The UNC-Chapel Hill Graduate School recently launched a program focused on academic success, professional development and degree completion for diverse graduate students.
The new Diversity and Student Success program is modeled on the Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate program, which has encouraged historically underrepresented students to pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) doctorates and careers. Graduate School Dean Steve Matson said the new program would include STEM fields, as well as the social, behavioral and economic sciences, humanities and arts.
More than 125 University administrators, faculty, staff and students attended the Sept. 5 program launch. The majority of those in attendance were students; addressing them, Matson said, “Your degree completion is one of our key goals.”
Chancellor Carol L. Folt and Professor Valerie Ashby, who chairs the department of chemistry, also spoke at the event and talked with students afterward.
All three speakers highlighted the University’s commitment to sustaining a diverse graduate student body and fostering a climate of inclusion and acceptance. Ashby, a faculty adviser for the program, said the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost has made a significant financial commitment to the program.
The new Graduate School program’s co-directors are Kacey Hammel and Kathy Wood. They will collaborate with faculty, staff, students and administrators to create targeted academic and professional development initiatives contributing to the successful degree completion of each graduate student.
Student programming is already taking place, and fall student events include the following:
- “Morning Mojo”: An opportunity to enjoy coffee and a morning snack with fellow graduate students, seek assistance or discuss any current needs and issues. They start at 9 a.m. on the following dates: Oct. 13, Oct. 27, Nov. 10, Nov. 24 and Dec. 8. The location is suite A207, Kenan Labs.
- “Cohort Building” Events: Fall Breakfast Study Break at 9 a.m. Oct. 13; Thanksgiving Lunch at noon Nov. 24; and Holiday Lunch at noon Dec. 4. The location details are forthcoming.