Women's Intellectual Contributions to the Study of Mind and Society

Students, as part of an advanced seminar, examined and wrote about the lives of these women, their intellectual contributions, and the unique impact and special problems that being female had on their careers.

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Judith E. N. Albino

Judith E. N. Albino was born on June 2, 1943 in Jackson, West Tennessee. On her mother's side the family members were "preachers and teachers;" on her father's side the family members were farmers and merchants. Her father died when she was twelve, leaving her mother to care for Albino, her sister Camille (5 years younger) and brother Bill (2 years older). To accomplish this, her mother struggled to keep her father's grocery business going and completed her college education (Albino, 2001).

Albino says her mother's struggle inspired and encouraged her to pursue her own education. At first she was interested in literature, so she wrote poems and stories. She also directed plays when she could get enough actors to participate. Her mother encouraged this and told her she could be anything she wanted to be, until Albino wanted to become president. Then her mother told her that women were not allowed to become president because it was in the constitution. Albino felt this was wrong, as well as discrimination against people of other races (Albino, 2001).

Albino also faced sexism in high school. She says she could not decide whether or not to be smart. Girls her age were told that boys did not like girls who were too smart, and there was an emphasis on getting married. She couldn't quite follow this logic. She was upset when a summer science program she wanted to participate in was only for boys. She also fought against taking Home Economics, which was required of all girls at the time. She got out of it because she was accepted as an American Field Service exchange student to France. She convinced the principal that she should be exempt because of this. This made her the first woman to not take the class before it was dropped as a requirement Albino, 2001).

When she returned from France, Albino was chosen to participate in a speech competition sponsored by the Daughters of the American Revolution. She was told she had to wear a long white formal gown. She felt this was not fair because the boys were allowed to wear suits while they had to go on stage "half naked" because of the strapless style of the time. Ultimately her competitive side won out, and she wore the dress to win the competition (Albino, 2001).

After she graduated from high school, Albino's family moved to Florida where she enrolled at Florida Southern University. While there she majored in French and German, while continuing with her writing. At this time, however, she heard about co-operative education. The idea of starting a career while still in school appealed to her, so she transferred to Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. There she began her study of political science and philosophy. Her first co-op job was in New York, working for Parents magazine. She says she spent her evenings there "dashing around that city and learning what the 1960 (Albino, 2001).

When Albino returned to Ohio she had what she calls a major depressive episode which eventually led to her dropping out of college. She moved to Fort Worth, Texas where her mother was living with her new husband. Her struggle with depression and the reaction of the people around her led to her interest in psychology. She read Freud, Jung, and Adler while working in a library. She also took literature classes at Texas Christian University. Within a year of this, Albino transferred to the University of Texas at Austin and majored in journalism with minors in English and political science. Albino loved the large campus "with its' unlimited opportunities" (Albino, 2001).

Right after college Albino was offered a job as a reporter for Forbes magazine where she had interned. She felt a little overwhelmed by the offer and took a job as editor of a small trade paper in Austin for bus and trucking company owners. She wrote and edited the paper as well as sold advertising. While working there she learned about politics and lobbying, and went back to the University of Texas to get her masters in Journalism. While there she learned how people use the media to get information which inspired her to take a course in research methods and personality theory. After that, she found fairly easy to continue with Psychology because she was recommended for the PhD program (Albino, 2001).

While studying, Albino began to use Psychology to understand herself better and see the patterns in her life. She saw these patterns in the choices she made and the directions she took in her education and career. She did not like to focus on one particular area of study and did not want to limit herself. She went to Antioch because of the new idea of combining work and school. Albino says she knew this would take her someplace new out of the mainstream, but saw it as an opportunity rather than a problem for the first time. This had a tremendous effect of the direction she took with graduate study (Albino, 2001).

Albino studied human motivation with an emphasis on measurement and evaluation. Her first research assistantship was with the Research and Development Center for Teacher Education and later worked with Dr. Paul Kelley at the university's Measurement and Evaluation Center. While studying there she wrote and presented papers on the nature and measurement of perceptions of teaching quality (Albino, 2001).

She was also interested in motivation and based her dissertation on the work of Dr. Matina Horner. Dr. Horner found that women actually avoided success, which is something that Albino had struggled with. Her research made "a ripple" in a body of literature, which confirmed that the expectations of society could harm the ambitions of women at critical points in their lives. Her work even earned her a spot on the Phil Donahue Show. She was afraid, however, that if her work was popularized, it could detract from the seriousness of it. This was a concern for her as an assistant professor and the only woman faculty member in her department (Albino, 2001).

While she was in graduate school Albino met and married her husband Sal. They had two sons, Austin and Adrian, born in 1975 and 1977. Sal helped a lot with the children while she was finishing her education, so she didn't have to miss a single class. Later, when it was clear that her career was more demanding than his, he took on most of the childcare responsibilities. He became a life-long member of the PTA, the first male "room mother," coached the soccer team, and went to all of the swim team meets for their sons (Albino, 2001).

When her husband was transferred to Buffalo, Albino took a position at the State University of New York in the School of Dental Medicine. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research supported her research program there, and she worked with other clinical colleagues to study several topics important to specialists in the field of dentistry. These topics included examiner reliability in assessing malocclusion, shared concerns in orthodontics and prosthodontics, as well as expectations of denture patients. Her research helped inspire several students to complete masters theses on the topic under her guidance (Albino, 2001).

Albino wrote an article in which she emphasized the importance of Psychologists understanding oral disease so they can better help patients referred to them by dentists. These patients may have problems such as fears so deep-seated that they have postponed dental treatment for years. These problems may also pertain to older patients whose chronic dissatisfaction with their dentures cannot be remedied, adolescents who do not adhere to orthodontic recommendations, or medically compromised patients whose deeper concerns about mortality have focused on their dental treatment (Albino, 2002).

In the article, Albino says that cavities are often a patient's first experience with operative dentistry. Albino says this can affect future attitudes toward one's teeth and dental care in general. Albino also says the potential for psychological consequences of cavities is greatest for young children, who may associate pain with the treatment rather than the problem. The development of extreme fear reactions and perceptions of vulnerability are a risk when the treatment of young children is not handled correctly (Albino, 2002).

Albino gives the example that, as with any hospitalization of a young child, when a 3-year-old child is admitted for extensive dental procedures, pain related to dental disease and its treatment is not the only consideration. Extreme anxiety related to separation from parents and exposure to a frightening, unfamiliar hospital setting must also be expected. In addition to psychological treatment focused on reducing the child's anxiety, Albino says there may be a need for work with the parents to ensure that their own anxiety, related guilt, or other concerns are not inappropriately expressed in ways that could ultimately be damaging to the child (Albino, 2002).

Albino also talks about the impact of gum disease, which occurs later in the life span than cavities. In the past few years, research has continued to uncover evidence that periodontal infection may be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and there are indications of a relationship between anxiety and stress and the severity of periodontal disease. Also, periodontal infection in expectant mothers appears to be associated with the increased risk of spontaneous pre-term births and low-birth-weight babies. These findings are placing concerns about periodontal disease much higher on the urgency scale than had previously been the case (Albino, 2002).

Albino feels that patients can greatly benefit from cooperation between dentists and psychologists. She feels that study of oral problems can provide psychologists entry to the minds and thoughts of patients as perhaps no other set of problems can because of their pervasiveness in society (Albino, 2002). Dental problems provide low-risk situations in which to study health behavior and gives psychologists a conservative test of their strategies (Albino, 2001).

Psychologists in the field of dentistry, such as Albino, had trouble getting their work published because dental problems were seen as unimportant. There were, however, 150 to 200 people working in the field by the late 1970's who kept in close contact with each other. This changed slightly in the 1980's when her work became available (Albino, 2001).

Albino also wrote an article on feminism entitled Women as Leaders: The Dirty Word They Must Learn. The word she is referring to is strategy, particularly career strategy. To Albino, the word implies cheating to get ahead. She talks about why men appear to be better equipped to get ahead such as women are socialized to practices encouraging development of personality traits and behavior patterns contrary to the demands of managerial and professional roles (Albino, 1992).

Albino says that women simply don't know how to plan strategically for career advancement. They are not inclined to think ahead about jobs or set goals; they do not take risks or compete well; they are painfully conspicuous in non-supportive work environments; and they do not have mentors to help them change behaviors or deal with the work environment (Albino, 1992).

To succeed in a male-dominated environment, women must understand the environment and behave in ways compatible with it. Albino says that this does not mean they must behave exactly like their male colleagues all the time. Rather, she says women probably need to behave more like some men at least some of the time. This should give women an enormous competitive edge, "for they also have their own bag of tricks, their own work style" (Albino, 1992).

When asked what women need to be successful, female administrators at the University of New York in Buffalo gave four qualities they felt was important. First, women must have a strong sense of self. They must be impervious to the criticism and cheap shots that are part of most women's lives every day. They must also be able to give away the credit for their accomplishments-to their superiors or subordinates, to the faculty committee involved in an issue. People can accomplish a great deal if they are willing to give away credit. Finally, women must project an air of conviction: They must be able to convince others they know what they are about. This can be a catch-22 for many women because they are socialized to do the opposite (Albino, 1992).

The second category of characteristics is the capacity to work hard and long. Albino says that there is no real difference between men and women in this category. She feels, however, that women should watch and learn how males make decisions on what they will and will not work hard at (Albino, 1992).

The third category of attributes has to do with interpersonal skills: being able to listen, mediate, and generally get along well with people. Albino says on the whole, women are skilled at this; but their abilities are not always compatible with the male-dominated way of doing things. Men can get angry and make a scene, but an hour later, they may act as if nothing happened. Women tend to hold on to anger rather than return to business as usual (Albino, 1992).

The fourth category of attributes was intelligence, craftiness, or the ability to strategize. Some respondents in the study said that men admire strategy, but women perceive it as shady business. Men accept that it is important and valuable to find the quickest, most efficient, most effective way of moving from point A to point B. Women like to cover all ground thoroughly in every case. Albino not everything worth doing needs to be done well (Albino, 1992).

Albino, later in her career, accepted the position Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the Systemwide Graduate School at the University of Colorado. Many people told her not to take it because of all the politics involved in Colorado higher education. When she first started, she was offered the position of President at a salary lower than she was making as vice-president. She found out her salary had not been approved like it should have been, and the local media picked up on that. She had a rough time at the University as well because she could not win over the board who resented her having the position as well as her support of minority students (Albino, 2001).

Albino also faced sexual discrimination while she was working in Colorado. In reports of her activities, it told about her dress and appearance. She was criticized for holding a seat on a board as well as having a salary that was too high. Also, her husband was forced to leave his position at the university even though his being there did not violate any nepotism laws (Albino, 2001).

Despite all of these problems Albino had many accomplishments in Colorado. After resigning from the presidency, she was named President Emerita and started working as a senior scholar and advisor to a number of groups. She became active in the American Psychological Association and served as Treasurer from 1990 - 1995 at the same time serving on the Board of Educational Affairs. She was also the first woman to serve as Chair of the Presidents Commission for the National Collegiate Athletics Association (Albino, 2001).

Currently Albino is serving as President at the California School of Professional Psychology. When Albino first arrived, the school was undergoing several changed. They needed to expand certain programs such as organizational and forensic psychology to keep up with the current trends. Also, Albino felt she was in an environment where her views and background were understood (Albino, 2001).

Albino says she is proud of her successes, but she is also proud of her failures. They have helped her learn how to better achieve her goals. She says that she has never regretted the goals that have motivated her and prompted her choices and actions (Albino, 2001).

Works Cited

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