Friday, March 23, 2012

Love Letters: On the joys of intellectual partnerships

I'm in a great mood. As usual, there's too much to do and not enough time/resources to do it all, and there are policies and politics that stand in the way of true intellectual nirvana. I still struggle with time management and procrastination (yes, I'm supposed to be writing a grant. RIGHT. NOW. OMGZ!) and guilt and the missing of the baby when I'm at work and the itch to get back to work when I'm with the baby. Yes, of course, to all of that. But today I've had a series of "high five" emails with various collaborators about various projects and it hit me how much joy those relationships bring me on a professional and personal front. Where would we be if we tried to do it all alone? It takes a village to raise a child (as I totes know firsthand now), but it's equally true that it takes a village to make meaningful work happen. So today I just want to write a love letter to my intellectual village (which is heavily populated by amazing and brilliant women), and encourage you in the comments to do the same!

Thanks Kate Clancy and Katie Hinde! I admired you both individually as friends and scientists before we started on our journey to build a book about building babies, and am so happy this project brought us all together. The Lady Editors are a force to be reckoned with.

Thanks Alison Doubleday! From grad school in Bloomington to faculty meetings in Chicago, we've known each other a long time. I love working with you whether it's on our American Association of Anatomists-funded anatomy workshop at AAPA, teaching in the College of Dentistry, or collecting prom dresses. You are a deeply decent and humane person.

Thanks Victoria DeMartelly! Assistant, researcher, style inspiration, friend: you make my job so much easier and you do it with spirit, grace, a great sense of humor, and fantastic shoes. You went to the Philippines! You collected placentas! You killed cockroaches! You went to the Outpost and Bead Street! And you said the magic words that made me fall in love with you: "Do you want me to put all your articles in EndNote for you?" Yes, yes I do.

Thanks Betsy Abrams! If it weren't for you, I never would have thought about postpartum hemorrhage and evolution. And end up with the cover of American Anthropologist! You inspire me to trade out of my biomedical hat and get anthropological. Plus you knitted a marmoset hat for my baby .

Thanks Robin Nelson! I thank Northwestern and the 2008 election for bringing us together. You are brilliant. Someday can we work on a project together, PLEASE?  The babies can play with toys and you and I can play with ideas. And cookies, of course.

Thanks Suzette Tardif! From mentor to colleague. No words can express how much your encouragement, belief in me, and awesome dance moves have guided my career. Really, I can't ever tell you. But thanks.

Thanks Chris Kuzawa! Our work in the Philippines together continues to be rewarding and I can't wait to see what happens next.

Thanks, Agustin Fuentes, Katie MacKinnon, Michelle Bezanson, Kristi Lewton, Stephanie Meredith, Erin Phelps Riley, Christina Campbell, Lorena Havill, Diane Warren, Jim McKenna and SO MANY MORE! You drink with me at meetings and say brilliant funny things, some of which I understand and others I don't. But you remind me that what we do is a BLAST and that we are lucky to find so many people who just get it. Sometimes during dark times, the thought of seeing you at meetings is what keeps me going.

I'm sure there are many others I'm leaving out of this, and as I think of them I will amend the post. But I just wanted you all to know that I think you're pretty great.

Hugs, kisses, and high fives all around,

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Anatomy Education and Career Workshop at AAPA

Please attend the Anatomy Education and Career Workshop at AAPA, Saturday 14th, 2-3:30pm.
Snacks for attendees will be provided in addition to some great discussion and advice!
RSVP here.
Many thanks to the American Association of Anatomists for their generous financial support of this workshop!

Rationale and goals of the workshop:
The current scarcity of qualified anatomy instructors for professional programs is well documented. In response to the growing need for anatomy educators, institutions and programs have initiated a number of strategies, including the development of Masters and PhD programs that specialize in anatomy education and the recruitment of qualified educators from a broader range of fields such as biology and biological anthropology. In fact, an increasing number of anatomy educators have a background and degree in biological anthropology. The importance of this relationship for anatomy education is evidenced by the presence of numerous anthropological research talks and poster presentations at the Experimental Biology/AAA annual meetings over the last several years. In a constrained job market, there are also advantages for biological anthropologists with a background in anatomy as they can pursue a wider range of faculty positions. Even so, many undergraduate and graduate students in biological anthropology are not aware that anatomy education is a career path available to them. For those that are aware of this opportunity, many are unsure of the specific requirements for teaching in this context and many are also confused as to how their research interests can be integrated into the environment of a medical, dental or other professional institution. This is unfortunate, because a deep understanding of human gross anatomy and histology provides irreplaceable context for studies of variation and adaptation, reproductive ecology, nutrition, growth and development, genetics, and many more topic areas within biological anthropology

At the AAPA/AAA Anatomy Education and Career workshop the pros and cons of pursuing a career outside of anthropology will be discussed, as will advice to graduate students who are interested in the anatomy pathway.

The ultimate goals of this outreach workshop are twofold:
1) To encourage anthropology students to pursue anatomy education to a) augment their research and b) enhance their opportunities on the job market upon graduation.

2) To encourage faculty to forge connections with anatomy education venues on their campuses for the purpose of opening training and teaching opportunities for their students.