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Meet the Deans: Peter Hitchcock

Hello! I am one of four Associate Deans, and my role at Rackham is to provide administrative oversight for graduate programs in the biological, biomedical and health sciences. In addition, I help coordinate campus-wide resources for training in the responsible conduct of research and scholarship, and I help provide support and resources for the 1400 postdoctoral research fellows working at the University of Michigan.

What Is the Purpose of Studying History?

In thinking about my own work as an historian, I cannot help but think of the profession as a whole. Traditionally, a “successful” practitioner of history with a Ph.D. was supposed to find a tenure-track job at a university, where he or she would teach undergraduate students and complete research. While this myth of “success” was never the case for every Ph.D., only in the past few years have professional historians really thought about the state of the profession and what it means to be an historian.

The Key to Success: Passion

Passion. It’s what drives people in the environmental conservation field. Passion for preserving natural wonders, protecting endangered flora and fauna, restoring degraded land, improving policy, changing behavior, reducing industry’s footprint, achieving environmental justice, creating sustainable societies, and improving the lives of people across the globe.

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