What have I been up to?

The busy, busy life of a doctoral candidate and community member

I have been quite busy, as all graduate students seem to be. I do not glorify “busy” – our culture is one which holds “being busy” in high regard, in contrast to the pejorative framing of “not doing anything.” I love to do nothing. The times I am doing nothing are often some of the most enjoyable times in my day.

Candidacy! –  I am officially a PhD candidate in Environmental Engineering, with a PhD minor in Queer Studies! I am very excited to move forward in the program. The exam process has been stressful with time crunches but ultimately I think I learned a LOT in the process. It was really good for me. Both my prelim and quals taught me a lot as I engaged with literature and wrote. It made me really love the scholarship I engage in. I am nervous and excited to graduate and apply for faculty and academic jobs. My advisors are very hopeful and encouraging. Their mentorship means the world to me. I cannot emphasize how much, as a queer woman, having supportive and allied committee members are, who include many women and queer folk and some overlap. I cannot imagine being anywhere else with anyone else.

 

Research Progress – Slowly but surely, our 3 year NSF funded project Invisible Gendered Experiences: Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students in Engineering Education is moving forward. IRB is taking a long time, but it is a needed step. I am collaborating with students for a conference presentation and writing our first manuscript. Our national survey was supposed to launch yesterday, but it seems to be taking a bit of time in IRB, so I hope it is approved relatively soon.

 

Teaching – This term I am a TA for CBEE 320 – Professionalism/Engineering Ethics. It is a course taken by Environmental Engineering and Bioengineering undergraduate students as part of a 2 term sequence on ethics in the profession. I am excited to be TAing both courses this year, and then teaching them both next year when my instructor is on sabbatical. It will also help me finish my co-current Graduate Certificate in College & University Teaching. I am so happy with the synthesis of engineering, women/gender/sexuality studies, and higher ed I have been learning in my program of study.

 

GradSWE – I am the FY18 Graduate Society of Women Engineers Diversity & Inclusion Liaison. I am enthusiastic about building a socially just engineering profession for all marginalized people and shifting the conversation towards understanding power, privilege, and systems of oppression. I hope to integrate this into the work I am doing with GradSWE moving forward.

 

Fun Stuff – Gosh! A lot of concerts. I saw Kyary Pamyu Pamyu right before ASEE 2018 conference this summer, saw Andrew W.K. a few weeks ago, and will be seeing Ty Segall & White Fence and Oh Sees this weekend in Portland. Music is one of my favorite hobbies – both playing and watching live. I will be a DJ for KBVR – our local radio station – again this year, and also working on Laborwave, the podcast me and some comrades put together here in Corvallis. My dog is as small as ever. I am shy about my biggest time-sink, which is video games, particularly cute Nintendo games. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 has been SOOOO fun. And cute. I am unabashedly a fan of cute things.

 

That is about it as of October 2018. Moving forward, I am attending the Early Career Faculty Development Program at PITT’s engineering school and visiting my home in Kansas this winter. I haven’t been back in 2 years and it is always surreal. Oregon and the pacific northwest have come to feel like home. I am looking forward to the rest of the year.

 

Author: Andrea Haverkamp

Andrea Haverkamp is a researcher located within the liminal space between engineering education research and critical feminist theory. Her work explores the largely untouched topics of systems of oppression, social inequity, and gender theory in the formation of professional engineering identity. She holds a a BS in Chemical Engineering and is a PhD candidate in Environmental Engineering with a Queer Studies minor at Oregon State University, Corvallis Oregon where she also obtained her MEng in Environmental Engineering. Her dissertation research is about the support systems and community resiliency of transgender and gender nonconforming undergraduate students in undergraduate engineering education.

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