Research in the Midst of a Revolution
Catherine Herrold '00 PhD, Assistant Professor of Philanthropic Studies and Public Affairs
Advanced Degrees: MSc (London School of Economics), MBA (Vlerick Leuvent Gent Management School), PhD (Duke University)
Employer: Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy
I just finished my first year on the tenure track as an Assistant Professor of Philanthropic Studies and Public Affairs at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. I teach graduate-level courses related to philanthropy, civil society, and civic engagement, and conduct research on the role of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and philanthropic foundations in political change in the Middle East. My work has been published in academic journals and I am currently writing a book manuscript about the role of foundations and NGOs in post-Mubarak Egypt.
My current research is primarily qualitative, however I credit my economics major with preparing me for my career path. My advisors, Mike Robinson and Jim Monks, urged me to conduct an honors thesis and to pursue graduate studies. Their encouragement, combined with the fun I had conducting my thesis research, led me to work at a think tank after graduating from Mount Holyoke.
Ultimately I pursued a PhD at Duke University, where my advisors supported my desire to study what at the time (2010, before the fall of Mubarak) seemed like an obscure topic. The culture of Mount Holyoke, which encourages students to follow their curiosities and to take risks, gave me the courage to pursue research in Egypt and I happened to be "in the right place at the right time" when the Arab Spring broke out.