2017/02/09 – Ohio State Couple Share Benefits and Challenges of a Shared Workplace - Human Resources at Ohio State

Ohio State Couple Share Benefits and Challenges of a Shared Workplace

This story is the second in a four-part series on the #BuckeyeLove found in the Ohio State faculty and staff community. Read about more Ohio State couples or share your #BuckeyeLove.

Mollie Blackburn and Mindi Rhoades, Ohio State faculty members and together 20 years, first met as high school English teachers in Athens, GA. They moved to Columbus, OH, in 2001 when Mollie joined the College of Education and Human Ecology (EHE).

They not only work at the same institution, but also in the same department. At EHE’s Department of Teaching and Learning, Mollie researches and teaches topics in adolescent literature and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students. Mindi joined the department faculty in 2008. Her teaching and research focus on integrated arts-based learning.

Their close professional proximity comes with unique challenges and opportunities. Some of the benefits are smaller in scale, such as sharing transportation costs and securing a “built-in backup” if one cannot attend a departmental meeting. Other benefits are more impactful, including the support they receive from the department.

“The university is very good at scheduling our teaching responsibilities around our child care needs,” Mollie said. Mindi and Mollie have two children (12- and seven-year olds) and the Department of Teaching and Learning works to avoid overlapping their evening schedules.

Both of their children were born at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, which creates another strong family connection to campus. “I remember being able to see Ohio Stadium from the delivery room!” Mollie said.

Mollie Blackburn and Mindi Rhoades with their two children

Mindi Rhoades (left) and Mollie Blackburn with their two children.

The challenges of working in the same university department include maintaining a level of separation both in the office and at home.

Mollie and Mindi work to demonstrate their unique professional identities. “We are careful about separating things at work so our individual scholarly contributions are recognized,” Mollie said.

“That might be less important if we worked in different departments,” Mindi added.

They are also highly aware of their workplace interactions, including departmental meetings. For example, Mollie and Mindi said they do not sit too close together at meetings to avoid appearing as an automatic alliance on important department decisions.

This sense of separation extends to their home in the Clintonville neighborhood. Only this time, the separation is to remove work conversation from their home life.

“It’s important to keep a level of separation between work and home when you both work in the same department,” Mollie said.

At the end of the day, both Mollie and Mindi appreciate the opportunity to work together. “There’s something great about having a shared understanding of each other’s jobs and our workplace’s values,” Mollie said.

Mollie Blackburn and Mindi Rhoades

Mindi (left) and Mollie, Ohio State faculty members and together 20 years.

Share this page

  • Facebook logo
  • Twitter logo
  • LinkedIn logo
  • Yammer logo
  • Google+ logo
  • Reddit logo
  • RSS logo
Search

HR FOCUS

Dependent tuition assistance deadlines approaching

For dependent tuition assistance, applications must be submitted each term. The summer 2017 term enrollment window closes Friday, June 16.

Basso named senior vice president for talent, culture and human resources

Following a national search, Susan McGarry Basso has been named senior vice president for talent, culture and human resources at The Ohio State University.

Partnership will recruit and retain individuals with disabilities for Ohio State careers

The Ohio State University and Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD), the state agency responsible for workforce development and placement of individuals with disabilities, have partnered to place an OOD career specialist exclusively at Ohio State.

HR Service Delivery Transitions to Workday Enterprise Project

On February 17, Provost Bruce McPheron and Geoff Chatas, Chief Financial Officer, announced the enterprise-wide project to implement Workday, which will replace Ohio State’s current financial, student and human resources management systems, including PeopleSoft, over the next five years.

RECENT ARTICLES

Personnel Records Policy revisions

The Personnel Records Policy has been revised to align with the university’s shift from paper to electronic personal records, effective June 15, 2017.

Active faculty member finds motivation and helps others succeed

Whether it is on a health and wellness journey or in a classroom, Kristin Saxon truly enjoys helping others and encouraging them to succeed.

Seven key takeaways on how to influence

Establishing influence is an important and powerful leadership skill that helps motivate others, achieve goals and create an effective work environment. On Thursday, May 11, about 100 Ohio State managers...

Ohio State named best Columbus employer by (614) Magazine

For the fourth consecutive year, The Ohio State University has been named “Best Columbus Employer” by the (614) Magazine ColumBEST awards. Additionally, the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center was awarded...

Distinguished Staff Awards honor contributions by exceptional Ohio State staff

Annually, 12 staff members are honored for their remarkable accomplishments, leadership and contributions to Ohio State.

News Home