In the afterword, Dr. Rogers lays out ten ways forward for academics looking to not only restructure academia, but also for students on how to use their graduate degrees to find meaningful employment. The afterword and its ten ways forward, offers clear and succinct steps on how graduate education can be restructured, such that graduate students find meaningful work at the end of their graduate education. To that end Rogers puts forth some really compelling ideas, ideas such as making professional development an integral part of the graduate student training, building partnerships with communities outside academia, and suggests that universities expand what counts as meaningful scholarship for graduate students.
At the writing of this review, the world is still in the grip of the Covid-19 pandemic, and America is taking tentative breaths while welcoming a new head of state. One question kept coming up during this reading was, what is academia’s role in all of this? Roger’s afterword and the ten ideas she lays therein, is a start. Because those ten ways forward are not only concerned with finding meaningful work at the end of one’s graduate education, they are also about how those in academia can actually pay attention to what is happening in the world around them and be able to address it in real time. What Dr. Kim Gallon, in her talk Intersecting Pandemics, called, “…Academia as early responders”, where academia responds, in real time, to the inequities and injustices that we see in the world today.
Dr. Roger’s Afterword provides a good blueprint for how academics, whether they are at beginning their graduate school journey, are finishing graduate school or are already faculty, can do the work that is meaningful to them and at the same time, change the university and give back to their chosen communities. As Dr. Rogers writes at the end of the afterword, “The time for change is now. Let’s get started.”