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Kathy Wood, Dean Steve Matson, and Maria Erb pose together before the awards ceremony.
From left: Kathy Wood, Dean Steve Matson, Maria Erb

The Graduate School’s Diversity and Student Success, a program supporting both individual graduate students and a diverse and inclusive campus community, was among the seven honorees recognized at the 11th Annual Diversity Awards ceremony on April 29.

The UNC-Chapel Hill Office for Diversity and Inclusion sponsors the awards.

Diversity and Student Success (DSS) received the 2019 intergroup collaboration award, recognizing “an effort by units/groups/programs to bring together multiple perspectives to address a critical issue of equity or diversity at Carolina.”

DSS co-directors Kathy Wood and Maria Erb accepted the award on behalf of The Graduate School. In her remarks, Wood said that graduate students were the reason for the award.

“We truly are better together, and I’m reminded of that every day in getting to create such an impactful program with Maria and our team, and each time I am given the opportunity to share in the lives and education of our students,” she added.

Erb thanked Steve Matson, dean of The Graduate School, for the support he has provided to the program and its mission.

“We also know that none of this could have happened without the generous support of our colleagues in The Graduate School and our numerous campus partners,” she added.

Since its official launch in September 2014, DSS has grown to include five initiatives for graduate students campus-wide: Carolina Grad Student F1RSTS, Global Grads, the Initiative for Minority Excellence, Military-Affiliated Grads and Queer Graduate and Professional Students.

Additionally, the program’s annual Summer Undergraduate Pipeline works with summer undergraduate research programs across UNC-Chapel Hill to provide information and experiences supporting undergraduates’ interest in graduate education.

“Working to increase the diversity of our faculty, staff and student population is one of the signature initiatives of our time. The Graduate School implemented its Diversity and Student Success program five years ago to help achieve that goal,” said Matson. “I am proud of their accomplishments, and of the accomplishments yet to come. I am delighted to see our colleagues recognized for their tremendous efforts and dedication to our students.”

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