Anandi Rao, 2017 Public Fellow

Comparative Literature PhD student Anandi Rao worked with PBS SoCal as part of the Humanities Out There Public Fellows Program in 2017.

I worked on creating a curriculum for a series of writing workshops for K-3 kids geared towards increasing participation in the PBS Kids Writers Contest. I created the series called the PBS Kids Writing Explorers program, which included literacy activities based on PBS Kids shows and existing online resources. As a humanities PhD student I brought the ability to work on my own and conduct research independently. Also, my experience teaching in the composition program at UCI, and designing syllabi independently, was an additional value I brought to the project.

One of the most rewarding aspects of the position was to work alongside the dynamic women who work in PBS SoCal's education department. I was able to learn a lot from them. It was also really rewarding to work on and complete the task that was assigned to me.

This experience really helped me identify and apply the transferable skills that I have acquired as a PhD student in the context of working in a professional non-profit environment. It also gave me an opportunity to think about how my interests in teaching and pedagogy could grow and develop in a different environment and could potentially open up post-PhD career paths that I had not considered before.

The Humanities Out There Public Fellows Program gives humanities graduate students the opportunity to intern with local cultural organizations. Public Fellows apply and expand their humanities research, writing and analytical capacities—skills developed in a PhD program—in a non-profit setting. The 2017 Public Fellows were supported by a grant from the Luce Foundation, as well as by donor and School of Humanities funds.