are you the secretary?

Dianna L. Bourke dlb17 at PSU.EDU
Mon Feb 26 16:11:36 EST 1996

>(Galloway Cynthia M) wrote:
 I think the students still cannot conceive of a women being "Dr."
>> I am the only women in the Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Geology
>> departments so the students do not come in contact with any other women
>> sciences professors.  They also seem to have a hard time addressing a
>> woman as "Dr."  I am usually "Mrs. Galloway" and I am not a "Mrs." either.

and >Peggy Barr writes,

 (DVM and PhD) which entitle me to "Dr." as
>much as the next person, yet I am frequently called "Ms. Barr" or "Mrs.
>Barr" (I am married, but my husband's last name is Stuart).

I think is important to gently and humorously make the distinction. When I
first came here (a relatively rural area) from the med school environments
that I had done all my graduate and postdoctoral training in, I found it
strange that everyone insisted on calling me Mrs. Bourke. Now this would be
wrong in the first place because I did not change my name when I married
(In which case I would be Mrs. Schrum) and it also causes some confusion
because my husband  teaches on campus, too. I also realized that they are
used to calling their high school teachers Mrs. _______ because the vast
majority of women high school teachers do not have their Ph.D.s.

So at the beginning of every semeseter I announce to the class that they
are to call me "Dr." Bourke and soften the pretentiousness of that
statement by saying that it took me a long time to get the title and I like
to use it. I also baldly state that it is time they get used to having
women PhD.s as professors and I wouldn't want them to embarass themselves
later on. I also mention that I am married to Professor Schrum, and no, we
are NOT having an affair (our familiarity might be confusing at times) and
if anyone wants to see our marriage licence, I have it on file upstairs.
And no, it is not legally mandated that women have to change their names
after marriage which I think comes as a bit of a shock to some!

Dianna L. Bourke
Penn State Hazleton

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