The Society of Fellows (2022–24)

Meet JHU’s KSAS Society of Fellows. These postdoctoral scholars are at work exploring the current projects and potential careers that emerge from humanities training.

Marc Alsina

Marc Alsina (2022–24)

During his tenure with the Society of Fellows Marc is working in partnership with the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum to develop skills in curation and public history. He previously earned his PhD in the History of Science and Technology at Johns Hopkins University with his dissertation research focusing on the technical and cultural history of aviation in Argentina. At the Smithsonian, Marc is assisting on a curatorial project, crafting articles on Latin American aviation for the museum’s publications and blog, and transforming his dissertation into a book manuscript. 

Michael Chapin (bearded young man) stands in front of an ancient mosaic.

Michael Chapin (2023–24)

Michael Chapin (PhD Assyriology 2022) works with Sanchita Balachandran, the Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum’s Director, on the project “Babylon in Baltimore: The Mesopotamian Collection of the Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum.” This project aims to make the JHU Archaeological Museum’s Mesopotamian material more accessible to the university, broader Baltimore community, and interested scholars through physical and online resources. In March, Michael successfully defended his dissertation, “‘My-Mother-is-Precious’: Names and Naming Practices in the First Dynasty of the Sealand (ca. 1500 BCE).”

Cara Cummings

Cara Cummings (2022–24)

Dr. Cara Rei Cummings is pleased to be working at the Office of Undergraduate Research, Scholarly, and Creative Activity. At URSCA she is a co-instructor of the Summer Humanities Collaboratory, a program bringing visiting students from HBCUs and community colleges to Hopkins to do and present research in the humanities. Dr. Cummings is also editor of the Macksey Journal and coordinator of the Annual Macksey Symposium. These are both platforms for undergraduate research that many of our Collaboratory Students will be taking advantage of. Finally, Dr. Cummings is a mentor for all undergraduate researchers at Hopkins, humanities and STEM.   

Gabriella Fee

Gabriella Fee  (2022–24)

Gabriella Fee will complete a public-facing fellowship at the nonprofit Writers in Baltimore Schools, where they will design and adapt curricula, compile data on student and instructor experience, and teach creative writing pedagogy to Johns Hopkins undergraduate students. 

Jo Giardini

Jo Giardini (2022–24)

Jo Giardini will be working between the Winston Tabb Special Collections Research Center in the Sheridan Libraries, and the Program for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality in order to develop university collections and programming related to queer and trans studies, and to teach courses grounded in queer and trans material histories. They will also be initiating work on a public facing research project on Johns Hopkins’ Gender Identity Clinic, and its closure in the 1970s. 

CJ Higgins

CJ Higgins (2023–24)

Higgins is collaborating with The Washington Blade, the country’s oldest LGBT newspaper. He will be writing a series of features on parts of DC’s gay community which often go without mention, while nonetheless being crucial parts of the social fabric. In his spare time, Higgins is writing a book of aphorisms on friendship.

Spencer Hupp

Spencer Hupp (2022–24)

Spencer acts as an assistant liaison between the Writing Seminars and Sheridan Libraries, adjunct to specialist librarian Heidi Herr. Together they tailor a collection of manuscripts, literary artifacts, and reference items to the needs of Writing Seminars undergraduates and MFA candidates, working to further integrate the libraries into Writing Seminars curricula.

Spencer earned his MFA from the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars in 2022. His poetry and criticism appears with the Times Literary Supplement, the Sewanee Review, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Commonweal, and Literary Matters, among others. His adjacent research interests include German literature and translation.   

Daniel McClurkin (bearded young man in glasses)

Daniel McClurkin (2023–24)

Daniel T. McClurkin (PhD English 2023) works as a curatorial fellow at the Virginia Fox Stern Center for the History of the Book in the Renaissance under the auspices of the Sheridan Libraries. During his time as a curatorial fellow Daniel will produce a complete bibliography of the Tudor & Stuart Collection and manage the revival of the T&S Society at Johns Hopkins. Working alongside Earle Havens, director of the Stern Center and curator of rare books and manuscripts, Daniel will also oversee the graduate curatorial fellows program and facilitate the academic programming of the Stern Center.

Sarah Ross headshot

Sarah Ross (2022–24)

Sarah Ross (English) will complete a university administrative fellowship at the Alexander Grass Humanities Institute with a focus on expanding Blast Courses in the Humanities and other public humanities initiatives. She earned her PhD from JHU in English in 2021, and has since worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the University Writing Program. Ross’s interests include humanities theories and intellectual history, social initiatives that break down the barriers between the university and its neighbors, and the expansion of access to learning, habits of inquiry, and communities of knowledge production and sharing.

Elisa Santucci

Elisa Santucci (2022–24)

Elisa Santucci (Modern Languages and Literatures) is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, with a parallel research project on the anecdote. Elisa will be working on several projects focusing on trans lives and studies. While developing a project on the collection of narratives of trans students, staff and faculty regarding their JHU experience, he will also be organizing a panel on Johns Hopkins’ historical relationship to transphobia and gender discrimination, and a conference on the developments in trans studies, with the goal of integrating researchers from a variety of subject areas and disciplines.  

Gregory Smaldone

Gregory Smaldone (2023–24)

Gregory Smaldone will be managing a program called “Teaching K-PhD” through which JHU Ph. D candidates will teach guest lessons at Baltimore’s Polytechnic Institute, a local public high school. He received his Ph. D in History in May of 2023 studying the intersection of finance, slavery, and the origins of the French Revolution. 

Rachel Waxman

Rachel Waxman (2022–24)

Rachel Waxman earned her PhD in History from Johns Hopkins in 2022. As a postdoctoral scholar in the Society of Fellows, she works with the Vice Dean for Graduate Education to analyze job placement data for doctoral students across the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, with the aim of articulating the wider social value of the PhD beyond the academy. As the academic job market has become increasingly precarious, the need to understand career outcomes for doctoral students has become more important than ever. In addition to her work in the Dean’s Office, Rachel is in the process of transforming her dissertation into a book manuscript.

To find out more about the Society of Fellows and to apply to join, visit the SoF program page.