#MakeupMonday: F*ck Trump Edition

We all know it is not possible to buy our way to political empowerment (indeed some TPII clients are doing great feminist analysis of the limits and agendas of commodity feminism), but your wallet also does have some power and if you’re going to be buying things, you can try and focus your purchasing on companies that do good work.

In that light, I’m pleased to introduce Lipslut, a company that created the Fuck Trump lipcolor, which raised $40K for victims of Charlottesville, within a week of launching last fall.

50% of their proceeds go toward a progressive charity. From their website:

“How are our campaign charities chosen?

With every lipstick purchased comes an opportunity to submit a vote for your favorite charity. At the end of our campaigns we’ll tally the results, and winners will be announced by popular vote.”

I just recently learned about the company, and decided to buy the FT lipcolor for myself to share here on #MakeupMonday and for the dedicated and ferociously anti-trump and lipstick-loving TPII staff.

Here it is – a really pretty rosey pink cool toned shade.  A bit brighter than I usually wear but I really like it.

Full disclosure: does not wear for a billion hours like my Beauty Bakerie and other long-wear lipcolors but like most matte liquid lipcolors, it stays for a good while.



I’m also super fond of the concept of their “Leftylibglobalistsantifacommiesocialisthollyweirdopigs” lipcolor, named after some feedback they got from an online troll!

As they describe it:

“Leftylib-yada yada matte liquid lipstick is a deepcoolberrypurplishbluetoneplumredwine because apparently real words are limiting now.

You asked for it weirdos, so here it is. To be honest, we can’t believe we’re making it either.








I love an indie makeup company that walks the talk and has a sense of humor while doing it!

The Violence of Academia’s “White Voice” – A Guest Post

I am delighted to offer the first guest post contributed in response to my call this past week for contributions to the blog by black women and other women of color.

The author, who wishes to remain anonymous, is a doctoral candidate whose research and activism is rooted in questions of social citizenship, personhood, and public space. In between her dissertation and job market application, she paints, crochets, and harbors dreams of being a full-time advocate for immigrant rights and a freelance writer.

If you’d like to submit a post or an idea for a post for consideration, email me at gettenure@gmail.com. I pay $150 for accepted posts. The posts can be anonymous or not, as you prefer.  I welcome content on #MakeupMonday (the initial impetus for this as a Twitter follower expressed a wish for #MakeupMonday posts oriented toward women of color) as well as anything related to the academic and post-academic career.


In the film Sorry to Bother You, the protagonist (a Black man who really needs the job) works at a call center and learns to use his “white voice” to get ahead. The white voice is not just the typically unaccented, high-pitched Standard American Vernacular; it is, as another character describes it, speaking as though you have never been fired, only let go. Speaking as if you have to get going because you might be late for your squash game. It is “the way white people wish they sounded.”

I am a daughter of immigrants, and I do not have my parents’ accents. Over the phone, my last name could well be Johnson, instead of Hernández. But in the years leading up to the job market, I have cultivated and harvested my very own white voice. It is the voice that responds when a professor invites you to dinner and suggests that, in an enlightened public forum such as the university, the alt-right should be invited on to campus for debates. It is a voice that does not quite take a side, it just looks around — sees both sides — and asks a question (a question tempered from deep within the heat of my skin) that might sway the interlocutor in a certain direction, without ever losing the intonation that assures them, “yes, we are all unaffected by this. Yes, this is just a thought experiment. Nothing is at stake. Yes, we could go for a game of squash this weekend.”

In the weeks following Trump’s inauguration, I witnessed police brutality for the first time. We were at a protest and I watched from five feet away, held back by the police with the rest of the crowd, as an officer repeatedly punched a trans woman who was on the ground. I screamed at him. I ran after him, trying to shame him. Trying to find his shame as some kind of trust broke irreparably inside me.

And in the weeks that followed the inauguration, small debates erupted at my university about what it would mean to become a sanctuary campus. The demands ranged from pro bono legal advice for those affected by the Muslim Ban to a commitment by the university to not cooperate with ICE.

One of my favorite professors, heartbreakingly, argued that she empathized, but still believed that failure to cooperate with the government was illegal. How can one respond to that? How could I respond when I was reeling with the image of how the law is enforced? How could I respond if she was writing a letter of recommendation for me that semester?

Queer scholars and scholars of color will know that this is not about the new presidential administration. There has always been a use for the apolitical white voice. The rise of the alt-right, the intensified mistrust of the university, and the targeting of educators through sites such as Turning Point’s Professor Watchlist have only created new moments in which we must employ it, particularly as graduate students and junior faculty. And yet, like Cash, Lakeith Stanfield’s character in Sorry to Bother You, we find that the white voice is never done with us.

A professor who signed in favor of making our institution a sanctuary campus, a woman of color who has worked for decades to advocate for the interests of women on our campus, told me that bravery does not come with tenure. People always say that they are going to stand up for something as soon as they get tenure, she said. But if they are going along with things when they are an assistant professor, they will be an associate professor who goes along with things and a department chair who goes along with things. Bravery does not come with tenure.

I am going on the job market this fall, and I am trying to be both brave and strategic. An impossible tightrope, particularly when data shows that the manufactured “free speech” campus crisis has led to the targeting of leftists.

The white voice is a form of emotional labor, and so is the struggle of deciding when to stop using it.

In the past year I have made connections with faculty and students on campus who are or might be academic activists, and I have paid attention to the rhetoric of disaffected dissent at the university. I wish I could conclude this with a list of practical strategies, but that is something I am still working on knitting together. There are, of course, plenty of resources for dealing with “hot button issues in the classroom,” and, although we have a degree of authority in the classroom that does not exist in interactions with our superiors, one of them is worth mentioning here. Hot Button Strategy #1: Tell a story. So here is the rest of the story:

My professor (whom I admired) suggested we invite Richard Spencer and Milo Yiannopoulos to our campus so that we could debate them and truth would prevail. She ignored what this would mean for marginalized students and the fact that some alt-right speakers use their platform to out trans folx and undocumented immigrants. I told her so in my white voice, not as an argument but as though these were just things to consider. She said that surely I could not side with the student protesters, and when I did, she accused me of “promoting violence.”

My white colleague, a close friend, agreed with me, and began to cry through her heartfelt argument. Our professor took her aside and hugged her, telling her that she loved how passionate she was.

But when it came to me, no white voice was ever going to make her love my passion, or my dispassion. My passionlessness, my passivity and objectivity, were betrayed by my color and my solidarity with marginalized people, and so, to her, my white voice was still threatening.

So, you are going to be who you have always been.

And yet, here is the continuation of my white voice: I am requesting that this be published anonymously.

But here is my commitment to the struggle: I still wrote it.

A Provost Leaves Academia, Part IV – The Transition

This is the fourth and final installment in the #Postac series, “A Provost Leaves Academia,” by Dr. Terri Givens.

Dr. Terri Givens is a consultant in higher ed, and soon to be former provost at Menlo College. She has been a professor at the University of Washington and University of Texas at Austin, and is the proud mother of two teenage boys.


KK: I encountered Dr. Givens’ story of imminent #postac departure on social media and immediately asked her if she’d be willing to share thoughts of her transition with us. She generously agreed. This is her final post (for now!)


As I write this, it has been a month since my last day at Menlo College, and I have to say that I’m still very excited about what the future may hold. What has surprised me the most about the transition from provost to consultant has been the sense of freedom I have felt. The amount of email I deal with daily has declined dramatically. I still have a lot of meetings, but they are usually shorter, more interesting, and I have time to think. Perhaps the biggest surprise is how natural it has been for me to work mainly from home, and to be exploring a variety of opportunities that I hadn’t considered before.

In the last few weeks, I have accepted a position as the Executive Director of the Edgemakers Institute, but I’m still pursuing my consulting practice and exploring the world of edtech and how to build bridges between the tech world and higher ed. I spent the past week in Washington, D.C., attending a conference on teaching, as well as having meetings with folks on a variety of subjects. It was invigorating and I’m still processing all the possibilities that were discussed.

My boys have joined me for two weeks of vacation here on the East coast, and as we were visiting the NMAAHC yesterday, I heard this quote from Zora Neal Hurston,

“At certain times I have no race, I am me. When I set my hat at a certain angle and saunter down Seventh Avenue, Harlem City, feeling as snooty as the Lions in front of the Forty-Second Street Library, for instance … The cosmic Zora emerges. I belong to no race nor time. I am the eternal feminine with its string of beads.”

This quote touched me for a variety of reasons. I’m working very hard to stretch myself beyond the boundaries of higher ed. I’m trying to figure out, who is the cosmic Terri? I’ve accomplished so much in my life, yet what does it all mean? I have a sense of freedom now that I haven’t had before in my life. I know I have a lot to offer, but I haven’t quite figured out how I want to package it. So, I have a lot to digest. My string of beads is very long…

When I got tenure, my sister suggested that I buy something tangible that represented for me what that accomplishment meant. I bought a pin of a woman flying. I still have that pin, and I intend to start wearing it again. What I feel is important right now isn’t necessarily how to package myself, but the fact that I can fly – and go where I want to go. That freedom is invaluable to me right now. I have always found that the universe responded to the energy that I gave to it. I have always had a powerful internal life force that matched my physicality. When I ran track in college, I ran with the best, and I excelled in school, getting accepted into one of the best graduate programs in the country when I went to continue my education.

As a first-generation college-goer I never put limits on myself, because I didn’t know that I should. I hope that lack of limitations guides me now. Academia was all about limitations – where you could and couldn’t publish, what you should and shouldn’t do. I often ignored the naysayers, but not often enough. I know now that I must own my accomplishments and be willing to try the things that challenge me. I get frustrated with my (mostly female) friends who downplay their accomplishments and suffer from lack of self-esteem. I know that academia is an environment that can beat you down, but they have all accomplished so much, and I want them to be able to see it and own it.

We are mothers, wives, sisters, researchers, writers, teachers, mentors, speakers, and so much more. Those of us from minority backgrounds have had so many other hurdles to overcome, and we need to be proud of how we made it here, and if we didn’t make it, we need to understand the institutional bias that kept us from succeeding. I will remain frustrated with academia in that there are still so many unnecessary hurdles that are put in front of people who could be amazing researchers and teachers. The stress and strain of graduate school, getting tenure and post-tenure review has caused great mental harm for many. It isn’t necessary and we all deserve better.

For now, I will continue the battle outside of the ivory tower. I have much to do and say, and I hope you will continue to follow me through my blog posts, Inside Higher Ed column and op-eds (including my most recent one on immigration).

#MakeupMonday: The Pleasures of Masking

I’m back from my summer vacation!

What did I do, you ask? Mostly stress-eat.

I also danced a lot, and helped get a marvelous dance studio in Eugene moved into a beautiful new space (XCape Dance Academy), and discovered the many wonders of dance in Portland – endless hip hop, bhangra, burlesque, heels, vogue!

I watched a lot of movies, and Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette, which changed my life.

The brave and fierce Hannah Gadsby

If you have not yet seen it, whatever you’re doing, stop doing it and go to Netflix and watch Nanette this very moment.



I visited my son in Utah, and nursed him through a dread virus, and got the virus of course, and have been feeling gross for the past week.

I monitored the news obsessively, as I do, and felt worse.

And I shared a hilarious #Mansplaining chart from Twitter on TPII Facebook, which prompted thousands upon thousands of likes and comments and millions upon millions of #maletears.

Which then prompted, for me – inspired by Nanette –  a huge revelation about male privilege and women’s socialization to serve and protect it, which I had to share, and which is now a pinned post.

Here is the gist of the post:

“This is to those who identify as women:

I want you to value your time more.

Your time is worth far too much for you to spend it arguing with, reasoning with, or attempting to persuade, cajole, or soothe, victim-stancing men.

This is a form of emotional labor that men feel entitled to, and are adept at extracting from you. One of the first steps to claiming your own physical, emotional, and psychic boundaries is to cease doing this labor.

It saddens and distresses me to see the lengths people who identify as women will go to engage with the men who come to this page only to engage in performative victimhood, provocation, and bad-faith arguments.

Don’t engage.

Not because of who HE is, but because of who YOU are. You are worth more than this. And so are the women watching quietly from the sidelines. They see it when you capitulate to male demands. And they see it when you value yourself too much to do so. That’s where the true revolution happens.”

So that was good.

But in truth, mostly I just stress-ate. Little Debbie Swiss Rolls are my drug of choice.

I’ve started calling it my Trump 20 and it’s just how things are now.  I’ll lose it when he’s impeached.  Meanwhile, I dance.

Mom, high school graduation

Anyway, here we are, it’s Monday, my first day back, and job #1 is #MakeupMonday.

And today I want to share a very simple point: take care of your skin. Really.  Do something. I don’t really care what. Just do something. I learned this from my mother, who is an extraordinarily beautiful woman, even at 90.  She always cared for her skin. She used Estee Lauder and Revlon–nothing particularly fancy. Her position was: it matters less what you use, than that you just use something regularly, every single day.


Mom, at 80

Nowadays, of course, people are obsessed with skin care. You all know that I swear by my daily Sabbatical Beauty regimen.

But today I want to mention the pleasures of masking.



In a cheapo TJ Maxx Collagen mask

Masking is a thing you can do to take a little time out of your day to slow down and do a little self-care. Masks are another current fetish-item, coming to us from K-Beauty, and yes the sheer range available is overwhelming.  A simple way to start is to go to TJ Maxx and buy some off the shelf that seem appealing.  TJ Maxx stocks a huge assortment of made in Korea masks for every skin concern at a massive discount, so you can try a range without any major financial investment.  You can get a box of 5 for $2.99-$4.99 at TJ Maxx that might cost $15 or $20 more elsewhere.   See what you like and what works.

I find that leaving them on a full hour yields best results, regardless of what the instructions say (but always test on your own skin!)  And, many people SWEAR by keeping them in the freezer! Especially under-eye masks.  The cold will de-puff, and in the summer heat, it’s so refreshing!

“After” – nice, right?

I’ve used cheap masks and I’ve used expensive ones.  Sabbatical Beauty makes many excellent ones, and as always has affordable sample sizes to try. I’m a fan of the SakeKasu mask, which smells heavenly to me – just like the sake-producing villages of Japan I’d love to visit – and is exceptional in deep clarifying and detoxing. I gave samples of Sake Kasu to TPII staff as Christmas gifts last year!  Beware: if you enter the SB masking convo on FB, you’ll probably emerge as the owner of every mask Adeline makes! People are OBSESSED!

But for myself, I do love a sheet mask.

Above you can see me in a cheap TJ Maxx SkinLab Collagen mask ($3.99 for box of 5) which has really nice effects! Don’t be afraid to to cut masks into pieces to fit right on your face, btw.

(The lipcolor above is one that always reminds me of my mom, incidentally. She wore shades like this a lot while I was growing up in the 70s. It feels both retro and current at the same time! It’s Beauty Bakerie Lip Whip in Take Me To Pomegranate.)

Glamglow GravityMud

Here I’m in the famous GlamGlow GravityMud, which is REALLY EXPENSIVE (I’m using a free sample, naturally), and in my view, not worth the price (but awfully fun to be the tin man!)

If you check at Sephora, you can often find a GlamGlow mask set as a free item to get with your points.




And here I’m using my current absolute favorite: Missha Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Hydro-Gel Mask, which I picked up randomly at Target one evening, believe it or not (now discontinued there, I believe, but available online) for $5.99 – which is not all that cheap for a single mask, but in this case is completely and totally worth it.  This mask tones and firms and clarifies and is just… amazing.

Target, btw, curates a pretty good K-beauty mask collection so that’s another place to start cheaply (but not as cheap as TJ Maxx!)


Anyway, the main thing is: do something. Even if it’s just a nightly moisturizer. I learned this from my mom, and it was reinforced by my years in Japan, where women take skin care very seriously indeed. And then proven by the results of my own skin after the past three years of dedicated skin care. So far, I still find myself aging backward without any doctors’ intervention. (I assume this can’t continue indefinitely of course, and eventually my skin will resume aging forward. But so far so good!)

You do NOT have to spend a lot. Buy any reputable brand (or start with a Sabbatical Beauty sample, or try luxury brands at mega-discount at TJ Maxx) and just be consistent.

I’m here to tell you, along with my mom, it really makes a difference!

Recovering My Creativity Through Unstuck – Guest Post by Dr. Verena Hutter

Verena and Kellee in Eugene

TPII Editor Extraordinaire Dr. Verena Hutter shares her wonderful experience recovering a part of herself she thought was lost, through our Unstuck Productivity Program. In honor of Verena and her pens, we are extending the sign up for the new Unstuck by two days!  Find the info here on the Unstuck page. Remember – registration extended for two days only, until midnight July 22.


I received my first fountain pen at the tender age of seven, in second grade. It was a Lamy ABC, red cap, wooden grip, and a sticker with my name on it. In German schools, kids are taught early on to write with a fountain pen, and German fountain pen companies like Pelikan and Lamy cater to the crowd. The reasoning behind making little kids write with a fountain pen, filled with ink? Some say it makes for a better handwriting, some say it teaches kids to be careful with their belongings (to avoid ink explosions), and some say it is tradition. It may be all of it. To seven year old me, it said “What you’re doing here is important!” Throughout my entire time in school and undergraduate, I wrote with a fountain pen. I experimented with different color inks, different nib sizes, different brands, and found a way to write with my left hand that wouldn’t smudge everything.

In 2006, I moved to California for graduate school. In my carry-on was a Parker Frontier, which I thought was very symbolic at the time. I learned the hard way that pens leak on planes (unless the converter/cartridge is completely full). So I entered the United States with black ink all over my hands, sweater and parts of my face. A bad omen?

In graduate school, I realized what I needed more than nice penmanship, was being able to write down my notes quickly, so cheap Bic cap pens became my writing utensil of choice. Or rather, I took what was there, they were free and I was not in a position to ask for anything.  I ended up giving my Parker Frontier away, and didn’t use a fountain pen in many years. My handwriting? Let’s just say, my students complained…

Fast forward to Unstuck in 2017. In between my graduation in 2012, and 2017, many life events had happened, and I desperately wanted to finish my manuscript. The task Kellee gave us was to buy a notebook and write something called “Morning Pages”, based on Julia Cameron’s book “The Artist’s Way”. Every morning, before you do anything else, you write down three pages, as a way to tap into your creative side. The online discussion that ensued in our group was reminiscent of an SNL skit. “Can I have a coffee first?”- “What if my kids wake up?”- “Can I write it in the evening?”- “wouldn’t it be easier to type it?”- “Which language should I write it in?”- “How long should this take me?”- “the topic is really open?” As academics, we’re trained to excel, we’re trained to do something in the best way possible, and we’re eager to do it “the right way” because, let’s face it, the re-percussions for doing something “wrong” (such as a mean review of an article, an adviser telling you how disappointed he/she is in you, a rejected manuscript) can be painful and devastating. So Kellee’s instruction, clear and simple seemed like a trick to us- what do you mean, this is just for me?

I was actually looking forward to the exercise- I had always kept a journal, with the exception of graduate school and the years after (you see a theme emerging here). I will be honest with you, so far none of my daily writings so far have given me a sort of eureka moment, or deep insight. I rather see it as a way to clear my head.  I enjoy the time that it takes to write the pages, the cup of coffee on one side, my sleeping dog on the other, and that there is time in my day that I am not looking at some sort of screen or being overloaded with information. But my musings are fairly trivial- have I paid that electricity bill? Do I need to do laundry? Should I call my grandma today? Buy that cute, but overpriced shirt? Will I survive the Trumpocalyspe?

Still, I write.

Then two things happened.

One, I started developing wrist pain as a side effect from my medication for Crohn’s Disease, and two, I realized I could barely decipher my own handwriting. I mentioned this to my mother, who suggested that I get a lightweight fountain pen or a gel-ink roller. I used the gel-ink roller for a while (Pilot Precise VR 5 for the win, baby!), but I wanted to give fountain pens another shot. I have the luxury to live in a place that has a paper store (I love you Oblation Paper Press!), and so I went. Inside, I immediately was reminded of my childhood, that feeling that what I did, my learning, was important. I walked out with a Waterman Hemisphere, a favorite of my teenager years and bought a cool color ink.

And as I started using the fountain pen, something began to change. A feeling that had vanished during grad school and my years in academia. The feeling that my morning pages are part of something important: my writing. I then started writing my reading notes with my fountain pen too- yes, it slows me down, but my notes make sense, I remember them easier and better and they are material proof of the thoughts and the work I do. I actually enjoy writing down my notes, and don’t see it as an annoying, unimportant task (the important one being writing the manuscript) but rather as part of the whole process. My handwriting is more precise, readable and not the crammed scribbling of a maniac anymore. It takes up space and reflects my re-gained confidence about my project, and the fun I have with it. (Ok, I totally queereyed this sentence, my handwriting is a minor point of what I want to say).

So all in all, the first step of Unstuck re-connected me to a part of me that I had neglected for a long time, a knowledge that my seven year old me had but one that I needed to be reminded of 30 years later. I, my thoughts and feelings, and my creative side matter just as much as my scholarly side, if not more. I am part of something important, and I am important.


#MakeupMonday: A True Self-Made Billionaire

Still on July vacation but popped back to share this:

This week Twitter got crabby about a Forbes cover story claiming Kylie Jenner is about to become the world’s youngest “self-made” billionaire based on the valuation of her cosmetics line, Kylie Cosmetics.

Self-made? asked Twitter. Give us a break, said Twitter.

Today, Affinity Magazine had the BEST response:

As one person responded:






Yes.  She is.  And her makeup ROCKS.   It is deeply pigmented, gorgeous on black skin, always cutting edge, and stays on! I have her LUST: MatteTrance Lipstick in Omi (her cult color — super wearable, long-lasting, perfect for conferences and professional wear).  The packaging is also to-die-for.  But in general, go for PM when you want BIG effects. One product, LiquiLUST, lets you combine color and gloss and pure opalesque pigment powder to create your own innovative looks! Watch this video to have your mind blown:

Obviously what you need for your next conference, amirite.

Find her stuff at Pat McGrath Labs.  And support a true self-made artist and businesswoman.

Academics As Entrepreneurs – Guest Post

Sophia’s alter-ego

By Sophia Donaldson, Ph.D.

Sophia Donaldson is a careers consultant for University College London (UCL) PhD students and research staff. After completing a PhD in molecular genetics, she worked as a post-doctoral researcher and then as a science communicator for several research charities and think tanks. Before joining UCL, she provided careers support for postgraduate students and researchers at King’s College London and The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Sophia writes regularly for the UCL Researcher Careers blog.


The term “academic entrepreneurs” often refers to researchers taking their work out of the literature and into the market. But this isn’t an article about taking your work to industry. This is an article for all academics, especially those determined to remain firmly within the ivory tower. Because making it up that tower takes more than just intelligence. It takes several traits more commonly associated with an entrepreneur than a pure academic.

But what are entrepreneurial traits and how can you channel your inner Steve Jobs? A quick google search returns millions of lists of entrepreneurial qualities. But I’ve narrowed it down to the 6 traits I think are most beneficial in academia:

  • Risk tolerance

Much like starting your own business, in the current employment landscape pursuing an academic career is risky. In the US between 2005 and 2009, 100,000 new PhDs, but only 16,000 new professorships, were issued. Similarly, an analysis of UK data from 2014-15 estimated 22,780 PhDs were awarded, but only 7,355 permanent research and/or teaching roles were advertised.

Unfortunately, risk tolerance isn’t a typical part of personalities drawn to academic research. Many of the academics I work with who wish to leave academia are doing so for precisely this reason. There is no guaranteed job for them in higher education, and they don’t fancy the gamble. One way naturally cautious academics deal with this insecurity is by exploring other options while still pursuing research. Perhaps counterintuitively, having a plan B, C, and D, can make it easier for some to give their all to plan A.

  • Confidence

Confidence makes taking a punt on an academic career easier. Data from the UK’s Medical Research Council shows only 20% of funding applications submitted to them in 2016-17 were successful. Anyone who’s drafted a funding application will know the amount of blood, sweat, and tears it requires. They are essentially your business proposal, but often longer and more thorough! Knowing the odds, those without confidence in themselves and their work (whether that confidence is justifiable or not), will find it extremely difficult to continually put themselves through this gruelling application process, and to have the resilience to pick themselves up after rejections.

Unfortunately we’re not all born confident. But there are ways to bring your confidence levels up. Start by identifying situations, achievements and successes that have built your confidence. Force yourself to remember those successes, dwelling on them more than on times that brought you down. And intentionally put yourself in similar situations in future.

  • Opportunity detection

Creativity and big picture thinking are qualities we often associate with great entrepreneurs – people with the vision to create products we don’t yet know we need. Researchers, however, more often display focused, methodical, logical thinking – an extreme dedication to the task at hand. But to beat the odds and gain funding, researchers need to look up from the detailed work they’re engrossed with, and survey the world around them. Moving from PhD/post-doc level to permanent staff requires a vision for the future far more than it requires specific technical skills, especially as in many fields successful academics will have their own PhDs and post-docs to take care of the detailed research work. A lead investigator’s job is to set the direction; to spot what’s hot in their field at the moment, or better yet, to dictate what will be hot in the future. Flexibility is key here, as the new big ideas may require a change of direction.

  • Cash-focused

A business needs to make money, so good entrepreneurs, even altruistic social entrepreneurs, always have an eye on the bottom line. Academics don’t tend to be as money-motivated. But successful academics have to be. Your research may have the potential to change the world, but if no one funds it, it ain’t going to happen. And when universities take on permanent staff, they need to know they’re making a good investment. You must show you have a plan for bringing money to the department; that you’re aware of the funding opportunities available, and you’ll make the most of them, ideally by presenting examples of the money you have secured in the past. And consider the money students can bring in. How will you help attract and retain students, and their money?

  • Sell, sell, selling skills

You know those episodes of Dragon’s Den (or Shark Tank, as I believe it’s called in the US) where the entrepreneur may have a great product, but they don’t sell it well? Where they’re simply not speaking the same language as the investors? That’s how it can feel working with academics sometimes. A part of me admires those clients who are such puritans, and have such belief in academic traditions, that they feel the quality of their work should simply speak for itself. But that part of me is not the one that’s good at getting a job!

No matter if you’re pitching for business funding or research funding, whether you’re marketing your product to customers, or yourself to academic recruiters, all are exercises in sales. And any good salesperson knows the customer is crucial in the sales process. Get to know their needs and motivations, and you’ll know your sales strategy.

You may find your work intrinsically interesting. But your ‘customer’ isn’t going to pay you to do something simply because you think it’s a good idea. Funders want to be convinced of the importance and the impact of the work they fund. And search committees are often very clear about what they’re looking for in exchange for a salary. So don’t just present your work, show them you can meet the needs of their department.

  • Networking prowess

Networking is a necessary skill for EVERYONE. Entrepreneurs must network to share their ideas, and to court funders, collaborators, employees, advisors and customers. And academics must do the same. Networking can spark ideas and collaborations, presenting more opportunities to publish and obtain grants. And I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen researchers applying for roles for which the recruitment committee already had a candidate in mind. Networking increases your chances of being that intended candidate. So get yourself out there. And start as early as possible, while you’re still just swapping ideas, rather than waiting until you’re desperate for a job.

#MakeupMonday: My Protest Lipcolors

I’m on blogging vacation in the month of July, but inspired by Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and her Stila Stay All Day in Beso, here are two of my political protest lipcolors this week:

#FamiliesBelongTogether, Medford Oregon (BeautyBakerie Lip Whip in Take Me For Pomegranate








#ResistTrumpTuesday, Eugene, Oregon (Beauty Bakerie Lip Whip in Mon Cherie)








This week: Share a pic of YOUR political protest #MakeupMonday look on FB and I’ll put you in a drawing for a free LipWhip in one of several colors I’ve bought that don’t work on me (Fortune Cookie, Honey, etc.)

Motherhood in Academe (A Provost Leaves Academia, Part III) – A #Postac Guest Post Series

This is number three in the #Postac series, A Provost Leaves Academia,” by Dr. Terri Givens.

Dr. Terri Givens is a consultant in higher ed, and soon to be former provost at Menlo College. She has been a professor at the University of Washington and University of Texas at Austin, and is the proud mother of two teenage boys.


KK:  I encountered Dr. Givens’ story of imminent #postac departure on social media and immediately asked her if she’d be willing to share thoughts of her transition with us. She generously agreed. I encourage you to click through all of her links, especially on the theme of mental illness and higher ed.


It was never a question of “if” my husband and I would have kids, it was a matter of when. I knew that being an academic and having kids could be a challenge, but I was determined to make it work, and I knew I had a partner who would play an active role in the life of his children. It took us several years to have a successful pregnancy, and we were thrilled when our son Andrew entered our lives in September of my second year as a professor at the University of Washington. We were fortunate to have lots of family in the area, and my sister offered to help take care of Andrew part-time when I went back to teaching, so we didn’t have to put him into daycare right away. We were also able to travel to Europe the first summer after he was born, so I could conduct research on my book project. Andrew celebrated his first birthday in Cologne, Germany, right before 9/11/2001.

When we returned to Seattle, we were able to find a good daycare for him near campus. So far, so good; I was making progress on my writing, my husband and I had found a good balance in our parenting, and he was doing well in his job as an engineer.

Then in the spring of 2002, the dot-com bust hit. Mike lost his job, and there weren’t many options for a hardware engineer in a software town. I knew that our days in Seattle were numbered. I was fortunate to get a Ford post-doctoral fellowship, so we moved temporarily to Silicon Valley where he had a job offer and I went on the job market. I interviewed at UT Austin in the winter of 2003, and promptly got pregnant a week later. Surprise! We knew we wanted a second child, but we weren’t expecting him in the middle of a major life change.

The move to Austin that summer was not the smoothest…lots of stress with buying a house and the move, the mover left a bunch of our stuff in Seattle, my car got hit by a drunk driver when I was 8 months pregnant, etc. Brandon was born a month early, luckily very healthy. I had asked for my first semester off, which was helpful, given that UT didn’t have a maternity leave policy at the time. Once again, I was blessed with a sister who agreed to come and be a live-in nanny until Brandon was a year old and could transition to daycare. Brandon got to spend his first summer in Paris, although we were back home by the time he turned 1.

So now we had two boys. We had daycare near campus, and eventually on campus. We transitioned into a routine that allowed me to get my book done, and tenure! But within a year, everything would change. I had started a Center for European Studies on campus and gotten on the radar screen of the administration. A new president had started in January of 2006 and the provost had resigned that summer. One day in early September, the interim provost called me into his office. I had no idea I was about to be offered the job of vice provost of undergraduate curriculum. How would a new in rank associate professor with two kids manage that kind of job?

Never one to turn down a challenge, I agreed to take on the job. However, I made it clear that I had to leave every day in time to pick my kids up from daycare. I also didn’t work weekends, and evenings would have to be negotiated. I didn’t know it at the time, but this was probably the easiest time for me to take on this kind of job. My kids were in school and then aftercare until 5:30 most days, so I didn’t have to worry about leaving work early. They had soccer a couple of times per week, but that didn’t impinge much on my work time, either.

Now jump to the teen-age years. I call myself the mom-shuttle. I have indeed been a soccer mom, with a Honda Odyssey mini-van and all the trappings. However, I didn’t run into much trouble with the job and the shuttling until my boys got into middle and high school. I had left the provost’s office at UT in 2009, when Andrew was 9 and Brandon was 6, so as a faculty member my time was pretty flexible, and I could handle their activities. When I became provost at Menlo College, Andrew was 14 and Brandon was 11.  Andrew immediately joined a soccer team, and Brandon started taekwondo that fall. The mom-shuttle life began in earnest, which made any meetings after 5 difficult. For some reason, the faculty at Menlo College like to have meetings in the evenings. Faculty Senate meetings were at 5, some committee meetings were at 5, etc. I would stay as long as I could and then head out to take my kids to their events. Mike was able to pick them up when they were done, but he generally couldn’t drop them off, work for him (and engineers in general) tends to start around 10am, so leaving at 5 wasn’t possible.

I know it raised eyebrows that I couldn’t stay for meetings, but frankly I didn’t care. I wasn’t the only person who had childcare duties in the evenings, and the faculty didn’t seem interested in moving the meetings to make it more convenient for those of us who had to leave before 6. I could have made a fuss, but I disliked the meetings, anyway.

In the end, I would always put my family first. Meetings can be important, and when necessary, I would try to make other arrangements, but I also wasn’t going to miss out on my kids’ activities for something as silly as a meeting. I think that it’s against common sense (and potentially discriminatory) to have meetings that run past 5pm. But I’m done with all of that now. Up next – the big transition!

#MakeupMonday: Trying New Colors

Today marks the start of my summer vacation season (don’t worry–editing and negotiating help continues!) so I’ll be brief.

I tried out a plum lipcolor for the first time ever, and I’m in love. I haven’t taken it off since I bought it. As always with new directions, I go cheap before I commit to expensive, so this is Maybelline Super-Stay 24 Liquid Lipstick in Unlimited Raisin.  (They also make a shade they actually call “plum” but that’s a true purple which is not something I want).  Naturally it’s ultra-long-wear. By no means the 24 hour wear they claim, but a solid 5-6 hour for sure.  I am not a huge fan of the product range overall–the majority have shimmer/glitter that seems out of date to me in this matte-centric world, and like many drugstore brands, many of the shades look cheap to me. But Unlimited Raisin is a winner! And look how it lasted through dance!

In a way it’s kind of surprising I haven’t tried plums before, because with my love of cool-blue toned makeup of all kinds, this would seem like an obvious choice. But, it’s taken me a long time to work up to really deep lipstick shades. I’ve been so self-conscious! I keep defaulting to rose and neutrals.

But, I’m there now!  I am now all about the bold lipcolors!  Can’t wait to share my experiments with you.

more plum than this looks

And that reminds me – one of the two current holy grail items I mentioned last week is ALSO a plum shade. It’s my new blush, the blush of my dreams, the blush that is truly worth the two years it took to find it – Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Mood Exposure.

how subtle is this blush?!

What’s nice about the Hourglass is you can get it in a travel size for $22 before you commit (and of course Sephora takes returns as does Hourglass itself). I can’t say enough about how subtle it is, how superbly natural, how delicately illuminating without any obvious shimmer or glitter, and of course–how great this sheer plum tone is for someone with cool-toned skin. —>


In other news, my daughter and I got summer mani-pedis this past weekend. And after years of resisting the siren-song of sparkly gel polish, I finally gave in. I got a gold sparkle manicure!  It glitters in the sun!

You might be surprised I got gold, but it’s actually a silvery gold – they tried to convince me on a range of yellow-golds, but I said no.

Like a magpie I cannot resist a shiny object and now I’m entranced by my own fingernails! Miyako got a beautiful salmon, just right for her work as a summer intern in our beloved Senator Ron Wyden’s office. (He and Jeff Merkeley are doing God’s work in our current migrant detention crisis. I’m proud of Miyako for supporting it. She told me never in her months of work there [she interned last summer as well] has she found that every single caller without exception speaking with a single voice: stop the family separation.)


Congrats to Vicki Hoskins, Ph.D. student in Theater and Performance Studies at the University of Pittsburgh, winner of the random weekly sample giveaway! She and I share a Pittsburgh-UIUC trajectory! (name shared with permission)

Remember to comment substantively on Facebook to this post about any topic at all related to makeup  – with thoughts, selfies, links, comments, opinions, etc. etc and I’ll put you in a random drawing for next week’s giveaway.