Promotion & tenure tips: Being still

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” 

Maya Angelou

Well, it’s the end of another academic year and so much has changed over these nine months. Milestones reached (some not), family celebrations (family deaths), weight loss (weight gain), tenure approval (tenure denial), and so many others I can’t begin to list them all. But as I sit back and reflect on this time past, I am so thankful for the actual time in process for each of these changes. I have grown as a STEM Entrepreneur, a friend, a wife, a mother, and a human (as my friend in North Carolina would say). I guess the long and short of it all, is that in my reflective, still space I am more comfortable with who I am and what I bring into the world. 

P&T is such a roller coaster ride. When it is over (regardless of where you end up -approval or denial), you should take the time to celebrate the process and the enormous amount of energy given to this endeavor. I know the result is important, but so is who you have become and how you have grown in the process. Reflect, smile, unwind and celebrate, then be still and reset. 

Reflect on the collateral beauty of P&T. Smile that you accepted the challenge and crossed the finish line. Unwind and celebrate your body of work. Then use this summer to be still and reset. Still enough to be thankful for the amazing grace that helped you along the journey. Still enough to focus on your gifts and yourself. Still enough so your mind has time to think about “what’s next?” without paper, writing utensils, or digital gadgets. Remember someone asking you, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” Well, that question is equivalent to “what’s next?” When asked, many children just stand there, being still, thinking. And it’s ok. They don’t know, so they shrug their shoulders or say, ‘I don’t know’ and life continues. Good news, you can actually do the same. You don’t have to have all the answers or a list or an action plan. You can just be still and think about it. 

I invite you to take the summer to think and be still. You might be amazed with what you discover. And while you are purposefully, being still, have a cold beverage (adult or kiddie) and relish in the beauty of it all… the beauty of being you and being still. Then and only then will you be able to reset with purpose, focus, and intentionality moving forward.


05/19/2022: Being Still | graphic via

Pamela Leggett-Robinson

Pamela Leggett-Robinson is the CEO and Executive Director for PLR Consulting in Atlanta, GA. PLR Consulting is a boutique Program Development, Management, and Evaluation firm that works with organizations and institutions that seek to address multi-faceted obstacles confronting historically and presently marginalized groups in STEM environments and optimize current STEM...