Santa Barbara—Fall 2016


In collaboration with UC Santa Barbara, Humanists@Work (HumWork) hosted a partner summit to convene key stakeholders—including national associations and funders, graduate students, faculty mentors, career center professionals, and professional organizers—to reflect on best practices for supporting the professionalization of humanities PhDs. Unlike past workshops, which have focused on a combination of skill-based sessions and community-building conversations for graduate students, this Partner Summit will:

  • Examine the specific needs and concerns humanities PhDs have regarding professionalization with an eye towards how programs can design activities with these best practices in mind.
  • Strategize with assembled partners around how to mobilize and empower graduate students to shape communities and movements, PhD training, and the very future of the university.
  • Network with recent NEH Next Gen grant recipients and others in order to think broadly about the state of professionalization across the University of California system.

HumWork Santa Barbara took place on November 6-7 and include the following events:

  • Sunday, November 6: Networking How-to and Structured Networking Dinner, Canary Hotel
  • Monday, November 7: Daylong Partner Summit, La Casa de Maria

Partner Summit Schedule

9:00—9:25 AM: Welcome

  • David Theo Goldberg, Director, UCHRI
  • Kelly Anne Brown, Assistant Director, UCHRI; Project Director, Humanists@Work

9:30—11:00 AM: Stories from the Field

This panel of humanities PhDs will share their stories as humanists at work in the world. Traditionally, participants in this session have been recent UC humanities PhDs; however, because HumWork Santa Barbara centers on national conversations surrounding professionalization, this session comprises individuals who grapple with these topics both personally (in their own career search outside of the professoriate) and professionally (in positions that directly address career training).


  • Rachel Bernard, Program Officer, ACLS (PhD, History, UCB)
  • Nilofar Gardezi, ACLS Public Fellow/Program Impact Analyst, BAVC (PhD, English, UCB)
  • Robert Hamm, Coordinator, Graduate Student Professional Development at Graduate Division, UCSB (PhD, English, UCSB)
  • Katja Zelijadt, Director, Office of Challenge
  • Daniel Boulos (moderator), PhD Student, Department of Theatre and Dance, UCSB

11:15—11:45 AM: Navigating a Path from Campus to Career (Part I)

Though professional services and conversations vary from campus to campus, Humanists@Work seeks to better understand how the needs and interests of PhDs are currently being met (or not) as professionalization for humanities PhDs undergoes significant and—we hope—sustained transformation. This session will present data from a survey administered to humanities PhDs at four UC campuses, as well as snapshots of available resources at each campus, in order to analyze the professionalization landscape for humanities PhDs, identify gaps in existing resources, and propose opportunities for improvement.

Campus Snapshots and Survey Results (please download before the workshop):

11:45 AM—12:45 PM: Lunch


Building off of the survey data and snapshots from Part I, this session will invite participants to collaborate on what the ideal campus might look like with regard to professionalization and to begin work on creating resource maps that reflect the variety of careers open to humanities PhDs.


  • Erica Lee, PhD Student, History, UCB
  • Dorie Perez, PhD Student, Interdisciplinary Humanities, UCM
  • Olivia Quintanilla, PhD Student, Ethnic Studies, UCSD
  • Meg Sparling, PhD Student, English, UCD

1:45—2:15 PM: Coffee Break and Informal Networking

2:15—3:45 PM: Breakout Sessions:

Session I: Resume Redux: Using the Writing Process as a Tool for Career Discovery

Jared Redick of The Résumé Studio in San Francisco continues his ongoing journey to help humanities PhDs undertake the often complex process of converting an academic CV into a résumé that can be adapted for a variety of professional contexts. Jared’s long-standing collaboration with HumWork has resulted in methodologies that are tailored specifically to humanities graduate students at all stages of their job search. Attend this session if you have never attended one of Jared’s workshops or if you just want to brush up on your résumé technique.


  • Jared Redick, The Resume Studio
Session II: Working from Within: Career Center Reflections on Humanities PhD Professionalization

What are the common challenges humanities graduate students face as they consider their career options? How do the professionalization needs of humanities PhDs differ from those of other advanced degree earners? We tackle these topics with a panel of career center professionals who work specifically with graduate students across the country. After brief introductions, the session will build a dialogue between panelists and participants in order to identify and articulate best practices for humanities graduate student professionalization. Attend this session if you want to engage in a discussion of the theory and practice of professionalization for graduate students in the humanities.


  • Derek Attig, Assistant Director for Student Outreach, Graduate College Career Development Office, Graduate College, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (PhD, History, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
  • Jenny Furlongh, Director, Office of Career Planning and Professional Development, the Graduate Center, CUNY (PhD, Romance Languages, University of Pennsylvania)
  • Giulia Hoffman, Graduate Student Career Advisor, UC San Diego (PhD, English, UC Riverside)
  • Annie Maxfield, Associate Director, Graduate Student Relations and Services, UC Los Angeles
  • Kelly Anne Brown (moderator), Assistant Director, UCHRI

3:45—4:15 PM: Coffee Break and Informal Networking

4:15—5:45 PM: Building Collaborative Communities

How do we build and sustain communities given the campus structures and resources discussed earlier? More importantly, how do we cultivate a collective identity and tools to communicate the existing voices, sensibilities, and contributions of humanities PhDs? In this session, Cindy Au, former VP of Community at Kickstarter and English PhD, will use her expertise to lead us in community building and help us imagine the future of engaged professionalization. Together we will imagine purposeful and translatable processes for developing, expressing, and maintaining vibrant graduate communities.


  • Cindy Au, VP of Community and Operations, Homemade (formerly VP of Community, Kickstarter) (PhD English, University of Wisconsin at Madison)
  • Sowparnika Balaswaminathan (moderator), PhD Student, Anthropology, UCSD
  • Rebecca Lippman (moderator), PhD Student, Comparative Literature, UCLA

5:45 PM: Closing Remarks