The Publics Lab (feat. Stacy Hartman)
Alumni Aloud Episode 95
Stacy Hartman earned her PhD in German Studies at Stanford University and at the time of recording was the Director of the Publics Lab at the Graduate Center.
In this episode of Alumni Aloud, Stacy discusses careers in university initiatives and centers like the Publics Lab, the process of figuring out what you want to do after graduate school, and how to get on the path to a career in higher education.
The publication written by Dr. Hartman and Dr. Bianca Williams referenced in the episode was published by the L.A. Review of Books in May 2023.
VOICEOVER: This is Alumni Aloud, a podcast by Graduate Center students for Graduate Center students. In each episode, we talk with a GC graduate about their career path, the ins and outs of their current position, and the career advice they have for students. This series is sponsored by the Graduate Center’s Office of Career Planning & Professional Development.
MISTY CROOKS, HOST: Stacy Hartman earned her PhD in German Studies at Stanford University, and at the time of this recording, was the Director of The Publics Lab at the Graduate Center. In this episode of Alumni Aloud, Stacy discusses careers in university initiatives and centers like The Publics Lab, the process what you want to do after graduate school, and how to get on the path to a career in higher education.
CROOKS: Stacy, thanks so much for joining us today.
STACY HARTMAN, GUEST: Oh, my pleasure. I’m happy to be here.
CROOKS: So, you are the director of The Publics Lab at the Graduate Center. Can you start by telling us what The Publics Lab is, what it does, and how it fits into the Grad Center as a whole?
HARTMAN: Sure, The Publics Lab is a Mellon Foundation funded initiative that’s been around since 2018. And it has the dual mission of supporting public scholarship, particularly among graduate students, doctoral students at the GC, but also expanding PhD students’ career horizons. So, it was part of a slate of grants that Mellon handed out from about 2011 to about 2021 that were focused on PhD career outcomes. But it is situated in this larger context about research for the public good, which is very much something that matters a lot at the GC. It’s actually part of the GC’s mission statement: graduate education for the public good. And so, I regard these two missions as really one mission, that they’re very much braided together, the idea that doctoral students who think and work and speak publicly in some way, and that looks like many, many, many different things, they are going to be more prepared for a variety of careers after they leave their programs. That seems completely logical to me. (laughs) It’s a different way of thinking about your work that opens you up to different possibilities. And most people who do public work understand that knowledge creation and dissemination don’t all only happen at the university. And there are lots of other places where PhD students can do that work. So that’s The Publics Lab at the GC.
CROOKS: And what does your role as director involve?
HARTMAN: I’m the full-time administrator on the grant, so that means that I am responsible for getting people paid, for example. And responsible for making sure that our events happen in order. I serve as sort of a consultant to our many curriculum grant recipients. We have 17 recipients of our small curriculum grants program. Those are faculty, students, programs throughout the GC that have received money from us to do curricular reform to better support public scholarship. I serve as sort of a consultant to those initiatives. I co-lead and co-facilitate the seminars for our fellows with our faculty lead, Bianca Williams, so she and I do that work together. I do quite a lot of advising, both in a formal capacity and an informal capacity. I supervise our wonderful program assistant and wonderful postdoc. It’s a mix of administration, management, teaching. I also do some writing and research related to the project, so it has many, many different pieces and that’s one thing that I really like about it. I would not be happy if the job was just administration, but I also am not someone who wants to teach a 4:4 class load. And I’m also not someone who wants a ton of pressure to do research. I want to do the research that I want to do, and I want to do it when I want to do it. And so, the job provides me with a certain amount of flexibility and has all these different pieces that let me do a variety of things that I really enjoy. And a few that I don’t really enjoy, but that’s part of any job.
CROOKS: Well, we ask people generally, what do you find the most challenging? So, since you kind of segued into that, what is the most challenging about this role?
HARTMAN: (laughs) Oh, the GC’s bureaucracy. It’s a lot to deal with and it gets denser every year. It feels like there’s always something coming down that’s, you know, they change a process for inexplicable reasons and suddenly, the way that you were doing things is no longer the way that you’re doing things. And it can be very challenging to move resources around at the GC, even when the money you have comes from a private foundation, and you have to spend it. There’s no percentage in us saving this money. (laughs) This money needs to be spent, but it is remarkably difficult to do that sometimes. So, I’d say that is one of the biggest challenges of the job.
More, maybe substantively, I would say academic culture still resists a lot of this. Doctoral education is a very conservative space within the academy. So, the idea that people are going to do public facing dissertations, for example, right. Like that’s something that still sort of alarms people because we are still, despite the fact that we know that probably 50% of students are not going to be tenured professors anywhere, much less at R1 universities, the entire system is still predicated on the assumption that that’s what people want, and that’s what most people are going to get. So, the whole structure for the dissertation is that it should provide the basis for the first book that will get you tenure at an R1 institution. And that requirement is very difficult to move, the one that I’ve encountered that is like the most unmovable. And so, you can tweak curriculum. You can like, you know, make these changes or that changes. Or, you know, maybe, maybe we can think about the language exam. But at the end of the day, the whole system is tied to tenure at R1s, and even when we know that only a very, very small percentage of students are going to actually end up in that role. And you’d think that there would be space for people who say that isn’t what I want, it’s never going to be what I want. I promise you I’m not going to then pursue an R1 tenure track job and get mad at you for not having prepared me sufficiently. But doctoral education is not student centered. It’s faculty centered, and it’s discipline centered. And so those needs are always prioritized over the needs of the students. It takes a radical shift in mindset to actually be student centered in the way that you approach doctoral education. And that’s something that Professor Williams and I really set out to do with The Publics Lab. And I think that we’ve been reasonably successful, but we’re really pushing against academic culture when we do that.
CROOKS: And to step back and think about your trajectory, can you take us from your time as a PhD student to where you are now?
HARTMAN: Sure. So, I started my PhD in 2010 at Stanford University, two years after the financial crash. I went in thinking I was going to be a professor. I thought this was what I wanted to do. I was very fortunate to do my PhD close to where my family is. My family’s in the Bay Area. Stanford is about an hour south of there. Round about my second year, I started to have these thoughts that were like, I don’t actually want to move anywhere after this. And I actually wanted to be close to my family and I am really enjoying the fact that it’s really easy for me to go home and have dinner with my parents if I want to and that sort of thing. And at the same time, I was starting to realize that the type of academic research that I was doing was very isolating for me. My PhD’s in German studies. It’s in German literature, and so it was literary research. That I enjoyed it, but the research itself was not as motivating as it seemed for some of the other people around me. And there were other parts of my life as a graduate student that I maybe enjoyed more. But I also wasn’t super thrilled with classroom teaching. I mean, I liked it, but teaching German language five days a week, that was like a lot of classroom teaching. And I thought, I definitely don’t want to be anywhere where I have a 4:4 or anything like that. So, it started to feel like maybe this wasn’t gonna be a good fit after all.
And then sort of by chance, my department chair without knowing it, and he doesn’t remember this at all actually, completely changed my life. He sent an e-mail to a woman named Chris Golde, who at the time was the Associate Vice Provost for Graduate Education at Stanford. And he did this without me knowing about it. I think he just sensed that I had a lot of energy, and I needed a job and a direction for that energy. And so, he sent Chris an e-mail and he said, would you like an intern? And Chris said, yeah, sure, why not? And then he connected the two of us, and we had a conversation. And Chris and I have been close collaborators since then. We just hit it off. She became a very important mentor to me throughout my time at Stanford and beyond. We continued to work together. We did some things together when I was at the Modern Language Association.
But what I ended up doing for her at the time, I ran a speaker series of people at Stanford who had PhD’s but were not in teaching roles. They ran research centers. They worked in the development office. Student advising is full of them. So, we had them come in and talk, and those sessions were very well attended. It continued a second year, but I handed it off to somebody else. And I decided over the course of these 30 interviews I decided that undergraduate student advising was what I was most interested in. I love students. I could work with students. I could build relationships with students. I could teach. The advising staff at Stanford that have PhDs are allowed to teach in their subject area, so I might be able to teach one class a year. I could continue to do some research. Many of them continue to do research and so I decided, okay, this is what I want. And I actually got a part time job doing that my last couple of years at Stanford, which was great. You know, it let me test it out in a low stakes way.
And then what happened is that the universe intervened, which is something that often happens. I determined I was going to be done at five years. I did not want to hang out any longer. I was done with being a student. So, I decided that I was going to be done at the end of five years and I was really pushing to finish my dissertation. And in October of that year, an e-mail landed in my inbox, and it was a job ad from the Modern Language Association, which is the major scholarly association in English and foreign languages. And it was for a grant funded position for a program coordinator for a program that would be focused on career horizons for language and literature PhDs. And I showed it to a few people, and they’re like Stacy, somebody wrote this job description for you. Because I will say that I had also become the go-to person within my department and in a couple of other departments to talk to about these things because people are often very reticent to say they don’t want a faculty job. People are often very afraid. I, for whatever reason, possibly because of my department chair, was not afraid of any of that and had been very open with my faculty and with my committee. And I did get some pushback, but not in the like, we’re not gonna let you finish or we’re gonna make this really hard or we’re gonna push you to go on the academic job market even though you don’t want to sort of way. So, I was very fortunate. But it meant that I had this reputation among people as, oh, Stacy’s who you go talk to if you start to think that maybe you don’t want to be a faculty member. So many people who read this, they were like, oh, you have to apply for this. And I said it’s in New York. I don’t want to move to New York. I have no desire to move to New York. My advisor, when I told him about this, he was like, you said you wanted to stay in the Bay Area. This was one of the reasons you gave me for not wanting to be a faculty member and I said, yeah, well, there are other reasons and I think I need to apply for this. So, I did, thinking I was never going to get it, and then I did get it and promptly had a panic attack because I still didn’t really want to move to New York and now I had this job that had basically been written for me that was in New York.
And after some hemming and hawing, I ended up deciding to take the job. So, in 2015, at the end of my five years at Stanford, I completed my degree. I had already started the job at that point. I was working part time for the MLA the last three months that I was finishing my degree. I had graduation one week and I moved the next weekend to New York, which is a place that I had spent a grand total of 1 week in in my entire life. I started at the Modern Language Association running a program that was called Connected Academics, which is another Mellon funded initiative. So, I’ve been on Mellon money my entire post-PhD career. And that was a great program. I loved it. We ran a pro seminar for New York City area graduate students that was an experimental careers lab sort of situation. We had partners at ASU, Georgetown, and University of California Humanities Research Institute. And they were all doing really different things. The MLA is a national organization and so it gave me this national platform right out of the gate that was incredible to have at that stage in my career, and it was a great time. Towards the end of the grant, it became clear that Mellon was shifting. They’d given grants to MLA and to also the American Historical Association, and they were shifting away from working with scholarly associations to working directly with universities. This grant at the GC, I had an inkling that this was coming down the line and so I was on the lookout for the job that would be associated with it. And so, when that came up, I was in the middle of trying to negotiate to stay on at the MLA. But the job at CUNY was so interesting. Part of what drew me to it was the chance to be back in the university environment. I really missed having students be part of my daily life. The Graduate Center is also so important in the intellectual life of New York. It’s this wonderful place to be, and very, very, very different from the context in which I did my own PhD. I really wanted experience at a very different institution, and that is indeed what I got. So, I made the decision to leave the MLA and go to CUNY. And that was in 2018. That’s how I ended up where I am now.
CROOKS: For students who are starting to think they might want to do this kind of work, so not a tenure track position, thinking about something that is still in the university space, dealing with public facing work or supporting that, where should they get started in that thinking process or search process?
HARTMAN: So, the first thing to keep in mind is that some people want to be the person who does the thing. Some people want to be the person supporting the person who does the thing. I am very much in the latter role. I am the person who supports the person who does the thing. I do public writing of my own. I do research in this area. My public is the university, though, mostly. There are a few exceptions, but mostly my public is the university, and I am not doing public facing work in the same way that my fellows are. That’s something to keep in mind, and some people find that very satisfying and some people don’t. So that’s one thing to keep in mind when you make that shift is, will I be happy in a supporting role.
The other thing I would say is roles specifically like mine are somewhat rare. What is less rare are positions at research centers that support public facing work. So that’s one area that I recommend people look at. Very often there’ll be a faculty member who’s the director of the center. Then usually there’s an associate director that is not a faculty member. And I think those jobs can be great. They also can be very difficult, and they can change quite radically when that faculty director changes. There are lots of PhDs in those sorts of jobs. People often get into those jobs and stay there forever, means there’s low turnover. So those can also be challenging, but the GC has a million of these. Most campuses are going to have a gender studies center or an ethnic studies center or various research centers that have been started by faculty. I talked to a lot of those folks when I was doing my informational interview rounds at Stanford, and I’ve talked to many folks since. And I think when the faculty director thinks of the associate director as an intellectual partner, it can be really, really satisfying. When they’re treated as mostly just there to do the administrative work, it becomes much less satisfying. And this is something I’ve been very blessed with at the GC. Bianca, who’s our faculty lead but not the director of the project, Professor Williams and I have worked together very closely. We are very much aligned in our values and in the way that we think about the work, and we have been intellectual partners to each other.
So, I would say if this is work that you’re interested in doing, you need to find a context in which you will be an intellectual partner. That is really critical for most PhD’s to feel satisfied. The other thing is it is possible also to think about research outside of the university, and to think as well about research arms of nonprofits. We have placed many interns with the ACLU over the last few years. They have a research office that is very active, that always has social science research going, although they’ve taken a number of humanities interns as well. And a place like that would be a really interesting place to support public facing work that isn’t a university. That would depend a little bit on the content of what someone has already been studying. So, someone who is interested in work related to the type of work that the ACLU does might find a really interesting home in a place like their research department.
That’s what I would say. Be sure that you are OK with being the support person. Make sure it’s a context where you can be a true intellectual partner, and you can do this through the interviewing process. The interviewing process is a great place to suss out what do they want the person in this role to do. And consider research areas outside the university where the content of your work or the methods that you’ve used might be desired.
CROOKS: And for people thinking about going into one of those types of roles, so either that research outside of the university or the assistant director position in a university center, what sorts of things would you recommend them doing while they’re still students that might help them get a leg up and prepare?
HARTMAN: Yeah, so for the jobs outside the academy, I really recommend at least one internship during the doctoral program. This is something that we have supported quite a few of. It can be tough because those internships aren’t always paid. The GC at the moment is trying to make that more accessible for more students. I know that Jenny Furlong, who is the director of Career Services at the GC, she’s going to be teaching a for-credit internship course in the fall. And that’s for students to go, find their own internships, and then take the course to get credit for it. And since most doctoral students don’t pay tuition, that’s at least a net 0 cost to the student, and they get some credits from it.
For the university centers, similarly, thinking about how can you work with them. Is there a part time job there that can be had? Is there some sort of coordinator role? I held a million coordinator roles while I was a doctoral student. Thinking about whether there are coordinator roles with those sorts of centers at your institution that you can use to put on your resume later. Because you want to make it clear both that you have the experience, but also that this is not your plan B. No one wants to be your plan B, and there’s always a question of do you actually want to be a faculty member and are you going to leave in a year or two after going on the academic job market again. You want to make it clear, no, no, this is what I want, and the way to demonstrate that is by doing a little bit during your program.
CROOKS: What kinds of skills and qualities are beneficial for actually working in those types of roles?
HARTMAN: Mmm, that’s a great question. Low ego because you are in these supporting roles, right. This doesn’t mean you need to like debase yourself. You are a competent professional. You have a PhD. You should be treated as an intellectual partner in all of the work. But in some ways, you kind of need to be able to efface yourself. Just like, be like, I am here in the background. I am part of the furniture. I’m very rarely the star of the show, and that’s okay. And you know, I mean, everyone wants recognition. Everyone wants respect. I’m not saying in any way that those should not be things that people expect. I feel recognized and respected by my faculty colleagues all the time. But there are times, many times when I am simply not the center and shouldn’t be. And so, I think being able to sort of decenter yourself in the work is really important.
Being okay with a certain amount of administrative work that is not probably going to be your favorite thing to do, but you have to be able to get it done. And I do this by tying it to the larger mission, right. I have to get people paid. That process is annoying. You have to be able to work within the university systems to get that sort of thing done, and you can’t let it languish forever. Somebody who really procrastinates on administrative stuff is probably not going to be very good in one of these roles. Like you have to be able to make yourself do it. Some people might say you need to be detail oriented in these roles. I am not, so I hired a program assistant who was very detail oriented. And that’s just something else I would say is, be aware of where your shortfalls are and then like hire other people, you know.
And be prepared, also, most of these roles involve management, which is not something that is taught or even often valued at any university. And so, you have to be prepared to manage other people and you have to be prepared to take that really seriously. And you probably have to be prepared to what’s called manage up your faculty director, who themselves probably has never been trained on how to be a manager. So, I think management within the context of a university center like that can sometimes present some challenges, and people need to be aware of that.
CROOKS: You mentioned earlier being able to work with students again. It seems like there are these positions at the Graduate Center where people are working with students quite a bit but then it seems that there are positions where people are working with students very little or maybe even not at all.
So, I think there’s a big difference at universities between student-facing roles and non-student facing. And so, if you want to be in a student facing role, that’s where you should be. And if you don’t, there are lots of those jobs, too. People often get promoted away from student facing roles, and I think that works for some people and it doesn’t work for others. There isn’t a clear career trajectory with many of these because, say you’re looking at like associate director of a research center. That director role is almost always going to be held by a faculty member and that probably won’t change. So, there’s not a clear promotional path there. Some people get into those roles, stay there forever, and are very happy. They’re like, look, I’m never going to make a ton more money than I make right now, but that’s fine. They love the community; they love the work that they do. They’re happy there. It doesn’t matter to them. Other people are gonna get itchy feet after a bit, and you just have to understand that you’re not gonna get promoted probably. You’re gonna have to go around in some way, you’re gonna have to go around in order to go up. That might mean changing insitutitions, or just parts of the institution that you work in, or changing institutions altogether, or leaving academia actually. You have to be open to uncertainty in terms of your own career path in a way that if you are accustomed to thinking about careers in terms of like, you’re an assistant professor and then you’re an associate professor and then you’re a full professor, like it seems sort of unnerving. So, I’d say be okay with uncertainty as well.
CROOKS: You mentioned earlier that you get to do the research you want to do when you want to do it. Can you talk a bit about what research looks like for you in this role?
HARTMAN: That’s a good question. So, I’ve had a few projects going the last few years, one of which was started while I was still at the MLA and is only now coming out. And that’s an edited volume called Graduate Education for a Thriving Humanities Ecosystem, and that has been ongoing. I’m co-editing so it’s heavily collaborative work. That’s something that for me, I prefer. I prefer collaborative research almost always. And then I have work that I’ve been doing with Professor Williams. So, she and I have together written some pieces, one of which will be in the edited volume, another which I’m hoping by the time this podcast comes out I’m hoping will have appeared in the LA Review of Books. It should be out at the end of May 2023.
Research to me largely looks like synthesizing and analyzing and disseminating program results and thinking collaboratively with other people in the field of PhD education about the work that we are doing, how we can push it forward, and how it can be disseminated to as many people as possible. That to me is also research. It’s not the field that I did my PhD in. My field has changed quite a bit and I think that’s not atypical when people take these sorts of roles. People who do a PhD in one thing and then say, go run a Teaching and Learning Center, their research often shifts to be teaching and learning centered. My research has shifted to be focused on public scholarship. That’s where I do most of my reading these days. I would say people should be prepared for their research interests and their research area to change a little bit. If I wanted to keep doing German Studies research, I could. Just, it wouldn’t be related to what I’m doing now. Right now, I’m able to integrate research time into my work time. I think I would feel differently about that if I was doing research very separate from what I was focused on at work. Sometimes there’s actual research time built into these jobs or research support of some kind. The GC doesn’t give research time to its HEOs, its higher education officers, but we are eligible for small research grants.
For people who leave the university for research outside of it, stuff happens on a completely different time scale. Everything about the university is slow compared to life outside, even nonprofit life outside. Nonprofit life tends to be a little bit slower than for profit life, but even then, you’re talking about research projects that last months and not years. And you’re going to have less freedom in the projects you choose to work on. You’re much more likely to have things assigned to you. You’re going to be working probably with grant makers a lot of the time, and so they’re going to have a say in the agenda as well. You’re going to have to be responsive to things that happen in the real world a lot of the time. Those are all things to keep in mind if you leave the university setting. And some people are like, yes, I can’t wait to do a project that only lasts six months instead of six years, right. Or, I’m actually really excited about the idea of having to respond to news as it happens, right. And other people that sounds terrible to. So, it’s really a matter of understanding yourself and what you like and don’t like about the work you’re already doing. And having a grasp of how that context is going to change.
CROOKS: How would people go about looking for openings?
HARTMAN: A job hunt is generally scoped in a couple of ways, one of which is geography. Many people at the GC, for example, would prefer not to leave New York. Now there are a number of universities in New York as people are, I’m sure, aware. You’ve got the whole CUNY system. You’ve got NYU. You’ve got Columbia, and then you have a bunch of other universities as well. And if you go out to Long Island, you have more. There are people who live in this area and work at a school in Pennsylvania. You have to decide how big is the geographic area that you’re interested in. And then there’s a website called higheredjobs.com I used a lot when I was job hunting right out of grad school. You can set up an automated email that will come to your inbox every day with jobs.
But I would also say if there are particular institutions that you would like to be at, you should keep an eye on those institutions individually and you should go to events at those institutions. Meet people at those institutions. Get to know them. You don’t need to be secretive about the fact that you are a graduate student and you’re finishing up in a year or so maybe and you’re going to be applying for jobs. In fact, you shouldn’t be secretive because the only way that people know that they should know to help you is if you tell them you need help. Definitely show up at the places that you are interested in working, not in a weird I’m here for a job kind of way. But attend events and workshops and get to know people and have conversations. That’s all networking really is. All networking really is, is building relationships and having interesting conversations with people.
And then if the job comes open, they will know to e-mail you and say hey, this job is open, would you like to apply. And that invitation to apply is like gold. You don’t always get the job, but the invitation to apply for the job is really, really great. They’re going to look very closely at you. That’s one thing I would say is cast as wide a net as you are comfortable with in terms of geography in particular. And if there’s a couple different places you’d be happy to live, then cast nets in both of those places. But also, if there are particular universities or organizations that you are particularly interested in, I would say follow those specifically. And that’s really easy to do on LinkedIn. And so, if you’re on LinkedIn and you follow, say, the ACLU, you’re going to see jobs that come up from the ACLU. Universities don’t tend to post as many jobs to LinkedIn. That doesn’t seem to be something that universities do that often. Sometimes, but it depends on the university. Those job boards you might have to keep an eye on differently, either through Higher Ed Jobs or by just looking at them individually.
CROOKS: One last question. We like to wrap up by asking if you can leave students with a piece of parting advice or wisdom.
HARTMAN: So, my parting advice and wisdom is always: the odds are really good that it’s going to be okay. I think there’s so much anxiety around finishing the program and doing the job search. Part of that is that the academic job market is so terrible, and you know, I mean, it’s a challenging job market no matter what you’re going after. Pursuing non-academic jobs is not easy, and it has less of a blueprint than the faculty jobs do. But statistically speaking, PhDs find work. They find well-paying work and generally end up pretty satisfied with their lives. And if you are not satisfied with the type of work that you’re doing, you can change that. You’re not locked into anything forever, even if you are in a faculty job, you are not locked into that forever. You can always make changes if you start to feel like it’s not working for you in one way or another. That’s what I always want to leave people with. No one can tell the future. No one can guarantee anything. None of us are promised anything. But statistically speaking, your odds are really good, even if it is unclear at this point how you’re going to get to where you want to be.
CROOKS: That’s beautiful. (laughs) That’s a beautiful, very heartening piece of advice. I can attest to you as a student trying to write up that that is perfect.
HARTMAN: Ohh, Oh my God. I mean, I, yeah, it’s, it’s. I, I mean, I remember the sick feeling I would get whatever I thought about having to go on the academic job market. But the statistics for PHD’s are, are really good. It takes some time to find your feet and that interim time can be really scary.
CROOKS: Spring 2023 is the last semester for The Public’s Lab at the Graduate Center. The project did not receive a second round of funding from the Mellon Foundation. To wrap up our interview, I asked Stacy about the next stage of her career as she prepares for work and life after the Grad Center.
HARTMAN: I am so grateful for the time that I’ve been at CUNY and really feel like it has made this enormous imprint on me. I mean, really, I can’t say enough about how much my time at CUNY has mattered to me and how much I value the relationships that I’ve had with people there and the things that I have learned and just I feel like it’s a community that has really been great at encouraging me to push myself and hold myself accountable and so I want to start by saying that I’m so grateful to my GC colleagues.
With The Publics Lab ending, I am starting a new chapter. I have a milestone birthday this summer, which coincides very neatly with the end of things. I think I said previously that New York had never really been a dream of mine, and I’ve now been here for eight years. And while I do love the city in many ways, I am ready to go back to the West Coast. It’s where my family is. I have a 5-year-old niece now who didn’t exist when I moved out here. And so, I really want to be closer to my family, so I’m moving to Oregon at the very end of August, and I’m going to be doing some consulting work for a while based on the work that I have been doing. Lots of places are still in the process of setting up PhD professional development programs, essentially. And so, I’m going to be doing some work with some of them and eventually I kind of want to own a bar and community event space.
CROOKS: That sounds amazing. (laughs)
HARTMAN: (laughs) And so that’s the goal, but probably for the next few years, I am going to be doing quite a bit of consulting work. But that’s the goal and I want it to be a place where we can have speakers from the university who maybe need to be more accessible to the town. And where we can have discussions that mix folks from university with people who are not part of the university, and that serves as this liminal space, because we still have this real inside, outside thinking when it comes to the university. You have on campus; you have off campus. You have in the university; you have outside the university. And to have something that exists this middle space and is also just a fun place to be. I think academia really undervalues fun and joy and pleasure, to like create opportunities for intellectual engagement that are also affective, that are also fun, that nourish people in various ways. And so that’s really what I want to do in the long term. So, but I’m really excited about my consulting work in short to medium term. And yeah, careers go in chapters, so I’m excited about my next chapter.
CROOKS: That all sounds amazing. We wish you the best of luck.
HARTMAN: Thank you.
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