Troy Littleton is a 54-year-old biology lab professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who has gone viral in recent days for installing a crib in his lab for a graduate student that happens to be a new mom.
Namely, the 29-year-old Karen Cunningham is a student that gave birth to a baby and was coming back to school. To make things easier for her, the professor asked the other grad students to chip in on a crib where the new mom could put her 10-month-old baby.
The professor shared a photo of the crib on Twitter last month, and it immediately went viral, gaining thousands of likes and comments. Additionally, the tweet sparked a heated discussion about resources for new moms.
My favorite new equipment purchase for the lab – a travel crib to go in my office so my graduate student can bring her 9-month old little girl to work when necessary and I get to play with her while her mom gets some work done. Win-win!! pic.twitter.com/1R7QKprOLr
— Troy Littleton (@JTroyLittleton) May 7, 2021
Well that little tweet blew up?!? However, I wish people were able to spot the real hero here. It’s the graduate student mom, not me. She’s amazing to do all she has to with her daughter and still keep up her thesis project research. Happy Mother’s Day to all – they deserve it!
— Troy Littleton (@JTroyLittleton) May 9, 2021
Although MIT already offers an on-campus daycare for parents, the daycare was shut down during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The mom planned for her husband to be home with their daughter Katie while teaching classes online, but sometimes things come up, so she has to go back home from the lab.
To help her, the professor enlisted her fellow graduate students to chip in and buy a crib together. So, they surprised her with it when she came back.
This is what he told Good Morning America:
‘Usually in non-pandemic times we always have baby showers for expectant mothers and fathers where we give them gifts and we weren’t able to do that with Karen because of the pandemic, so this was sort of the lab gift for Karen, 10 months later.’
The professor added that even though child care is a challenge in any profession, but in science it can be even more challenging because the experiments don’t always fit a 9-to-5 schedule, so it made sense for Karen to bring her daughter in.
He added that he was delighted when Cunningham came into the lab for the first time with Katie, her daughter, and he shared the photo on Twitter.
His tweet has since gone viral, reaching more than 118k likes and thousands of reshares.
Source: Daily Mail