Alumni Highlights

Alumni Outcomes

The Graduate Center's Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness makes data available on alumni through Tableau. For Liberal Studies, data shows:

  • In recent years, 78-102 degrees have been awarded annually. 
  • The current (as of Fall 2020) median time-to-degree is 3 years (by graduation year) and 2.3 years (by entering cohort).

Profiles of Alumni in Academia

Current Position: Gardiner Assistant Professor of History, Iona College, and Director,  Institute for Thomas Paine Studies (ITPS)

MALS Class of 2011 - American Studies Concentration

  • Thesis: “The Separation of Press and State: Alexander Hamilton, Walter Lippmann, and the Role of Authorship in the Formation of America’s Public Opinion”

Nora Slonimsky is the Gardiner Assistant Professor of History at Iona College, where she also serves as Director of the Institute for Thomas Paine Studies (ITPS). She received her Ph.D. in history in the spring of 2017 from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY). Nora’s research focuses on the intersection of intellectual property, commerce, and politics in colonial, revolutionary, and early national America. She is currently working on her first book, The Engine of Free Expression: Copyrighting The State in Early America, which is forthcoming with the University of Pennsylvania Press and won the Society for the History of the Early American Republic (SHEAR) prize for best manuscript. This project, as well as other research in the Digital Humanities, has been supported by the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, the Library Company of Philadelphia, the New-York Historical Society, and the America Antiquarian Society, among others. Nora also serves as the Social Media Editor for the Journal of the Early Republic, the Book Reviews editor for SHARP News, and teaches courses ranging from the Age of Revolutions to copyright and innovation in US history that have digital and public history components. Nora lives in upper Manhattan with her partner and a doodle named R2-D Dog. She’s a big fan of tea, playing tennis, Jane Austen, and, unsurprisingly, Star Wars!

Social Media and Website?
You can follow her on twitter @NoraSlonimsky or check out her website,

What led you to choose MALS for your graduate studies?
While I knew I wanted to pursue a doctorate and try for a career in academia, I wasn’t sure which area would be the best fit for my research interests. Since MALS is so wonderfully interdisciplinary, it gave me the opportunity to explore multiple departments and approaches so I could learn which would be the best path to pursue!

What did you learn from MALS?
If I had to distill the experience, which was tremendous, into one big take-away, it was reinforcing how key inter and multi-disciplinary approaches are. I learned from MALS how critical it is to listen, learn, and read from as many perspectives as possible. While I went on to be trained as a historian, MALS prepared me to include as wide-ranging and diverse a source base as possible in my research, writing, and teaching.

Where are you now after MALS? What does your post-MALS professional life look like?
I moved one floor away from MALS to the history department, where I finished my PhD in 2017. I’m now an assistant professor of history at Iona College, just outside New York City in New Rochelle! At Iona, I also direct an organization called the Institute for Thomas Paine Studies, or ITPS, which focuses on archival studies, digital humanities, and public history around the Age of Revolutions. I also work for the Journal of the Early Republic as the social media editor and serve as the reviews editor for SHARP News. I’m also co-editing an essay collection, The Age of Revolutions in the Digital Age, for Cornell University Press.

Piece of advice to MALS students/alum?
Oh giving advice is a hard one! Often times I’ve found that advice in academia tends to follow a ‘one size fits all’ model, which I don’t think works all that often for clothes or most other things. So all I would say is to embrace the multifaceted nature of MALS and use it as an opportunity to best support your specific interests and experiences. This is a unique and cool program because not only it is affordable, it is also accessible. In other words, you can be in that rare position where, should you want, you can learn for the sake of learning. Or it can be preparation for a PhD. Or it can support another professional path you are already on. Or it can be the foundation for a host of humanities careers. You can make MALS work for you!

Recent publications/Awards received?
Over the past few years I’ve focused largely on my book project, as well as publishing an article in the journal, Early American Studies. I won the 2017 Society for the History of the Early American Republic (SHEAR) prize for best manuscript for my dissertation, which is now under contract with University of Pennsylvania Press. My dissertation was also a finalist for the Zuckerman Prize in American Studies. This spring I was also awarded a post-doctoral fellowship at the Huntington Library to complete my book  during the 2020-2021 academic year.

Current Position: Assistant Professor

MALS Class of 2013 - Approaches to Modernity Concentration

  • Thesis: "A Reader's Beheading: Nabokov's Invitation and Authorial Utopia"

Aaron Botwick is an Assistant Professor of English at Hostos Community College. His current research is on suicide and British modernism. In addition to Hostos, Aaron has taught at Lehman College, City College, and Borough of Manhattan Community College.

Social Media and Website? and @ProfessorRagnar on Twitter

What led you to choose MALS for your graduate studies?
I was rejected by the Ph.D. program in English. I think the rejection letter included some information about MALS, so I applied.

What did you learn from MALS?
I learned how to be a graduate student. I knew I wanted to reapply for the Ph.D. program, but I didn't know that I was wholly unprepared. MALS gave me two years of lower-stakes participation in graduate courses, time I spent figuring out how to write a research essay.

Where are you now after MALS? What does your post-MALS professional life look like?
I was exceedingly lucky to get a job as an Assistant Professor of English at Hostos Community College (I want to emphasize "exceedingly lucky"—the market is garbage right now).

Piece of advice to MALS students/alum?
The program is really flexible and easy to adapt to your needs. You may be interested in a doctorate. You may need an MA for career advancement. You may be a retiree who is nostalgic for undergraduate education. I keep telling my parents they should find a MALS program in Chicago.

Any Recent publications/Awards received?
I just received the Calder Prize for Best Dissertation in Modernism from the Ph.D. program in English at the Graduate Center.

Current Position: Associate Professor, Urban Studies - Guttman Community College, CUNY

MALS Class of 2013 - Urban Education Concentration

  • Thesis: "Curriculum for Change: An Interdisciplinary Curriculum for Youth in East Harlem"

Molly Vollman Makris is Associate Professor of Urban Studies at Guttman Community College, CUNY. She also serves as the Program Coordinator for Urban Studies. Dr. Makris holds a Ph.D. in Urban Systems with concentrations in urban educational policy and the urban environment from Rutgers University and New Jersey Institute of Technology. She received her MALS from the CUNY Graduate Center in Urban Education and a BS from NYU in Secondary Education.  She began her career as a social studies teacher in a NYC public high school and then worked for a nonprofit youth development organization. Molly’s current areas of specialization are urban education reform, charter schools, school segregation, public housing, and gentrification. She is the author of numerous articles and her book Public Housing and School Choice in a Gentrified City: Youth Experiences of Uneven Opportunity won the American Educational Studies Association Critics Choice Book Award and the New Jersey Studies Academic Alliance Book Award in 2016. Her co-authored book Gentrification Down the Shore (Rutgers University Press) will be released in 2020. She is also a proud mom of two little ones.

Social Media?

What led you to choose MALS for your graduate studies?
MALS offered a degree with a focus on urban education, which I knew I wanted to focus on after working in formal and informal education. The program offered the opportunity to learn from Graduate Center faculty whose work I greatly respected.

What did you learn from MALS?
Through the MALS program I took many classes in sociology and urban education that helped me to look beyond my own experiences in education to more deeply understand historical and sociological contexts. I also grew interested in academia and research through the program.

Where are you now after MALS? What does your post-MALS professional life look like? 
I went straight from the MALS program into a PhD program full time. I am now a tenure track faculty member at Guttman Community College, CUNY and last semester was very excited to be back at MALS teaching Politics of Contemporary Urban Education.

Piece of advice to MALS students/alum?
Take the time to meet with your professors during their office hours/outside of class time to share your interests and better understand their work.

Recent publications/Awards received?

  • Coming out this Fall: Makris, M.V. & Gatta, M. (ANTICIPATED 11/2020). Gentrification Down the Shore. New Jersey: Rutgers University Press.
  • Out in 2015: MakrisM.V. (2015). Public Housing and School Choice in a Gentrified City: Youth Experiences of Uneven Opportunity. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

* Book awarded American Educational Studies Association Critics Choice Book Award and New Jersey Studies Academic Alliance Book Award in 2016*


  • Makris, M.V. (2018). The Chimera of Choice: Gentrification, School Choice, and Community. Peabody Journal of Education.
  • MakrisM.V. & Brown, E. (2017). School Development in Urban Gentrifying Spaces: Developers Supporting Schools or Schools Supporting Developers?  Journal of Urban Affairs. 
  • Brown, E. & Makris, M.V. (2017). A different type of charter school: in prestige charters a rise in cachet equals a decline in access. Journal of Education Policy.      


  • 2018- Provost’s Award for Outstanding Scholarship at Stella and Charles Guttman Community College | CUNY
  • 2018-Educator of the Year Recipient from Education Update

George holds a Ph.D. in English and M.A. in Liberal Studies from the CUNY Graduate Center.

He is currently on the Liberal Studies faculty. View his profile.

Alumni Resources

Learn how to obtain an alumni ID card, access the library, order transcripts, and take advantage of other benefits as a Graduate Center alum.

Alumni who are within five years of obtaining their degree are welcome to use the The Office of Career Planning and Professional Development  for individual career counseling. All Graduate Center alumni are welcome to attend programs, to join mailing lists, and to have access to job listings.

Reconnect with MALS

Life is busy and we’d love to hear from you, our alumni, and reconnect. Tell us about your adventures since graduating. If you are starting a new job, changing careers, or doing something exciting, please get in touch and share your news with us. We would like to share alumni news with the rest of the MALS community.

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