Changing the Frame from “Service” to “Leadership”

As we conclude our Fall 2022 Faculty Fellows Seminars, TLH Faculty Co-Directors Shelly Eversley (Baruch College) and Matt Brim (College of Staten Island) are asking us to think about how to translate what we’ve done at TLH into lines on our CVs/resumes.

Leadership is Leadership

TLH talks about the faculty fellows as “leaders in their fields” in the original language of the Mellon grant. You might take another look at the grant language and TLH Annual Reports to see how others frame what you do as transformative, as leadership.

I have some thoughts on how to use TLH methods to transform a CV or resume, especially for alt-ac jobs. I’m happy to share a link to my alt-ac resume (opens in new tab) which looks very different from my academic CV (opens in new tab). What they have in common are headings that change the frame from “Academic Service” to “Academic Activities and Leadership” or “Academic Community Leadership.” This language is more empowering and active, and avoids the gendered associations, assumptions, and biases about “service.”

Quantify Accomplishments and Impact

One big tip I’ve picked up from folx in industry is to quantify my accomplishments wherever I can. For example, I’ve tried to word a bullet under my TLH title in a way that I’m able to showcase the impact of my work as a Postdoctoral Research Associate:

“Organized and facilitated the training of 4,000+ faculty, staff and students in antiracist, inclusive teaching practices and active learning, which has impacted an estimated 32,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Mentored 150+ faculty at all ranks, representing over 20 unique disciplines across 21 of CUNY’s campuses in effective, democratic digital pedagogies while they taught remote, hybrid, and in-person courses.”

I’m in the humanities, so I’m more accustomed to thinking about quality over quantity. While quality is important, so is impact. I got to these numbers by taking advantage of Zoom’s ability to track the number of participants on calls; tracking the number of campuses our fellows are from and what disciplines they teach in; and post-event surveys asking attendees how many students they are currently teaching. Quantifying impact goes beyond the scope of one person’s job application. Keeping our program self-assessment in mind throughout our 2 years of operation has made this kind of tracking possible (one of our team members thought to create a post-event survey; another thought to ask attendees how many students they teach), and having these numbers handy shows potential investors the value of our program.

There’s another way to show impact: listing the range of roles in the institution (e.g., “faculty, staff, and students”); the types of pedagogy (e.g., “antiracist, inclusive teaching practices and active learning”); and modes of instruction (e.g., “remote, hybrid, and in-person courses”). These, too, quantify/measure breadth and depth to some degree.

List Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) and Open Educational Resources (OER) as Publications

Include links on your CV/resume to digital projects, op-eds, blog posts, Manifold and Pressbook editions, CUNY Academic Works contributions, and more. One faculty fellow said, “My group is developing a project for manifold. That can be listed as a publication. It is also allowing me to learn to use Manifold, which I can put under professional development and, more importantly I think, allowing me to think about ways I might use Manifold in future classes.”

How to Talk about TLH According to TLH Faculty Fellows

Co-Directors Eversley and Brim asked the fellows this week to describe TLH in ways that would translate to a CV or resume. This is what the fellows said:

  • Cross-college collaboration on pedagogical innovation, antiracist curriculum strategies, creating equitable student learning experiences across different academic disciplines and 2-year and 4-year campuses
  • Having a dedicated time and space to think about the [name your profession] as a humanitarian discipline helped me transform my approach to teaching into a community effort that looks beyond the classroom
  • Promoting student critical thinking and awareness of the society around them while enabling them to become content creators and experts teaching the world.
  • CUNY-wide public knowledge project on transformational teaching
  • Pedagogical innovation to support retention, access; public humanities projects; broadening what the humanities means and does; scholarship and research in teaching and learning for diversity, access, inclusion, antiracism
  • Assessment, evaluation, and improvement of curriculum and pedagogy
  • Grounding work in social justice and implementing pedagogy that highlight collaboration and community building as a way for students to advocate for themselves as well as members of their respective communities
  • Opened up CUNY students to the possibility of impacting the world in non-traditional, more positive, ways
  • Cross disciplinary teaching and learning for the public academy
  • Worked to empower students to actively participate and take greater possession of their course material
  • Develop practices to foster student investment, equitable assessment practices, and transformational learning outcomes
  • Created public knowledge for CUNY as a selected TLH Faculty Fellow
  • Organized and facilitated the public knowledge project, “_______,” a virtual edition / podcast / professional development workshop with [#] faculty in attendance who together teach [#] students at CUNY.
  • Led students in creating a public knowledge project about the role of active learning in promoting educational success
  • Co-authored “_________” on the pedagogy blog for Transformative Learning in the Humanities, a three-year innovative teaching initiative at CUNY supported by a $2 million grant from the Mellon Foundation.
  • Contributed to the creation of an open education resource that was part of a student-led initiative where students produce a podcast episode that focuses on the lived experiences of CUNY students with political and societally contentious issues that are often considered taboo.
  • Implemented anti-racist and flipped pedagogical practices in my teaching through guidance from/collaboration with the TLH.
  • Support the development of syllabi and other pedagogical practices that conscientiously contend with coloniality and racism in our society.
  • Collaborated with a transformative collective of CUNY faculty who are leaders in their fields, representing over 20 unique disciplines across 21 of CUNY’s campuses in effective, democratic digital pedagogies while we taught remote, hybrid, and in-person courses.
  • Engaged in active self-assessment of pedagogical practices and collaborated with TLH fellows across various areas of expertise to create a public podcast on shifting assessment practices.
  • As part of the Mellon-funded, CUNY TLH initiative, I contributed to collaborative projects with students and faculty that explored community building in the classroom as a way to move toward liberatory education.
  • Working with MFAs in Pedagogy this semester, I’ve witnessed the impact beyond the course itself, as pedagogy students describe their own transformation as teachers; they comment on the resources I have brought to them from TLH, add their own notes to what I present from the TLH seminars and speaker series; describe their change in use of syllabus and assessment, etc.
  • Prioritized accessibility, diversity, equity, and inclusion, especially when…. teaching / creating and publishing Open Educational Resources (OER) / organizing a workshop / participating in committee work …
  • I bring [#] of years of experience collaborating on diverse and inclusive teams working toward social justice in education

Thank you to all our Fall 2022 faculty fellows for contributing to this extensive list!

More Resources

TLH Librarian Grace Handy pulled together a list of additional resources on translating academic skills to resumes: 

  • Christopher L. Caterine. (2020). Leaving Academia : A Practical Guide: Vol. Version 1.0. Princeton University Press.
  • Lesiuk, M. (2013). “Small bets” and the PhD process: Alt-Ac careers for humanities PhDs. English Studies in Canada, 39(4), 17+.
  • Montez, Noe. (2018). “Strengthening Job Prospects Within and Beyond the Academy.” HowlRound. 
  • Kelsky, Karen L. (2015). The Professor Is In: The Essential Guide to Turning Your Ph.D. into a Job. New York: Three Rivers.
  • Rogers, Katina. (2020) Putting the Humanities PhD to Work: Thriving in and Beyond the Classroom. Durham: Duke University Press.

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