Career Management Stories

Diya Abdeljabbar, *12 (CBE)
Director of Technical Operations, Merck

Diya Abdeljabbar is the Director of Technical Operations at the Merck & Company vaccine manufacturing site in Durham, NC. The scope of his current role includes technology transfer, validation, and commercialization of a manufacturing process to produce Merck’s nonavalent human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine. This role involves building a…

Sade Abiodun, GS, NEU

"Stories and experiences are all inherently driven by their underlying narrative, the way that they ebb and flow as different information is added. This allows us to merge our creative understanding of storytelling with our empirical knowledge of how we consume them. That’s why I love getting to be a storyteller as well as a story analyzer, and why I love incorporating this awareness into my creative and intellectual practice. I have been invited to collaborate as part of the New Media Studio program, and I'm excited to leverage my skills to both learn and teach!"

Avery Agles, GS, CBE
University Administrative Fellow

"My experience has totally transformed my idea of academia into a place where meaningful change and empowerment can happen."

Jonathan Aguirre, GS, SPO
Professional Development Working Group Member

"I've been most appreciative of the stimulating conversations that have motivated me to pursue research topics I would have never otherwise considered."

Kimberly Akano, GS, REL
University Administrative Fellow

Kimberly Akano is a Ph.D. student in Religion and a University Administrative Fellow with GradFutures. Using ethnographic and historical methods, Kimberly examines how the increasing presence of African immigrants in the United States transforms contemporary conceptualizations of Black religious identities. In particular, Kimberly considers how…

Mai Alkhamissi, GS, ANT
University Administrative Fellow

Mai K. Alkhamissi is a second-year PhD student with an MA in Anthropology and Cultural Politics from Goldsmiths and a BA in Anthropology and Sociology from the American University in Cairo. Mai is a University Administrative Fellow in the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning. Mai has done fieldwork in Cairo from 2011 to 2013 on a project…

Genevieve Allotey-Pappoe, GS, MUS
University Administrative Fellow
"The GradFutures program is a great initiative for the professional development of graduate students at Princeton."
Scott Alpizar
Senior Venture Associate with the Foundation Venture Capital Group

Scott is a Senior Venture Associate with the Foundation Venture Capital Group where he plays a critical role in sourcing and evaluating potential investment opportunities. He also works directly with academic entrepreneurs and management teams of health-related early-stage startup companies to support their commercialization needs, including…

Anna Arabindan-Kesson
Assistant Professor and Director, Art Hx

Professor Anna Arabindan-Kesson is an assistant professor of African American and Black Diasporic art with a joint appointment in the Department of Art and Archaeology. Born in Sri Lanka, she completed undergraduate degrees in New Zealand and Australia, and worked as a Registered Nurse in the UK before completing her PhD in African American…

Jill Arbeiter
Professional Development Working Group Member

Jill Arbeiter is the Graduate Administrator in the Department of Classics at Princeton University, and a member of the Professional Development Working Group.

Emilia Arguello, GS, CHM
Community College Teaching Fellow

"I am excited to participate in this fellowship to experience the personal connections – both as a mentee and as a mentor – that only a genuine teaching setting can offer.”

Megan Armknecht, GS, HIS
Summer Intern, Bureau of Bureau of Public Affairs/ Office of the Historian in Washington D.C
"[T]his experience helped me form meaningful working relationships with other historians, and has been helpful in framing my prospectus for my dissertation. I am still exploring both academic and non-academic career tracks, and this internship experience was helpful in seeing what possibilities there were for a career outside of academia."
Soha Aslam, *20 (MAE)
Pathways with a Ph.D. Participant

Soha Aslam earned a Masters of Science and Engineering (MSE) candidate in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering program at Princeton University. Prior to coming to Princeton, Soha earned a BSc in Physics with a minor in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington. Since then, Soha has conducted a post-baccalaureate…

Joseph Avery, GS, PSY
GradFUTURES Learning Cohort Participant

"I learned a lot, I met other students with similar interests, and I formed lasting relationships with experts in the respective fields."

Yuzhou Bai, GS, EAS
Professional Development Associate

"I'm excited to support my fellow Ph.D.s in at least two ways: to highlight recent job market trends and consult on new career options for graduate students and to use career outcome data to illuminate the diverse career paths of our graduate alumni. Feel free to reach out through e-mail or LinkedIn!"

Vandana Bajaj
Assistant Director, Princeton Center for Language Study (PCLS)

Vandana Bajaj is currently the Assistant Director at the Princeton Center for Language Study, where she leads all strategic initiatives related to less-commonly-taught language teaching and learning, including external proficiency testing for the undergraduate language requirement and cross-institutional collaborations for live synchronous…

B. Ben Baldanza, *86 (SPIA)
Star Lessons in Leadership Keynote Speaker

The inaugural keynote speaker for the GradFUTURES Star Lessons in Leadership series, B. Ben Baldanza *86, a Princeton School of Public and International Affairs alumnus, was the CEO of Spirit Airlines from 2005-2016. He is currently is Chief Executive Officer of Diemacher, LLC.


Alana Ballantyne *13 (GER)
"Stepping outside my comfort zone as an academic was really scary at first, but I'm really pleased that I pushed myself."
Carol Barash *89 (ENG)
GradFUTURES Forum Speaker

Award-winning author, educator, and entrepreneur Carol Barash holds degrees from Yale (BA, summa cum laude), UVA (MA), and Princeton (Ph.D.) and has spent 20+ years innovating EdTech.

Melvin Barnes Jr.
Program Officer, Ohio Humanities

Melvin Barnes Jr. is a teacher-scholar specializing in East Asian, Transnational, and African American history. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Toledo and his Ph.D. from The Ohio State University.  Currently, he works as a program officer for the Ohio Humanities. 

"I firmly believe that humanities…

John Barr, GS, CHM
Community College Teaching Fellow

John Barr is a Ph.D. Candidate in Chemistry and a 2020 Community College Teaching Fellow at Camden County College.

Princeton Advisor: Herschel A. Rabitz, hrabitz@Princeton.EDU

Camden Mentor: Robert Feudale, PhD.,

Traci Basaman

Traci Basaman is a recovering attorney who brings her experience in Learning & Development, a background in customer success, and sales to manage a team of LinkedIn Learning Customer Success Managers.  Traci is passionate about helping people achieve their best. She currently resides in New Jersey with her husband, two daughters and…

Udit Batra, *96 (CBE)
President and CEO, Waters Corporation

Dr. Udit Batra is a strong champion for graduate student professional development and of experiential programs. He recognized the importance of internship experience for Ph.D.s, but noted that the demands of doctoral training often make it challenging for graduate students to take part in these experiences. In 2020, while serving as CEO of…

Michael Baysa, GS, REL

Michael is a doctoral candidate in the religion department where he focuses on the history of American religions. His research, titled "Print, Publics, and Puddings" examines the roles of eighteenth-century cultural media brokers, from ministers and missionaries to printers, booksellers, and editors, in shaping what constitutes consumable and…

Mary Bechler
Senior Associate Dean for Finance and Administration

Mary Bechler is a Senior Associate Dean in the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School. Her responsibilities there include supervision of admission and financial administration staff; Fellowship programs and graduate student financial awards; Enrollment management, which includes admission targets and offers; Oversight of fellowship…

Wendy Laura Belcher
Professor of Comparative Literature and African American Studies
"Fortunately, the graduate student professional development program at Princeton University provides training in just these types of skills and thus is an essential part of graduate student success now and in the future."
Nora Benedict

Nora Benedict is an assistant professor of Spanish and Digital Humanities at the University of Georgia. Prior to arriving in Athens, GA, she was a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Center for Digital Humanities at Princeton. She researches twentieth-century Latin American literature with a focus on book history. Her first book, _Borges and…

Rebecca Bengoechea

My first job in publishing came as an operations co-ordinator in the co-editions department of Igloo Books where I first got a taste of the international publishing world. I later moved to Princeton University Press as the rights assistant, before becoming a rights executive and am now the Press’ Senior International Rights Manager. I oversee…

André Benhaïm
Associate Professor

"The leadership and opportunities promoted by GradFutures provide students with invaluable practical tools that will help them magnify their professional potential."

Dan Berbecel, *19 (POL)
Community College Teaching Fellow

"I would recommend this program to any Princeton graduate student, and they will gain a lot by participating in it."

Natalie Berkman, *18 (FIT)
University Administrative Fellow

"Organizing the first Grad Student Career Meetup helped me to start picturing myself doing other things, and now I am happily managing academics at a creative media school in Paris."

Kristin Bietsch, *15, POP
GradFUTURES Virtual Meetup Speaker

Kristin Bietsch finished her PhD in Demography at Princeton’s Office of Population Research in 2015.  She moved to Washington D.C. where she spent 2 years working as a Research Associate at the Population Reference Bureau.  She has worked at Avenir Health for the last 3 years conducting research on fertility and family planning in developing countries.  Prior to COVID-19 she travelled extensively conducting trainings at Ministries of Health in Asia and Africa.   She lives in Connecticut with her spouse (who she met while in graduate school), their 9-month-old daughter, and dog.  

Sophie Brady, GS, MUS
Community College Teaching Fellow

Sophie A. Brady is a PhD candidate in musicology at Princeton University. Her scholarly interests include music and decolonization, twentieth-century experimental composition, global popular music, and the history of sound reproduction technology. Her dissertation examines the history of the musical avant-garde outside of Europe and North…

Marc Brahaney, *86 (ARC)
President, Lasley Brahaney Architecture + Construction

Marc Brahaney, Princeton ’77, *86, P19, is the owner of Princeton-based Lasley Brahaney Architecture + Construction which he cofounded with his late wife, Janet Lasley, in 1997 when they merged their two companies, Brahaney Architectural Associates and Lasley Construction Inc. Since then Lasley Brahaney has been recognized as a premier…

Cara Bramson
GradFUTURES Learning Cohort Participant

Cara Bramson is the Student Outreach and Programming Coordinator at the Princeton University Art Museum, and a presenter at the GradFUTURES Learning Cohort, "Leadership in the Arts & Public Humanities." 

Cara serves as the liaison between the Museum and the Princeton University student community. She is committed to creating…

Marshall Brown
Director, Princeton Urban Imagination Center

Marshall Brown is an architect, urbanist, and scholar. Among other accomplishments, he has represented the United States at the prestigious Venice Architecture Biennale. His work is in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and Crystal Bridges Museum. Brown is a MacDowell Fellow, and a Graham…

Sarah Marie Bruno, GS Physics
"The Pathways with a PhD Bootcamp helped me gain a renewed sense of purpose and energy in my graduate studies."
Anton Bunia *20, German

Anton studied comparative literature  in Berlin and Lausanne. As a Centennial Fellow in the Humanities and Social Sciences, he wrote a dissertation at Princeton University on political narratives from the Renaissance to the Norwegian television series SKAM. At the Princeton School for Public and International Affairs, he contributed to a…

Michelle Burke

Michelle Burke has more than 20 years of experience in student success roles and higher education consulting. She is currently a University Relations Director with Mentor Collective, serving 150+ colleges and universities to close the equity gap through mentorship. Burke was previously Director of Student Life at Grand Valley State University…

Vernita Burrell

Vernita Burrell earned her bachelor’s degree from Hunter College, as well as a master’s degree from Loyola Marymount University and a PhD in English from Fordham University. Her dissertation, “The Ambiguities of Abolition: Pro-and Anti-Slavery Writings, 1757–1824,” focuses on the nuances and complexities about slavery and abolition that go…

Laura Bustamente, GS, NEU
GradFUTURES Forum Speaker

My current research is about changes in motivation for cognitive and physical effort in depression, utilizing the Rutgers-Princeton Center for Computational Cognitive Neuropsychiatry. At Princeton I served on the Graduate Student Government Executive board and spent 3 years advocating for graduate students, then I joined local government and…

Brendan Byrne
StudioLab Manager, Council on Science and Technology

Brendan Byrne is a designer turned college administrator from Brooklyn. His electronic musical instrument and video game controller designs have been exhibited at the Game Science Center, Eyebeam Art + Technology Center, and SF MoMA, and featured on Adafruit, Hackaday, and the Daily Dot. As a college administrator, he's processed student…

Felipe Cala, *13, SPO
Advocacy Director, Latin America and the Caribbean

I am the advocacy director for Latin America and the Caribbean at Open Society Foundations, where I have worked since 2016 with progressively increasing profile and responsibility. Prior to my advocacy positions at Open Society, I was a senior program officer managing a portfolio to strengthen the human rights movement in the region and another…

Jessica Calarco
GradFUTURES Forum 2021 Speaker

I'm an Associate Professor of Sociology at Indiana University and the author of two books, A Field Guide to Grad School: Uncovering the Hidden Curriculum (Princeton 2020) and

Kathryn (Kate) Carpenter, GS

I study and write about the history of science, technology, and the environment. I’m especially intrigued by the ways that all three intersect, and how the use of technology changes the way humans think about their environments. I am currently working on a history of tornado science and storm chasing.

I am interested in writing and…

Sarah Carson, *20, HOS
GradFUTURES Learning Cohort Participant
"The small-group seminar setting was fruitful for refreshing conversations that demystified how "the university" works and keyed me into current debates and challenges for its future."
Jim Casey
Mentor, University Administrative Fellows Program
"We have been delighted to welcome the University Administrative Fellows to the Center for Digital Humanities. The Fellows are gaining a wide range of experiences—from building websites to community outreach—that allows them to explore diverse career paths. They are thoughtful and enthusiastic, bringing new life to the work!" 
Ashley Casovan
GradFUTURES Forum 2021 Speaker

Ashley has been at the forefront of building tools and policy interventions to support the responsible use and adoption of innovative technologies, both with her work at the Government of Canada, and as the Executive Director of AI Global, a multi-stakeholder non-profit dedicated to mitigating harm and unintended consequences of AI systems…

Jennifer Jortner Cassidy
GradFUTURES Forum Presenter

Jen Jortner Cassidy is a Customer Success Manager at LinkedIn and is focused specifically on supporting LinkedIn Learning for colleges and universities.  She is passionate about learning and ensuring that…

Leonard Cassuto
GradFUTURES Learning Cohort Convener

Leonard Cassuto is a professor of English at Fordham University and a columnist on graduate education for The Chronicle of Higher Education. He is the author or editor of nine books on subjects ranging from crime fiction to sports. His last two books center on the state of American graduate education: The Graduate School Mess