After 5 amazing years at Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW) and 15 wonderful years teaching in the Department of Labor Studies and Employment Relations at Rutgers University, I now find myself writing a new chapter of my life. This Friday I will be leaving WOW and—after teaching my final Women and Work class this summer semester—I will be leaving Rutgers. I have accepted an appointment as an Associate Professor of Sociology at Guttman College, a new community college in the City University of New York (CUNY) system starting in August.
The past decade and a half have been just incredible. I am so grateful to the Rutgers Department of Labor Studies for providing me with a learning space that I shared with smart and dedicated students and faculty who were committed to social justice. In my 15 years at Rutgers I was fortunate to teach both graduate and undergraduate students; teach on the community college campuses throughout New Jersey; engage students in research projects; and learn various instructional formats (from in-person to fully online). I have grown so much as a teacher and am honored to have been part of the Labor Studies faculty for so long.
My five years at WOW have been more than I could have wished. WOW allowed me to reach a goal of mine—to be part of an organization that is research and advocacy based in Washington DC. My wonderful colleagues at WOW are amongst the hardest working and most passionate in DC! I am so grateful to WOW for giving me incredible opportunities to lead research that led to advocacy and policy change. There were so many wonderful experiences over the past years– way too many to mention. Some highlights included: working with the Restaurant Opportunities Center United (ROC) to issue the first research on Jersey Shore restaurant workers post-hurricane Sandy; releasing my book All I Want is a Job and the incredible opportunities to share that research with the US Department of Labor and other organizations; leading research with Social Dynamics for the White House Workplace Flexibility forums that helped demonstrate the need for workplace flexibility and schedule control for low wage workers; providing technical assistance on national workforce programs that had as the goal recruiting and retaining women in nontraditional high-wage careers fields; conducting focus groups with LGBT senior citizens in Boston which lead to a research brief on the challenges of economic security and aging for LBGT seniors; and being part of a team that, just last week, helped to pass legislation in New Jersey that will help seniors better age with economic security in the state.
And I am so thankful to WOW for having a progressive workplace flexibility policyallowing me to work in DC but still live in New Jersey. I am also appreciative of the many people I met through my work. There is a wonderful community of progressive, dedicated and tireless advocates in DC and throughout this country. Mostly, though, I am most grateful that I can earn a living following my passion for democratizing access to education and jobs that offer pathways to economic security for women and their families.
I look forward to joining the CUNY-Guttman faculty this summer. This new community college in the CUNY system provides me with the opportunity to be part of a new and emerging team that is founded on best practices and innovative teaching models that nurture student success at an urban public college. The experiential model of teaching that Guttman is founded on, aligns so much with my teaching and research philosophies, that I am very much welcoming the work ahead!
My WOW email address will still be active, as I am fortunate to be able to maintain an affiliation with WOW even after I am gone.
If you need to reach WOW on one of my current projects, please contact Shawn McMahon at SMcmahon@wowonline.org
Thanks for everything and stay in touch,