Princeton University Graduate Social Impact Fellow

Fellowship Description

As a Princeton University Graduate Fellow at the MLA, you will support the work of the Academic Program Services and Professional Development department in creating new and improving existing membership resources, focusing on strategic initiatives related to professional development, the promotion of equitable departmental and institutional practices, and curricular innovation in higher education. You will assist with the administration of current projects, including the Mellon-funded Pathways initiative, leadership training for faculty members at the ADE-ALD-Summer Seminars and the virtual MAPS Leadership Institute, and programming at the MLA Convention, as well as webinars and other resources. The MLA employs a flexible hybrid work model, with staff members working from the organization’s lower Manhattan headquarters and remotely.

The goals of this fellowship include:

  • Gaining experience in building programs, planning events, and assessing project outcomes;
  • Contributing to the launch of new initiatives, with attention to diversity, equity, belonging, and access;
  • Developing a deeper understanding of the changing landscape of the humanities in higher education, from the challenges individual departments and programs are faced with to larger structural trends;
  • Learning about professional development opportunities for academics at all career stages at the MLA and beyond;
  • Growing a network of professionals within and beyond the humanities ecosystem through meaningful interactions and collaborations;
  • Learning first-hand about the office culture, structures, and workflows of a medium-sized nonprofit organization.


Working with Janine Utell, program manager for professional development, and the Academic Program Services and Professional Development team, the fellow’s projects and responsibilities will include:

  • Supporting the coordination, implementation, and assessment of MLA programming. Projects may include offerings at the 2025 MLA Annual Convention in New Orleans, such as the Professional Development Hub, the Public Humanities Incubator, and convention seminars, as well as virtual webinars, workshops, and credentialing opportunities for members;
  • Contributing to the creation, maintenance, and assessment of professional development resources;
  • Learning about and contributing to benefits for the MLA’s institutional members (MAPS/ADE/ALD), such as the ADE and ALD Bulletins, external reviewer training, and professional development offerings at the ADE-ALD Summer Seminar and the virtual MAPS Leadership Institute;
  • If desired, writing content for the professional development blog hosted on the MLA Job List.


  • Pursuing a PhD in the humanities or humanistic social sciences;
  • Passion for improving humanities education at the MA, BA, and PhD levels;
  • Demonstrated interest in professional development, mentoring, curricular innovation, and/or program reform;
  • Good oral and written communication skills, including the ability to write for different audiences;
  • Effective in meeting deadlines and managing multiple projects at once;
  • Ability to work collaboratively;
  • Enthusiasm for learning new skills and concepts; openness to asking questions and seeking help when needed.

Your Host

MLA logo

The Modern Language Association, based in New York City, is one of the world's largest scholarly associations, with approximately 20,000 members in nearly 100 countries. The MLA promotes the study and teaching of languages and literatures through its programs, publications, annual convention, and advocacy work. The organization sustains a wide-ranging print and electronic publishing program that includes books, journals, style guides, and an international bibliography. The MLA is a leader in supporting the humanities within and outside academia. Diversity, inclusion, and workplace equity are at the core of our culture, policies, and practices.

SIF Mentor

Janine Utell
Program Manager for Professional Development at the Modern Language Association
Social Impact Fellowship Mentor

Janine Utell is Program Manager for Professional Development at the Modern Language Association.  Prior to taking on this role, she was Professor and Chair of English and Creative Writing at Widener University in Chester, PA.  She is currently the President of the Modernist Studies Association, and is the author or editor of several books.  

Apply to this SIF

Past Fellows and Mentors

Kellie G. Abbott
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Director of Special Initiatives at NJCEH
Megan Armknecht, GS, HIS
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