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Imagined Futures Initiative

Imagined Futures Initiative


Imagined Futures leverages the integrated arts and humanities to empower graduate students and their mentors to imagine and pursue diverse career paths. 


Imagined Futures seeks to enact transformative change in the career-development support that Ohio State offers graduate students.

Graduate programs have long cultivated cross-disciplinary methods and practices to build skills like creative and critical thinking; the ability to analyze complex data and use evidence-based practices; and enhanced communication and collaboration. Historically, many graduate programs focused on preparing students to enter research and teaching careers within the professoriate. Today, our students are finding application for these skills in many lines of work. Our graduate programs should adapt to serve our students’ changing professional needs.

Imagined Futures aims to build a culture of support for diverse careers in which graduate students understand how their transferable skills can serve communities and employers, and their advisors support their ambitions through informed planning. The Imagined Futures Community of Practice encourages faculty and staff to look anew at the great variety of professional pathways Ohio State’s graduate alumni are pursuing; find sustainable ways to integrate practical training that supports these pathways into existing graduate curricula; and develop mentorship strategies that support our students as they discern their professional directions.

This project builds on GAHDT’s prior investments in research that addresses critical societal challenges. When researchers commit to understanding challenges of this kind, they build capacities for empathetic and data-driven problem-solving that can be applied in many sectors of society. Training our graduate students to engage with community partners and ensuring that they develop practical skills helps to close the gaps between study and practice, between campus and community, while also helping students find work that matters to them.

Ohio State offers many career development support programs housed in its various colleges, the Office of Student Life, the Graduate School and elsewhere. By sustaining conversations that cross institutional boundaries and encouraging these programs to take full account of the advanced skills and integrative thinking our graduate students achieve, Imagined Futures seeks to increase their collaboration and effectiveness in the service of our students.  

2023-24 Goals

This year, Imagined Futures is enhancing capacity for graduate career support in the following ways:

  • The Imagined Futures Community of Practice meets monthly. Faculty and staff who want to support graduate career development are welcome to attend, share their ideas and build coalitions that empower students in finding meaningful work. 
  • Imagined Futures offers curriculum development grants that support the integration of practical and transferable skills into graduate programs. See the GAHDT funding brochure for details. 
  • Imagined Futures is developing training opportunities for faculty mentors who want to serve as career allies for graduate students. 
  • Imagined Futures is working to connect and promote Ohio State’s career development resources. 


Director Danielle Fosler-Lussier (Music)
Email: Fosler-Lussier.2@osu.edu

Danielle Fosler-Lussier is a professor in the School of Music, where she has taught since 2003. Fosler-Lussier's principal interests include music in international contact and exchange; the role of women in the creation of concert life, state support for the arts and educational institutions; and music history pedagogy.