Reflections from the Dean
|Ramona N. Mellott, PhD|
I re-read my column that I wrote almost a year ago to the day and was reminded of the feelings of trepidation I experienced as we prepared for the impending budget cuts. We did suffer some significant budget cuts, but I think as a university and college we have rallied and have continued to move forward and serve our graduate students and the graduate community well. I am glad 2009 is over, and I welcome 2010.
I also would like to take this opportunity to welcome all our returning students and our newly enrolled students for spring 2010.
I was inspired this year to think about additional low-cost ways to connect with graduate students, and despite my advancing years I decided I would connect via social networking. What motivated me more than anything else was the e-mail I received from my dad, who lives in India and will turn 79 this year, inviting me to become his friend on Facebook.
So I worked on creating professional and personal accounts on Facebook. I then created a Graduate College Facebook page and handed it over to Melissa Riggs (editor of this newsletter) to manage. I believe the page is a success, and each day we acquire new fans. We invite faculty, staff, and students to post to our site.
The icing on the cake was when Sheena Kauppila created an NAU Grad Students group and posted it on the page. This group has been a tremendous success and has done more than anything else to help students on the Flagstaff campus connect with each other and provide support to one another. Please see Sheena’s article on the Grad Student Group on Facebook to learn more about this group and how to get involved.
Our current newsletter features many interesting articles. Laura Gray-Rosendale, a 2009 President’s Distinguished Teaching Fellow and Professor of English, provides us with some keen insights into teaching and caring not only for your students but also for yourself. We are very proud to feature our excellent Doctor in Physical Therapy program in this edition of the newsletter. We are also very excited to announce NAU’s first officially affiliated Professional Science Master’s program in Applied Geospatial Sciences, Geospatial Technologies emphasis.
The work of our graduate students (see Accolades) and faculty continues to impress me with the excellent contributions to research and active engagement in discovery and practice that distinguish NAU. Our students are successful because of the strong support they receive on so many fronts, and one of the key support systems is none other than our own Cline Library. The article by Kevin Ketchner from Cline Library provides useful information on making personal connections with Cline Library resource specialists.
On a sad note, I would like to inform you that Tom Carpenter, Director of Graduate Admissions at NAU, is leaving the Graduate College and will begin his new position as assistant dean at Extended Campuses in February. We will miss his presence in the Graduate College, but we know that Extended Campuses will benefit from his many years of experience and work on behalf of graduate education. Thank you, Tom, for your 12 years of dedicated service to the graduate community. We wish you all the best in your new position.
I wish you a Happy New Year, and, if you live in one of the higher elevations in Arizona, enjoy all that snow! Have a productive spring semester.