Garry Crites, Ph.D. 2005

Executive Director, National Alliance on Mental Illness – North Carolina

2005 Ph.D., Religion

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

"It has taught me to think incisively, read and research broadly and deeply, and argue persuasively. I learned to value the insights of people with whom I disagree intellectually and religiously. It taught me the importance of building relationships that are personally fulfilling and professionally valuable. I learned skills that have been immediately transferrable to my career within and without academia."

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

"Most people who study religion--including PhDs--do not end up in the classroom as tenured professors. That being the case, make sure your education includes building skills that are transferrable to other careers. If you can be a TA or student instructor, do so. If you can help edit theological journals, that will be helpful. If you are offered some position of leadership, see that position as a tool for your future career. Take time to savor where you are and what you are doing--not many have that honor. And above all--build balance into your life. Life is too short to be focused only on academics. Enjoy!"

Garry Crites, Ph.D. 2005