On Being Non-Traditional

I entered a Ph.D. program in the back half of my thirties with three kids, after spending the decade between my industry job and doctoral study taking the slow route through a masters degree and university teaching in between career pauses, so that I could be present for my young family. This is not a common path -- but it should be much more common than it is! I'm fortunate to be in a department incredibly supportive of my dual role as student and primary caregiver; but across the field, there's work left to do to enable students like me to contribute to the research community. One of my goals for my academic career is to advocate for a pipeline that welcomes and supports non-traditional graduate students and faculty applicants, including those returning from career gaps due to parenting and other life circumstances.