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Fall 2008


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Reflections from the Dean
Ramona N. Mellott, Ph.D.


I would like to take this opportunity to welcome all new and returning students to the new academic year. Congratulations to our new students on your decision to pursue a graduate education and to our returning students for staying with it!

A new year signifies new beginnings, new hopes, and new aspirations. We here at the Graduate College, along with your academic units and colleges, are here to serve you and help you accomplish your academic dreams and goals for the coming year. You are also part of our country’s answer and strategy to help us gain back its competitive edge. Graduate education is charged with, and is in part responsible for, creating the highly competent workforce so necessary to our country’s future and helping us remain competitive in this global economy (Council of Graduate Schools, April 2007).

NAU is a community of scholars, teachers, researchers, and students committed to the innovation, discovery, and application of knowledge. NAU offers a wide array of opportunities in traditionally defined disciplines and professional programs. We have about 21,000 students at NAU. A little under 6,000 are graduate students who are enrolled in eight doctoral programs, one professional doctoral program, approximately 48 master's programs, and 16 certificate programs.  Only a third of our graduate students are on the Mountain Campus: about 60% of the remaining graduate students enrolled in our distance learning programs at various statewide locations and about 10% are online.

Ramona Mellott, Dean

Since it is the start of a new academic year, I would like to take this opportunity to offer some advice. To make the most of your graduate school experience, be ready to gain knowledge not only from your excellent programs, faculty, and the classes that are offered, but also from your peers, research, lecture series, and the many other educational experiences available to you. I encourage you to become involved within the university and in your discipline. There will be opportunities to participate in conferences, projects, and other exciting learning opportunities. The more involved you become, the more enjoyable and memorable your graduate school experience will be.

I hope particularly that you will consider becoming involved with the Graduate Student Organization (GSO). Camille Naaktgeboren, a doctoral student in Biology, serves as its president. You will receive information on your NAU e-mail account on meeting time and dates. There is a conference line that one can call in to participate from any distance site. The GSO is committed to meeting the needs of graduate students at NAU and serving as your advocate. They also have a travel award program designed to assist with travel costs to conferences.

We strive to provide useful features within each e-newsletter. Please provide us with feedback and let us know about topics that you would like to see addressed here in the future. Again, I would like to wish you the very best in the coming year. Welcome!!!