Go-To Resources for Grad Students, by Grad Students 

By Will Arguelles

We at the Futures Initiative have been inspired by the bravery of Professor Lizbeth de la Cruz Santana (she/ella @lizbethdsantana), the newly-minted Assistant Professor of Black & Latino Studies at Baruch College, CUNY, who shared via the website formerly known as Twitter her academic job-hunting materials. Professor Lizbeth’s generosity, driven by a desire to see more people “like [her] in academia,” led the FI team to quickly collaborate some of our own go-to resources for professionalization and success in the academy. Here is an edited/condensed version of our crowdsourced work. We’d love to see the spirit of generosity over take you, and we invite you to share your own favorite resources in the comments below:

Serious Books We Seriously Liked:

  • William Germano, (2013). From Dissertation to Book, University of Chicago Press, 2nd ed. ISBN-13: 9780226062044 Link to Buy (Recommended by Cathy Davidson, FI Co-Director, and Christina Katopodis, Senior Research Associate)
  • William Germano,(2016). Getting It Published: A Guide for Scholars and Anyone Else Serious about Serious Books, University of Chicago Press, 3rd ed, ISBN-13: 978-0226281407 Link to Buy (Recommended by Cathy)
  • William Germano and Kit Nichols (2020). Syllabus: The Remarkable, Unremarkable Document That Changes Everything, Princeton University Press, ISBN-13: ‎ 978-0691192208. Link to Buy (Recommended by Cathy)
  • Cathy N. Davidson and Christina Katopodis, The New College Classroom, Harvard University Press, ISBN-13: 9780674248854. Link to Buy (Recommended by Will)
  • bell hooks, (1994) Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom, Routledge, ISBN-13: 9780415908085. Link to Buy (Recommended by Cathy)
  • Karen Kelsky, (2015) The Professor is In: The Essential Guide to Turning your Ph.D into a Job. Three Rivers Press, ISBN-13: 9780553419429. Link to Buy (Recommended by Beiyi)
  • Lorgia García Peña, (2022). Community as Rebellion: A Syllabus for Surviving Academia as a Woman of Color. Haymarket Books, ISBN-13: 9781642596922. Link to Buy (Recommended by Silvia) 
  • Jessica Hernandez, (2022). Fresh Banana Leaves: Healing Indigenous Landscapes through Indigenous Science. Penguin-Randomhouse, ISBN-13: 9781623176051. Link to Buy (Recommended by Kelsey) 

Some Good Follows on Social Media:

@lizbethdsantana, @AcademicChatter, @poweristakennotgiven, @professorcasey, @storiesofgaycz, @storiesofcz, @jesszafarris,, @linguisticdiscovery,, @highered_hermana, @doctorahood_ @phddoingmydamnbest @Kaelyngraceapple @latinagradguide @gradlifegrind @rmarkdown and @esritraining and many more! (compiled from recommendations by Megan, Parisa, Shelly, Kelsey, Christina, and Will) [Commenters should add other follows they like that make grad school more manageable!]

Also remember to check out the Hashtags #BookTok, #FuturesInitiative and our Socials, X/Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn 

Useful Links and Resources Across the World Wide Web:

Some Words of Advice, from the FI Team:

“Ask for help – from your friends, mentors, and strangers” (Shelly Eversley, FI Co-Director)

“Aspire to be an engineer building on what we–ourselves and others–have done rather than simply an engine of critique (that can be a double-edged sword–making it harder to see what’s good in your own work).” (Cathy Davidson, FI Co-Director)

“I think it is very important to have trusted people to go to when you are unsure of something or need to talk things through, or even just vent. Human connection and interaction is the only thing that really grounds me when I’m driving myself crazy over work or school. By extension, being able to participate in opportunities such as CPL that are an inherently safe space but still create an environment where one can step out of their comfort zone also creates opportunities for development and success.” (Jackie Cahill)

“It can sometimes help to scaffold research projects with increasing degrees of commitment; e.g.: research experiments > conference paper proposal > conference paper > short form writing > peer workshops > peer-reviewed publication. There is also great potential in collaborating with colleagues from disciplines outside one’s own.” (Chris)

“I really enjoy teaching undergrads: they are fresh, full of ideas, and most are open to feedback. They remind me of why I wanted to pursue higher education in the first place. I also feel inspired when I see ads for CUNY in the train station. Again, it reminds me why I should keep doing what I’m doing. Being around undergrads is very motivational, I think this is why I never ever miss a CPL event. I’m also inspired by an “academic sista circle” I belonged to during my first 2 years at the GC.” (Adashima)

“It’s important to have conversations with colleagues in my department, both in person and in the group chat. Teaching undergraduate courses also helps me improve because I learn a lot from my students” (Tysean)

“Try to build your personal website, and participate in or forming a writing group in the dissertation writing stage” (Beiyi)

“Reach out to your mentors, by having coffee chats about projects and academic life. I also joined support and accountability groups and that has been helpful with venting and sharing new ideas” (Jasmeene)

“Join various Writing/Accountability groups to discuss challenges and share resources” (Rod)

And remember the central HASTAC and Futures Initiative motto:  “We cannot change structural inequality with good will. We must design new structures with equality at the core.”

Our Fellows and Staff This Year at FI
Silvia Rivera Alfaro, FI Fellow-in-Residence
William Arguelles, RA to Cathy
Tysean Bucknor, FI Fellow-in-Residence
Jacqueline Cahill, CPL Program Coordinator & Asst. to Sr. Advisor to Chancellor
Coline Chevrin, HASTAC Scholars Co-Director
Cathy Davidson, Founding Director, Faculty Co-Chair, & Chancellor’s Sr. Advisor
Shelly Eversley, Faculty Co-Chair
Jasmine Francois, RA to Shelly
Megan Henriquez, Communications Director
Beiyi Hu, Outreach Manager
Rod Hurley, FI Assistant Director
Christina Katopodis, Senior Researcher
Celi Lebron, Budget Manager
Lauren Melendez, CPL Director & Admin Specialist
Kelsey Milian Lopez, CPL Facilitator
Chris McGuinness, Digital Strategy Director 
Adashima Oyo, Executive Director
Marziyeh (Parisa) Setayesh, HASTAC Scholars Co-Director

Bio: William Arguelles is a PhD Candidate at the Graduate Center, CUNY, and a former Provost Enhancement Fellow and Graduate Teaching Fellow at CUNY. His dissertation, Governing Bodies: Queenship, Queerness, and Bureaucracy in Fourteenth-Century England, focuses on the interrelated narratives, myths, and histories surrounding the practice of Queenship and the three queens of England of the fourteenth century. William has presented his work at MLA, The New Chaucer Society, The International Medieval Congress, The International Congress on Medieval Studies, and delivered the Keynote lecture at the Pearl-Kibre Medieval Studies Graduate conference this past May. 


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