By: Dalet Valles
Published by: Biola News
Among the list of InterVarsity Press (IVP) winners of the 2021 Readers’ Choice awards is Power Women: Stories of Motherhood, Faith, and the Academy, a book co-edited by Biola University professor of sociology Dr. Nancy Wang Yuen and sociologist Dr. Deshonna Collier-Goubil. Power Women is acknowledged under the academic section of IVP’s awards.
“I love that this award came from readers who support more books about women of faith in leadership,” said Yuen.
Covering topics at the intersection of motherhood and academia, Yuen and Collier-Goubil along with 14 contributors including seven Biola faculty members showcase stories of women professors that exemplify how the motherhood and being professors can coincide rather than conflict.
Power Women was published in October 2021 and has already made an impact on readers. Reviews show that Power Women has provided readers with strategies and mentorships for their interwoven lives, balancing their family and academic careers. The book works through the negative stigma surrounding working mothers — especially those in an academic environment.
With the book able to be used as a resource, the hope for Power Women is to encourage mothers that it can be done. With the two areas — motherhood and academia — constantly seeming to battle each other, Yuen and Collier-Goubil have worked to show working mothers that the two can cooperate.
“I want Power Women to be an encouragement to all women of faith in leadership who need work/life synergy,” said Yuen.
The book is divided into four parts, each focusing on a specific topic. Each part shows how to navigate specific areas of academia, motherhood, multiple callings and support, provided by contributors the editors hand-picked to share their story and provide advice.
Seven of the 14 contributing authors in Power Women are Biola professors including professor of sociology Stephanie Chan, professor of English Maria Su Wang, professor of communication sciences and disorders Teri Clemons, professor of psychology Christina Lee Kim, professor of communication sciences and disorders Yvana Uranga-Hernandez and professor of communication studies Joy Qualls.
Along with personal stories, the book offers a space for readers to reflect and discuss the ideas presented in Power Women. Co-editors Collier-Goubil and Yuen both expressed gaining extra insight along the way of the book’s development.
“I learned from the contributors to conceptualize motherhood, the academy, and faith not as different spheres vying for our attention but synergistic assets,” said Yuen.
Biola’s annual Women’s History Month Luncheon was hosted on March 28 and was based on the book. Some of the authors, including Biola professors, presented Ted Talk-style keynotes and participated in a panel discussion of the book.