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I'm thinking a little ahead of myself, but as I'm transforming my resume into a CV, I'm starting to wonder, for future publication purposes, whether I should use my legal name or my preferred name. As with many 1.5 generation immigrants, I have a foreign legal name and another English name that I go by. My situation is complicated by the fact that I have co-authored publications (not to mention filed my M.S. thesis) under my legal name. Normally, consistency would make the most sense, and there's always a possibility that certain places may not allow you to use a preferred name. At the same time, however, a lot of people I meet do not know me by my legal name, which means that using my legal name may pose problems as I advance further in my field. In addition, my new field is completely unrelated to my previous field. If I can progress further in this direction, I may even consider eliminating previous publications from my CV altogether, which makes consistency a non-issue. These things indicate that using my preferred name would be better in the long run. Thoughts? Opinions?
I'm applying to PhD programs and I've gotten in touch with a couple of prospective faculty. If they sign their emails with their first name, is it good to assume that they're okay with being called by their first name? Or should I play it safe and wait until they invite me to do so? Or should I simply ask? I don't want to come off as disrespectful, but I don't want to be regarded as not being able to take a hint either. I have a master's degree and know at a LOT of, if not most, grad students call their professors by their first name. I've never been able to really do so, and half the time I actually end up avoiding their names altogether, which I know is the worst of the worst of ideas because it comes off as more disrespectful than simply using their first names, but I for some reason can't get over the mental barrier of not being able to call them anything unless they tell me on the first day what they want to be called. Any advice?
How difficult would it be to attain a job in academia with a PhD from Texas A&M in the field of history? How about outside of academia? My specialization is Vietnam War/Southeast Asian history and foreign affairs. I was just wondering if universities looking to hire would brush it off, especially if I want to look for jobs in California (where I'm from). I assume Ivy League and top California schools would look more appealing than a degree from TAMU.