Baking Career Diversity into Graduate Education: Reflections from the Field

AHA Session 144
Saturday, January 4, 2020: 3:30 PM-5:00 PM
Sutton South (New York Hilton, Second Floor)
Dylan Ruediger, American Historical Association
Stephanie Narrow, University of California, Irvine
Matthew Reeves, University of Missouri-Kansas City
Ramya Swayamprakash, Michigan State University
Lillian Wilson Szlaga, Wayne State University

Session Abstract

In 2018, twenty history departments across the country received funding from the AHA's Career Diversity initiative to embed professional development into their PhD programs. The undergirding aim of the Career Diversity initiative is to explore the value and purpose of individual PhD programs and develop models for creating cultural and curricular change in doctoral education. Under the aegis of the grant, individual departments are working to implement programming designed to better prepare their graduate students for a range of careers inside and beyond the academy.

A key insight of the initiative is that graduate students can play an important role in Career Diversity programming. This roundtable will feature reflections from AHA Career Diversity fellows, PhD candidates working with faculty to implement curricular and cultural change, reflecting on how graduate students can help create on their respective experiences of creating sustainable programming in their home institutions. Four graduate fellows from a diverse group of PhD granting institutions will discuss their experiences implementing career diversity at their respective institutions. In particular, graduate fellows will talk about the approach of their respective departments, their individual learning experiences and reflections on the limits and possibilities of graduate students as agents of departmental change. In so doing, fellows will reflect on the meaning of change—institutional and individual—at their home institutions. Furthermore, in sharing these experiences, this panel, seeks to think through the possibilities as well as limitations of graduate students as agents of change. Career Diversity Fellows will share their experiences as agents of change across institutions paying attention to prospective challenges and key takeaways.

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