Get to know new FIRE staffers: Faculty Outreach Fellow Graham Peterson

March 9, 2017

FIRE has hired Graham Peterson as our first-ever faculty outreach fellow.

Peterson, who has a master’s degree in sociology from the University of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in economics and mathematics from the University of Illinois at Chicago, will be primarily responsible for expanding FIRE’s network of faculty members interested in freedom of speech and academic freedom issues. He will also organize two annual conferences around these topics. He’ll be networking with allied organizations and individuals about ways they could work with FIRE, doing research on academic freedom, and representing FIRE at a variety of academic conferences around the country.

“I just love talking to folks and especially academics. Always have,” Peterson said. Even before coming to FIRE, he added, he counted academic conferences and seminars and debating around the department among his favorite pastimes.

A position at FIRE has been on his radar for quite some time.

“I’ve had a scholastic interest in rhetoric, culture, and ideology for years,” he said. “As campus controversies started heating up I took an interest in social science research on higher education too. Eventually I got way too excited about reorganizing campuses and science to sit still in a library anymore, so I started hounding FIRE for a job.”

And it worked!

“I’m really excited to be getting researchers together and talking about academic freedom,” he said. “It’s a wide open area full of opportunities.”

Based out of FIRE’s Philadelphia headquarters, Peterson’s new position is part of our new Speech, Outreach, Advocacy, and Research (SOAR) project.

We look forward to having him as the latest addition to our staff. Please join us in extending him a warm welcome.