On the Tenure Track: Mya Dosch (Ph.D. '18, Art History)
A year into her role as an assistant professor, she shares tips on how to stand out when applying for a faculty job and what to do once you land it.
Mya Dosch (Ph.D. '18, Art History) just finished her first year as an assistant professor of art of the Americas at California State University at Sacramento, a tenure-track position she started just a few months after earning her degree. She credits her success in large part to her love of and dedication to teaching -- she taught for a total of seven years at several CUNY colleges, five of those as a Teaching Fellow.
As she prepares for the coming year's classes, Dosch is also talking with publishers about turning her dissertation "Creating 1968: Art, Architecture, & the Afterlives of the Mexican Student Movement," which won the 2019 Association for Latin American Art biennial dissertation award -- into a book. She recently spoke to The Graduate Center about her progression to the tenure track.
The Graduate Center: What is your advice for students and recent graduates who are looking for tenure-track positions?
Dosch: You should teach as many different classes at as many different institutions in the city as possible, so you have a depth of teaching experience. When I was applying for programs, that was one of the things that drew me to CUNY. I knew that I wanted to get teaching experience while I was in graduate school, beyond being a TA. I got great mentorship on my teaching, and the Art History program had a class on pedagogy, which is really rare at the graduate level. And I was able to design courses myself. My experience is really what got me a tenure-track job.
Teaching at California State University at Sacramento is a lot like teaching at CUNY, which is part of why this is such a great fit for me. I have lots of first-generation students, Latinx students, and recent immigrant students, and I really enjoy working with those student populations.
You should also get involved in organizing conferences and symposiums. That's something employers want to see: that you have experience hosting people, and can put together a really engaging conference. While I was a student, I co-organized a large conference about urban art in Latin America through the Center for the Humanities and the Ph.D. Program in Art History. It was called "The City Is Ours, The Body Is Mine" and it brought in almost 20 scholars. There's a lot of opportunity for that at The Graduate Center, and it's definitely something to take advantage of during your time there.
GC: What have you learned so far, now that you're a year in on the tenure track?
Dosch: The best advice I ever got was to celebrate what you've accomplished. I was thrown right into committee work and designing classes, and it's really important to stop and recognize what you've done, amid the flurry of a new job.
Also, stay in touch with advisers. I've been in touch with mine, thanking her for preparing me so well. And in the first few months, I was reaching out to ask questions.
GC: What are your hopes for the coming year?
Dosch: My specialty is public art, so I'm designing a new class on public art in the Americas that focuses on Sacramento, and having students actually go out into the field.
I'm also working on developing a study-abroad trip for students to Mexico City, which is where I do a lot of my research. I designed it as a course that could be taught anywhere in the world, for students who don't come from the type of background where they have money to travel abroad. This gives give them the opportunity to go on a short trip of 10 days -- that is much more financially feasible, and they get credit for it.