Plattsburgh professor inspires working moms to share stories - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Plattsburgh professor inspires working moms to share their stories

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It might be summer break, but for college professor and mother of two Kirsten Isgro the work never stops. Isgro is an assistant communications professor at SUNY Plattsburgh and an adjunct faculty member for Champlain College. When she's not teaching, she's raising twin daughters, one of whom deals with a life threatening illness.

"Trying to figure out how people can balance that home, work experience as academics and intellectual workers," Isgro said.

Isgro relates to many parents juggling work/life balance. She had numerous conversations with her colleague, Mari Castaneda, and decided to create Mothers In Academia, an edited anthology showcasing personal stories from all over the country.

"We got an overwhelming amount of response," Isgro said. "We got over four times the amount of authors we ultimately put into this volume. It clearly tapped into something big for a lot of women."

Isgro says she was shocked at the number of responses, but attributes that to the percentage of women working in academia.

"More and more colleges and universities are using contingent, and part time and adjunct faculty. And consistently those tend to be more women taking those jobs because they can balance being a parent and still working in academia," Isgro said.

Isgro's book connects with a national conversation about working and motherhood that got heated since Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg wrote "Lean In." The book focuses on women managing careers and motherhood without guilt. Isgro says she was writing her book at the same time Sandberg was writing hers and believes the messages go hand in hand.

"People just want to continue having this conversation," Isgro said. "How do I have a balanced life? How can we have a fulfilling and gratifying professional career while at the same time having a vibrant personal life?"

And Isgro says the backbone of making a career work with being a parent is the support of family.

"My daughters seeing me doing work that I love, being a teacher, being passionate about the research I do, it can't hurt them and if anything it helps that they can see that their mama is doing the work that she's doing," Isgro said.

You can purchase "Mothers In Academia" online for $27.50.

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Mothers-Academia-Mari-Castaneda/dp/0231160054/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1371743988&sr=8-1&keywords=mothers+in+academia

Columbia University Press: http://cup.columbia.edu/book/978-0-231-16004-9/mothers-in-academia

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