[Illinois] weSTEM 2013: Navigating Academia and Personal Life in a Dual Career Couple

By Amy Wagoner-Johnson

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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At various stages in your career you may pause to reflect on where you are professionally and where your career is headed. Having traveled what is considered a less conventional path for an academic, Amy will share her perception in retrospect of how she came to be where she is today and the impact of some of the choices along the way. Like many in the audience are, or will be, Amy is one half of a dual-career academic couple and has worked through the academic job hunt process multiple times. Her story will leave you feeling encouraged and excited about your career ahead, even if you don't know yet what it will hold. She will offer some practical advice on how to navigate this sometimes daunting balance of life and career based on her own experiences in a dual-career couple, much of which certainly also applies to those who are not dual-career couples.


Professor Wagoner Johnson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering (MechSE) at the University of Illinois. She received her BS in Materials Science and Engineering from The Ohio State University in 1996, and MS and PhD in Engineering from Brown University in 1998 and 2002, respectively. Her thesis research was on deformation and failure mechanisms of metal matrix composites for ballistic applications. She joined the MechSE Department as an Assistant Professor in 2005. Immediately following her PhD, Dr. Wagoner Johnson spent several years as research faculty at U of I during which time she changed fields and began building her research program in biomaterials for bone regeneration and in biomechanics. She is currently a part-time faculty member of the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, and has affiliations with the Institute for Genomic Biology, the Department of Bioengineering, the Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology, and the Computational Science and Engineering Program at the University of Illinois. She also holds a Visiting Professor appointment in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at Washington University in St. Louis. Her hobbies and interests outside of career include exercise, time with family, traveling with family out west, reading, learning, and sleeping!


Source for information on this page: weSTEM Illinois

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Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Amy Wagoner-Johnson (2013), "[Illinois] weSTEM 2013: Navigating Academia and Personal Life in a Dual Career Couple," http://nanohub.org/resources/18930.

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Siebel Center, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL


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