Outside of my regular departmental service responsibilities, I have been involved in a number of initiatives that I believe make the discipline a better place. As a graduate student, I was the MAP (Minorities and Philosophy) chapter representative for several years, and organized a number of events and projects, including COMPASS.
Currently, I am a House Fellow at Fisher Hassenfeld house on the Penn campus, I am on the Programming Committee for the Program in Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies at Penn, and am involved in coordinating COMPASS. I am also the Ethics Forum Editor for PEA Soup. Click on the links to find out more about any of these initiatives, and how you can get involved!
I live in a residential college (Fisher Hassenfeld House) on the UPenn campus and, in my capacity as a house fellow, am responsible for mentoring and engaging with undergraduate students within a residential setting.
I am currently the Ethics review forum Editor for PEA Soup, a blog designed to provide a forum for discussing philosophy, ethics, and academia. If you haven’t checked out the NDPR review forum, or the Ethics review forum, you really should! They are generally fantastic discussions of recent philosophy books featuring the author, reviewer, and anyone else who wants to join in. Imagine being at an author-meets-critic session, but in the comfort of your pajamas.
(Ruth Chang, Sara McGrath, Elizabeth Harman, and L.A. Paul offering advice to undergraduates interested in graduate school in philosophy)
COMPASS is a workshop that brings together students from diverse backgrounds for a weekend of philosophical discussion, networking, and mentoring. A number of schools including UNC, University of Michigan, UT Austin, and Princeton regularly run COMPASS workshops.
I created and ran the first COMPASS Workshop when I was a graduate student at Princeton, in 2016. Fifteen undergraduates were invited (out of a group of applicants who identified as either women or gender minorities) from a variety of campuses near Princeton for a weekend of philosophical discussion and mentoring sessions. The workshop was structured as a kind of extended reading group. In advance of the workshop, the participants read six philosophy papers from a variety of sub-disciplines. Over the course of the weekend, the invitees and graduate students discussed each of these papers in six different discussion sessions. The discussions were largely undergraduate-led, with facilitation by graduate students. In addition, there were two advice sessions with faculty members from nearby departments.
The goal in starting the workshop was that it could be easily replicated by departments in other regions to provide coverage across the country. There are a number of truly wonderful diversity programs in philosophy (PIKSI, SPWP, Rutgers Summer Institute for Diversity) but they are limited in the number of students they can accept every year, and most departments don’t have the resources to run similar programs.
A COMPASS Workshop can feasibly be organized by two or three graduate students, and with limited funds; it could also easily be run as a collaboration amongst several departments in the same region. The feedback we have received from undergraduate participants has been extremely positive and encouraging. Moreover, because the workshop is easily replicable, it has the potential to impact a large number of undergraduates.
THE JOB CANDIDATE MENTORING PROGRAMS FOR WOMEN IN PHILOSOPHY
I am on the Steering Committee for the Job Candidate Mentoring Program for Women in Philosophy. The program matches job candidates with junior faculty members who have recently been on the market. The program provides mentoring and support to eligible candidates during their job search through video conferencing and online forums.
The program (despite it’s name) welcomes all candidates (and mentors) who meet one or more of the following criteria:
Assigned female at birth
Identifies as a woman
Does not identify as either a woman or a man
When I was a graduate student at Princeton, I co-designed and co-taught a few different college-level philosophy courses at local prisons in New Jersey through Princeton’s Prison Teaching Initiative. You can read more about teaching philosophy in prisons here.
When I was a stressed-out and dog-less graduate student on the job market, I created The Philosodog Blog, a site devoted to celebrating the even better dogs behind great philosophers. I no longer maintain the site, but I still believe it was one of my more significant contributions to the discipline.