Diplomatic Approaches: A Romance Languages PhD purses a path in Italy’s consular service

By Matthew Woodbury Dr. Pierluigi Erbaggio received his PhD in Romance Languages from the University of Michigan in 2016. He is an Administrative Assistant at the Consulate of Italy in Detroit, MI. He spoke as part of U-M’s PhD Connections: A Career Conference in April 2018 and agreed to share some more perspectives about his own trajectory. Italy’s diplomatic presence in Michigan began over a century ago with the appointment of a consular agent in 1899. Today, Dr. Pierluigi Erbaggio works alongside eight other staff at the Consulate of Italy’s offices […]

A Classical Studies PhD follows her love of teaching

By Matthew Woodbury Dr. Jacqui Stimson received her PhD in Classical Studies from the University of Michigan in 2017. She is a Postdoctoral Teaching Consultant at the Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence & Education Innovation at Carnegie Mellon University. Dr. Stimson doesn’t have a typical day at the office. After just one year consulting at Carnegie Mellon University’s Eberly Center, she already manages a diverse portfolio of tasks. Her responsibilities fall into several broad areas: individual consultations with faculty and graduate students, developing teaching seminars and workshops, shouldering a share of […]

Synthetic Thinking: An archivist’s journey from dinosaurs to Du Bois

By Matthew Woodbury Dr. Robert S. Cox is Head of Special Collections at the University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries. He received his PhD in History from the University of Michigan in 2002. Dr. Cox began his PhD to learn about the past. Initial training as a paleontologist, however, meant that the materials he consulted were millennia older than those he now manages for the University of Massachusetts Libraries. Shifting doctoral programs from studying fossils to reading and writing about American history required both learning new disciplinary approaches and refocusing on […]

An Advisor’s Advice

By Matthew Woodbury Trevor Kilgore is an Academic Advisor and Coordinator for Department Advising at the University of Michigan’s College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. He received his PhD in History from the University of Michigan in April 2018. The University of Michigan offers a dizzying array of academic programs across more than a dozen schools and colleges. As an academic advisor and coordinator of department advising for the Newnan Academic Advising Center, Trevor Kilgore helps undergraduates navigate over 85 majors and more than 100 minors. During an 8-5 […]

Epiphany at the Altar

By Matthew Woodbury Dr. Lehti Keelmann received her PhD in the History of Art in 2016. She is the Assistant Curator of Western Art at the University of Michigan Museum of Art. Walking past formal 18th-century portraits, intricate Tiffany lamps, and an exhibit of stunning fashion photographs, it’s easy to see why Dr. Lehti Keelmann finds the University of Michigan Museum of Art a great place to work. As the Museum’s Assistant Curator of Western Art, Dr. Keelmann works with the American and European holdings of art ranging from medieval enamels […]

A linguist in tech: designing healthcare conversations

By Shana Melnysyn Dr. Joseph Tyler received his PhD in Linguistics in 2012. He is a Conversation Designer at Sensely. How do you talk to a computer? How does it listen and understand your words? How do you make a computer produce utterances that a human can understand? Dr. Joseph Tyler addresses these questions every day in his role in voice user interface design. Dr. Tyler uses his linguistic expertise in intonation and meaning as a Conversation Designer at a healthcare-related startup called Sensely. Sensely is a smartphone app that connects users […]

Answering a Calling in a High School History Classroom

By Shana Melnysyn Dr. Gene Cassidy is a high school history teacher at Miss Porter’s School. He received his PhD in History from U of M in 2015. Every morning when he wakes up, Dr. Gene Cassidy feels like he “won the lottery.” He absolutely loves his job as a high school history teacher at the independent Miss Porter’s School in Farmington, Connecticut. He describes it as his “calling,” and says it “fulfills [him] in ways that no other job ever could.” If he were rich, he says, this is […]

Composing Your Career: From the “What” to the “How”

This is a follow-up post by Meg Ahern, who recently began a new position as a learning specialist at USAID LEARN. Dr. Ahern completed her joint PhD in Women’s Studies & English at U of M in 2012. I’ll start with a confession.  In my previous post, I wrote about how useful an academic doctorate can be in other fields, as I’ve found in my own career in international development, and I ended with some advice about focusing on the kind of role you’d be happiest in day to day.  That advice […]

A Digital Humanities Project in Tibetan Studies

By Shana Melnysyn Dr. Alex Gardner is the Executive Director and Chief Editor for The Treasury of Lives, a digital humanities project that comprises “a biographical encyclopedia of Tibet, Inner Asia, and the Himalayan region.” Dr. Gardner received his PhD in Asian Languages and Cultures from University of Michigan in 2007. Dr. Alex Gardner began his post-PhD career path with a stroke of luck. After finishing his doctorate in Buddhist Studies at University of Michigan, Dr. Gardner received a postdoc at the Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center (now the Buddhist Digital […]

Bringing Humanities Training to Professional Storytelling and Public Engagement

By Estevan Rael-Gálvez, PhD. Former State Historian of New Mexico, Executive Director at the National Hispanic Cultural Center and Sr. VP of Sites at the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  Dr. Rael-Gálvez, writer, strategist, and principal of the consulting firm Creative Strategies 360°, received his PhD in American Culture from the University of Michigan in 2000. Along with my upbringing in a mountain village of northern New Mexico, where I formed my core values and learned my love for storytelling, an especially important part of my journey was my graduate […]