Kylie Smith

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Michelle Sandhoff

Second Advisor

Melanie Duncan

Third Advisor

Melissa Swauger


Professors often perform emotional labor as part of their jobs. Emotional labor is the work done to manage your own and other people’s emotions. It is important work but is often invisible and uncompensated. Emotional labor is also often gendered, with women performing more than men. Through eight semi-structured interviews, this study explores the emotional labor performed by professors in a one college at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP). I found that professors did perform emotional labor especially when it came to teaching, advising, grading, and working with colleagues. Professors often enjoyed student-focused emotional labor. They also often felt that their emotional labor was invisible. The findings of this study add complexity to current definitions of emotional labor and could possibly be useful for creating ways for professors’ emotional labor to be recognized by their departments and IUP as a whole.