FI Grad Fellows: Where Are They Now?

With 2017 drawing to a close, the Futures Initiative team has been looking back and looking forward. Many of our graduate fellows have completed their fellowships and moved onto other roles; we are incredibly proud of their accomplishments and look forward to following their future careers!

Michael Dorsch, Ph.D. Candidate in Earth and Environmental Sciences: As one of the inaugural Futures Initiative Graduate Fellows, Michael spearheaded research-based projects like the CUNY Sociodemographics Map and the CUNY-NYC Language Mapping Project. As he continues to work toward his Ph.D., Michael also does high-level institutional research as a Data and Visualization Analyst for the office of Institutional Assessment & Research at California State University – Monterey Bay.

Danica Savonick, Ph.D. Candidate in English: Danica served as one of the inaugural FI Fellows and as a research assistant for FI Founding Director Cathy Davidson and helped to articulate and implement the teaching and learning goals that are a key focus of the Futures Initiative. This year, she was a recipient of three highly prestigious national awards: The Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Grant, the Woodrow Wilson 2017 Women’s Studies Fellowship, and the K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award from the Association of American Colleges and Universities. Thanks to the support of these awards, she is working toward the completion of her dissertation, “The Promise of Aesthetic Education: On Pedagogy, Praxis, and Social Justice.”

Lisa Tagliaferri, Ph.D. Comparative Literature 2016: Another inaugural FI Fellow, Lisa built our program’s web presence from the ground up. Now Lisa now combines her computer science expertise and her research and writing skills at DigitalOcean as a Community Content Manager and Engineering Technical Writer. Her Python tutorial series has received much acclaim for its clarity, and will soon be made available as an ebook. Lisa has a recent article in Digital Humanities Quarterly, co-authored with former FI Fellow Danica Savonick: “Building a Student-Centered (Digital) Learning Community With Undergraduates.”

We miss working with these fellows! But we are delighted to see the ways their future pathways are unfolding. It is our hope that their time with the Futures Initiative has opened the door to new opportunities and helped equip them to be leaders in higher education and beyond.


The Futures Initiative
The Graduate Center, CUNY
365 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10016-4309