Amanda Lucas has been a teaching specialist in the department of communication at University of Minnesota Crookston since 2021, though she has been teaching since 2016. Lucas graduated from the University of Arkansas Little Rock in 2014 with her bachelor of arts in speech communication. In 2016, she received her masters of arts in applied communication, and, in 2020, received her PhD in communication from the University of North Dakota.
Lucas currently lives in Grand Forks, N.D. with her husband and two dogs. She is hoping to grow her family soon.
Lucas grew up in central Arkansas, and she loved it. However, in the south, there were deeply rooted beliefs of what a ‘woman’ was supposed to be. Lucas and her sister went to an all-girl high school. Immediately from a young age, Lucas was taught to be smart and educated, being her grandmother had four college degrees. However, Lucas didn’t want to go to college.
“My high school didn’t allow anyone to walk at graduation unless they applied for college,” Lucas explained. “So, I applied to the local university and ended up receiving a scholarship that I made money off of.”
The scholarship was worth more than the price of college and she could not turn that down.
Since starting teaching, Lucas has taught students of all ages. Lucas has noticed that oftentimes she is treated differently than her colleagues, being she is a young female teacher. Lucas sometimes gets nervous about her authority as a young woman.
“I had a student who was a few years older than me, and he was previously in the military,” Lucas shared. “He visited me during my office hours and told me he was upset about a poor grade on his presentation.”
This student proceeded to say, “I was formerly in the military, and I have never gotten along with female teachers,” he went on. “You trigger the anger and violence in me.”
This absolutely terrified Lucas; she feared for her safety. Lucas had a female teacher join the next class with her so she was not alone. She eventually decided to bring this incident up to the chair of the department, who happened to be a man. After getting spoken to by a male, the student completely changed his behavior in her class. This is just one example of Lucas experiencing different treatment firsthand.
Lucas also expressed frustration with the expectation placed upon women to dress formally everyday as professors or other professional careers. She explains that women are oftentimes expected to dress ‘professional’ to gain respect from students, but respect should be earned through kindness, fairness, and superb teaching.
“I often get mistaken for a student, because I am younger and I don’t dress like a stereotypical professor,” Lucas explained. “The way I dress should not determine my knowledge and skills.”
Lucas believes that this is just another example of how women are taught to think heavily about their appearance. While male professors do dress ‘professional’ frequently as well, it’s often just a polo and pants, she feels.
Lucas expressed that growing up she was taught to be independent and never rely on a man (in the best possible way.) Lucas believes that the next generation is becoming much more progressive in equality amongst men and women, but there are definitely still some inequalities.