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

Reminder: Drug-Free Workplace Policy enhances safety

To provide for the health and safety of students, employees and visitors, Ohio State prohibits the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of alcohol or controlled substances. Please review the Drug-Free Workplace Policy for more information.

Revised Paid Leave Programs Policy

To provide greater equity amongst Ohio State faculty and staff, the Paid Leave Programs policy has been revised on an interim basis, including changes to parental leave eligibility and vacation accrual for post-doctoral researchers and associated faculty.

Revised Workplace Violence Policy

As part of Ohio State’s ongoing commitment to providing a safe campus for faculty, staff and students, the Workplace Violence Policy has been revised to better define workplace violence and what to do in the event that a violent situation arises.

Revised Reward and Recognition Policy

The Reward and Recognition policy has been revised to align the policy language with the Expenditures Policy, and to ensure that the language is consistent with tax law.

Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Employment reminder

Ohio State is committed to having a diverse community that promotes equal employment opportunity and eliminates discrimination. It's important to review the university's Affirmative Action, Equal Employment Opportunity and Non-Discrimination/Harassment policy, which provides equal opportunity to everyone.

RECENT ARTICLES

Open Enrollment information: myBenefitsMentor coming in the mail and online

Faculty and staff eligible for Ohio State medical benefits will have access to a helpful resource during Open Enrollment: myBenefitsMentor. This tool models projected medical and pharmacy expenses based on anticipated health care needs for 2019.

HR Leadership Announcement

Linette (Lin) Hillis will join Ohio State in the role of associate vice president for talent, diversity and leadership, Office of Human Resources. Lin’s first day will be on Monday, October 29, 2018.

2019 Open Enrollment Benefits Information

Open Enrollment is the annual opportunity for you to evaluate your benefit options and make your elections for the upcoming year. Open Enrollment for the 2019 benefit plan year will be available November 1-14, 2018.

BuckeyePass begins protecting eTimesheet and eLeave September 30

To continue to improve information security, BuckeyePass multifactor authentication will be added to eLeave and eTimesheet on September 30.

Birth and adoption benefits

Ohio State offers an array of benefits, services and programs to help welcome a new baby to your family. Review important deadlines and requirements if you want benefits coverage for your child.
News Home