Begun in 2020, the Diverse Careers Initiative (DCI) recognizes that our graduate students pursue a wide variety of jobs after completing their degrees. Although planning for the DCI began well before COVID-19 shrank the already precarious academic job market, the Initiative is increasingly salient today. We are grateful to the Dean of Humanities and our Partners of the Center for financial support that helped us launch the Initiative.
Today, the DCI is stewarded in part by a Diverse Careers Associate – a current graduate student who designs, develops, and implements programming for students considering non-faculty careers inside and outside the academy. Working closely with our Staff Associate Director, Houston-area community organizations, and our Partners of the Center (POC), the fellow helps to realize the Center’s goal of supporting and mentoring students with a wide range of career ambitions.
Our programming in the DCI takes place through our Feminist Labs. Some Labs hone professional skills – like the Feminist Inclusive Remote Pedagogies Lab that led both students and faculty through workshops examining on-line teaching from multiple perspectives of access and inclusion.
The Graduate Summer Experience Fellowship is a competitive paid summer fellowship that pairs graduate students with Houston-area non-profits, in much the same way that undergraduate researchers have connected through the Seminar and Practicum in Engaged Research. While undergraduate students are often available only over the course of a single academic year, we envision that this summer experience could inspire graduate students to engage longer-term relationships, deepening the possibilities for collaboration and community building.