Our alumni have used their experiences to build careers in fields as diverse as English, Music, Sociology, Spanish, and more. Here’s what they have to say about the Interactive Technology and Pedagogy Certificate Program:
I wanted to share an update, which I must credit to the ITP program. I’ve begun working with the Participatory Budgeting Project as their technologist and so much of what I learned in ITP applies: technology is not neutral, open source is crucial, users/learners matter. Thank you for creating such a solid, grounding program!
Hadassah Damien, MA in American Studies 2013
Manager of Engagement Technology, New York
Participatory Budgeting Project
Even if dread and confusion more aptly describe your relationship towards The Digital, ITP is one of the few spaces to gently learn technical skills while critically discussing their social effects as well as their affordances for activist and academic engagements. While ITP (along with the Digital Fellows program) completely transformed the course of my research, career, and politics, I can’t think of a single intellectual or professional path that wouldn’t benefit significantly from this exceptionally unique opportunity.
Erin Glass, PhD student in English
Associate Director & Digital Humanities Coordinator
Center for the Humanities & Geisel Library
University of California, San Diego
I will be starting as an Associate Research Scholar in the Center for Spatial Research at Columbia in September. I absolutely believe that this position is a direct result of my ITP Project, and the ITP Certificate Program provided me the space, time, and support to develop a project that would not otherwise fit into my academic journey, but absolutely helped me go in a direction that I find really exciting and valuable. Which is a long way to say thank you!
Michelle McSweeney, PhD in Linguistics, 2016
Associate Research Scholar
Center for Spatial Research at Columbia
I am very pleased to announce that I have been hired as a tenure-track Assistant Professor at the Pratt School of Information and Library Science (SILS) beginning this fall. As you well know, such positions are increasingly difficult to secure in the current job market, and I was one of the very few students in the Philosophy program to receive a tenure-track position this year. A unique aspect of my appointment relative to my cohort is that it lies outside of philosophy, and I would have been unable to secure it without the innovative academic offerings and resources of the Graduate Center.
Chief among these is the Interactive Technology and Pedagogy Certificate Program, in which I first developed the digital humanities project that became the cornerstone of my Pratt application. I joined the ITP program in my third year and immediately found it to be distinctive and rewarding for its interdisciplinary nature. My first course contained students from over eight disciplines, and it was the first time at the Graduate Center I was thoroughly exposed to a group of peers who shared mutual interests understood through a variety of disciplines. The air of supportiveness and collaboration throughout my two core courses was unmatched, and I continue to refer to many of the readings and discussions from these classes as well as collaborate with peers who I met in them.
Beyond the ITP program’s course offerings, the ability to develop my own project through the program’s independent study requirement proved invaluable in several respects. Prior to my prospectus defense, it served as an important exercise in constructing and proposing a well-defined research topic, as well as selecting a topic with an eye toward funding possibilities. On a more practical level, it afforded me the time and opportunity to develop technical skills that have become crucial in the emerging digital humanities movement and to complete a digital project that has garnered attention from several professional societies and researchers.
Together, these experiences allowed me to position myself as a cutting-edge, interdisciplinary researcher capable of continuing innovative work both internal and external to philosophy and collaborating with the SILS faculty, which represents over five disciplines. While solid training and mentorship from the Philosophy program are certainly to be credited in their own right, it is no understatement to say that my involvement in the ITP program allowed me to secure an interdisciplinary appointment that few other newly minted philosophy PhDs could.
Chris Alen Sula, PhD in Philosophy 2011
Pratt School of Information and Library Science
I completed my degree in Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Literatures and Languages last year, and have just finished my first year as Assistant Professor of Spanish at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville. I believe that my background in the ITP program played a critical part in my finding a full-time job in what has been a very bad job market. Those with whom I interviewed at the University of North Florida were particularly interested to hear my thoughts about teaching and technology, ideas which I developed through my participation in the ITP program. In addition, I believe the program provides a valuable opportunity for interdisciplinary work at The Graduate Center. Through the program, I was able to work with students and faculty in fields very different from my own, and these experiences were formative in how I perceive myself as a scholar today.
Clayton McCarl, PhD in Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Literatures and Languages 2010
University of North Florida
As a recent alumnus of the English Ph.D. Program (2010), the ITP curriculum was foundational in preparing me for opportunities at CUNY that made me successful in the job market. I am currently finishing an appointment as Post-Doctoral Fellow in Digital Humanities and Visiting Assistant Professor of French at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. This Fall I will start a tenure-track position as Assistant Professor of Digital Humanities and Twentieth-Century Literature at the University of Tulsa.
The ITP program’s signature team-taught courses provided an interdisciplinary stimulus that expanded my own conception and practice of teaching English literature. I was an adjunct at Queens College during AY 2003-2004 while taking the ITP core courses, and the effect on my teaching was immediate. Several of my students went on to win departmental essay awards, while I went on to win an Instructional Technology Fellowship at the Macaulay Honors College.
At Macaulay, the interdisciplinary background of the ITP program enabled me to excel in designing and executing learning activities with faculty teaching courses in the arts, humanities, social sciences, and astrophysics. These courses raised the academic bar across many campuses at CUNY and helped to put it on the national map for advanced teaching and learning in higher education.
After just one year at Macaulay, I was promoted to be the head Instructional Technology Fellow in charge of mentoring and organizing the other fellows. This position that was meant to last two years ended up lasting six as I continually worked upward within the organization. When the Honors College expanded into a new building and began developing an upper-division curriculum, my background in curricular design from the ITP program made me an integral member of that process and also put me on the front line as the instructional technologist for our new seminars. Those experiences were the reason I was invited to join CUNY’s delegation to Project Bamboo, a Mellon-funded effort to create a national consortium to support digital humanities. All of those experiences meant that I was also the only graduate student out of more than sixty participating institutions allowed to be part of the two-year planning process, specifically because of the background provided by the ITP program.
Jeffrey S. Drouin, PhD in English 2010
Post-Doctoral Fellow in Digital Humanities
Visiting Assistant Professor of French
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
I cannot express strongly enough how central the ITP program has been to my professional growth as a scholar and teacher. The training I received in the ITP program remains invaluable to me in a number of ways. It helped to provide an academically rigorous and interdisciplinary foundation for my research in the sociology of media and technology — a particularly important contribution insofar as the Graduate Center lacks a formal media studies program. My participation in the ITP program continues to inform the ways I conceptualize, plan, and run the courses I teach, and it provided some of the necessary skills to do so. This undoubtedly played a major role in my success on the job market — I was recently appointed to a tenure-track position at Wesleyan University, in part (I believe) on the strength of my ITP-infused teaching portfolio. In an increasingly tight job market, participation in programs like the ITP program give candidates a crucial edge, particularly at teaching-orientated small liberal arts colleges like Wesleyan. In short, my participation in the ITP program not only helped me to become a better and more skilled teacher, it allowed me to signal to search committees my commitment to innovative pedagogy.
Greg Goldberg, PhD in Sociology 2009
I came upon the ITP program almost by accident while perusing the course bulletin during my second year of course work. Over the next few years, the instruction and mentoring I experienced in the program proved to be invaluable, as it helped me to better situate my course work in the Theater Ph.D. program within a broader academic framework and prepared me to do the one thing I would be doing the most after graduate school: teaching. ITP’s team-taught interdisciplinary courses allowed me to work with faculty and students from a diverse range of disciplines. This exposure helped me realize how my research could be connected to a wide range of work in other fields and how I could use tools and teaching strategies from those fields in my own work. Being able to work with music, urban education, and psychology Ph.D. students and be taught by historians, sociologists, and English literature professors provided breadth to my graduate experience that was invaluable and would have been difficult to find within my own Ph.D. program. Furthermore, the congeniality of the faculty and students, along with the sense of completing core courses as a cohort, provided a sense of community and togetherness that can often be lacking in the graduate experience. This is due in no small part to the warm leadership and guidance provided by Prof. Steve Brier.
The true value of my experiences in the program has become most apparent since completing my Ph.D. The certificate program provided me with an understanding of theories of teaching and learning, a thorough knowledge of available technologies and their applications, and experience implementing those tools in both online and hybrid classroom situations. Because of those experiences I was asked to be one of the professors during the inaugural semester of the CUNY Online Baccalaureate and also was able to earn a position as a CUNY Instructional Technology Fellow involved in the launch of the CUNY Academic Commons. To put it simply, my certificate in interactive technology and pedagogy made me into a valued commodity in one of the most difficult job markets for young Ph.Ds.
In fact, my certificate helped me land my current position as the Assistant Director for the Digital Media Lab at the Bard Graduate Center. At the BGC, I am responsible for integrating digital media into curricular and research projects, and provide consultation to our exhibitions and publications departments on ways to incorporate digital media on those fronts. In this position I also teach graduate-level courses, and am afforded opportunities to pursue my academic research interests and continue developing my academic credentials.
Positions such as mine, a hybrid one that involves administration, program development, research, and teaching, are increasingly prevalent on campuses across the country, as institutions look to create nontraditional positions to help adapt to the changing nature of the academy in a digital age. My experience in the ITP certificate program made me uniquely qualified for this type of position, and has allowed me to be successful in helping the Bard Graduate Center transition from being a relatively conservative institution pedagogically and in research practice to one that is experimenting with multiple online platforms, expanding into new projects in digital exhibition and publication, and looking to set new standards in digital approaches to the study of material culture. The approaches I have developed in implementing technologies and collaborating with faculty and students on creating digital manifestations of their work come directly from the work done in the ITP certificate program and the solid foundation in offered in theoretical reflection combined with practical application.
Kimon Keramidas, PhD in Theater 2008
Assistant Director for the Digital Media Lab
Bard Graduate Center
It’s my feeling that the credential that I earned in the ITP program contributed to my candidacy in the position at NYIT that I now hold. More importantly it provided the only opportunity that I had at the Grad Center to focus on my area of interest. The Urban Education program does not have a strand of elective courses that provides educators with an interest in integrating technology into teaching and learning practices with an opportunity to learn from and work with faculty who are experienced in the field. ITP also provided one of the few interdisciplinary experiences I had at GC as I was able to work with colleagues in different fields. The program also modeled best practices in the use of technology and pedagogy as was evident in our uses of the Internet, Wikis, Blackboard and co-teaching. In my view, until we reach the point where pedagogical uses of technology are ubiquitous throughout the educational ladder we must continue to sustain and expand programs like ITP.
Jaime Martinez, PhD in Urban Education 2009
Assistant Professor of Instructional Technology
New York Institute of Technology, Manhattan Campus