How many professors have represented North Carolina in the House or Senate?
“The grainy, black-and-white footage, filmed in 1919 and 1920, documents what has become a classic psychology experiment, described again and again in articles and books. The idea is that the baby [in the experiment] was conditioned to be afraid, instilled with a phobia of all things furry.
“The man in the tie is John Watson, the father of behaviorism, a foundational figure in psychology, a Johns Hopkins University researcher [whose] legacy is forever entwined with the baby nicknamed Little Albert.
“The real identity of that baby has long intrigued students of psychology. Who was he? What happened to him? Did Watson really saddle the poor kid with a lifelong terror of animals?…
“Watson burned his papers before his death, leaving the curious without much to go on. Then, in 2009, Hall Beck, a professor of psychology at Appalachian State University, published a paper that shed new light on the case….
“What [Beck and his fellow researchers] found cast an even darker shadow over Watson’s flawed, ethically dubious experiment. The history of psychology would need to be rewritten…. No one would be able to look at the film, or think about Little Albert, in quite the same way again.
“That is, unless Beck got it wrong….”
“The national conversation about the merits of graduate education has intensified, and concerns have grown about whether programs are admitting more students than the academic market can bear. Many colleges have shown reluctance to produce Ph.D.-placement information, knowing that it would underscore the stark reality that doctoral students often do not get the kind of jobs they want for the money and the time they have spent in their graduate programs…
“Universities’ track records on providing placement data for Ph.D. programs vary widely…. Some individual departments also have good information about their graduates, including the history departments at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Rutgers University.”
— From “Do You Know Where Your Ph.D.’s Are?” by Audrey Williams June in the Chronicle of Higher Education (September 23, 2013)
So how do those Chapel Hill history grads use their doctorates? Ever more nontraditionally, says department chair W. Fitzhugh Brundage, William B. Umstead Professor of History:
“About 2/3 are in academia, either tenure-track or administration. Roughly 10% are in public history positions (museums, etc.) while the remainder are pursuing all manner of careers.
“As a department we are now making a concerted effort to inform our graduate students that academia is not the only valid career path. Just as no one would contend that any law school graduate who doesn’t practice law is a failure, so too we stress that the training one receives while earning a PhD has utility whether one enters academia or not.
“To better prepare our graduates for alternative careers we have now initiated a summer program of funded internships so that students can build networks outside of the traditional academic workplace. And we are having alumni who have pursued non-academic careers offer wisdom and perspective as well.”