Who Is Included? Restructuring Our Work and Our World

Please join us for The Futures Initiative Fall Symposium “Who Is Included? Restructuring Our Work and Our World”. The event will take place on Thursday, December 6 from 4-6pm in the Graduate Center’s room 9205-9206. A reception will follow in room 3317.

As we wrap up the semester, faculty and students from our Fall 2018 Team-Taught Courses will take the stage in what will be the culmination of a fruitful series of courses that are aimed at supporting diversity, equity, and student-centered interdisciplinary learning at the graduate level. This will also be a unique opportunity to learn about the nuts and bolts of our organization, as The Futures Initiative Team will walk the talk and make the audience engage in a practical example of how we think and work for a more equitable and innovative higher education.

Whether subtle or overt, the dynamics of inclusion and exclusion are all around us. Classrooms, workplaces, and cultural representations are all sites of welcome or alienation (or both). This timely event will include discussion, hands-on workshop sessions, and even an opera performance —all with the aim of considering the ways in which the structures that surround us do or do not contribute to a sense of belonging and agency. As educators, students, and practitioners, we have an opportunity to help design more equitable futures.

This symposium will be structured in sessions that will draw on the three courses team-taught this Fall:

  • Environmental Psychology of Care will focus on the relationships between care and the physical environment.
  • Mind the Gap: The Future of Work will deal with the policies, technologies, and social systems that should be anticipated today to ensure positive outcomes for the future.
  • Disability, Culture, and Society will address the ways that representation of disability in literature, art, music, theater, film, and popular culture—the ways that bodies and minds constructed as disabled are depicted—both reflect and shape cultural understandings of nonconforming identities and extraordinary bodies, affecting the lived experience of people understood as disabled, often in negative ways.


Before the end, since we strive to be inclusive by nature, the Futures Initiative Graduate Fellows will lift the curtain and show you the program’s backstage. Thus the audience will be able to see and take part in our kitchen, where we prepare recipes for the future of a more equitable and innovative higher education.

This event is free. Please RSVP, seating is limited! A casual reception will follow at 6pm in Room 3317.

You can also join us:

  • Watching the livestream at (an edited video will also be available 2-3 weeks following the event)
  • Following the hashtag #fight4edu and tweet your questions/comments
  • During and after the event, adding your questions and comments to this Google Doc, where you will also find the complete schedule and speaker bios.


Speakers include faculty fellows, graduate students, and Futures Initiative Graduate Fellows and staff. Read below the full list of participants.



Cassandra Bowen (Cat Taru) Tan is a graduate of Brooklyn College and a graduate student at The Graduate Center in individualized studies examining the the effects of social media propaganda on United States elections. She is a writer and social media coordinator for Bustle/Romper and SwingLeft.

Cathy N. Davidson is and Founding Director of the Futures Initiative and HASTAC, and a Distinguished Professor of English at the Graduate Center, CUNY. An educational innovator and a distinguished scholar of the history of technology, Davidson is an avid proponent of active ways of learning that help students to understand and navigate the radically changed global world in which we now all live, work, and learn. She has published some twenty books including, most recently, The New Education: How We Can Revolutionize Higher Education to Prepare Students for a World in Flux (Basic Books, 2017).

In 2016, she received the Ernest J. Boyer Award for Significant Contributions to Higher Education.

Tyson Scott Himes is a second year graduate student in the political science department at the City University of New York. His research includes public sector applications of blockchain technology. He grew up in Warren, Pennsylvania and attended Penn State University for his undergraduate degree.

Gustavo Jiménez is a Futures Initiative Fellow and a PhD Candidate in Latin American, Iberian and Latino Cultures at The Graduate Center, CUNY. His doctoral work is on the significance of Latin America in the formation of modern Basque literature identity in the context of contemporary debates in World Literature. In 2015, he received the Basque Literary Prize Finalist award for his short novel “Moradero.” He holds an BA from the University of the Basque Country, a Masters in Spanish from Western Michigan University, and will complete his PhD work at the Graduate Center in 2018/19.

Christina Katopodis is a Futures Initiative Fellow, a doctoral candidate in English and a New Media Lab fellow at the CUNY Graduate Center, and an adjunct at Hunter College. She currently studies the influences of sound and sonic vibration on American Transcendentalism and Pragmatism, attending to deep listening in the nonhuman environment of 19th Century America. She was a recipient of the Ralph Waldo Emerson Society research grant in 2016, and received a Provost’s Digital Innovation Start-Up Grant (2016-2017) to record sounds at Walden Pond and build a website that maps Walden’s soundscape. She is also a web developer and editor for the Margaret Fuller Society, and a research assistant for Professor Cathy N. Davidson.

Sujung Kim is a postdoctoral fellow with the Futures Initiative and the Humanities Alliance. Her interdisciplinary research addresses the critical pedagogy of higher education and community colleges for the public good and educating students as critical public intellectuals. Her research and teaching interests are located at the intersection of class, race, citizenship, power, and subjectivity, and how these intersecting conditions affect vulnerable college students’ sense of institutional and social belonging. Dr. Kim earned her Ph.D. from the Department of Educational Policy Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Jessica Murray is a Futures Initiative Fellow and a doctoral student in developmental psychology at The Graduate Center, CUNY. Her interests include mobilities, transportation, technology, disability studies, accessibility, and disability rights. As a Digital Fellow with the Center for the Humanities from 2014-2016 and Futures Initiative Fellow from 2016-present, she has designed and developed multiple WordPress projects on OpenCUNY and other hosting platforms, and facilitated group resources such as the Graduate Center’s developmental psychology program website, and the CUNY Disability Scholars website ( She currently maintains the Futures Initiative website and provides technical support, designs materials for event promotion, and leads WordPress workshops for faculty and graduate fellows.

Adashima Oyo is a Futures Initiative Fellow and a doctoral student in the Social Welfare program at the Graduate Center, CUNY. She earned both an M.P.H. and a B.A. in English with Honors (which included a double minor in Health Sciences and African American Studies) from Brooklyn College, CUNY. Her research interests include the problem of health disparities and their disproportionate burden on Black and Latino minority communities; and the lack of racial diversity among college and university faculty and the implications for Black and Latino students who move (or don’t move) through the pipeline from undergraduate to doctoral studies.

Jennifer Roderer was born in Illinois and raised in Los Angeles, where she received her Bachelor of Music from the University of Southern California and her Master of Arts from CUNY Hunter College, where she is currently an Instructor of Voice. She is in her first year of DMA studies at the Graduate Center and studies voice with Professor Susan Gonzalez. Roderer performed many seasons at New York City Opera in roles such as the Witch in Hansel and Gretel, Junon in Mark Morris’ production of Plateé, and Jade Boucher in Dead Man Walking. She has sung Amneris in Aida with Opern Air Gars in Austria, Fricka in Die Walküre at Teatro Colón, and Mrs. Grose in Turn of the Screw with Lyric Opera of Kansas City. Concert highlights include Verdi’s Requiem with the Berkshire Choral Festival at Terezín, Handel’s Messiah with the Jacksonville Symphony, Bach’s B minor Mass and the Berkshire Choral Festival, Les noces with the Los Angeles Master Chorale and Beethoven’s Ninth with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl. Roderer appears courtesy of The Metropolitan Opera.

Katina Rogers is Director of Administration and Programs for the Futures Initiative and HASTAC at the Graduate Center, CUNY. Her scholarly work addresses higher education reform, with emphasis on career development, equity, labor policies, public scholarship, and scholarly communication practices. Her forthcoming book, Putting the Humanities PhD to Work: Theory, Practice, and Models for Thriving Beyond the Classroom, is under contract with Duke University Press. Rogers holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Siqi Tu is a Futures Initiative Fellow and a PhD candidate in Sociology at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. She earned a BA degree in Sociology from Fudan University (China) and a MA degree in Sociology from Columbia University. Her work focuses on the areas of urban sociology, immigration, education, elites, and contemporary Chinese societies. Tu was born and raised in Shanghai, China and moved to New York City in 2012. She developed her interest in immigration and urban neighborhoods as a keen observer of diverse communities in different metropolitan areas. Her dissertation, “Destination Diploma: How Chinese Upper-Middle Class Families ‘Outsource’ Secondary Education to the United States”, investigates why and how Chinese upper-middle-class families make decisions to send their children to the United States to attend private high schools, some as young as 14 years of age, and it analyzes the actual lived experiences of the students of this “parachute-generation”.


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