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Fall 2008

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Focus on Research: Stefanie Raymond-Whish
Welcoming the New Grad College Associate Dean


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Welcoming the New Associate Dean
 

Evie Garcia, Associate Dean

Issues After Admission?
You'll Want To Know
Dr. Evie Garcia

Hi! I’m Dr. Evie Garcia, associate dean of the Graduate College. I am new in this position as of June 2008, following nine years as a member of the NAU educational psychology faculty, graduate program coordination for the MA Counseling Program in Phoenix, and professional roles as a licensed psychologist and past president of the Arizona Psychological Association.

After years of advising 30-50 graduate students at any given moment and intense mentoring of approximately 10 graduate students at a time in scholarship, clinical activities, and professional leadership, I have developed a great passion for understanding the unique needs and factors that contribute to success for graduate students from all walks of life.  I’m here to find ways to help NAU students better cope with the challenges, stresses, and opportunities that they encounter in graduate school, including students from diverse cultural backgrounds, those in our distance learning programs throughout the state, and first-generation students.

The associate dean of the Graduate College addresses graduate student issues after admission. I will be getting to know some of you personally in two equally important roles: (1) maintaining high standards for graduate education and (2) assisting students in solving problems they encounter during their graduate education. Some of the student issues I address include

  • student performance (low grades and low GPA),
  • transfer credits,
  • petitions to extend the time limit for a degree,
  • petitions to withdraw from a course after grades are posted,
  • appeals such as failure of doctoral comprehensive examinations, and
  • approval of dissertation committees.

Things I do that affect students less directly are management of curriculum issues (e.g., departments wanting to offer a new class, change a degree program, etc.); meeting with other associate deans to draft policies and address issues that affect all students; and representing Dr. Mellott, the Graduate College dean, on tasks or at meetings when she can’t be there.

I also work to make sure that students are moving along successfully in their programs. One of the ways I do that is to review reports—LOTS of reports—that tell me how graduate students are doing. I review records for all graduate students with grades of C or lower, GPAs lower than 3.0, and those nearing the six-year time limit to complete a master’s degree or eight-year time limit for doctoral degrees. As a result of these reviews, I send out letters regarding student status and possible remedies or consequences, such as preventing further registration for classes until the performance problems are ironed out with students, their advisers, and their departments.

I am still finding a rhythm and learning the complexities of all the work we do at the Graduate College to serve students. In the next year, as I get my bearings, I will begin working on the goals that led me to seek this position. This will involve better connecting students with support we already offer, exploring the best aspects of what other universities offer their graduate students, and findings ways to make the graduate school environment welcoming and nurturing for students residing in all of our statewide locations.

Please contact me if you have an idea about making graduate education or the graduate school experience better for students, if you need help with a problem, or if you just want to stop by and say hi!  My office is in the Graduate College (Ashurst), Room A104. It’s the one tucked away in a corner and painted bright colors. I look forward to knowing and working with you.

Y. Evie Garcia, Ph.D.
Associate Dean, Graduate College
Ashurst, Room A104
(928) 523-6728
Y.Evie.Garcia@nau.edu