Senior Director of Graduate Advising and Engagement for the Humanities:

Melissa Lenos

Dr. Melissa Lenos & online scheduler

Melissa Lenos is Senior Director of Graduate Advising and Engagement for the Humanities. Her B.A. in English and M.A. in English, Critical and Cultural Studies are from the University of Pittsburgh and her Ph.D. in Mass Media and Communication is from Temple University. Melissa's primary research areas are narratology and media pedagogy; her work has appeared in Cinema Journal, In Media Res, and Antenna. She is co-author (with Michael Ryan) of An Introduction to Film Analysis: Technique and Meaning in Narrative Film and (with Kevin L. Ferguson) of the forthcoming Generation X: The Popular Culture that Defined the MTV Generation. 

Melissa was previously in Kansas City, where she directed a Department of Education Title V grant for a small minority-serving college (and where she was also an Associate Professor of English and served as Director of Liberal Arts & Sciences). Her background includes experiential and project-based learning support. She is available for one-on-one appointments and to visit departments to speak about project opportunities. 

Advising, Coaching, & Mentoring


Project Coordinator for Humanities Engage:

Marcus Landas

Marcus Landas is the Project Coordinator for Humanities Engage, where he provides project management, communication, and administrative support. He has over 12 years of experience in project management in the Americas, Oceania, Asia and EMEA. Marcus’ project delivery background spans the fields of Information Technology Service Management, Telecommunications and Healthcare.  

He was most recently in Washington D.C., where he managed projects for George Washington University’s School of Medicine and Health Sciences. These projects focused on process optimization within the university’s healthcare system and required extensive collaboration with university resources and their partners.

Feel free to reach out to Marcus if you have any questions regarding Humanities Engage or about future project opportunities. 

Steering Committee

The Steering Committtee oversees the grant.  It is composed of the PI, the chairs of the Departments of English, History, History of Art and Architecture, and Music, and the Senior Director of Graduate Advising and Engagement, and assisted by the Project Coordinator.

Jonathan Woon -  Associate Dean for Graduate Studies

Diego Holstein - Professor and Chair, Department of History

Gayle Rogers - Professor and Chair, Department of English

Adriana Helbig - Associate Professor and Acting Chair, Department of Music

Kirk Savage - Professor and immediate past Chair, Department of History of Art and Architecture

Melissa Lenos - Senior Director of Graduate Advising and Engagement (SDGAE) for the Humanities 

Advisory Board

Advisory Board (2021/22)

Caitlin Bruce, Associate Professor of Communication, Humanities Council Delegate

Deborah Danuser, Ph.D. Student, Communication

Lina Dostilio, Associate Vice Chancellor for Community Engagement

David Marshall, Co-Director, Humanities Center

Nicole Mitchell Gannt, William S. Dietrich II Chair of Jazz Studies, Director of Jazz Studies, Department of Music

Ruth Mostern, Associate Professor of History and Director, World History Center

Jerry Paytas, Ph.D., Co-Founder and Vice President, Research & Analytics, Fourth Economy

David Pettersen, Associate Professor of French and of Film and Media Studies, Director of French Graduate Studies

Nelesi Rodriguez, Ph.D. Student, English

Cynthia Sweet, Associate Vice Chancellor for Economic Partnerships

Kornelia Tancheva, Hillman University Librarian and Director of the University Library System, University of Pittsburgh

Alex Taylor, Assistant Professor and Academic Curator, Modern Art and Visual Culture, Department of History of Art and Architecture

Career Diversity Champions

Each Humanities Ph.D. program annually nominates a faculty-student pair to serve as Career Diversity Champions who will be fellow change leaders as we re-imagine the humanities doctorate. Career Diversity Champions will model a culture of student-centered graduate training that prepares Humanists for high-impact careers across all employment sectors. The Champions help lead discussion at the unit level, orient faculty and students toward grant-funded and other resources around professional development and career preparation, and liaise with their counterparts, the grant leadership team, and the Office of Graduate Studies. Champions will be eligible to apply for grant-funded financial support to enhance alum engagement with current doctoral student populations. Rotating student members of the Advisory Board for Humanities Engage will be recruited from amongst the Career Diversity Champions.

Communication: Deborah Danuser

English: Dr. Elizabeth Pitts; Nelesi Rodriguez

Film and Media Studies: Dr. Mark Lynn Anderson; Geneveive Newman

French: Dr. David Pettersen; Caitlin Dahl

Hispanic Languages and Literatures: Dr. David Tenorio; Alexander Tough

History: Dr. Ruth Mostern; Bryan Paradis

History and Philosophy of Science: Dr. Michael Dietrich; Dejan Makovec

History of Art and Architecture: Dr. Shirin Fozi

Linguistics: Music: Nicolas Aguia

Philosophy: Dr. Japa Pallikkathayil; Yao Fan

Slavic Languages and Literatures: Dr. David J. Birnbaum

Theatre Arts: Dr. Kathy George; Victoria LaFave

NEH Planning Grant Committees

The following individuals served as representatives for Humanities Careers, an NEH Planning Grant in 2018-2019. Unless specified otherwise, members are affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh.

Alumni Working Group 

Holger Hoock - Chair; PI of "Humanities Careers"
Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research, Kenneth P Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences
J. Carroll Amundson Professor of British History, Department of History

Don Bialostosky 
Professor and Chair, Department of English

Jerome Branche 
Professor and Chair, Department of Hispanic Languages & Literatures

Barbara McCloskey
Professor and Chair, Department of the History of Art and Architecture

Vladimir Padunov
Associate Professor, Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Slavic Languages & Literatures

Andrea Paolini 
PhD Student, Department of English

Lara Putnam 
Professor and Chair, Department of History


Curriculum Working Group 

Deane L. Root - Chair 
Professor and Chair, Department of Music

Tyler Bickford
Associate Professor and DGS, Department of English

Lauren Collister 
Director of the Office of Scholarly Communications & Publishing, ULS; Alumna, PhD Program in Linguistics

Michel Gobat 
Associate Professor and DGS, Department of History

Randall Halle 
Klaus W. Jonas Professor of German Film and Cultural Studies, Department of German, Director of Film and Media Studies

Christina M. Hoenig
Associate Professor and Director of the Graduate Program in Classics, Philosophy and Ancient Science, Department of Classics

Alison Langmead
Clinical Associate Professor and Director, Visual Media Workshop, Department of the History of Art and Architecture  

Kirk Savage 
Professor, Department of History of Art and Architecture

Nicole Scalissi
PhD Candidate, Department of History of Art and Architecture

Bethany Wade 
PhD Candidate, Department of History

Partnership and Public Humanities Working Group 

Alex J. Taylor - Co-Chair 
Assistant Professor and Academic Curator, Department of the History of Art and Architecture

Ruth Mostern - Co-Chair 
Associate Professor, Department of History; Director, World History Center

Ben Barson 
PhD Candidate, Department of Music

Jennifer Boum Make 
PhD Candidate, Department of French and Italian (PhD Program in French)

Patrick Dowd, Executive Director, Allies for Children, Pittsburgh; Alumnus, PhD Program in History

Shelome Gooden
Associate Professor, Department of Linguistics

Aaron Henderson 
Associate Professor, Department of Studio Arts

Lina Insana 
Associate Professor of Italian and Chair, Department of French and Italian Languages and Literatures

Dan Kubis 
Associate Director, Humanities Center; Alumnus, PhD Program in English

Brenton J. Malin 
Associate Professor and DGS, Department of Communication

Michelle Yingling 
Career Consultant, Career Services

Darlene F. Zellers
Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Career Development, Health Sciences; Director, Office of Academic Career Development, Health Sciences; Associate Dean for Postdoctoral Affairs, School of Medicine

Additional Members of Planning Committee:

Jonathan Arac, Andrew W. Mellon Chair, Department of English, and Director, Humanities Center

Nathan Urban, Vice Provost for Graduate Studies and Strategic Initiatives


Consultative Committee

Rebecca Bagley
Vice Chancellor for Economic Partnerships

Marc Bermann 
Associate Professor and DGS, Department of Anthropology 

Susie Chen 
PhD candidate, Department of Psychology 

Daniele Coen-Pirani 
Associate Professor, Department of Economics 

Lina Dostilio 
Associate Vice-Chancellor for Community Engagement, Center for Urban Education

Tom Golightly
Senior Executive Director of Development, Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences 

Joe Horne
Director, Teaching Commons,  University Center for Teaching and Learning

Anna Marsland
Professor, Department of Psychology 

Carol Mullen 
Director of Communication and Undergraduate Recruitment, Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences

Jessica Pickett

Rebecca Roadman
Director of Special Projects and Initiatives, Dean's Office, Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences 

Kornelia Tancheva
University Librarian, Director of University Library Services