Alumni Update – Alicia Peaker

Each Month we hope to update you on one of our McNair Scholars. This month we have an update from Alicia Peaker. 


Alicia Peaker is currently the CLIR/DLF Postdoctoral Fellow in the Digital Liberal Arts at Middlebury College. She successfully defended her dissertation, ‘Our English Ground’: Women, Literature, and the Environment, 1900-1950, at Northeastern University in April 2014. During her tenure as a graduate student she organized six graduate conferences and served as the PhD representative and Vice-President of the English Graduate Student Association. She has also worked as the Project Co-Director for OurMarathon: The Boston Bombing Digital Archive, the Project Manager for The WomenWriters Project, and the Development Editor for GradHacker at Inside Higher Ed.




We asked Alicia to share her experience with McNair:

“As a McNair scholar, I had my first experiences with formal mentorship. The summer grant I received from McNair allowed me to focus on drafting a strong writing sample and preparing for the rigors of graduate education while working closely with a faculty mentor. For the first time in my life, I was getting deeply valuable feedback on my research and writing. Perhaps even more valuable to my development as a scholar were my experiences with my cohort. My colleagues came from similar backgrounds but also, like me, were determined to pursue higher education in spite of the barriers. We formed reading groups, writing groups, and general accountability groups to support each other through the grueling PhD application process.

 My connection with McNair plugged me into a national network of support unlike any I had experienced before. Recognizing the importance of such networks, I became involved in other communities in graduate school such as the Graduate Consortium of Women’s Studies, Occupy Boston, and the Digital Humanities community. My personal experiences with these diverse networks continually inform both my research and my pedagogy.”

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