The American Historical Association named Iowa State University’s Department of History as a recipient of a Career Diversity Implementation Grant.
The grant supports the department to integrate broad-based professional development into the department culture and doctoral curriculum as part of the Career Diversity for Historians initiative. Iowa State is one of 20 departments selected out of the 36 which previously participated in the AHA’s Career Diversity Faculty Institutes.
Simon Cordery, professor and chair of the Department of History, Pamela Riney-Kehrberg, professor of history; and Kathleen Hilliard, professor of history, are the coordinators for the project at ISU.
“Career Diversity fits perfectly with our RATE (Rural, Agricultural, Technological and Environmental) doctoral program and with ISU’s land-grant mission and we feel blessed to be part of this exciting project,” Cordery said.
Funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and administered by AHA, the grant will provide funding to support two years of programming and a Career Diversity Fellow, which is a PhD candidate from the department who will collaborate with a faculty team to improve preparation of history PhD candidates for careers both inside and outside of academic positions. Fellows will be announced in late spring and will work with faculty to develop workshops, lectures, networking events, graduate level internships and other curricular changes to prepare students to succeed in multiple career paths.
“The presence of a two-year AHA Career Diversity Fellow in the ISU Department of History will allow us to research, and to publicize to current and prospective students, the sheer range of career prospects available to doctoral-degree recipients,” Cordery said.
Cordery attended workshops through the Career Diversity and Faculty Institutes in which historians working in areas from government to the non-profit sector talked about the variety of careers available such as positions in think tanks or the National Park Service.
“In a world where academic jobs in history are scarce, this shows our students that we are aware of the issue and working constructively to help them think about their futures in expansive terms,” said Riney-Kehrberg, who also serves as director of graduate education in history. “By working with this American Historical Association initiative, we hope to broaden our students’ horizons. We also want students who are pursuing graduate degrees with a goal of employment outside of academics to know that their goals and plans are respected here.”
The American Historical Association is the largest professional organization serving historians in all fields and all professions. Founded in 1884 and chartered by Congress in 1889, the AHA is a trusted voice for history education, the professional work of historians and the critical role of historical thinking in public life.