Dean Laura Bryan (UB, @EubieBee) & Career-Life Balance/Integration Portfolios – Feb. 25, 2015


The new Career-Life Balance Initiative at UMBC is sponsoring a February 2015 workshop on preparing career paths that will include a healthy integration of work and those things that are important to life, e.g., health and wellness, family. This workshop is sponsored by UMBC’s initiative new project, “On Ramps” to Full Professor: Institutional Support for Post-Family Leave Faculty Research Reintegration, National Science Foundation Grant #1446406.” The series of workshops and seminars will be open to the campus community at UMBC, and guests from the University System of Maryland. The sessions will cover topics that support development of a better integration of career and activities that shape everyday life.

The precursor event will be a Career-Life Balance “Writing Corner” breakfast session for graduate students on Monday, Feb. 23. During this session, graduate students will be able to have some dedicated time to work on grant submissions, CV updates, dissertations, applications, etc. The Career-Life Balance “Writing Corner” is a new initiative that is taking the best practices from the PROMISE Dissertation House, PROMISE Writing for Publication, and PROMISE Postdoctoral Writing Suite activities, and combining them with needs that graduate students expressed in a CLB poll launched at UMBC during the Fall semester 2014. The “Writing Corner” concept was developed by the CLB GA, Amanda Lo, who worked with graduate students to gauge interest. Amanda describes the space as follows: “This room will serve to help others achieve career-life balance by providing a comfortable environment where graduate students, post-doctorate fellows, faculty, and staff can allocate time to work at ease on their writing. All participants are encouraged to bring their own laptops and any materials that they might need to assist them with their writing.” Students may RSVP for the Monday, February 23rd “CLB Writing Corner” here:

LauraBryan_2015The key CLB event for the month will be a Wednesday, February 25, 2015 workshop on planning your career portfolio. This workshop will be led by Dr. Laura Koppes Bryan, Dean of the Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences, at the University of Baltimore (UB). Dean Bryan is an advocate for effective strategies on managing both work and life responsibilities. She worked as an independent consultant for LK Associates, where she consulted with organizations on various areas, including work-life effectiveness. She also served as Director of Work-Life at the University of Kentucky where she analyzed data surveying the work-life culture for both faculty and staff members. She developed and implemented the UK Work-Life vision and strategy; through her advocacy and presentation to the University Board of Trustees, she was approved of a budget of 11 million dollars for the work-life initiatives. Dr. Bryan is a member of the PROMISE AGEP STEM Deans Council, and is partnering with The Career-Life Balance Initiative at UMBC, The PROMISE AGEP for the University System of Maryland, UMBC’s Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, and The Graduate School at UMBC, to provide this seminar for all graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, in all disciplines. All members of the campus community are invited to attend.


The Career-Life Balance project at UMBC is part of a special initiative that is being sponsored by the National Science Foundation:, in concert with objectives on the topic that are being put forth by the White House: Read more from the press release by the White House here:


Published by Renetta Garrison Tull

Dr. Renetta Garrison Tull is the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) at the University of California Davis. She previously served as Associate Vice Provost for Strategic Initiatives at The Graduate School at UMBC, and was Professor of the Practice in the College of Engineering & IT. She was Special Assistant to the Sr. Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs & Director of Graduate and Professional Pipeline Development for the University System of Maryland (12 institutions). She is the Founding Director of PROMISE: Maryland’s Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) –, and Co-PI for the USM LSAMP. Her research on global diversity in STEM continues, and she is an international speaker, covering nearly all continents, for groups and conferences such as the World Engineering Education Forum, the International Federation of Engineering Education Societies, and the Pacific Sciences Congress. Her personal website is: Connect with her on Twitter: @Renetta_Tull;

7 thoughts on “Dean Laura Bryan (UB, @EubieBee) & Career-Life Balance/Integration Portfolios – Feb. 25, 2015

  1. I would love to attend this, but I will be doing my field observations at another university during this time, will this be recorded? or will additional information be provided from the key points shared?


    1. Dear Erin, This particular event will not be recorded, but Amanda Lo (Biology) will be posting notes with key points here in the comment section following the event. Amanda will provide an excellent summary, so please check back later in the week.

      Renetta Tull


  2. Dr. Tull is there any way you can (preferably) record or live-stream these sessions for those of us who can’t make the trip. I NEED THIS INFO!!


    1. sorry for the repeat comment – I did’t see the one above when I was given the option to post. I look forward to reading the notes.


      1. Hi Jaye,

        Unfortunately, we did not record or live-stream this session. However, I will be posting notes shortly. I also recently received handouts from the guest speaker, Dean Laura Bryan, who gave permission to share with the public for anyone who wanted to attend, but, could not come in person to the seminar.


        Graduate Assistant for the Career-Life Balance Initiative


  3. Hi everyone!

    I know there were some people who were unable to attend the CLB Seminar: Developing a Career Portfolio on Feb. 23, 2015. However, need not worry! I have taken notes and composed them below for all to see:

    Work-Life Balance

    Work-Life Balance. Dean Laura Bryan says that the term, “balance,” is a very strong word. It implies that balance can be achievable; however, Dean Bryan says that, sometimes, work-life balance cannot be achieved. Instead, she prefers to utilizes other phrases, such as “work-life satisfaction” or “work-life effectiveness.”

    Work-Life Culture

    Work-Life culture is important as it sets the environment for the individual. It impacts both the wellness of the individual and the successfulness of the company. As Dean Laura Bryan puts it, “Every individual is appreciated for being a contributor and as a human being.” Work-life balance is an important factor to impacting long-term satisfaction. In a Horizons Workforce Survey that was recently conducted, Dean Bryan reported that “nearly 80% of all faculty members would consider leaving their current work situation for a more supportive work environment.” She also provided statistics of faculty members who would consider leaving to spend time for elder care and child care. These statistics are not meant to discourage prospective faculty members from pursuing a career in academe, but, are meant to show to importance of work-life balance.

    Career-Life Considerations

    As you look to find your own career path, there are several things to keep in mind. For example, in the academe, the job expectations for faculty members have been increasing with time; job expectations for a faculty member decades ago is now a fraction of a faculty’s job expectations today. Examples of some factors Dean Laura Bryan asks us to consider include, but are not limited to: job expectations, flexibility in career advancement and job responsibilities, having a relationship, having a family, health and wellness of the individual, family responsibilities (child care and elder care), financial stability, and transitions to retirement.

    Career-Life Balance Strategies

    In Dean Laura Bryan’s presentation, it said, “Career affects life; life affects career.” I find this to be a very important sentence. Dean Bryan mentioned that as we develop our career portfolio and find our own career path, it is best to choose a career where we can still be satisfied with our life responsibilities. If pursuing a career in the academe, it would be beneficial to look for whether the institution provides work-life polices, resources, and programs. If having a family, sometimes, institutions also provide such as career-life balance research grants, dependent care travel grants, and adoption assistance. These are a few examples of financial support options, but, are good to look at when considering a career.

    At the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), there are family support plans and policies that promote work-life balance. For faculty and staff members, UMBC provides Family and Medical Leave and Parental Leave. For graduate assistants, UMBC provides Maternity leave. Located in the Commons is the Women’s Center, which offers a lactation room for mothers. A child care facility is located on campus as well. It is currently closed; however, it will re-open soon. Fathers, for example, can also utilize the family friendly policies, such as Family and Medical Leave, as well.


    Leaders affect the work-life environment. Dean Laura Bryan
    n says, “Know and understand faculty and staff work-life challenges.” Faculty can be busy with work-life responsibilities as well, so, it is necessary to be flexible and have a sense of a shared purpose about work and life. Dean Laura Bryan mentions that communication is important. Good leaders who advocate a work-life culture would not have bias against caregivers, who care for children, parents, or others. Leaders who are responsive would establish clear expectations, are flexible, are supportive for the individual’s success, knows the legal do’s and don’ts, and provides resources/referrals to help assist the individual. Dean Laura Bryan says that most institutions would have a work-life balance website. We are currently working on the Career-Life Balance Initiative at UMBC webpage.

    As Dean Laura Bryan ends her presentation, she provided everyone with wonderful tips. She also provided handouts for creating a career-life portfolio. All handouts that were supplied at the seminar will be shared on the PROMISE AGEP website.


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