On this page you will find several resources to support your career exploration and professional development.

Advising, Coaching, and Mentoring

Make an appointment with the Senior Director of Graduate Advising and Engagement to discuss succeeding in doctoral study, setting professional development goals, preparing for interviews and job searches in all sectors, and much more.

As Senior Director of Graduate Advising and Engagement for the Humanities, I am here to help humanities Ph.D. students flourish in graduate school and beyond. I am available for one-on-one appointments in-person and via Zoom. We can discuss a wide range of issues including...

  • Identifying university resources that link to your specific intellectual interests and range of career aspirations
  • Effective ways of discussing your work with a variety of audiences
  • Integrating co- and extra-curricular experiences into coursework, portfolios, pedagogical training, and dissertation research
  • Connecting your work with your community – both inside and outside academia
  • Setting professional development goals
  • Forging and maintaining strong mentoring networks
  • Applying for grants for both research funding as well as career preparation purposes
  • Preparing for interviews and job searches in all sectors

Consultations are completely confidential and focused on your needs and goals.  I look forward to helping you navigate the integration of the many facets of academic life into a coherent and fulfilling academic and career plan!

You can schedule an appointment via email ( or using this online scheduler.

Melissa Lenos

Background Readings and Pitt Resources

Next-Gen Humanities Ph.D. efforts "enable students to think of career diversity not as something that complicates their trajectory, but as an initiative that cultivates agency."  – James Grossman and Emily Swafford, "The Purpose-Driven PhD", Perspectives on History  (April 15, 2019)

The goal of Humanities Engage is to foster a culture change in how arts and humanities departments, faculty, and doctoral students in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences envisage the broader importance of humanities Ph.D.s and the societal impact of humanistic training. 

Discover Humanities strengths at the University of Pittsburgh:


Learn about the national conversation around humanities PhD professional development and our local resources.

Brief Readings


National Reports


Innovative US Doctoral Programs


Please contact the project leadership team for access to extensive further bibliographies and reading materials.

Graduate Faculty and PhD Programs

Explore resources on advising, curricular changes, innovative doctoral training, and more.

Humanities Engage is committed to reimagining doctoral training to prepare tomorrow’s versatile humanists. Curricular reform grounded in broad faculty and student support is a challenging yet essential element of any effort to re-imagine doctoral training. We have provided resources below to explore curricular changes, innovative doctoral training at U.S. universities and through professional associations, and more.


Be sure to also check out the following Humanities Engage resources:


We welcome you reaching out to us for other resources or with suggestions on how we can best support you and your PhD program.

Ph.D. Students

Explore resources for humanities PhD students, including advising information, career exploration tools, career resources, tips on how to develop immersive fellowships, and more.

Humanities Engage is committed to making the full spectrum of postdoctoral humanistic careers visible, valued, and viable.

We want to understand and support your career objectives as you pursue flexible pathways toward the timely completion of your degree. We want to help empower you to develop and articulate strategic competencies for humanistic careers within and beyond academia.

As a starting point, check out the following resources:


Be sure to also check out the following:

  • Funding opportunities for professional development through immersive fellowships, curricular development opportunities, and immersive dissertation research.
  • Our blog highlighting the exciting things graduate students and faculty are doing.
  • Events for professional development
  • Pitt Humanists in the World on Pitt Commons, a community supporting the professional and career development of current students and alums associated with Pitt’s Humanities graduate programs.

We welcome you to reach out to us for other resources or with suggestions on how we can best support your career exploration and professional development.

Public and Engaged Humanities

As we train the next generation of scholar-teacher-leaders within and beyond the academy, we seek to make the humanities more fully integral to tackling the complex challenges facing an interconnected yet divided world.

Humanities Engage supports public-facing humanistic scholarship, public engagement, collaboration, and the communication of research to non-specialist audiences. We encourage experimentation and engagement with new media and modes of scholarly production.

As part of our grant, we will develop a new graduate certificate in the public and engaged arts and humanities.  We understand “engaged scholarship” as academically rigorous, cross- and interdisciplinary scholarship that addresses social, civic, and ethical problems and involves partnerships with community-based organizations. [1] 

[1] Tufts University and Campus Compact, ”New Times Demand New Scholarship I: Research Universities and Civic Engagement: A Leadership Agenda,” Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, 16/4 (2012), 235–69. Dorothy Holland, Dana E. Powell, Eugenia Eng, Georgina Drew, “Models of Engaged Scholarship: An Interdisciplinary Discussion,” Collaborative Anthropologies, 3 (2010), 1–36.

Here are some further background readings:


Pitt has a variety of innovative scholarship and teaching resources.

Funding opportunities exist for humanities PhD students, graduate faculty, and PhD programs to explore public humanities projects and curricular innovations.