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September 25, 2018 | 9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
Category: Seminar
Location: 71 E. Ferry St., Freer House, 2nd floor Hoobler Room
Cost: Free
Audience: Academic Staff, Current Graduate Students, Current Undergraduate Students, Faculty

The Institute of Gerontology is pleased to host:
Mary Byrnes, PhD
Qualitative Data Analyst Center for Healthcare Outcomes and Policy University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MIf

to present:
"Non-Traditional Research Careers: Paths Taken!"

Despite downward trends in the quantity and quality of traditional (tenured) academic jobs, much of academic culture still measures "success" as the ability to land such a position. Yet there exists a growing demand for doctorates in the private sector: in non-traditional roles in traditional places, and in traditional roles in non-traditional places. 

Dr. Byrnes will discuss reasons to consider a non-traditional career and how to look for one. She will reference her own experiences, as a former tenured professor who transitioned into a non-traditional role in a traditional capacity, to explicate the highs and lows of both paths. (She was an WSY/IOG predoctoral fellow from 2004-2009 and completed her sociology doctorate in 2009.) Dr. Byrnes believes that scholars could ultimately benefit from being able to characterize their careers with less rigid definitions of both "scholar" and "success."

Dr. Byrnes works with a team of surgeons at Michigan Medicine on quality improvement and patient care and is the resident CHOP sociologist.  Her research examines how surgeons evolve and confront professional identities to improve outcomes. Over the past 15 years, most of Dr. Byrne's research focused on the intersections of identity, aging, inequalities and housing. She is also Associate Professor, Emerita of Sociology at Marygrove College where her work advocated for older adults facing foreclosure and eviction during the housing crisis. She has been published in Sociology Compass, Journal of Aging Studies, Journal of Applied Gerontology, and Journal of Applied Sociology, and is on the editorial board of Senior Housing & Care.   

The Institute of Gerontology Research Colloquia are presented courtesy of the Mary Thompson Foundation.


For more information about this event, please contact Gail Jensen at 313-664-2622 or