Not everyone who studies history ends up teaching history. The same could be said for philosophy and theology majors as well. Next week, the Center for Medieval Studies will tackle the topic head on with its third annual panel discussion, “Compatible Careers for Medievalists.”

The event will take place on Tuesday, April 14 at 7 p.m. in Fordham’s McGinley Hall, Room 237, on the Rose Hill campus.

The panel will be composed of alumni from medieval studies, philosophy, theology and history whose careers range from business consulting to fundraising.

“The students who study these type of subjects and go out into the work world are often amazed by the social benefit the background gives them,” said Laura Morreale, the center’s associate director.

Christopher Adams is a medievalist who now works as a software engineer.
Christopher Adams is a medievalist who now works as a software engineer.

Christopher Adams, GSAS ’11, now a software engineer at the payment app Vemo, majored in philosophy. He said that his background was often an icebreaker during interviews.

“It doesn’t disqualify me,” he said of his major. “There’s a fear sometimes of majoring in something that might limit your options, but it is actually very impressive to a potential employer because they see it and think, ‘What an interesting background.’”

At last year’s panel Brian Klinzing, GSAS ’96, senior director of corporate and foundation relations at the BrightFocus Foundation, said that his job brings him into contact with fascinating people on a daily basis, including several Nobel Prize winners.

Morreale said that the gathering also functions as a homecoming of sorts for the alumni. She described the tone at times as almost confessional.

“They come back to the academic setting and say, ‘I was passionate about an academic career when I was in school, but find I’m happy with where my studies and my career have taken me,’” she said. “The event helps our current students be more aware of the marketable skills they are getting along the way.”

This year’s panel includes:

Peter Slonina, GSAS ’10, associate at the management consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton

Jennifer Speed, PhD, GSAS ’09, grant coordinator at the University of Dayton

Abigail Weinberg, GSAS ’02, outreach librarian at the Folger Shakespeare Library

Heather Wightman, GSAS ’99, Lion Heart Autographs

Rob Vosburgh, GSAS ’99, gift planning director at the University of Pennsylvania






Tom Stoelker is senior staff writer and visual media coordinator for Fordham News. After fifteen years as a freelance designer, Tom shifted his focus to writing and photography. He graduated from Lehman College, CUNY where he majored in English literature and photography and he received his master's in journalism from Columbia University. His work has appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Wall Street Journal, and The Architect's Newspaper, where he was associate editor.