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Motherhood & Scholarship

Navigating the paths to advancement in academe is difficult for anyone and more so for women. Many must juggle not only the time demands and responsibilities of this choice of career but must also face the reality that their fertile years are limited and will roughly coincide with the years they need to be publishing and working toward tenure.

For those who are parents, the demands inherent in raising a family will in all likelihood conflict with everything their careers require. A number of books have documented this, but offers a few books that approach the issues from different perspectives. If your mom or some mother you know is facing or will face these demands, give her a Mother’s Day or graduation present she can really use.  See these selections.

Academic Mothers, by Venitha Pillay, $27.90, (List Price: $31) Trentham Books,

published in collaboration with UNISA, September 2007, ISBN: 9781858564173, pp. 206.

This book explores how the identities of the rational, unemotional and logical identities, historically considered “male,”  coexist in mothers, who are usually perceived as nurturing, loving, emotional and sensitive. Pillay relates the stories of three academic mothers in South Africa. Through journals and interviews, she tracks how three scholar/nurturers fit the halves into a whole.

Women at the Top: What University and College Presidents Say About Effective Leadership, by Mimi Wolverton, Beverly L. Bower and Adrienne E. Hyle, $58.50 List Price, $65.00 Stylus Publishing, January 2008, ISBN: 9781579222550, pp. 192.

This is the first in a series of books exploring women’s leadership in various fields. This one focuses on women who are leaders in academic institutions, including community colleges and four-year colleges and universities. The authors interviewed nine women who share   what they view as the key tenets of leadership. They illustrate those points describing pivotal events in their careers. The interviews reflect some consensus that the most important leadership characteristics are competence, credibility, and communication.  The women discuss the very real barriers to success, while acknowledging opportunities, and they emphasize the importance of making good decisions about their work and their lives.

Establishing the Family-Friendly Campus, by Jaime Lester and Margaret Sallee, $71.95, (List Price: $79.95), Stylus Publishing, January 2009, ISBN: 9781579223304, pp. 200.

At a time when colleges and universities urgently need to retain faculty, especially those with Ph.D.’s, it is increasingly hard to recruit and retain them. Women, in particular, are leaving at disproportionate rates, the authors acknowledge.  This book examines the need for family-oriented policies and documents “best practices” in use now at various types of institution. The book offers recommendations for colleges and universities that are trying to create “family friendly” campuses.

It is intended to be useful to administrators, faculty and graduate students eying careers in academe.

 Family Matters: The Influence of the Family in Career Decision Making, by Robert C. Chope

$29.66, (List Price: $32.95) ProEd and CAPS Press, LLC., June 2006, ISBN: 9781416400639, pp. 176.

This book is primarily a counseling tool that explores the role of family in decision making about careers. The authors present counselors with techniques to explore how family history, culture, and attitudes affect clients. The book includes activities and exercises in each chapter that emphasize key concepts and encourage acquisition of new skills.

Through its partnerships with leading publishers – representing university and independent presses large and small – brings you scholarly and academic titles about diversity, education, history and many other topics. Visit  to purchase books at significant discounts for classroom use, research or pleasure reading.

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