emotional labor

New Faculty Profile: Dr. Nicole Humphrey

By A&S News

New Faculty Profile: Dr. Nicole Humphrey

By A&S News
Dr. Nicole Humphrey is an assistant professor in the Political Science Department.

First impressions can make a big impact on an individual, and for new faculty member Dr. Nicole Humphrey, her first impression of the University of Miami was quite significant.

nicole humphrey“I remember visiting the Coral Gables campus for my interview, and I was truly shocked,” recalls Humphrey. “This is such a diverse campus. As a student at the University of Kansas, I could be the only person of color in a class and that was normal. Whereas here, my students are so diverse and it’s something that I honestly find very exhilarating for me, being in a place where I feel like I fit in.”

Humphrey is one of many new faculty members who joined the College of Arts and Sciences this fall semester. Originally from Kansas, she is a new assistant professor in the Department of Political Science. Her academic focus is on public administration and organizational behavior. Humphrey earned her Ph.D. in public administration at the University of Kansas where she also taught courses on pubic administration, public service, and law and society.

“I have always wanted to work in government, and I was leaning towards a career as a city manager or city attorney, but in my junior year while conducting research in public administration, a professor suggested I get my Ph.D. in the field,” said Humphrey. “It was actually the best of both worlds for me, because I can still study government and teach, and there is something very special about working in a university environment with students.”

Here at the University of Miami, Humphrey is teaching two courses: “Organizational Dynamics and Management” and “Diversity and Equity in Public Administration.” Her courses focus on broad management issues and how organizations handle diversity in the workplace.

“I share ideas with students about how emotional labor is expected in a job or within a managerial framework. Students analyze how employees should be taken care of when and if they are in an emotionally stressful situation,” said Humphrey. “Within my course on equity and diversity, we discuss how organizations manage a diverse workplace and if employees are expected to perform more emotional labor because of their gender.”

Humphrey adds that the COVID-19 pandemic and the current social issues surrounding racial inequity in America have brought about some interesting questions regarding emotional labor and even bigger questions on diversity and equity in the workplace.

“How can an organization keep people connected and how do you check up on people while they are working away from the office environment?” said Humphrey. “Also, I was so excited to teach my course on equity and diversity in public administration this semester, although I was a bit nervous. It’s a very stressful time to be teaching a course that focuses on these big issues, but it is happening at a time when it is most needed, and we need to give students the space that they need to express themselves in a safe classroom environment.”