Category Archives: GSAS Futures

Smithsonian Libraries Research Opportunities 2017-18

Hey students! Check out this fellowship opportunity from the Smithsonian!

Deadline January 15, 2017


Smithsonian Libraries – Opportunities for Research 2017-2018
The Smithsonian Libraries, situated at the center of the world’s largest museum complex, is a vital part of the research, exhibition, and educational enterprise of the Institution. The Libraries offers exceptional research resources ranging from 13th-century manuscripts to electronic journals. We are happy to offer the following fellowship opportunities for the 2017-2018 academic year.

The Baird Society Resident Scholar Program: $3,500 per month for up to six months to support scholarly research in the Special Collections of the Smithsonian Libraries in Washington, D.C. and New York, NY, in an extensive range of subject areas. Doctoral students and post-doctoral scholars are welcome to apply. Collections include printed materials on world’s fairs; manufacturer’s commercial trade catalogs from the 19th and 20th centuries; natural history rare books (pre-1840 works on topics such as botany, zoology, travel & exploration, museums & collecting, geology, and anthropology); air and space history (late 18th to early 20th centuries); James Smithson’s library; rare materials in European and American decorative arts, architecture, and design (18th to 20th centuries); and history of art and artists (exhibition catalogs, catalogues raisonnés, serials, dissertations and artists’ ephemera).

The Dibner Library Resident Scholar Program: $3,500 per month for up to six months for individuals working on a topic relating to the history of science and technology who can make substantial use of the Dibner Library’s Special Collections in Washington, D.C. Doctoral students and post-doctoral scholars are welcome to apply. The Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology has manuscripts and rare books dating primarily from the 15th to the 19th centuries. Collection strengths are in the fields of mathematics, astronomy, classical natural philosophy, theoretical physics (up to the early 20th century), experimental physics (especially electricity and magnetism), engineering technology (from the Renaissance to the late nineteenth century), and scientific apparatus and instruments.

The deadline for all programs is January 15, 2017 for appointments between September 1, 2017 and August 31, 2018. Fellowship recipients are expected to be in residence during their appointments. For further information about the Smithsonian Libraries’ Resident Scholar Programs listed above, including application information, visit the Smithsonian web site.

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NEH Postdoctoral/Predoctoral Fellowship and Program Opportunities

Advanced Ph.D.s and soon to be Alums– look into these great opportunities from the Omohundro Institute sponsored by the NEH!

Postdoctoral Fellowship Deadline: October 31, 2016

Scholars’ Workshop Deadline: January 23, 2017

Georgian Papers Programme Deadline: November 7, 2016, February 20, 2017, & May 8, 2017

Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation Short-Term Visiting Fellowship Deadline: April 17, 2017

Lapidus-Omohundro Predoctoral Fellowship Deadline: January 16, 2017


The Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture is an1 independant research organization housed at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. They offer long-term, short-term, and travel fellowships to scholars at the predoctoral and postdoctoral levels. All application materials and complete information can be found on their website under fellowships.

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CMH Dissertation Fellowships Opportunity

Ph.D. students interested in military or U.S. Army history or related fields, look into this Dissertation Fellowship from the U.S. Army Center for Military History. Three Fellowships are offered each year.

Deadline: January 15, 2017


To support scholarly research and writing among qualified civilian graduate students preparing dissertations in the history of warfare, the Center offers three Dissertation Fellowships each year. One, funded by the National Museum of the U.S. Army, is designed to support dissertations that explore the material culture of the Army; the two others support research in the more general areas of military history in all its many aspects. In your application please specify if you wish to compete for the two general fellowships or for the Museums fellowship. These fellowships carry a $10,000 stipend and access to the Center’s facilities and technical expertise.

Area and Topics of Study
For purposes of this program, the history of war on land is broadly defined, including such areas as biography, military campaigns, military organization and administration, policy, strategy, tactics, weaponry, technology, training, logistics, and the evolution of civil-military relations. In the selection of proposals for funding, preference is given to topics on the history of the U.S. Army. Topics submitted should complement rather than duplicate the Center’s existing projects.

See the CMH website for information on eligibility, how to apply, and fellowship requirements.

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Conference Etiquette- Is There Such a Thing as an Inappropriate Question During Q&A?

The Background

I recently attended a conference in Seattle on graduate education, and it was a great experience full of panels and ideas that I’m excited to try and replicate here at Fordham. But while I was in one of the sessions, an interesting situation arose—an audience member asked a question about sexual assault that clearly made the panel uncomfortable. So my question is: are their questions that simply should not be asked in a public Q&A?

It’s complicated. I think that there are productive conversations and argumentative ones. Anyone who has ever sat in on an academic conversation (Q&A, open forum, etc.) knows the difference between a comment meant to generate discussion and one made to disrupt it. There are panels where easy discussion and questions are the norm and ones where hard questions come up that may cause disagreement or even some outrage. In general, I think the beauty of the conference panel is that it does provide a place for people to create thoughtful segues and connect research but in general they’re more informative than anything.

Here is what we, the authorities, think. You, the audience of lesser knowledge, now respond to my ideas.

There are exceptions of course but let’s be honest—that’s fairly typical of the experience, especially when attending as a graduate student. Odds are you’ll be one of the least experienced voices in the room, so when is it time to speak up if you have something atypical to add?

The Situation

Let me set this particular scene. It was a panel on international travel, more specifically, the educational and professional benefits associated with graduate student travel. Considering the topic, I’ll also share the gender make-up of the presenters—two women and a man, all high level administrators. It was the very end of the session, the last question in fact, when the topic arose. Very respectfully, a man and asked if advocates for international travel were taking into consideration the numbers and reality of studies, like this 2013 preliminary, on overseas study-abroad sexual assault. “How are we preparing students to deal with this?” he asked. And should that reality affect an administrative push for international travel?

It was a topical and meaningful question that left the panel in obvious mental anxiety. I could see both panel and audience physically clench up. Sexual assault cases, and their handling, on domestic campuses are touchy subjects in higher education and it seemed this academic (and I would ethical) question did not limit the discomfort. It’s a reality and a problem, the panel admitted, but then quickly added that the benefits outweighed the risk and moved on, even going so far as to ask another question to end the panel on another note.

The Fallout

Who was in the right? The person who asked the question? The panelists who seemed to ignore it, despite its importance? I think in this case I can see both sides.

It was a rough question, one that I think would have derailed panelists with less experience and considering the time limitation (less than 5 minutes till lunch), I personally wouldn’t have asked it in that moment. But I don’t think it was inappropriate. It was on topic and timely, as proved by the recent Chronicle article dealing with this very issue.

Should audience members take panelists potential discomfort into account before asking a question? I don’t think so. Certainly, when you defend your dissertation your committee members are not going to go easy on you, nor are classmates in discussion. Dealing with difficult questions is part of being an academic, no matter the forum.

I think the panel’s importance and my overall take-away was lessened by the panelists brushing away the discussion of sexual assault. It seemed disingenuous and dangerous to pretend that our current, unorganized preventative education is going to make a difference with this issue. There needs to be a culture change. And maybe that panel was not the place to discuss that change, but the problem should have been better acknowledged—more importantly they should not have ignored the topics presence simply because it made them uncomfortable.

The Last Word

Overall, I think that the conference Q&A is the place to ask hard questions. As long as it somewhat relates to the session topic and is not outright insulting, I say go for it. In the end, it’s rarely the question asker who feels pressure from a poor question. A good panelist will know when and how to brush it aside (whether they should or not). But you may want to check the program so you’re not too rough on a new colleague.

As a graduate student I’d be careful who you may put on the spot—do you want to collaborate with them? Will you be interviewing at their school in the future? Most people appreciate questions that make them think or question their results, but some might be annoyed at what they feel is a disruption of a smooth panel.

  • Dewis Shallcross, Director of Student Development, GSAS ‘14

Fordham works hard to create a respectful environment fee from sexual harassment. Remember if you’re a graduate student teacher you’re a mandatory reporter!

Fordham policies, resources, and reporting information can be found here


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A Face-lift for Your LinkedIn Could Land You a Job

Resumes and CVs are how you officially present yourself to potential employers, but what about unofficially? While a resume may be your strongest tool in an application packet, they’re not always the only way employers check your employment history. Photos and materials on professional networking sites like LinkedIn are often the first thing an employer checks when researching an applicant, so you need to make sure your site sets the same tone as your CV and that your photo is representative of who you are as an professional.

We reached out to brand and public relations strategist, Emily A. Schwarz (B.S., University of Florida) for some quick hints on using LinkedIn to brand yourself as a professional (academic or otherwise) and why curating your digital images to fit your job search can set you apart.

I don’t like having my photo taken… Do I really need a headshot?

Emily Schwarz (ES):  YES, you absolutely need one for your LinkedIn or other professional networking site, and it can and will hurt if you don’t have one. Your headshot is another way to express your personal brand and differentiate yourself from the thousands of other job seekers looking to take your spot.

What’s a brand?

ES: Chick-fil-A and Coca-Cola have separate brand identities. This means they’ve attached a feeling and personality to their brands through the use of marketing (the way they talk in their ads, the type of ads they run, the colors they use, etc.).

If this is something companies do why should I care? Why brand myself?

ES: This type of strategy isn’t limited to multi-billion dollar companies, but something every person in the professional world, or those poising themselves to be in the professional [or academic] world, should actively pursue. For example, my LinkedIn profile shows a bit of my personality, not only through the use of a headshot, but also in my cover photo, in the headline I chose (not something boring and industry-specific), in the organizations I’ve listed that I represent and the inclusion of work samples.

But I don’t want to muddy the waters. My resume is great—shouldn’t it just stand alone?

ES: Employers are looking for more than just your skills and qualifications. They want to get to know you, and they want to see if you’re going to mesh with their culture. They want to feel a certain way when they look at your profile, just like you feel a certain way when you “like” a Facebook post from Taco Bell about National Taco Day, when you happen to love tacos.

Maybe your employer happens to be a fan of the university you attended, or the professional way you portray yourself in your photo/profile as a whole. We are lucky to live in a world where there are so many ways to differentiate ourselves now, aside from a boring Word doc resume [or CV]. Make sure you take advantage of all of them.

Emily runs PR strategy for Fans 1st Media, a division of Cox Media Group.

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Filed under GSAS Futures, Networking, Resume/CV Resource

DIGITAL DAY on August 27!


August 27, 2015  |  10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Rose Hill  |  Keating Hall, Rooms 317 & 318

digital day

Attend FREE workshops to introduce WordPress and Adobe Photoshop, two important digital tools that benefit graduate students from all disciplines.

As a participant, you should bring your own laptop, materials to create your own professionally-oriented website with WordPress, and ideas for visual materials you would like to generate with Photoshop (ex: images for a website, teaching, or research presentation).

To allow for effective hands-on learning, advance registration is required!

Please contact Dr. Susanne Hafner by Tuesday, August 25 to register.
Digital Day is sponsored by Fordham University’s Center for Medieval Studies and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences’ professional development initiative, GSAS Futures.

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Inaugural Alumni Panel and Networking Event – April 30, 2015

GSAS Futures is hosting the first-ever Alumni Panel and Networking event for current graduate students and recent alumni to facilitate networking and the expansion professional relationships. Alumni panelists will speak about their experiences transitioning from graduate school to professional careers, tips on how to find the right job outside of academia, and about their personal career choices and paths.  The panel discussion will be followed by a cocktail reception to allow students and alumni to mingle. Alumni from across disciplines and industries will be coming to the networking reception from the greater New York Metro Area to meet and speak with you!
Date: Thursday, April 30
Time: 6 – 8 p.m.
Location: W-62 Bateman, Fordham Law School

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The New York Botanical Garden 2015 Spring Professional Development Series Follow Up

Dr. James Boyer

Dr. James Boyer

For the first time in my four years at Fordham I set foot in Larkin hall, home of the biology department, to hear Dr. James Boyer address graduate students regarding his professional experiences. Dr. Boyer is Vice President of The Stavros Niarchos Foundation for Children’s Education at the New York Botanical Gardens. His lecture was designed to provide biology students with first-hand information regarding job opportunities outside the traditional paths of teaching in classrooms or working in labs. Due to the fact that I’m not a biology student but, have cultivated a deep love for the Botanical Gardens through the many runs and exhibits during my time at Fordham, I wondered what I would take away from the lecture.

Dr. Boyer mainly catered to the specific needs of biology students; however, managed to effectively impart knowledge that would be valuable to any graduate student. He reminded attendees that all research and academic endeavors are important – even if they do not pursue a career in academia. This is a relief to those who fear all the hard work they have done during their time in academia will be overlooked. In fact, he reminded students to remain up-to-date on advances in their field, continue to seek new knowledge, and always strive to improve.

He urged us to remember that graduate students are masters of learning who have been conditioned to be flexible and highly adaptable. We have been ingrained to be independent thinkers and leaders, and have obtained the ability to speak both eloquently and technically on a matter. It is with these skills, applicable to a variety of job opportunities, that graduate students enter the workforce.

Lastly, Dr. Boyer successfully dispelled the common misconception that graduate school limits students to careers in academia. Instead, it has prepared us to excel in a variety of career opportunities both within and beyond education.


Sarah Brennan

Applied Psychological Methods

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Filed under BGSA, Biological Sciences, Graduate Students, GSAS Futures

Women in STEM Fields

As anyone with their pulse on higher education and/or trending twitter topics knows, female leadership and opportunities for women are being discussed, created, and critiqued around the US and the world. This February, Columbia and NYU invited scholars to New York to join the dialogue; they hosted the Womensphere Summit and Awards on Innovation, Invention, and Exploration.

This meeting was produced and moderated by Womensphere (and creator Analisa Balares), whose goal is to increase women’s presence in leadership roles across the board, through mentoring initiatives and community building. GSAS, our professional development initiative GSAS futures, and Fordham Biological Sciences department sponsored three female students to go attend this cutting-edge event.

Below, students Beth Ansaldi, Chelsea Butcher, and Marly Katz describe the event and the important dialogues that came out of it.


Women and men in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) from across the globe convened on February 25th and 26th, 2015 to inspire and initiate the advancement of women in STEM disciplines. Day one of the summit incorporated inspiring and insightful talks by distinguished speakers from a broad range of institutions representing academia, entrepreneurship and industry. Several themes from the speakers’ most potent ideas emerged. Key advice delivered at the summit to emerging women leaders in STEM include:

  1. Adaptation: Constantly change yourself. Ironically, what gets you to one point in your career may not be what enables you to push past that point. How you build a life and a career is a continuous and creative project requiring many iterations.
  2. Figure out your niche. Figure out what differentiates you from your peers.
  3. Outside of your comfort zone is where the magic happens.
  4. The ability to learn is the only skill you really need to succeed.
  5. Be self-aware. Know your strengths and weaknesses.
  6. Cut your losses and be able to let go. Learn from your mistakes, and failed projects and move forward.
  7. Surround yourself by strengthening alliances. Find complements, not replicates to your own strengths. Innovation is the product of collaboration between people with diverse backgrounds.
  8. Authenticity. Represent yourself honestly, aligning your words and actions with your self.

Day two, a smaller and more intimate event, focused on promoting the advancement of female entrepreneurs from STEM fields.  Many attendees had projects and inventions in mind, while others, just starting out, were hoping to gain insight for future endeavors.  A number of topics were covered including identifying business opportunities, building teams and networks, and developing business models.

One of the main themes of the day was money and how to acquire enough of it to build and maintain a successful business. Once you propose a product or project, how do you overcome the hurdle of financially supporting it from start to finish? One strategy discussed was crowdsourcing, or soliciting contributions from a large group of people.  This can be achieved by posting your proposed plan or project on a crowdsourcing website.  The project creators choose a deadline and funding goal and provide rewards to those who donate.  A number of sites were discussed, including the following:

  1. Kickstarter – The most popular website, with the highest site traffic.
  1. IndiegogoThis site has no application process and is accessible world-wide,  allowing it to host a wide variety of projects and inventions.
  1. Plum AlleyAlthough not as well known as the first two, this site prides itself    on helping female entrepreneurs achieve their goals, with 75% of the                               audience (i.e. donors, funders) being women.

Although all of these websites offer the opportunity to showcase and receive funding for your projects, it also affords the opportunity for you to support other innovators through funding contributions!

We are pleased to have been given the opportunity to attend the Womensphere Summit and Awards on Innovation, Invention, and Exploration.  For more information on advice for women in STEM fields and entrepreneurial tips, attend our workshop on Wednesday, April 1st at 4 pm in Larkin 150!


Beth Ansaldi ‘16

Chelsea Butcher ‘17

Marly Katz ‘17

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Filed under Biological Sciences, Conference, Graduate Students, GSAS Futures, STEM, Upcoming Event