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Alberto Milian
Alumnus begins doctoral work in history at Cornell University

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After earning an M.A. in history from USD, Alberto Milian was accepted to Cornell University's fully funded Ph.D. program. With interests like masculinity and culture, memory and Chicano history, he hopes to earn a professorship upon completion of his studies.

Alberto Milian

"The master's program provided a stepping-stone by introducing me to various theoretical frameworks and lenses currently used in the field. It also helped me decide what topics, regions and questions most intrigued me."

Alberto Milian

Why did you choose to attend USD? Is there something unique about the school or the program that drew you to the campus?

I felt as though its focus on public history met my desires. Furthermore, as an undergraduate I attended a university with a large student body, thus USD's small size appealed to me. Once my academic goals changed, USD was able to accommodate them by offering graduate courses not tailored to public history.

How did the master's program prepare you for your Ph.D. program?

The master's program provided a stepping-stone by introducing me to various theoretical frameworks and lenses currently used in the field. It also helped me decide what topics, regions and questions most intrigued me.

Alberto Milian

"As an undergraduate I attended a university with a large student body, thus USD's small size appealed to me."

Alberto Milian

Is it true that you were awarded full tuition for your doctoral studies?

I am guaranteed full funding (tuition, fees and cost of living are included) for five years, which is standard for the History Ph.D. Program at Cornell. The first and last years of my study are strictly fellowships, while the middle years are a combination of "free" aid and teaching assistantships. Additional aid is available as needed. Many universities are not able to offer this award, therefore I feel very fortunate for this package.

What are your goals for the future?

My primary goal is to survive the Ithaca winters. My academic goals are no different than others in my position: become a professor and publish books and articles that are somehow relevant. One must be flexible with where they want to go, as the competition for positions has never been higher.

Alberto Milian

"Dr. Michael Gonzalez not only served as my thesis chair, but also challenged and pushed me further, to think in alternative ways and to always search for what is not being explicitly stated."

Alberto Milian

Which USD faculty have inspired you and how?

At USD I met the professor who has influenced me the most. Dr. Michael Gonzalez not only served as my thesis chair, but also challenged and pushed me further, to think in alternative ways and to always search for what is not being explicitly stated. Also, every professor has in some fashion left an impression on me, as I try to take something from every class.

What advice do you have for undergraduate students who are thinking about graduate school?

My advice is to go beyond what is required. Go to office hours (professors are usually lonely since no one takes advantage of the time) and research topics that might be of special interest. These topics can come from anywhere, not just from class.

- Anne Malinoski '11

Quick Facts

  • I grew up playing music, thus my love for music is well known. I'm almost always seen with headphones on. I enjoy playing and watching all sports, especially hockey. Go Ducks!
  • I'm fond of taking pictures of my feet while traveling, much to the chagrin of my friends.
  • Speaking of traveling, I spent a summer studying in Madrid, Spain while a student at USD. If possible, study abroad!
  • I like to take long walks on the beach, preferably with a dog. Unfortunately Ithaca is not the right place for such activities.

Useful Links

www.sandiego.edu/cas/history/graduate/

www.sandiego.edu/cas/graduate/

www.arts.cornell.edu/history/graduate-field.php