Trinity University’s annual Humanities Day Panel is the perfect opportunity for current students to explore different pathways they can pursue with their humanities degree after graduation. Hosted by the Humanities Collective in collaboration with the Center for Experiential Learning and Career Success and Alumni Relations and Development, this year’s event will occur during Alumni Weekend on Friday, Oct. 21, and will feature a panel-style discussion with four alumni, covering topics ranging from career opportunities to life after Trinity.
The Humanities Day Panel will take place from 3–4 p.m. in Dicke Hall Room 104. Students can register on Handshake, while alumni can register on the Alumni Weekend webpage. All current students, alumni, faculty, and staff are welcome to attend, regardless of major or department.
Even with varieties in the panelists’ educational and professional journeys, a common thread amongst them is their gratitude for the many perspectives and experiences they gained during their time studying the humanities at Trinity. Meet this year’s Humanities Day panelists.
Nipuni Gomes ’17 is currently a second-year Ph.D. student at Drexel University's Dornsife School of Public Health. She is studying health services research and policy, and her work focuses on ways to increase access to mental health care for minority and immigrant youth and families.
During her time at Trinity, Gomes double majored in English and communication and was an active member of campus publications such as the Trinitonian and 1966: A Journal of Creative Nonfiction. After graduating in 2017, she took a job as a communications associate at a health policy think tank, where she became interested in public health.
Gomes went on to pursue her master's degree in public health policy at Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health, where she completed a graduate practicum at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. After graduating with her master’s degree in 2020, she worked for the Vaccine Center of the Emory School of Medicine as a program coordinator for HIV and COVID-19 vaccine and treatment clinical trials. She is excited to share how her humanities education has opened doors for her after college in several unexpected ways.
“My English major did not just teach me how to write,” Gomes says, “it taught me how to analyze any kind of literature effectively.”
She notes that she went on to use those analytical skills extensively to decipher public policy documents and clinical trial protocols. Gomes also claims that her humanities education has helped her on countless occasions to convey information to diverse audiences.
Gomes’s advice to current humanities students is to get involved with the alumni network, saying that “no matter how unconventional the path you want to take after graduation seems, there will invariably be an alum who followed the same steps.” According to Gomes, leveraging the strong connections that Trinity faculty and alumni have across the globe has been immensely beneficial not only to her, but to countless Trinity students
After graduating from Trinity cum laude in 2008 with a double major in anthropology and ancient Mediterranean studies, Julie Shaddox ’08 moved to Ankara, Turkey, where she taught at the Bilkent University School of English Language for two years. In 2011, Shaddox earned a master’s degree in humanities with a focus on classical languages from the University of Chicago.
Shaddox currently serves as the director of development and marketing at Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation (TPWF), where she champions conservation efforts of Texas’ incredible wild things and wild places. She first joined TPWF in 2014 as its grant writer and has held numerous roles over her 8-year tenure.
Shaddox says that many of her humanities classes at Trinity were “truly the fulfillment of all my childhood dreams…it was hugely eye-opening for me to see that [a subject] I had been very interested in as a child was also a rigorous, and very rich, academic discipline.”
She notes as well that, the influential names of Trinity professors and opportunities the University provided for her mattered immensely in both her graduate school application process and in her graduate studies.
Speaking on the transition between college and the workplace, Shaddox says, “Working also gave me very valuable perspective on my options and preferences. Once you find your niche in the working world, a job can provide just as much intellectual stimulation and fulfillment as school.”
She says that the versatility of a humanities degree helps her to engage with her work both creatively and analytically, and that her learning skills are constantly challenged. The adaptability of a humanities degree, especially in the workplace, she notes, is “wonderful preparation for both the working world and everyday life.”
John Haskell ’07 is a writer for I Love You, America with Sarah Silverman and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. He currently lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two cats. During his time at Trinity, Haskell majored in Latin and credits Timothy O’Sullivan, Ph.D., for helping to shape his humanities experience and teach him about different perspectives.
“When I was at Trinity, I had to take a geology course, and an aerobics course—maybe a Japanese literature course, just all these things covering a variety of topics,” Haskell says. “And that’s what I took from the liberal arts aspect: Opening yourself up to so many different points of view is super helpful because it forces you to think outside of just one specific mindset.”
Haskell notes that regardless of the path a student chooses to take after graduation, their humanities background will continue to be a useful tool in regard to networking opportunities and the workplace.
Haskell believes “there's not any right answer for post-graduation plans” and encourages students to explore their options and interests, as it may lead them to alternative paths they may have not considered.
Born and raised in Houston, Angela Miranda-Clark ’89 was a first-generation college student and graduated from Trinity with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy. Miranda-Clark received her J.D. from The University of Texas School of Law and, as a student, served as an article editor for the Texas Journal on Civil Liberties and Civil Rights. She currently serves as Trinity's compliance and Title IX coordinator and provides training on Trinity's policies relating to these topics. This year, Title IX celebrates its 50-year anniversary and continues to educate and provide equality both at Trinity and beyond.
“Studying the humanities [at Trinity] gave me the confidence to believe that I could understand information on a wide variety of topics and learn about a wide variety of things,” Miranda-Clark says. “I never felt like I was confined to one profession, and this allowed me to try many different things.”
She mentions as well how the versatility of studying the humanities impacts her work in her position with Trinity. As the University’s inaugural Title IX coordinator, Miranda-Clark says, “My studies in the humanities encourage me to look at situations from a multitude of perspectives and problem-solve in order to better help students.”