Career Decisions and Experiences of Psychologists
Edited by Peter A. Keller
Published October 1st 1994 by Psychology Press – 184 pages
This book contains the intimate autobiographies of 13 psychologists who work in academic settings. Their experiences are as diverse as their specializations and the academic institutions from which they come. However, all of the contributors have in common an infectious enthusiasm for their academic experiences and the unique opportunities provided by their careers.
Psychology students often have only vague notions about the career experiences and personal lives of academic psychologists. The autobiographies in this book open special windows onto the lives of psychologists in academic settings. The contributions range from a description of experiences at a two-year community college through discussions of the demands at high powered doctoral-level research institutions. The authors offer intimate glimpses of experiences in their lives that paved the way to academia.
Although this book is, in a sense, about career planning in academic settings, there is no pretense about it being a career planning guide. The editor's goal was to give readers some sense of what motivates academic psychologists and what their personal as well as professional lives are like. The editor also makes clear his belief that there is no single pathway to a successful academic career in psychology. Although each contributor describes what most would see as a successful career, the academic paths taken and the personal and professional rewards received are often quite different. This book will provide encouragement to students contemplating a career in academia as well as interesting reading for psychologists curious about what makes their academic colleagues tick.
"…a reader will experience quite an array of professional activities that psychologists in various academic settings engage in….the most striking aspect of these essays is the remarkable heterogeneity of job challenges that academic psychologists have available. There is not a single activity described in Academic Paths that my intuition would not allow me to pursue….if I were an undergraduate or graduate student with eclectic intellectual interests, who wished a career that offered almost total freedom to follow one's passions and dreams, I would find Academic Paths almost irresistable."
"…should be required reading for all graduate students contemplating a career in academic psychology. The book shows the diversity of career paths within academia, as well as the satisfactions and tribulations of academic life. I plan to recommend the book to all our graduate students, and expect many other faculty who read the book will do the same. Indeed, the book is entertaining even for faculty members, and may give them ideas on how to liven up and expand their careers."
—Robert J. Sternberg
Contents: Preface. P.A. Keller, Career Paths in Academia: No Single Route to Success. A.E.G. Robinson, Psychology and Community College Teaching: Helping People in Context. S.F. Davis, You Take the High Road, I'll Take the Low Road: A Satisfying Career at a Small State University. A.E. Puente, An Unconventional Career Path in Teaching and Neuropsychology. S.M. Cameron, Reflections on the Richness of a Small College Career. L.T. Benjamin, Jr., An Academic Odyssey: Experiences in a Small College and a Major Research University. B. Perlman, The Rhythms and Serendipity of an Academic Life. P.C. Keith-Speigel, A Midcareer Perspective: Big City to Small University Town. U. Delworth, Of People, Places, and Trees: A Varied Career in Counseling Psychology. N.F. Russo, The Evolution of a Feminist Psychologist, Advocate, and Scholar. R. Perloff, Playing the Hand That's Dealt You: My Life and Times (So Far) as a Psychologist. G. Melton, Building a Safe Environment for Children and Families: The Integration of Research, Teaching, and Public Service. S. Sue, Change, Persistence, and Enthusiasm for Ethnic Research. D.A. Taylor, The Autobiography of a Social Psychologist: Scholarship, Advocacy, and Leadership.