I am proud to have a wonderful family with two awesome children and an intelligent, beautiful wife.
My passion for studying fatherhood began when I was in graduate school, but became more important to me when my wife was pregnant with my son. This was also the moment that ignited my passion for studying, and being an advocate for, parental leave. I quickly learned the challenges that fathers face when trying to take paternity leave, and sought to better understand why these barriers exist. Because I am lucky enough to have a flexible job and great colleagues, I was able to take some time off when my son was born and experience the benefits of having that time off of work.
My passion for studying and promoting the benefits of parental leave increased when my daughter was born. She spent the first month of her life in the NICU with an undiagnosed lung problem, and at one point she was considered the sickest newborn in the state of Indiana. My wife and I were able to be at the hospital throughout my daughter's illness, which allowed us to stay informed about her condition and advocate for her well-being. Unfortunately, most Americans do not have these same opportunities due to the lack of paid leave options in the U.S.
My hope is that through a greater understanding of the consequences of parental leave-taking, there will be greater motivation to adopt policies that increase access to paid parental leave for all parents. By encouraging and enabling more fathers to be engaged parents and partners, we ultimately can help to reduce the burdens on mothers and work toward greater gender equality.
B.A. - Michigan State University
M.A. - The Ohio State University
Ph.D. - The Ohio State University
Member, International Network on Leave Policies & Research (www.leavenetwork.org)
Work and Family Researchers Network Expert Panel
Co-Editor, Community, Work & Family