-thing?  Really?

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An Academic Woman’s Rant of the Week: Professor vs. Teacher and Dr. vs. Mrs.

by on 2014-04-09- 8 Comments

Like any good protestant preacher, I’ve decided to start a multi-week series where we can examine a topic in depth from multiple angles.[1]  My chosen topic: women in academia.  This is a topic that has been written on extensively in peer-reviewed articles and on the blogosphere (see The Monkey Cage's wonderful discussion for a recent summary).  However, to my knowledge, most of those writing on the topic have been senior: the perspective of a woman “in the trenches” (ie junior) has been somewhat missing in the discussion.  I want to add my two-cents to the discussion and I’ve purposely decided to make the tone of this discussion somewhat light.  Yet, make no mistake, I’m very aware that there are some very nasty, horrible, and life-altering components to this topic.  Maybe one day I’ll talk about those aspects as well.

Anywho –  with an eye towards making the tone somewhat light, I’ve decided to title this series “An Academic Woman’s Rant of the Week” – this is a nod to Jo Dee Messina’s song “A Woman’s Rant,” which I love. My first rant:  academic titles and gendered (mis)perceptions.

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Translating Conference-Speak

by on 2014-04-02- 2 Comments

I’m leaving for the Midwest Political Science Association conference this afternoon, a wonderful 3 days since I returned from ISA.  I’m a little (*cough*) “conferenced-out” – it wasn’t a good idea to do both conferences so close to each other.  I am excited, however, to see all the fabulous IO panels at Midwest.

As I finished up the last of my conference slides this morning, I was reflecting on the “conference-ese” we all use and what our phrases actually mean.  To the untrained participant, the phrase might not get noticed.  For the seasoned conference participant, however, it is obvious what the phrase really means.  Let me translate some of these:

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How ISA is Like a Kansas Family Reunion

by on 2014-03-14- 3 Comments

As Megan noted, ISA is coming up.  I hope to see all of you at the blogging reception on Thursday evening, March 27th.

As I’ve been preparing for the conference these last couple of weeks, I’m also preparing to be “blessed” with an unexpected visit from my grandparents in-laws today.[1] One of the "bonuses" of having them in my life has been their annual family reunion, held on a hot summer’s day outside of a town of 500 in Kansas.  There are many similarities between this event and ISA (or other major academic conferences).  Let me give you a few:

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“A Social Science of Human Rights” – Some New Social Science

by on 2014-03-07- 3 Comments

 This morning, I woke up with a very nice notice about the 50th Anniversary Issue of Journal of Peace Research  in my inbox.  The issue is worth checking out – there’s some good stuff in there.

As a human rights scholar, I was really interested in the “A Social Science of Human Rights” piece by Emilie Hafner-Burton.  While I'm happy to see human rights get a mention in this important issue, I think there is some significant literature that has been missed by Hafner-Burton's review.  I want to bring attention to this not as a “wait, why wasn’t I cited?” but because the piece raises a few questions and makes some claims to which we already have some increasingly solid answers.  Let me bring attention to a few of the statements from the review piece:

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Depression and Academia – Let’s Talk

by on 2014-03-04- 14 Comments

Today, I fly to give a talk at my alma-mater.  As my advisor told me, it’s a victory lap.  It feels good – 5 years post PhD, great job, excitement about the future, and my family still intact.  However, the thought of going back also has me a little anxious: you see, I don’t have good memories about life in grad school.  My university was great, my advisors were fantastic, and my colleagues were super smart.  However, the whole experience was wrought with periods of anxiety, stress, and depression.   In short, my mental health really sucked in grad school.

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The “Baptist-Burqa” Network and LGBT Advocacy

by on 2014-02-28- 4 Comments

It’s been a big and extremely depressing week for the rights of sexual minorities.  Despite some minor victories in Texas and Arizona Governor Jan Brewer’s veto, anti-gay bills remain on the agenda in many US states.  Things continue to get worse in Uganda and Russia.  What can be done to help stop the abuse?

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Guest Post: Considering the BDS Movement from a Human Rights Perspective

by on 2014-02-11- 15 Comments

The following is a guest post by Joel R. Pruce, a post-doctoral fellow in human rights studies at the University of Dayton. 

The transnational movement for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel continues to capture headlines and prompt crucial debate on the status of Palestinian claims to national self-determination and individual human rights protection, and the global public’s moral responsibility with respect to the ongoing conflict. Recent episodes, including the academic boycott passed by the American Studies Association and the SodaStream/ScarJo/Oxfam love triangle, signal that BDS is penetrating discourse and influencing decisions of prominent actors. Since sufficient vitriolic ink on this topic has been spilled prior to the current contribution, the approach here is to propose a critique of the BDS movement from a universal human rights perspective, in order to provide a consensus-based reference point with which to orient reasonable debate, while engaging with the movement itself in its own terms.

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“Shame” on you, ISA

by on 2014-01-29- 4 Comments

Dear ISA Governing Council,

Greetings.  You probably don’t know me but I’m a long-time user of your services.  My first real conference experience was at ISA Chicago in 2007.  I practiced my 10 minute presentation for hours in my hotel room and had to borrow $250 from my mom to attend.  I really benefited, however, from the feedback I received from all 7 people in the audience.  I’ve routinely attended ISA conferences in the time since 2007 and have thoroughly enjoyed the experience.  I’ve reviewed and contributed to ISA journals multiple times and am currently serving the Association as both program chair for the ISA-Midwest section and as an associate editor for International Studies Quarterly.  Up until yesterday, I did complain about your fees from time to time but didn’t really have any problems with the Association. Leaving aside any jokes I could make about poor panel audience, the Association is an asset to all of us in the profession.

Yesterday, however, I was saddened to learn via Facebook that there is currently a proposal to stop editorial team members from contributing to personal or professional blogs. As I understand it, this proposal comes directly from members of the Executive Committee, which are part of your Governing Council. I tried to look for the proposal on the ISA website but can’t seem to find it posted there.

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Shouldn’t we call it the “having-a-husband” penalty?

by on 2014-01-07- Leave a reply

As Jennifer Grose at Slate reported this morning, a paper by Wendy Stock and John Siegfried at the most recent AEA meetings, had some very
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Dear Kansas Board of Regents

by on 2013-12-19- 19 Comments

Dear Kansas Board of Regents,

Greetings.  You probably don’t know me but I’ve been a long-time user of your services.  I started my college career
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