The Futures Initiative & HASTAC

The Futures Initiative

As a Postdoctoral Fellow and the Interim Associate Director of the Futures Initiative at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, I organize and assist in the administration of public programs that advance inclusion, innovation, and greater equity in higher education. These include:

  • F.I.’ signature, “University Worth Fighting For” event series, which aims to create space for articulating how we, as scholars and teachers, can participate in remaking the university to advance the idea of (higher) education as a public good
  • The new “Thursday Dialogues” series, which brings together students and faculty in regular, informal conversation on pressing issues and topics identified by F.I. Fellows and Staff
  • Futures Initiative Team-Taught courses, which offer opportunities for central-line Graduate Center faculty to co-teach with their colleagues from other CUNY campuses in classes that take diversity, equity, and innovative pedagogy as their driving forces. Learn more about our 2017-2018 course offerings and check out the CFP for 2018-2019 F.I. courses.
  • The CUNY Undergraduate Leadership Program, co-directed by Lauren Melendez and Mike Rifino, which connects undergraduates across CUNY and helps them develop vital skills in peer mentoring, leadership, and community building that they can use in college and their future pursuits. You can read the Leadership Fellows’ blogs about their experiences in the program here.

The Futures Initiative is a program that practices the student-centered pedagogy it teaches by allowing its student fellows to set the agenda for regular business meetings, broad-scale events, and other activities. As such, in my role as Interim Associate Director, I also mentor F.I. graduate fellows toward the timely completion of their program responsibilities while also being mindful of their own dissertation research and teaching commitments. Creating the conditions of possibility for them to bring their scholarly work into dialogue with the program’s mission is one of the most rewarding aspects of this job.


Through my work with the Futures Initiative, I am involved in expanding the HASTAC@CUNY hub that is part of HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory), an interdisciplinary network of scholars, teachers, and activists. HASTAC is a free and open community for collaboration and intellectual exchange across a range of disciplinary and institutional affiliations.

This year, I have the pleasure of collaborating with our colleagues in the Florida Digital Humanities Consortium to organize the 2017 HASTAC conference: “The Possible Worlds of Digital Humanities” (November 3-4, 2017; Orlando, Fl). I also look forward to chairing the panel “Building a Feminist Future: On (Digital) Pedagogical Praxis,” featuring Danica Savonick, Melissa MeadeWhitney Sperrazza, Emily Esten, and Heather Suzanne Woods.