About this Blog:

This blog is aimed at early career academics who want advice and encouragement in navigating the highly competitive and stressful world of academia.  I started this blog at the suggestion of one of my (much younger) colleagues who recently said to me, “I would love a book that offers advice to academics early in their career. ”  Never one to pass up a great idea I thought, “Hey! I could do that!”  After all, what old prof doesn’t love to give advice?

Am I qualified to give advice to new professors?  Well, if making lots of mistakes along the way counts towards the requisite skill set – I’ve got tons of training!  However, the main goal here is to let you know that you are not alone and that you’re probably not doing as badly as you think you are – because everyone is struggling!  And if perhaps you get a chuckle or find a gem of truth in something I post here – all the better!

One thing you’ll notice that’s a bit different about my blog is that I am not looking to make money for this advice, nor am I seeking to attract clients for an academic consulting service. This advice is offered freely, in the spirit of collegial friendship. I received generous and valuable mentoring from old profs when I was an early career academic myself; I figure it’s payback time.

Please note the advice and opinions offered in this blog are my own and come with no warranties or guarantees, express or implied.

About me:

I’m a hydrotechnical (civil) engineer with 30+ years of experience.  I’ve also been a professor for the past 24 years.  I was the first female tenure track professor in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Alberta – a very peculiar experience at the time – and I’m now one of the oldest professors in my Department.

My research involves experimental, field and numerical studies of river ice process and hydraulics, which is a lengthy way of saying I study river ice – you can’t get much more Canadian than that!   If you would like to find out a bit more about my research (river ice IS pretty cool!), please visit my web site, check out this BBC video clip featuring my research in northern Canada, and/or click on the link to the River Ice Photo Blog just to the right here.

Graduate students (especially those in in science and engineering) might want to check out my blog on technical writing advice.

In addition to my “day job” as an engineer and professor, I also write for fun in my spare time.  If you would like to read some of my lighter contributions please check out one or more of the following links:

My personal blog:  stuff I write purely for entertainment…

My booksfictional and biographical books I’ve written – some are free!

My personal websitelinks to access my other blogs, technical publications, info on my research, and info about my books…

my Goodreads Author page: find out about what I’m reading and writing…

My Author Page on  Amazon.com or Amazon.uk

Follow me on Twitter: FayeHicks4

Bloggers, please follow my blog so I can find and follow yours, too.


About the Header Photo:

This photo was taken in my yard at home – my refuge from the insanity of academic life.  I look at this view, take a deep breath, and the blood pressure drops a few points every time.  It’s an important reminder to me that there are other things in life besides work!  🙂


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