Barbara Sarnecka
Barbara Sarnecka, a professor of cognitive sciences and associate dean of graduate studies and research at the University of California-Irvine, holds a rejection party featuring champagne, Roman emperor costumes and togas whenever her graduate students’ rejection pile — for academic journals, conferences, grants, fellowships and jobs — reaches 100. Dr. Sarnecka began the tradition a few years ago to normalize rejection as a part of academic work. “By sharing our rejections with the group and even celebrating milestones like 100 rejections, we counteract the sense of shame and isolation that early-career academics often have,” she said.

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