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Who We Are

Cathy N. Davidson—Director, The Futures Initiative

Cathy N. DavidsonCathy N. Davidson is director of the Futures Initiative and a distinguished professor in the Ph.D. Program in English at the Graduate Center, CUNY. She is a renowned scholar of cultural history and technology, including the history of the book, the history of industrialism and postindustrialism, digital humanities, and the impact of new technologies on culture, cognition, learning, and the workplace. Her current work focuses on trust, data, new collaborative methods of living and learning, and the ways we can change higher education for a better future.

Davidson previously taught at Duke University for more than two decades, where she held two chaired professorships, the Ruth F. DeVarney Professor of English and the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies. From 1998 to 2006, she also served as Duke University’s (and the nation’s) first Vice Provost of Interdisciplinary Studies, working with faculty and students to design more than seventy new cross-campus programs and technologies. In 2002, Davidson cofounded the Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory (, which is now a network of more than 13,000 scholars, artists, and technologists committed to “Changing the Way We Teach and Learn.” She is co-PI of the HASTAC/John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Competitions, which have awarded more than $10 million in grant funding to support nearly one hundred innovative projects operating around the world.

She has published more than twenty books, including Revolution and the Word: The Rise of the Novel in America (Oxford University Press, expanded edition, 2004), The Future of Thinking: Learning Institutions in a Digital Age, with David Theo Goldberg (MIT Press, 2010), and Now You See It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn (Viking, 2011). A frequent speaker and consultant on institutional change at universities, corporations, nonprofits, and other organizations, she writes for the Harvard Business Review, Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, Chronicle of Higher Education, Washington Post, and Times Higher Ed, among others.
In 2011, President Obama appointed her to the National Council on the Humanities. In 2012, Davidson was named the first educator to serve on the board of directors of Mozilla, and she received the Educator of the Year Award (with HASTAC cofounder David Theo Goldberg) from the World Technology Network.

Photo credit: Paula Vlodkowsky

Katina Rogers—Deputy Director of the Futures Initiative and HASTAC@CUNY

Katina Rogers joined the Graduate Center in October 2014. 
Her work focuses on many aspects of higher education reform, including scholarly communication practices, professionalization and career development, public scholarship, and advocacy for fair labor policies. She previously worked with the Modern Language Association as managing editor of MLA Commons, the MLA’s online platform for collaboration, discussion, and new modes of scholarly publishing. Her study on perceptions of career preparedness, which she conducted as senior research specialist for the Scholarly Communication Institute, provided valuable data on the skillsets and career paths of humanities graduate students. While at SCI, she  contributed to the development of the Praxis Network, a multi-institutional and international effort geared toward sharing model programs and experiments in humanities methodological training. Katina is the editor of #Alt-Academy, a digital publication dedicated to exploring the career paths of humanities scholars in and around the academy. She holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Lauren Melendez—Administrative Specialist for the Futures Initiative and HASTAC@CUNY

Lauren Melendez previously worked at ESPN Audio in Network 
Radio within the Sales Planning Department. In this role she coordinated with the Network Sales Team on stewarding General Market, Hispanic, Digital, and Remnant inventory with, pricing, clearing Network Audio buys, and worked with the finance department to expedite credit approvals, billing and several other administrative responsibilities. Lauren has been in the Media Industry for the last seven years and has worked in sales and buying roles at Fox Station Sales, as well as at Initiative Advertising Agency. Lauren is very excited in making the transition from Media into working here at the Graduate Center as an administrative specialist of the Futures Initiative and HASTAC. Lauren is also attending Graduate School at Hunter College in counseling.  Lauren feels the admin role here at CUNY will be a great learning experience and growth opportunity, and she is excited by the prospect of working with undergraduate students in the CUNY colleges and community colleges as part of her position at the Futures Initiative.


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