GradFUTURES Social Impact Fellowship Spotlight: Margaret Kurkoski (GS, Art & Archeology)

Nov. 1, 2021

In the GradFUTURES Spotlight series, Princeton graduate students share in their own words about their experiences in one of the GradFUTURES Fellowship programs: the Community College Teaching Fellowship Program, the University Administrative Fellowship Program, or the GradFUTURES Social Impact Fellowship Program. 

Where and when did your Fellowship take place?

In the summer of 2021, I was a GradFUTURES Social Impact Fellow at Reveal Digital, which is part of the not-for-profit Ithaka


Prior to this program, I was a curatorial fellow at the Smith College Museum of Art, where I learned how to create powerful encounters with works-of-art from across the world. As a PhD candidate in Art & Archaeology, I am now writing a dissertation about imperial villa architecture of the Roman Mediterranean.  Still, I continue to be interested in how people learn about art of all eras, whether in a gallery or online.

What drew you to the GradFUTURES Fellowship and this particular Fellowship?

I was excited to see how I could apply my qualitative research skills to a company that cares so deeply about Higher Ed access at multiple levels. At Reveal Digital, I am actively building online resources that will help colleges and universities across the country, featuring artists from underrepresented and underserved populations.  

Can you share a bit about the Organization and the projects to which you contributed?

Reveal Digital develops new primary source collections that focus on voices in U.S. and global history. By hosting the materials on an open-access digital platform, we create a resource that will be helpful for students, researchers and instructors. Within this team, I primarily contribute to the development of a collection about HIV, AIDS and the Arts. My projects have ranged from identifying potential new additions,  interviewing subject experts, and creating a competitive landscape analysis that demonstrates exactly what this new collection has to offer. I am currently building an internal Wiki that will organize and present my research findings after I have left the organization.

How did these experiences help you?

Thanks to my doctoral training, I am an expert in researching the visual arts. It was exciting to see how the skills that I have developed at Princeton could contribute to online resources. I will leave Ithaka with a newfound interest in the digital humanities that will shape the next stages of my career in Higher Education.  

Can you share some reflections on the mentorship component of the Fellowship?

My mentor at Reveal Digital is Anne Ray, the Senior Editor at Reveal Digital. Anne is everything that you could want in a mentor: funny, supportive and wicked smart. Thanks to her I learned how to adapt my academic skills for the face-paced, research-driven environment of Ithaka. 

Best advice for Graduate Students considering a Fellowship through GradFUTURES?

Even if you want to pursue a career in academia, a GradFUTURES Fellowship can help you develop the skills in administration and communication that are critical for any future career path. 


Interested in a GradFUTURES Social Impact Fellowship? Apply Here!


Read more GradFUTURES Fellowship Spotlights here!