Lucia Colombari

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Lucia Colombari
Lucia Colombari

Lucia is a third-year doctoral student in the McIntire Department of Art studying Art and Architectural History. A native of Bologna, Italy, Lucia specializes in European and American 20th-century art, with an emphasis on transatlantic exchanges and Italian modernism. Her dissertation explores the intersections of art and technology by investigating the cultural exchanges between Italian Futurism and modern art in the United States in the first decades of the twentieth century.

Lucia has participated in Foundations Series, Teaching, and Communicating Research modules of the PhD Plus Program. During the 2019-2020 academic year, she also served as Academic Chair for the Art History Graduate Association of UVA.

Q: Why did you apply for the PhD Plus Liaisons Program?

A: I have the privilege of being part of an excellent cohort of graduate students and want each of us to be successful in our career paths. As a Liaison, I can contribute to PhD Plus’ mission of supporting graduate students' professional and academic goals.

Q: What are you doing as a PhD Plus Liaison in the context of your department and “Career and Professional Development” area of focus?

A: To raise awareness of PhD Plus activities within my department, I developed two main projects during this academic year: the creation of an alumni database and the organization of a series of career and professional development workshops. The goal of the graduate alumni database is to foster communications between alumni and current PhD students in the Art and Architectural History program.

Similarly, to help current students understand the job market, I chose topics for the workshop series tailored to the Art department. In the fall semester, the first workshop focused on strategies on how to write successful fellowship applications. In the spring semester, we learned how to write an effective abstract and structure a presentation paper for academic conferences, as well as tips on presentations and public speaking. And the final workshop centered on diversity and inclusion statements for faculty job applications. The goal was twofold- to initiate a conversation among graduate students on how to enhance diversity and equity efforts and learn to write an effective statement.  

Q: What professional skills are you developing as a PhD Plus Liaison?

A: While serving as a PhD Plus Liaison, I have overseen two main projects intended to benefit graduate students in their careers. Designing goals and structures for a yearlong workshop series and the alumni database has dramatically enhanced my strategic planning skills. These projects emerged from dialogues with fellow graduate students and faculty about professional development needs within my department. Throughout the organization and management of events and projects, I have developed interpersonal and communication skills through working with faculty, students, and administrators.



The primary role of the PhD Plus Liaisons is to bring the professional training provided by the broader program into specific disciplinary/departmental contexts and to communicate the needs of specific departments and disciplines back to the broader program. Liaisons communicate with students and faculty in their home departments about their peers' professional development needs, helping to gather departmental feedback to be used for the development and improvement of the program and conferring with liaisons in other departments across the University of Virginia. In addition to supporting their fellow graduate students and informing the continued evolution of the PhD Plus Program, Liaisons themselves benefit from sustained access to training, mentorship, and support in a professional focus of their choosing.


Over the following months, PhD+ Liaison highlights will provide an opportunity to get to know the Liaisons for Academic Year 2019-2020. Learn more about these PhD student leaders, why they decided to participate in PhD Plus Liaisons program, their professional development goals, and how they are collaborating with the PhD Plus program and their departments.

We will select 2020-2021 cohort of the Liaisons Program in Summer 2020.

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