By Rachel Barnard, Cristina Espinoza-Alguera, Karen Hice Guzmán and Jana Young

Back to School: Dear Mentor Podcast

"I start off with trying to make sure the student knows someone is looking forward to seeing them." — Jana Young

How do you prepare to successfully kick off a new school year? Listen in on our first in a series of episodes where we answer some of your Dear Mentor questions.

Let me invite you into a special episode, our first in a series of episodes where we answer some of your Dear Mentor questions. First up: back to school rhythms. How do you get geared up for the semester? What habits get you in the mindset for an energizing start to the school year? Karen Hice Guzmán, director of Women Scholars and Professionals, sat down with three women faculty members — representing the fields of chemistry, music, and business — and recorded their best tips and wisdom to help you start your school year on the right foot. 

Let me add a special note here for those of you who are not professionally aligned with a school schedule at this time of year — you are welcome, too! The ideas that emerge from these three conversations can be applied easily to a number of contexts, so we hope you listen in and glean the wisdom that connects with your life and work situation.

And one more thing: If you’re wondering what happened to "All Shall Be Well" and "Women in the Academy and Professions," there’s no need for concern! You’re in the right place — we’ve simply decided to change our name.

So have a listen! We're so glad you're here.

— Ann Boyd

You can listen on iTunes or at The Women Scholars and Professionals Podcast Page. We hope you enjoy this conversation as much as we did.

Further resources for this interview:

  • Here is an article about The Examen, a spiritual reflection process that can be used for a day or a school year or anything in between
  • Here is an article about Journaling in the Round, another tool we like to share that supports reflection.
  • Last year, we shared these thoughts about grading during the pandemic, many of which are still pertinent.
  • You might also enjoy this interview with Carrie Bare, spiritual director and cheerleader for women scholars and professionals.

Photo by Aphiwat Chuangchoem on StockSnap

About the Author

Rachel is part of the faculty at Lyman Briggs College — a science-focused residential college at Michigan State University. Rachel, who loves working with freshmen, teaches general introductory chemistry lecture and lab courses. Rachel did her undergraduate degree in chemistry at Cedarville University and her MS and PhD at the University of Michigan. An avid runner, Rachel currently lives and runs in East Lansing, Michigan.

Cristina brings a wealth of industry experience to her current role on the Finance faculty of the University of Miami. She holds a PhD from Texas A&M University. In addition, she serves on staff with InterVarsity’s Graduate and Faculty Ministries working with U of M faculty to help them bring together their life in Christ and their awork. Cristina and her daughter — an avid horse racing fan — attended this year’s Kentucky Derby. Her son just completed his first year at BGSU in Ohio and is looking forward to his 2nd year.

Karen Hice Guzmán is the Director of Women Scholars and Professionals. Except for some years taken off to raise children, Karen has spent her adult life in and around InterVarsity. She loves to use her gifts of hospitality and teaching to create a welcome place to connect with God and one another. Karen has a BS in Horticulture from Michigan State University and lives in Marietta, Georgia. She and her husband have three adult sons and a daughter-in-law. She loves dark chocolate, good coffee, and British TV. 

Jana is an Associate Professor of Voice and the Voice Area Coordinator in the School of Music at Kennesaw State University. Jana, a soprano, received her undergraduate vocal training at Baylor University, and holds two degrees; a BMEd and a BM in Vocal Pedagogy as well as a Masters of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Louisiana. A native Louisianan, Jana now lives in Kennesaw, Georgia with her dog Buster.

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