Graduate Center Alumni Awarded Prestigious Mellon/ACLS Fellowships

July 2, 2020

Jaime Shearn Coan and Barry P. Goldberg will apply the skills and perspectives they gained from their doctorates in English and history to community-focused positions in nonprofit organizations.

Barry P. Goldberg (left) and Jaime Shearn Coan. (Photos courtesy of ACLS)
Barry P. Goldberg (left) and Jaime Shearn Coan. (Photos courtesy of ACLS)

Two Graduate Center alumni were named Mellon/ACLS Public Fellows for 2020 by the American Council of Learned Societies. Jaime Shearn Coan (Ph.D. ’20, English) and Barry P. Goldberg (Ph.D. ’17, History) are among the 22 fellows chosen to bring the skills and perspectives they developed in humanities doctoral programs to positions in nonprofit and civic organizations throughout the United States.

Fellows gain experience in two-year, full-time positions focused on policy research, community engagement, advocacy, arts and public humanities programming, fundraising, and information management.

Each fellow receives $70,000 a year along with health insurance, a relocation allowance, and up to $3,000 in professional development funds. In addition to their positions at nonprofit and civic organizations, fellows will have opportunities for networking, mentoring, and career development programming.

“During this time of ongoing uncertainty, the Public Fellows program provides important opportunities to apply humanistic perspectives and skills directly to projects led by community-focused initiatives across the country,” said ACLS President Joy Connolly, who served as interim president of The Graduate Center where she championed doctoral education in the humanities. “In addition to helping to blaze new career paths for doctoral students, our partners are energized by the prospect of increasing their own capacity to address urgent problems with the distinctive assistance of humanities Ph.D.s.” 

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Coan, a published poet, will be the communications manager at One Archives Foundation, the oldest active LGBTQ organization in the United States, which supports access to over three million archival items. He is a board member of CLAGS: The Center for LGBTQ Studies at The Graduate Center. While pursuing his Ph.D., he served as a Mellon Digital Publics Fellow at the Center for the Humanities at The Graduate Center and as the 2016–2017 Curatorial Fellow at Danspace Project. His Ph.D. research focused on live performance and writing from the 1980s onward, with an emphasis on queer work that emerged during the early years of the AIDS epidemic–and its archival afterlives.   

Barry-Goldberg student photo news

Goldberg, who is currently a research fellow at the Rockefeller Archive Center, will be a writer and editor with the communications team at the Partnership for Public Service, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization whose focus is making government more responsive to the needs of the American public. Goldberg previously worked as a speechwriter at the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College and taught at Queens College and Hunter College.