HSOC Alumni Spotlight: Dave Morton

Posted March 27, 2024

Dave Morton completed an M.S. and Ph.D. in the History of Technology (now renamed History and Sociology of Technology and Science) in 1995. Now, he works as a grants development manager at Amplify Philanthropy.

1. What do you do?

I work with a consulting firm, doing fundraising and grant writing work for a number of good causes, including social justice agencies, hospitals, and academic institutions.

2. What's the coolest part of your job?

As one of my company's only Ph.D.s and someone with firsthand experience in research, I usually work on grant-writing projects with clients who are academic researchers. Many of them are on the cutting edge of biomedicine and related fields. As someone with a lifelong interest in the broad social outcomes of technology and science, it is amazing to watch them develop their ideas up close.

3. Why are you passionate about it?

Although I help top researchers and others put together proposals to further their work, I stay out of the spotlight. However, it always makes me proud to know that I contribute to their success.

4. Which skills from your IAC degree have helped you be successful in this career?

Learning to research and craft stories about engineering and science from a broad social perspective was a big benefit of my graduate studies, which I have used throughout my career. The ability to write well is surprisingly rare, and writing about technology and science requires an extra layer of knowledge that few academic programs provide.

5. What's your #1 tip for students and alumni interested in your field?

If you are thinking about a Ph.D. in the History of and Sociology of Technology and Science, you're probably also thinking about the career you want after graduate school. My advice is to be open-minded. Explore all your options while still in school, and never assume that even your professors necessarily know what those options could be. You will be learning skills, building knowledge and wisdom, and gaining perspective on the technological world, all of which are widely applicable.

See what more of our History and Sociology alumni are up to!

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Di Minardi

Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts