Practice Your Craft Creatively

As you may know, Dr. Patti and I decided on an alt-ac (alternative academic career) life after earning our doctorates.  These careers include jobs outside of academia (research or administrative positions in the public or private sectors). For example, academic affairs (advising, admissions, recruitment), student affairs (career services, international services), research and developments (grant writing, fund-raising) and business affairs (president’s office, community affairs) fall into this group. But what if you want something else? What if you want to find creative scholarly projects? How do you find that career path?

Continue reading “Practice Your Craft Creatively”


Obese With and Without Fast Food

Food swamps reflect the imbalance between fast food restaurants and healthy food choices. A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog called Food Swamps: A New Urban Reality.  A study by the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity concluded that food swamps contribute to obesity in adult populations in low-income areas. Food swamps are a better predictor of obesity rates than food deserts or areas with little access to healthy and affordable food. But what happens when you shrink the number of fast food places in a neighborhood? How does that affect the obesity rate? Does food policy solve a problem or create new ones?

Continue reading “Obese With and Without Fast Food”

80/20, Love, Hate: A Guide for Dissertation Success

This week’s blog is about advice from a seasoned academic advisor (SAA). I wondered how that advice compared to advice Dr. Patti and I share on this blog. While the dissertation process (SAA calls it dissertating) feels like a mystery, it isn’t. When you start the process or when you’re deep in the bowels of it, you don’t know what you don’t know. You don’t know what questions to ask, what ideas are important, what a good research project looks like. And that’s the real mystery: When do you know what you know? When does the light goes on and your thinking starts to flow? When do you feel like you’ve got this?

Continue reading “80/20, Love, Hate: A Guide for Dissertation Success”

What’s Next? An Urban Ag Update

When I started my dissertation on urban agriculture, I learned about the different ways that a city can grow food. Urban agriculture is growing, processing and distributing food in the city. It also is a link between agriculture and urban development – housing, commercial and business development, schools. Urban agriculture is also about food production and urban planning. It includes the suburbs and fringe areas near the city. Urban agriculture means growing food in containers, window sills, backyards, rooftops, freight containers, farms and community gardens. In 2018, I wonder how urban agriculture is evolving and if it can be a stable food source for the future. Below is a snapshot of urban agriculture today...

Continue reading “What’s Next? An Urban Ag Update”

Why Scholars Need a Clue About Good Writing: Part III

Anyone in education knows that its culture is in turmoil. Critics of public funds for higher education make the claim that college is a waste of time. Compared to trade schools, college doesn’t guarantee a job, a good income, a retirement plan, or peace of mind. I’ve written a blog, School is Not for Everyone about education as a personal choice. Higher education has a culture of academic snobbery and leaders who support this outdated culture. And part of that culture includes scholarly writing – bad scholarly writing.

Continue reading “Why Scholars Need a Clue About Good Writing: Part III”

Food Disparities in Rural Missouri

This month, my colleague, Dr. Patti Mason wrote a blog about Disparities in Rural Missouri. Dr. Patti knows about life in rural Missouri: her mother was from Cardwell, Missouri. She knows that people in the Bootheel of Missouri have more health problems than better-educated people living in larger cities around the United States. Of course, many health problems are related to food and individual lifestyle choices.

Continue reading “Food Disparities in Rural Missouri”

Food Rights for All: Rhetoric or Reality?

Food is basic for all life on earth. Several documents based on the Charter of the United Nations recognize food as a human right: Convention on the Rights of the Child (in Articles 24 & 27), Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 25), International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights (Article 11), and the American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man (Article 11). Global hunger has declined over the last 25 years. But malnutrition (undernourished, hunger, overweight, obesity) affects one in three people worldwide. More than 815 million people are hungry each day.

Continue reading “Food Rights for All: Rhetoric or Reality?”