My Circus: Please Note That I Have No Formal Training in Juggling

  • Amber Flynn Charlebois


Currently, I am deep in the trenches of trying to successfully manage two of the most amazing things, motherhood and professorhood. It is my hope that sharing some of my story will provide not only information, but also insight and hope to the reader. For me, achieving success in many areas of my life is more of a juggling act, rather than a balancing act. In this chapter, I share my story as a first generation college student who during my career/life has experienced a two-body problem, challenges during pregnancy, and has survived a hostile work environment based on gender. I give you a glimpse into my juggling act.



I am indebted to numerous people who have pushed, challenged, inspired, supported, and believed in me through the years, ultimately getting me where I am today, starting with my parents, who believed in me and taught me to follow my values and to work hard. Instrumental professors Cullen (MCC) and Morris (SUNY Brockport) introduced me to what is looks like to be an amazing teacher at the undergraduate level. UIUC’s Scott Silverman for being a true mentor and champion as my postdoc advisor. Troy Wood (UB) for believing in me and inviting me to be his research collaborator on a very cool project. Brian Mauro (FDU) for providing many opportunities to step out of my comfort zone and tackle new projects and programs. Wendy Pogozelski, Celia Easton, and Ken Kallio for recognizing and acknowledging that I am more than a lecturer and that I have much more to offer SUNY Geneseo. In addition, I am incredibly blessed with a number of women whom I consider to be my mentors, confidants, and friends. Then there is my family. Nothing I do (have done) would be possible without their support, encouragement, and love. My children still love me (and even give me hugs) despite the fact that I cannot always be there for them at every stop. My husband Jay has supported me in all that I do. He must think I am truly a crazy person for getting involved in so many things and throwing so many balls into the air at one time. But as crazy as he thinks I am, he is always my grounding and stabilizing force; he is the person in my juggling act who helps to catch some of the balls I miss and more importantly helps me pick up the pieces when a ball crashes to the ground. It is only with all of this amazing support that I am able to continue my circus performance, my juggling act.

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amber Flynn Charlebois
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Chemistry and BiochemistryNazareth CollegeRochesterUSA

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