In collaboration with UC Santa Barbara, 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 workshop:

  • Examined 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.
  • Strategized 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.
  • Networked 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 was held at La Casa de Maria.

Workshop Sessions

Stories from the Field

This panel of humanities PhDs 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

Nilofar Gardezi
ACLS Public Fellow/Program Impact Analyst

Robert Hamm
Director, Graduate Student Professional Development
UC Santa Barbara

Katja Zelijadt
Director, Office of Challenge Grants
National Endowment for the Humanities

Daniel Boulos (moderator)
PhD Student
UC Santa Barbara

Navigating a Path from Campus to Career

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 presents 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. The second part of this session invites 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
UC Berkeley

Dorie Perez
PhD Student
UC Merced

Olivia Quintanilla
PhD Student
UC San Diego

Meg Sparling
PhD Student
UC Davis

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.

Jared Redick
The Résumé Studio

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 builds a dialogue between panelists and participants in order to identify and articulate best practices for humanities graduate student professionalization.

Derek Attig
Assistant Director for Student Outreach
Graduate College Career Development Office
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Jenny Furlongh
Director, Office of Career Planning and Professional Development
The Graduate Center, CUNY

Giulia Hoffman
Graduate Student Career Advisor
UC San Diego

Annie Maxfield
Associate Director, Graduate Student Relations and Services
UC Los Angeles

Kelly Anne Brown (moderator)
Assistant Director

Building Collaborative Communities

How do we build and sustain communities given the campus structures and resources in the UC system? 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, uses her expertise to lead us in community building and help us imagine the future of engaged professionalization. Participants collaborate to imagine purposeful and translatable processes for developing, expressing, and maintaining vibrant graduate communities.

Cindy Au
VP of Community and Operations

Sowparnika Balaswaminathan (moderator)
PhD Student
UC San Diego

Rebecca Lippman (moderator)
PhD Student
UC Los Angeles

Session Videos & Reflections