3 C's Profile: Dr. Andria Timmer

The Her Campus CNU chapter hosted our second ever 3C's event (coffee, career, and conversation) on Tuesday, March 27. In this event students are given the opportunity to sit down with female professors and get advice about women entering the work force. I was fortunate enough to be able to sit down with Anthropology professor, Dr. Andria Timmer, to get her personal views on some hard-hitting topics.

How was the 3 C's experience for you?

"It was great! This was my second time participating so I knew what to expect. I love teaching at CNU because the campus is so small, so I feel like I really get to know people. Something else that's great about CNU is that we really prioritize teaching; not all universities do that. I think professors tend to forget that, while we go home at the end of everyday, you guys don't. At night the campus belongs to the students, so it's really great to be here after hours and chat with students outside of the classroom. Instead of talking about grades and papers, I can connect with you all by talking about other worries and priorities in your lives and hopefully help with that."

What made you want to go into the anthropology field, and more specifically get your PhD?

"At first I truly didn't even know what anthropology was. I started out as a theater major, but the more I spent my time in acting classes, the more I realized that just wasn't what I wanted my life to look like, so I took some time off, and when I came back to school I was looking through my course catalog and realized that every course I was interested in taking was an anthropology course. As soon as I began learning about the subject matter, it just clicked! Something about it really spoke to me, and, as for becoming a professor, ever since I was a little kid I always had my heart set on the idea that whatever field I went in to, I would stay in school and learn about it as long as I possibly could. Even as a theater major I planned on getting a PhD, so becoming a professor just sort of happened."

How is it balancing work with your personal life?

"Well honestly, I still haven't really figured that out. I think that's the biggest struggle for professors, especially female. At the end of the day, my job is a part of me, but it doesn't define me, it's just a job. I'm a mom first, or even a friend. I love my job, but sometimes other things are more important. If my child is sick I have to tend to them before I can grade papers, and maybe my students will be annoyed, but they'll get over it. I think students need to understand the same thing. School is just school; physical and especially mental health come first. If you need to turn in an assignment late or get a C instead of an A on an exam because you're having a breakdown, that's okay. In a few years that grade won't matter. What will matter is whether or not you chose to take care of yourself and the ones you love. Mental health and relationships matter most. I personally am always happy to excuse a student from class or make an exception if they have responsibilities such as taking their mom to the doctor or something along those lines."

What is your favorite class to teach?

"I can't say that I have a favorite. I'm always just so excited to teach whatever the next class is that I'm going to teach. I love teaching anthropology because I know that students aren't here just to fulfill a requirement, they genuinely want to learn about the subject matter. I believe that everyone should take an anthropology course, partially because I'm biased, but also because it is the only discipline that focuses solely on the human experience."

Do you have any advice for someone who wants to pursue the same, or a similar career path?

"Passion is always what's most important, in any career. Don't do something you hate just because it makes money or other people want you to. I am so fortunate that I get to wake up everyday and do what I love. Figure out what really feeds you; however, again, remember that your career isn't who you are. Define yourself by your relationships and extra-curriculars. I loved theater, but it wasn't the correct career for me. Do what you love and love what you do."

Make sure to stay tuned to our social media pages for updates on the next 3Cs event!