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 holds a PhD in environmental engineering with a minor in queer studies. Her dissertation research explored the support systems and community resiliency of transgender and gender nonconforming undergraduate students in undergraduate engineering education. She is currently a labor organizer in Washington state.

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