Skip to Main Content


Your source for campus news

Beyond the Blue Podcast: The Work-Life Equation for Baby Boomers, Generation Xers, and Millennials

By:    Published 10:38 am / March 19, 2012

How do we balance our careers with other aspects of our lives? Is there an ideal balance, or is the equation mostly subjective? This week’s Beyond the Blue podcast, “The Work/Life Equation: A Moving Target” by Vicki Stieha and Rebecca Robideaux, examines the topic and serves as an example of the Foundational Studies course they will teach this fall.

Listeners can access the website featuring a series of faculty podcasts at or go directly to the Stieha/Robideaux presentation. Visitors can download all podcasts and subscribe to receive automatic downloads of new content whenever they open iTunes.

In this podcast, Stieha and Robideaux examine the evolution of the “work-life balance” dynamic, which entered our national dialog in the mid-1980s as people began to consider the implications for work encroaching on the time that previously had been dedicated to family and leisure. More recently, the idea of “balance” seems to have been abandoned in favor of exploring the variables that go into creating a personal work-life equation. This is a particularly compelling question to explore with students as they prepare for a career (or to re-career) in an increasingly global economy.

This presentation offers a sample of the instructors’ Foundational Studies course as they look back a few decades and trace the factors that play into a work-life equation for the three generations currently in the workforce: Baby Boomers, Generation Xers and Millennials. The podcast also features a discussion on how media reflects the ways we look at the work-life equation.

Stieha joined Boise State in August 2011 as director of the Foundational Studies Program. Her background in higher education includes the design and administration of curriculum and programs to enhance students’ academic success. Stieha’s research interests include analyzing the reshaping of the undergraduate curriculum to meet the needs and challenges of today’s students. Recent publications include: Disrupting Relationships: A Catalyst for Growth” (2011) and “Expectations and Experiences: The voice of a first-generation first-year college student and the question of student persistence” (2010).

Robideaux is a Department of Communication instructor and also director of Communication 101 at Boise State. Her research interests include nonverbal communication and its impact on relationships, both personal and professional. Robideaux is team-teaching the UF100 course “The Work/Life Equation” with Stieha in fall 2012.

This podcast is part of a series of presentations related to Boise State’s Foundational Studies Program. Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Martin Schimpf provides an introduction to the new general education program that focuses on essential learning and shared experiences. The Foundational Studies Program begins in fall 2012 and features an interdisciplinary curriculum that focuses on problem solving, communication, innovation and teamwork, ethics and diversity, and disciplinary outcomes. Upcoming podcast topics will be from faculty members on sample Foundational Studies Program classes.

The Beyond the Blue website has been developed to showcase the expertise and innovative spirit that exists in many fields at Boise State. Known for its unique blue turf and nationally ranked football program, Boise State is demonstrating creativity beyond the blue in faculty podcasts intended to introduce a variety of topics to casual listeners.

New faculty podcasts are being added on a regular basis, including:

The website contains bonus video and editorial content about the university, including its growth, research initiatives and student life. A related collection of faculty interviews also is accessible from the Reader’s Corner radio show hosted by Boise State President Bob Kustra on Boise State Public Radio.