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English Department

Job Placement

Overview:

Vanderbilt's PhD Program in English offers professionalization training and sessions aimed at the job market from the student's first year in our program.
- A proseminar in year one (required for all first year students) begins training students in important skills like writing conference abstracts and papers, presenting public papers, and developing the kind of research and argumentative and theoretical skills that will lead to publishable writing.
- The English Graduate Student Association (EGSA) hosts a conference for the first year students that gives them a valuable opportunity to practice their conference presentation skills, with feedback from fellow students and faculty across the College.
- EGSA also hosts an array of events for graduate students aimed at developing research, pedagogical, grant application, and paper performance skills every year, and keeps an up-to-date database of job application materials - from c.v.s and application letters to teaching philosophies - to support students as they begin to prepare for the market.  
- All graduate seminars throughout the student's course training are designed with an eye not just toward content but also to aspects of professionalization. 
- In year four, the English Graduate Program offers students the opportunity to participate in Project: Publish!, a year long series of sessions, peer-group work, and one-on-one draft feedback from various faculty, and finally careful editing, aimed at getting a seminar paper or dissertation chapter into publishable essay form. Participants submit their finely-honed essay to their target journal at the end of April. 
- In years four and five, Vanderbilt's English Job Placement Service provides advanced PhD students and recent degree recipients the resources they need for success on the academic job market. Every fall semester, Job Placement organizes a series of workshops designed to help job candidates meet the challenges of gaining academic employment, from the first draft of the cover letter to the negotiation of a job offer. There are sessions on the job market timeline, on crafting c.v.s, abstracts and application letters, and assembling dossiers, on interviewing at MLA and on-campus, as well as on applying for post-docs. They keep a substantial archive of resources for job seekers, including resource files on every aspect of the application process, and they centralize all job postings on their site, which all Vanderbilt PhDs can access. Each year they host a "speed dating"program where multiple faculty have brief one-on-one sessions with students entering the market so that students get feedback from several different faculty. Job placement also runs mock interviews as well as practice job talks and teaching presentations for job candidates.

Responding to Today's Challenges:

   Applicants to graduate programs in the humanities should go in with their eyes open about the continuing tough job market and the likelihood that the relatively low number of tenure-track opportunities will probably not increase in the near future. National estimates for the percentage of humanities doctoral students who will end up in tenure-track jobs range from 50-60%. (See, for instance, "Where Are They Now ," Inside Higher Ed [2015] or Report of the MLA Task Force on Doctoral Study in Modern Language and Literature [2014].)

   In response, the MLA has called on programs to help doctoral students find employment both inside and beyond the academy and to shorten the median time to degree, which in the Humanities is a shocking nine years for language and literature doctorates. 

   Our doctoral program's placement record for tenure-track jobs is right at the national average: 56% of Vanderbilt English PhDs end up in tenure-track jobs. Note that most students here and elsewhere do not start in a tenure-track job: they work their way towards it through postdocs, visiting assistant professorships, and lectureships. The Vanderbilt doctoral program hits the 56% mark five years out from the PhD, the first year of which is typically spent as a Lecturer here at Vanderbilt. For a listing of all the jobs secured by Vanderbilt PhDs over the last six years, see the comprehensive list below, which includes every PhD from those years regardless of the kind of job, from tenure-track to alternative academic to non-academic. All schools should be able to provide you with comparable information. 

   Our average time to degree is the second-fastest in the College of Arts and Sciences - 5.19 years - and our median time to degree is the fastest in the College: 4.4 years. These numbers indicate that our program is over twice as fast as the national median time to degree in the Humanities. Moreover, 80% of our students over the last six years finished in five years; our attrition rate over that period is 9%. Again, these are numbers the MLA has asked schools to make available.

  Support for alternative-academic careers (alt-ac): Vanderbilt is committed to supporting all students in their efforts to secure employment both inside and outside the academy. The PhD should be understood as a passport to multiple career trajectories. See our Professionalization page.

In the comprehensive list below, the career trajectory for each student is listed, beginning with their first position. 

Placement List:

2015

Kat DeGuzman
-  Lecturer, Vanderbilt University, 2015 -
Assistant Professor (tenure track), San Francisco State University, 2015 -

Dan Fang
-  Lecturer, Vanderbilt University, 2015 - 

Andy Hines
Lecturer, Vanderbilt University, 2015 - 

2014

Emily August
- Lecturer, Vanderbilt University, 2014 - 2015  
- Assistant Professor (tenure track), Stockton University, 2015 - 

Adam Miller
- Lecturer, Vanderbilt University, 2014 - 

Megan Minarich 
- Lecturer, Vanderbilt University, 2014 - 2015 
- Postdoctoral Fellow, Tennessee State University, 2015 - 

Aubrey Porterfield
- Lecturer, Vanderbilt University, 2014 - 
- Postdoctoral - Institute for Collaborative Research in the Humanities, Queen's University, Belfast,  Ireland, 2014 - 2015
- Adviser, College of Arts & Science Pre-Major Advising, Vanderbilt University, 2015 - 

Nicole Spigner
- Lecturer, Vanderbilt University, 2014 - 2015
- Assistant Professor (tenure track), Columbia College Chicago, 2015 - 

2013

Christopher Pexa
- Mellon Postdoctoral Appointment, Cornell University, 2012
- Assistant Professor (tenure track), Oklahoma State University, 2015 - 

Matthew Duques
- Visiting Assistant Professor, North Dakota State University, 2013 - 2014
- Assistant Professor of Early American Literature (tenure track), University of North Alabama, 2014 -  

Heather Freeman
- Lecturer, Vanderbilt University, 2013 - 2014
- Assistant Professor, Florida Polytechnic University, 2014 - 

Caroline Hovanec
- Lecturer, Vanderbilt University, 2013 - 2014
- Assistant Professor, University of Tampa, 2014 - 

Donika Kelly
- Lecturer, Vanderbilt University, 2013 - 2014
- Lecturer - Women's and Gender Studies, Vanderbilt University, 2014 - 2015
- Poet and Lecturer, Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies, University of California, Davis, 2015 -

Michael Alijewicz
- Lecturer, Vanderbilt University, 2013 - 2014
- Postdoctoral, Institute for Collaborative Research in Humanities, Queen's University, Belfast, Ireland
- Adviser, College of Arts & Science Pre-Major Academic Advising, Vanderbilt University, 2014 -

Elizabeth Barnett
- Lecturer, Vanderbilt University, 2013 - 2014
- Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow & Visiting Assistant Professor of English, Berea College, 2014 - 2015
- Assistant Professor (tenure track), Rockhurst University, 2015 - 

Amanda Johnson
- Lecturer, Vanderbilt University, 2013 - 2014
- Lecturer, Rice University, 2015 - 

2012

Derrick Spires
- Coordinator - American Studies Sustainability Project, Vanderbilt University, 2011-2012
- Assistant Professor (tenure track), University of Illinois, 2013 - 

Matthew Eatough
- Lecturer, Vanderbilt University, 2012 - 2013
- Assistant Professor (tenure track), Baruch College, CUNY, 2013 - 

Diana Bellonby
- Lecturer, Vanderbilt University, 2012 - 2013
- Independent Scholar, 2014 - 
- President/Co-Founder, The Fringe Foundation, 2015 - 

Destiny Birdsong
- Adviser, College of Arts & Science Pre-Major Academic Advising, Vanderbilt University, 2013 - 
- Lecturer, Vanderbilt University, 2013 - 

Erin Garcia-Fernandez
- Lecturer, Vanderbilt University, 2013 - 2015
- Lecturer, University of Tennessee - Martin, 2015 -

Emily Hines
-   Contributing Columnist, Nashville Scene
-   Editor, Elance, 2013 - 

Jane Wanninger 
-   Adviser, College of Arts & Science Pre-Major Academic Advising, Vanderbilt University, 2013 - 
- Lecturer, Vanderbilt University, 2013 - 
- Assistant Professor (extended contract, renewable), Bard College at Simon's Rock, 2016 -

2011

Elizabeth Covington
-   Lecturer, Vanderbilt University, 2011 - 2012
-   Senior Lecturer / Assistant Director of the Writing Studio, Vanderbilt University, 2012 - 

John Morrell
-   Adviser, College of Arts & Science Pre-Major Academic Advising, Vanderbilt University, 2013 - 2015
-  Head of English Department, Loomis Chaffe High School, Windsor, CT, 2015 -

Kimberly McColl
-   Research Associate, IQTalent Partners, 2013 - 2014
-   Contract Recruiter, Github, 2015 - 

2010

Charlotte Amanda Hagood
-   Lecturer, Vanderbilt University, 2010 - 2011
-   ACS Environmental Fellow, Hendrix College, 2011 - 2013
-  Director, Blended Learning Initiatives, Associated Colleges of the South, 2013 - 2015
-   Director, Academic Special Projects, Eckerd College, 2015 - 

Justin Haynes
-   Lecturer, Vanderbilt University, 2010 - 2011
-   Assistant Professor (tenure track), Randolph-Macon College, 2011 - 
-   Director of the Black Studies Program, Randolph-Macon College, 2013 - 2014

Beau Baca
-   Lecturer, Vanderbilt University, 2010 - 2014
-   Adviser, College of Arts & Science Pre-Major Academic Advising, Vanderbilt University, 2011 - 2014
-   Academic Adviser, Oregon State University, 2014 - 

Bethany Packard
-   Lecturer, Vanderbilt University, 2010 - 2011
-   Assistant Professor (tenure track), Henderson State University, 2011 - 2013
-  Assistant Professor (tenure track), Transylvania University, 2013 - 

Sarah Kersh
-   Conference Coordinator, 2011 North American Victorian Studies Association Conference, 2011
-   Lecturer, Dept. of Languages & Literatures, University of Wisconsin - Whitewater, 2012
-   Lecturer, Vanderbilt University, 2012 - 2013
-   Adjunct Faculty Writing Program and First Year Seminar Program, Dickinson College, 2013 - 2015
-   Assistant Professor (tenure track), Dickinson College, 2015 - 

Elizabeth Meadows
-   Lecturer, Vanderbilt University, 2010 - 2011
-   ACLS Fellow, Mt. Holyoke College, 2011 - 2013
-   Faculty Coordinator, Curb Creative Campus & Curb Scholars Program, Vanderbilt University, 2013 - 
-   Assistant Director, Curb Creative Campus & Curb Scholars Program, Vanderbilt University, 2015 - 

Sarah Passino
-   Lecturer, Vanderbilt University, 2010
-   Worker's Dignity Project, 2013 - 

Chu-Juin Alice Chuang
-   Lecturer, Vanderbilt University, 2010 - 2012
-   Assistant Professor, Xing Wei College, Shanghai, China, 2012 - 
-   Lecturer, New York University Shanghai, China, 2015 - 

2009

Frances Henderson
-   Adjunct, English School of Arts & Sciences, Aquinas College - 2009 - 

Jennifer Krause
-   Lecturer, Vanderbilt University, 2009 - 2014
-   Lesson Assistant, Saddle Up!, 2006 - 
-  Freelance Writer, Copy Editor, Translator, 2007 - 

Daniel Spoth
-   Lecturer, Vanderbilt University, 2009 - 2011
-   Adjunct Instructor, Hendrix College, 2011 - 2012
-   Adjunct Instructor, University of Central Arkansas, 2011 - 2012
-   Assistant Professor (tenure track), Eckerd College, 2012 - 

Miranda Nesler
-   Lecturer, Vanderbilt University, 2009 - 2010
-   Assistant Professor (tenure track), Ball State University, 2010 - 2014
-   Freelance Editor, Researcher, and Social Media Coordinator, 2014 - 2015
-   Research Associate, Max Rambod, Inc. (rare books & manuscripts), 2015 - 

Donald Jefferson
-   Lecturer, Vanderbilt University, 2009 - 2010
-   Assistant Professor (tenure track), University of Wisconsin - Whitewater, 2010 - 

Rebecca Chapman
-   Lecturer, Vanderbilt University, 2009 - 2010
-   Senior Lecturer, Vanderbilt University, 2010 - 2011
-   Assistant Professor (tenure track), Holy Names University, 2011 - 2012
-   Lecturer, Vanderbilt University, 2013 - 

Christina Kasman
-   Adjunct Instructor, Iona College, 2009 - 2010
-   Adjunct Instructor, Passaic County Community College, 2010 - 2011
-   Adjunct Instructor, Ramapo College of New Jersey, 2010 - 2012
-   Pratt Institute, 2012
-   Librarian - Special Collections, Historic Hudson Valley, 2013 - 
-   Substitute Reference Librarian / Circulation Assistant, Franklin Lakes Public Library, 2013 - 2014
-   Librarian, The Yale Club of New York City, 2014 - 

Lauren Hoffer
-   Lecturer, Vanderbilt University, 2009 - 2010
-   Visiting Assistant Professor, University of South Carolina - Beaufort, 2010 - 2011
-   Assistant Professor (tenure track), University of South Carolina - Beaufort, 2011 - 

Sarah Childress
- Visiting Assistant Professor of Film Studies, Bowdoin College, 2009 - 

Nafissa Thompson-Spires
-   Lecturer, Vanderbilt University, 2009 - 2010
-   Instructor, Tennessee State University, 2010 - 2012
-   MFA Student, University of Illinois, 2012 - 
-   Visiting Assistant Professor, University of Illinois, 2015 - 

Brian Rejack
-   Lecturer, Vanderbilt University, 2009 - 2010
-   Adviser, College of Arts & Science Pre-Major Academic Advising, Vanderbilt University, 2010 - 2011
-   Assistant Professor (tenure track), Illinois State University, 2011 - 

2008

Katherine Fusco
-   Lecturer, Vanderbilt University, 2008 - 2009
-   Assistant Director, Writing Studio, Vanderbilt University, 2008 - 2009
-   Senior Lecturer, Vanderbilt University, 2009 - 2012
-   Assistant Professor (tenure track), University of Nevada - Reno, 2012 - 

Nicole Seymour
-   Lecturer, Vanderbilt University, 2008 - 2009
-   Visiting Assistant Professor, University of Louisville, 2009 - 2012
-   Assistant Professor (tenure track), University of Arkansas at Little Rock, 2012 - 2014
-   Fellow, Rachel Carson Center, Ludwig-Maximilians Universitat, Germany, 2013 - 2014
-   Assistant Professor (tenure track), California State University, Fullerton, 2014

Persephone Emily Harbin
-   Writing Center Coordinator, Presbyterian College
-   Assistant Professor of English & Director of the Writing Center, Converse College, 2015 - 

Joshua Epstein
-   Lecturer, Vanderbilt University, 2008 - 2009
-   Adviser, College of Arts & Science Pre-Major Academic Advising, Vanderbilt University, 2009 - 2010
-   ACLS Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, Santa Barbara, 2010 - 2012
-   Assistant Professor (tenure track), Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi, 2012 - 2014
-   Assistant Professor (tenure track), Portland State University, 2014 - 

Christian Long
-   Lecturer, University of Canterbury, 2009
-   Honorary Research Fellow in Media Studies, The University of Queensland 

Jeffrey Menne
-   Visiting Assistant Professor, University of Richmond, 2009 - 2010
-   Lecturer, Vanderbilt University, 2010 - 2011
-   Assistant Professor (tenure track), Oklahoma State University, 2011 - 
-   Program Director of Screen Studies, Oklahoma State University, 2013 - 

Benjamin Graydon
-   Lecturer, Vanderbilt University, 2008 - 2009
-   Assistant Professor (tenure track), Daytona State College, 2009 - 

Brian Deyo
-   Lecturer, Vanderbilt University, 2008 - 2009
-   Visiting Professor, Grand Valley State University, 2009
-   Assistant Professor, Grand Valley State University 

 

 


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