Blog Post

A New Chapter

Macro photo of the underside of mushrooms

After seven wonderful years at the Futures Initiative and HASTAC, it is with both sadness and excitement that I announce that I will be leaving the Graduate Center in September.

Working at CUNY since 2014, when the Futures Initiative was just taking shape, has been an incredible privilege. I have learned so much from each of my colleagues, from our team of graduate fellows, and from the many students, faculty, and staff who have taken part in our programs. Day after day, year after year, I have continued to be inspired by Founding Director Cathy N. Davidson’s visionary ideas about what might be possible in higher education. From my colleague Lauren Melendez, I have come to understand the power of a balance of tenacity and care. Over the past seven years, the three of us have worked together, alongside other extraordinary colleagues and graduate fellows, to design a university that is truly worth fighting for.

It is impossible for me to name and thank everyone I have learned from these past seven years across the Futures Initiative, HASTAC, and the CUNY Humanities Alliance. Our team is remarkable for the ways that every person supports one another, teaches one another, learns from one another. I have complete confidence that they will carry the work forward in creative, surprising, and powerful ways. We have an amazing group of graduate fellows on board for 2021-2022 and so many plans in the works for the upcoming year.

While the higher ed landscape is still in a period of great uncertainty, that uncertainty also carries with it the possibility for something new to emerge. Watch the Futures Initiative closely in these next years; something beautiful will be happening there, I know it.

I hope now to be able to carry some of those ideas to institutions nationwide. While it is difficult to leave my team, I am also incredibly excited about what is coming next. I will be embarking on a new phase in my work on graduate education reform by starting my own consultancy focused on education reform.

Since Putting the Humanities PhD to Work came out a year ago, I've given over forty talks and interviews about why the humanities matter in today's world; the tense relationship between a desire for equity and structures built on prestige; how the adjunct crisis and a devaluation of teaching is connected to the question of career preparation; and more. My hope is that by stepping out on my own, I'll be available to support institutions in their efforts to design equitable futures in higher education. There is momentum for change right now, particularly after the pandemic. My hope is to help institutions imagine, plan, and implement structural changes that support higher education as a public good.

And so, I will be taking this new step. To all of my colleagues: thank you. I have learned so much from you, and grown so much through our work together.

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