Dr. Erin Vicente is a professor who doesn’t shy away from talking about her family. Vicente, Assistant Professor of Communication, is a proud mom of Juliana, age 4 ½, and Donovan, age 2, and will bring up stories about them every so often in her classes. Whether it’s about bringing her kids to the Apple store or how her husband, Jeremy, became a meme after being knocked over by Lebron James, her personal stories add to the welcoming atmosphere in the classroom.
Vicente, originally from New Jersey, attended Queens College in North Carolina before moving to Boston. She received her Master’s degree in Public Relations and Advertising from Suffolk University, and obtained her Doctorate degree from Northeastern University in Organizational Communication and Leadership.
“I thought I wouldn’t be able to do it, but I did,” said Vicente about getting her PhD in 2015 with two babies. “I try not to get frazzled, but that was the most difficult time.”
Starting as an adjunct professor at Lasell in 2008, Vicente transitioned to a full-time position in 2011, teaching three classes each semester. She has taught a variety of communication classes, including all of the core classes for Communication majors.
“I don’t have a favorite because they all give me something different,” Vicente said. “It’s wonderful teaching COM101 for the freshmen and COM418 [the capstone course] for the seniors. I also like Effective Speaking [COM203] and Professional Communication [COM206].”
With a full schedule at work and young children at home, Vicente feels sometimes it’s a challenge because the days aren’t long enough. She makes it work, however, and says her favorite thing to do with her kids is “be together.” On days she is at Lasell, her sister, a stay-at-home mom, takes care of the kids because she only lives a block away. Her oldest, Juliana, attends preschool in the mornings, and they go to playgrounds almost every day.
“I don’t take them many places, like the fairs or even Canobie Lake Park,” said Vicente. “We try to embrace being home.” Vicente also likes reading with her kids, and says Juliana is into chapter books about fairies, while Donovan likes Little Critter and the Berenstein Bears.
When teaching her classes, Vicente tries not to bring out too much of her motherly instincts. “I want them to be life learners. My students are adults and I’m not their mom, but I’m caring and empathetic,” she said. “You lead by example, so I try to conduct myself the way my students do.”
Vicente does not like to take being a mom away from being a professor, and vice versa, and tries to be extremely present wherever she is.
“I want students to get excited about class like my kids get excited over life,” said Vicente. “I probably find [balancing work and motherhood] easier than most people, because I really love what I do. I love being a mom and I love being a teacher.”
Thinking about the future, Vicente says she isn’t quite sure what her children want to do just yet. Donovan likes firetrucks and firemen, and Juliana wants to be a dentist, a dancer, and a famous singer. For now, she will continue to watch them get excited over fireflies and eating ice cream.
In one word, Vicente describes professors who are also mothers as “amazing.”
“I think women don’t get enough credit,” she said. “We’ve made great strides, but there is still pressure to be the best. There isn’t enough talked about of women who work full-time and still take care of kids.” This is true, and Vicente is one of the many working moms who are successful at doing both.
*Picture provided by Vicente.