1st Edition

Beginning a Career in Academia A Guide for Graduate Students of Color

    220 Pages
    by Routledge

    220 Pages
    by Routledge

    This practical guide prepares graduate students of color for their first job in academia and offers strategies for succeeding in the early years of a tenure-track position. Through the voices of faculty who have experienced the rigors of the job search and a career in academia, Beginning a Career in Academia offers advice for graduate students of color on how to transition from graduate school to an academic position. This inclusive volume shares perspectives that vary based on gender, racial, ethnic, generational, and disciplinary backgrounds, giving readers an opportunity to reflect on successful strategies for career readiness and for dealing with marginalization. The authors provide recommendations and tips to enhance the job search, identify campus fit, prepare for the interview and negotiation process, address dynamics of of racial and gender politics, find work-life balance, and demystify the promotion and tenure process. This must-read provides candid advice and mentorship for any graduate students of color embarking on a carreer in academe.

    Foreword by Kerry Ann Rockquemore

    1) Introduction

    Michelle Madsen Camacho, Elwood Watson, and Dwayne A. Mack

    Part I: Practical Advice for Finding Success in the Academic Job Market 

    2) The Pitfalls and Pleasures of the Academic Job Market

    Michelle Madsen Camacho

    3) Navigating Professional Conferences: Essential and Effective Job Seeking Strategies

    Nadine Finigan-Carr and Natasha A. Brown 

    4) On the Phone, On Campus, On the Market: Demystifying the Academic Interview Process

    Greg Prieto

    5) When your Race and Ethnicity Shows Up in the Interview: Identifying Search Committee Expectations of Token Hires During the Interview Process

    Fawn-Amber Montoya & Jared Montoya

    6) Negotiating a Job Offer in Academia: ‘Lean In’ or Lay Low?

    Rebecca Martinez

    7) Transitioning Strategies from Graduate School to Early Career Faculty

    Tom Otieno

    Part II: Identity, Fit, Collegiality, and Secrets for Thriving in the Ivory Tower

    8) Future Academics of Color in Dialogue: A Candid Q&A on Adjusting to the Cultural, Social and Professional Rigor of Academia

    Miroslava Chávez-García, Mayra Avitia & Jorge N. Leal

    9) Mentoring Junior Faculty of Color: Succeeding at Historically White Colleges and Universities

    Torin Dru Alexander

    10) 15 Missteps that Can Derail Faculty Early in a Career: What Graduate Students Need to Know About the Push and Pull of Academia

    Elwood Watson

    11) Staying Awake and Walking all Night: First Generation, Working Class, and Multiracial Latina/o Immigrants Building a Compass to Navigate Academia

    Nayeli Y. Chavez-Dueñas and Hector Y. Adames

    Part III: Work-Life Balance: Strategies for Transitioning from Graduate School to the Classroom

    12) LGBTQ Faculty of Color in and Out of the Classroom: Unhinging the Closet Door

    Enrique Morales-Diaz

    13) Transitions to Academic Life for Women of Color: Still Waiting to Exhale

    Linda Alexander

    14) Developing Your Teaching Craft: Observations from the Classroom

    Derrick R. Brooms

    15) Practical Strategies for Achieving a Work-Life Balance: Fired Up? Ready to Go!

    Dwayne A. Mack

    16) If at First You Don’t Succeed: Motivation for Finding the Best Institutional Fit

    Sandra E. Weissinger


    Dwayne A. Mack is Associate Professor of History and Carter G. Woodson Chair of African American History at Berea College.

    Elwood Watson is Professor of History, African American Studies and Gender Studies at East Tennessee State University.

    Michelle Madsen Camacho is Professor of Sociology and affiliated faculty with the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of San Diego.

    "What graduate students of color need is a clear guidebook for their journey that contains both a map of the potential minefields and a set of tools to navigate the difficult terrain. Beginning a Career in Academia is that guidebook…. The gift of this book is that the authors simultaneously describe how power plays out in academic departments at critical stages of the academic journey and provide concrete strategies to successfully navigate the space. The fact that they do so with warmth, optimism, and generosity enable a difficult conversation to take place in a pragmatic, open, and honest way."

    --From the Foreword by Kerry Ann Rockquemore, President and CEO, National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity

    "Nothing speaks more loudly and clearly than a voice that speaks from the lens of perception and experience...The narratives, experiences, and recommendations in this book will offer much fodder for analysis, synthesis, and discussion so that colleges and universities deliver on their promise to be a place that serves the needs of an increasingly diverse and global society and world."

    --Christine A. Stanley, Vice President and Associate Provost for Diversity and Professor of Higher Education, Texas A&M University

    "In this book, more than a dozen professors share priceless, eyes-wide-open insights, disclosures, and warnings about how to apply and secure a faculty post and then adjust and thrive as an early-stage faculty member of color. Highly recommended for graduate students and junior faculty."

    --JoAnn Moody, Faculty Diversity Consultant and Author