It is an honor to serve you, our graduate students, as incoming dean of The Graduate School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Graduate students are emblematic of the UNC-Chapel Hill call for innovation made fundamental. You are essential to our University’s success as a top global research university. Your talents, research, and scholarship power how Carolina responds to humanity’s greatest challenges and shapes the future of democracy.
Following in the footsteps of former Dean Suzanne Barbour, during my first semester, I will strive to listen, learn, and engage with you. At the Gillings School of Global Public Health, where I most recently served as chair of the Department of Nutrition—I know firsthand that our next generation of leaders and scholars can be found in Carolina’s graduate students. Graduate students make this University a place like no other; it’s an institution committed to teaching, research, and service. This important work drives the economic and research engines in our state.
I also know that pursuing a graduate education can be a challenge—designed to grow your mind and shape the future of knowledge. However, you may also experience personal and professional issues, including feelings of isolation. Please know that The Graduate School is here to help you meet those challenges when they arise so you can best succeed. There are a range of resources to support you during your time as a graduate student—including our academic, funding and fellowships, and student affairs teams and mental health and well-being tools.
Specifically, our Diversity and Student Success team supports graduate students who come from a variety of backgrounds—each of whom add viewpoints, life experiences, and contributions that help us build our community together. Similarly, as the workforce continues to rapidly change, our extensive Professional Development programming is here to provide a full range of training opportunities.
As your dean, I will strive to support you—our graduate students. I will strive to facilitate excellence in graduate education, which will require transparency, openness, and a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Learning from Carolina’s graduate students, and those who support them, is how we will continue an arc toward excellence.
Dean, The Graduate School