Ali Altaf Mian, M.A. 2008, Ph.D. 2015

Assistant Professor of Religion, University of Florida – Gainesville, FL

2008 M.A., Religion; 2015 Ph.D., Religion

How has being a Religion graduate from Duke helped shape you personally and/or professionally?

"I have greatly benefited from the interdisciplinary training provided by the Graduate Program in Religion. This training consisted of focused seminars, rigorous training in philology (through FLAS and coursework at Duke), events hosted by the department and other units at Duke, mentoring by several faculty members (how it was so easy to set up meetings with some of the field's key scholars), conversations with other graduate students, and finally (but very importantly) the opportunity to teach my own classes while still a graduate student. This training has allowed me to remain productive as a scholar, to network, and to engage with broader conversations in the Humanities and the social sciences."

What advice would you give students in Duke's Religion programs? 

"Take advantage of the coursework opportunities. Go to professors' office hours. Develop close relationships with faculty who can write you good letters of recommendation. Use the library (one only realizes how lucky Duke students are when one goes to a place with fewer library resources). Go to events offered by the various Humanities-focused centers at Duke. I learned a lot by going to events in the Literature Program."

Ali Altaf Mian