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Historian’s Graduate Path Took Her Beyond the Academy (and She Couldn’t Be Happier)

This week, in Rebranding the Ph.D., the Chronicle of Higher Education spotlights Duke alumna Ashley Rose Young, who finished her Ph.D. in History in December and was hired as a full-time food historian at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

Through the Versatile Humanists at Duke internship program, Young helped curate a food exhibition for the Smithsonian while she was a student.

Programs need to be flexible to give students a chance to figure out whether or not a tenure-track job is truly their dream. I pursued my passion even when others told me I was unfocused or not traditionally successful. I did what I cared about, and I’m really very happy.

–Ashley Rose Young

Versatile Humanists at Duke expands career opportunities for doctoral students in the humanities and social sciences and helps prepare them to succeed in academic and nonacademic careers. VH@Duke internships provide students with exposure to work experiences, organizations and professions relevant to their scholarly interests.

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  • Learn about Duke’s new Summer Doctoral Academy.