The Experiential PhD

CSSH provides PhD students with new paths to integrate the Social Sciences and Humanities into the public sphere. The Experiential PhD focuses on:

  • Meaningful engagement with community partners
  • Integrative research experiences related directly to their own scholarly agenda
  • Teaching graduate students to communicate the results of humanistic and social science research to various public audiences
  • Opening up career paths outside academia for PhD students after graduation
  • Preparing PhD graduates for jobs in universities and colleges of the twenty-first century

Experiential Fellows engage in a long-term collaboration with an organization that brings social science and humanities methods and expertise into the community, supports and enriches the student’s PhD research, and provides students with experience and training in an intellectually rich and challenging work setting. Experiential fellows work within a partner organization closely aligned with their doctoral research program. These placements facilitate the student’s dissertation work providing students with a depth of knowledge that cannot be easily gained through traditional classroom learning.

Doctoral Summer Scholars placements are short-term work and research experiences with relevant partners. The Summer Scholars will hold positions for twenty hours per week for two to four months in the summer (half summer or full summer). Both the experiential fellowships and the summer scholars program will help students extend their professional networks and deepen their commitment to community engagement.

Talia Kaufmann, School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, Fall 2018/Spring 2019

Location: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Paris, France

Talia Kaufmann is an Experiential Fellow in the Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Talia’s research is devoted to planning cities with data by deploying quantitative analysis methods in the practice of city planning. She spent the last two years specializing in quantitative methods as a Resident doctoral fellow at the Network Science Institute at Northeastern. At the same time, she has been collaborating with the OECD on her research that measures accessibility to services in cities across the world with the goal of creating a ranking of cities by the level of accessibility they provide to their residents. At the OECD, she is also a part of a team  working on a report to measure the global state of cities in the last 50 years using large scale datasets. Talia holds a Master’s degree in City Planning from MIT and a Bachelor of Architecture from Tel-Aviv University. Before joining MIT, Talia served as a city planner and a planning information manager at the Tel Aviv-Yafo City Planning Department in Israel.


Zeynep Balcioglu, Department of Political Science, Fall 2018

Location: Migration Research Center in Istanbul, Turkey

Zeynep Balcioglu is a doctoral student in the Department of Political Science, specializing in public policy and comparative politics. She has a strong background and research interest in migration and social policy. Zeynep is currently on the Scholars Advisory Board of the Boston Consortium on Arab Region Studies (BCARS) and organizes workshops on the Syrian Refugee Crisis in the MENA Region and the Balkans. Following a workshop Zeynep organized in March 2016 in Istanbul, in partnership with the Migration Research Center at Koc University, Zeynep co-authored a policy report with Prof. Denis Sullivan: Moving Toward Dignity: Human-Centered Approaches for Displaced Syrians in Turkey, Jordan, and Beyond. She will be an Experiential Fellow at the Migration Research Center in fall 2018.  


Dylan Maguire, Department of Political Science, Spring 2018

Location: Office of Opinion Research (OPN) in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research in Washington, D.C.

Dylan Maguire, PhD Candidate

Dylan Maguire is an Experiential Fellow in the Office of Opinion Research in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research at the State Department. The Office of Opinion Research is tasked with collecting and analyzing open-source data and foreign opinion in the Middle East. Dylan is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Political Science, specializing in International Relations and Comparative Politics. He has a strong background and interest in US foreign policy and regional strategic issues in the Middle East. Dylan’s dissertation examines external state support for non-state groups in civil wars. Specifically, he focuses on how threat perceptions impact alliance networks between states and non-state groups.





Alex Press, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Fall 2017/Spring 2018

Location: Jacobin Magazine, New York City, NY

Alex Press, PhD SociologyAlex Press is an Experiential Fellow at Jacobin Magazine in New York City. She is simultaneously engaged in fieldwork for her dissertation which is focused on the publishing industry and working as an assistant editor. Alex Press entered the sociology doctoral program at Northeastern in the Fall of 2014. Her research interests include urban sociology, globalization studies, political economy, political sociology, and social movements. In particular, she is interested in intellectual property regimes and the privatization of seeds, along with the consequences of this process for communities. She recently finished an article on the role of the newspaper in mega-event bids, taking the Boston Globe’s coverage of Boston’s recent Summer Olympics bid as a case study. She is conducting ongoing dissertation research on the high-tech industry’s relationship to local governance structures and extra-local economic forces in Pittsburgh, PA. Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, Alex received her MA in Sociology from Northeastern in May 2016 and before that, graduated from Boston University summa cum laude with a B.A. in International Relations.


Stacie St. Louis, School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Fall 2017/Spring 2018

Location: Massachusetts Department of Correction, Office of Strategic Planning and Research in Milford, MA

Stacie St. Louis is an Experiential Fellow in the Massachusetts Department of Correction’s Office of Strategic Planning and Research. She is collecting data for a grant-funded project, working with the DOC on some of their research initiatives, and accessing data that will facilitate her own dissertation work. Stacie St. Louis received her B.A. in both Legal Studies and Theater from UMass Amherst in 2015. During her time at UMass, she also received a Sociology minor and a Criminal Justice certificate. This past August, she graduated with her M.S. in Criminology and Criminal Justice at Northeastern University. Stacie has spent much of her academic career studying capital punishment, but looks forward to expanding on her interests during her time as a doctoral student. She has had the opportunity to work on a variety of research projects; most notable is a correctional officer stress study where she was able to travel to seven different Massachusetts prisons and conduct hour long interviews of over fifty officers.