• Teaching
  • Roles and Purposes of Higher Education

    This year my school worked with the Policy Center on the First Year of College, now known as the Gardner Institute. Campus leadership used Gardner’s guidance to scrutinize our first year students’ experience. Gardner recommends organizing the work around nine committees, one committee for each of the “dimensions” they have identified. One of the dimensions […]

  • Teaching
  • Student Evaluations of Teaching (SET)

    One of the instructors in my department came by to see me. She was concerned about her spring semester teaching evaluations from her students (SET, which we call FCQs, for faculty course questionnaires). Now that she had seen the reports, she renewed a concern she had expressed about the chaos of the transition to online […]

  • Blog
  • Women In Math

    You may have seen this flyer making the rounds on social media: According to the BYU Math Department, the flyer design was not satire, but instead, well-intentioned outreach. No hard feelings, at least from me. I visit the Math Department on our campus often. The walls have lots of interesting attractions: flyers, posters describing research, […]

  • Blog
  • Coconut Shrimp

    I was at a New Year’s party. It was catered and servers were passing trays. Everything was really yummy, including the coconut shrimp. The poor guy, though, who kept approaching people with his shrimp plate. After a time, he got a lot of polite refusals. As a parent and a person who works with young […]

  • Job Search
  • A Rather Fabulous Sense of Insouciance

    Elizabeth Gilbert in Big Magic, writing about her parents: They were responsible people. Taxpayers. Solid. Voted for Reagan. (Twice!) I learned how to be a rebel from them. Because—just beyond the reach of their basic good citizenship—my parents did whatever the hell they wanted to do with their lives, and they did it with a […]

  • Family
  • Anniversary of Motherhood

    Today is my anniversary of motherhood, otherwise known as my older child’s birthday. I’ve been thinking a lot about parenthood recently. The following warning has already been delivered to the relevant people: You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved […]