Graduate and Early Career Committee 2010

Submitted by Aaron W. Marrs, chair

2011 Annual Meeting
The GECC sponsored a full range of activities at the 2011 annual meeting. In cooperation with the National History Center, we sponsored a pre-meeting workshop on the topic “Recognizing Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.” The workshop featured talented scholars giving presentations on creating an undergraduate course, effective lecturing, and how to balance teaching, researching, and service in one’s professional life. The workshop was extremely well-received, and GECC is delighted to be working with the NHC again next year to bring another workshop on teaching to the Chicago meeting. The GECC also sponsored or supported panels on other topics. GECC members Katherine Hijar spoke at the annual meeting orientation session, Douglas Kiel chaired a session on academic mentoring, and I chaired a session on careers in history. A video of the careers session is now available on the AHA web site.

The GECC also hosted an open forum for graduate students and early career professionals. Forum participants packed the room and GECC members heard their concerns and suggestions for an hour. We were fortunate to have Executive Director Jim Grossman in attendance for part of the forum, and he graciously answered some questions from the crowd. Forum participants expressed concerns on many issues, including the state of the job market, the cost of applying for jobs, how the AHA communicates with its membership, and the availability of health care. Although not all of these items fall directly within the purview of the GECC, the main issues raised at the forum formed the basis of our spring web meeting.

2012 Annual Meeting
In addition to the workshop mentioned above, the GECC will continue to sponsor its usual range of panels at the Chicago meeting. Panel topics for next year include a session on turning one’s dissertation into a book, a session on applying for grants and fellowships, and a session on careers in history. We would be grateful if, beginning with the 2013 annual meeting, the Professional Division would assume responsibility for creating the careers session, which has always proved quite popular with meeting attendees.

Spring web meeting
At the spring web meeting, the GECC discussed a number of issues, many of which sprang from the open forum at the Boston meeting. The GECC discussed changes to the graduate and early career reception held at the beginning of the annual meeting, improving the GECC’s presence on the AHA blog, reaching out more to history undergraduates who may be interested in careers in history, and making it easier for conference participants to identify professional development sessions.

Hail and farewell
I would like to thank Katherine Hijar for her three years of dedicated service to GECC; she departed the committee after the 2011 annual meeting. We welcome Laura Rominger of Notre Dame in her place; Laura is a graduate student at Notre Dame and will also serve on the Committee on Women Historians.