Career Spotlight: Sara Remedios (English Literature)

Approximately 40 percent of those enrolled in higher education are over the age of 25. The share of these “nontraditional” students is projected to jump another 23 percent by 2019, according to U.S. Education Department data.
Doctoral candidate Sara Remedios (English Literature) is well versed in this significant shift. As Assistant Dean of Students and Coordinator of Academic and Learning Initiatives at Columbia University’s School of General Studies, she works closely with Columbia’s nontraditional undergraduate population — including military veterans, community college transfers, parents, and others who have taken at least a yearlong break before pursuing a degree.
“My education at the Graduate Center was absolutely instrumental in shaping my career path,” Remedios said. “As part of my doctoral fellowship, I was exposed early to the world of academic administration, and had the great privilege to work closely with CUNY’s nontraditional undergraduate population.”

The experience she gained working with the GC’s Pipeline Program (pictured at left), which provides support to CUNY students from underrepresented groups who want to work toward a doctoral degree, helped Remedios develop a marketable skill set, she says. It also gave her the chance to explore career paths outside of the traditional tenure-track faculty route.

“More importantly,” she said, “the chance to engage with an exceptional and deserving community of students, and to help them access the resources that have allowed them to enter into conversations in which their voices are truly needed, helped me understand a different side of the academy.  I learned the importance of access, and the role of administrators in guaranteeing access and support.” 
Her research interests include British Modernism, children’s and young adult literature, and Shakespeare, with special attention to issues of cultural memory and political violence. Before joining Columbia last year, she worked as the MAGNET Coordinator for CUNY’s Pipeline to the Ph.D. Program, and as an adjunct instructor of writing at Baruch College.
Remedios is currently finishing her dissertation, which ties together all three of her research fields, and also using research as a foundation of her academic support work. She said she hopes to remain involved in research in both worlds — literature and academic support — as she moves further in her career.
“I would not be where I am without the Graduate Center,” Remedios said. “And I’m grateful for the opportunities I was given every day.”

Submitted on: MAY 18, 2015

Category: Diversity | English | General GC News | Student News