In my world view, a career path that doesn’t work out as expected is treated with optimism, creativity, and curiosity. I act in ways to manifest that, and I speak it into existence whenever possible. That was how I left academia. After 20+ years of teaching freshman writing full-time (NTT), I recareered in 2016 and started a dog walking and dogsitting business.
Bringing that sense of optimism, creativity, and curiosity to the process of recareering is also why I became an admin here.
And now I have to go. A dog a) wants dinner b) needs a walk c) pooped behind the couch d) all of the above.
Dr. Elana Jefferson-Tatum
Charity Phillips-Lander is a disabled veteran’s spouse and Senior Research Scientist in astrobiology and Raman spectroscopy at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI). Her PhD is in biogeochemistry from the University of Kansas. Since her PhD, Charity has focused on understanding life in extreme environments analogous to those we have observed on other planetary bodies in order to design instrumentation and missions to search for life elsewhere. Since arriving at SwRI, she has served as Chair of both the Institute’s and theSpace Science and Engineering Division’s Management Advisory Committees. She is leading the development of the Astronaut Raman instrument for ISRU and Astrobiology (ARIA) and the Mars Astrobiology Cave and Internal habitability Explorer (MACIE) New Frontiers mission concept, named for Macie Roberts, former head of the human computers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. She also leads a multidisciplinary research team who are determining the distribution of organics and quantify the habitable volume of Europa and Enceladus’ ice shells as a step toward searching for life on Ocean Worlds.