COLT Alumni Grad School Panel

Friday, October 2 at 3:00pm to 4:15pm

This is a past event.
Virtual Event

COLT Alumni Graduate School Panel

Moderated by Nada Ayad, Assistant Dean, The Cooper Union (USC undergraduate and PhD alumnae)

Friday, October 2

3:00 pm pst


Are you interested in graduate school and want to hear more about the experience of transitioning particularly from a humanities-based degree into other fields?  Just us and hear about the experience from alumni who have been in similar situations now in, or have recently completed, graduate school.   All majors welcome!

Panelist Bios:  

Melanie Frakes majored in Comparative Literature with a media concentration and graduated from USC in 2015. After college, she was an ACT and SAT test prep instructor. Then, she attended Berkeley Law School, graduating in 2019. She is an attorney at McManis Faulkner, a law firm in her hometown area of San Jose that practices business litigation, family law, employment law, and criminal law.

Erika Rothberg is a PhD student at the University of Florida, in the English department, working in the Comics & Visual Rhetoric track. Before coming to UF, Erika was an Associate Editor at DC Comics, where she worked in Collected Editions. During her time at DC, she edited over 300 comic books, including Batman: Damned, a #9 New York Times bestseller on the graphic books and manga list. She holds an M.A. in English (Literature) from Loyola Marymount University and a B.A. in Comparative Literature from the University of Southern California. Her major fields of research are comics studies, gothic studies, and critical theory. When she's not lesson-planning or doing homework, you can find her watching horror movies or cross-stitching.

Robert Rosencrans

I am a clinician scientist in training (MD/PhD student) at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. My research program attempts to create integrated, holistic insights into how and why people develop diabetes. I take seriously the insights from social sciences and medical anthropology which teach us that diabetes is a disease of marginalization. As a biologist, I understand that diabetes is a chronic version of the acute stress response: elevations in blood pressure, blood lipids, and blood sugar. My core hypothesis is that this disease begins with structural violence and chronic stress, in turn altering minds and brains, and ultimately impacting our bodies in biologically measurable parameters. I utilize this lens because I am by training a neuroscientist with a background in critical theory. Drawing on these perspectives, I also engage in scholarly activism for multiply marginalized identities including incarcerated individuals and, more recently, larger-bodied people who experience intense stigma and legal discrimination.

Vivian Yan-Gonzalez is a doctoral candidate at Stanford University focusing on 20th century United States history. She studies the intersections of liberal and conservative thought, politics, and style among Chinese and Japanese American communities in her dissertation, "A Spectrum Apart: Conservatism in Asian America, 1920-1990."


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University Park Campus


Free and open to the public

Comparative Literature (COLT)
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