The University of Miami College of Arts and Sciences Launches New “Alt-Ac” Program for Doctoral Students

The UGrow program brings alternative career opportunities for graduate students beyond teaching in academia

CORAL GABLES, FL (August 27, 2015) — Engaging the national conversation about the changing landscape of postgraduate education in the U.S., UM’s College of Arts & Sciences and the Graduate School collaborated to create UGrow: Graduate Opportunities at Work, an on-campus internship program for doctoral students interested in career opportunities beyond teaching in academia.    

Launched in Fall 2015, the UGrow program exposes graduate students to alternative academic careers. The launch of UGrow elevates the University as a leader in “alt-ac” graduate opportunities alongside a small number of other universities in North America.   

“UGrow is all about expanding career opportunities for our PhD students, taking the skills they are already acquiring in their doctoral programs—research skills, communication skills, teaching skills—and putting them into practice in new venues,” said Associate Professor of English and UGrow founder, Tim Watson. “Some of these students will find new career paths as a direct result, and all of them will gain valuable experience and broaden their professional horizons.”

The first group of PhD UGrow fellows: [L to R] Ashley M. Mateiro, UGrow fellow in the Cuban Heritage Collection, University of Miami Libraries; Fély Catan, UGrow fellow in the Office of Advancement, College of Arts & Sciences; Delia Pamela Fuentes Korban, UGrow fellow in Special Collections, University of Miami Libraries; Brad Rittenhouse, UGrow Fellow in the Center for Computational Science; and Jorge Arturo Smith Carbajal, UGrow Fellow in Professional Development, The Graduate School. (Not Pictured: Adam Hauptfeld, UGRow Communications Fellow, College of Arts & Sciences Office of Communications.)

UGrow fellows, PhD students enrolled in the new program, are placed in non-teaching positions on campus, where they will receive hands-on training and experience; the participating on-campus partners gain from high-level skills and abilities in research, communications, project development and teamwork of the fellows.

The first group of six PhD UGrow fellows in the College of Arts & Sciences began their new part-time internships at the following on-campus units: University of Miami Libraries, the Graduate School, the College of Arts & Sciences’ Office of Communications and Office of Advancement, and the Center for Computational Science.

“UGrow provides diverse opportunities for graduate students in the humanities who, now more than ever, face difficult job prospects in traditional academic career paths,” said Brad Rittenhouse, a PhD candidate in American Literature and UGrowfellow at the Center for Computational Research. “UGrow gives students the chance to expand their skill sets for post-graduation employment in exciting and challenging fields that make use of their academic achievements.”

A faculty advisory board was appointed to monitor the UGrow job placements, and ensure campus partners and the graduate students work together for the mutual benefit of both parties. During this academic year, the board will pursue and build partnerships with local organizations and foundations to provide further opportunities for UGrow fellows to work in some of the region’s premier civic and cultural institutions during their doctoral programs.

For more information about UGrow: Graduate Opportunities at Work, click here.

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August 27, 2015