The Graduate College

Winter 2011

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Program Notes: The PhD in Applied Linguistics
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Reflections from the Dean
Ramona Mellott, PhD


Ramona Mellott, Dean

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome all our returning students and our newly enrolled students for spring 2011.

We are off to a familiar start.  For the past three years in January we read about the Arizona state budget, and two of the three years have included large cuts to the state budget and the three state universities. This year is no different, with the projected cuts quite high.  However, we have prevailed in the past and will continue to forge ahead with our focus on offering our students a quality education.

A must-read report titled “The Path Forward,” released in April 2010 by the Council of Graduate Schools and Educational Testing Service, reminds us of “the essential role of graduate education in producing a highly skilled workforce in the United States. In order to secure American innovation and competitiveness in the 21st century, graduate school must remain a viable option for a growing number of Americans.” 

Among our most exciting developments for spring is the Graduate Student Organization's full-speed-ahead quest for an independent graduate student organization. See the newsletter’s GSO Update for details. The Independence Committee has prepared a draft constitution and bylaws and will be reviewing it with various groups for feedback, including student groups on campus, before seeking final approval from the president. Be sure to attend these meetings and offer your input as we finalize these founding documents.

Our current newsletter also provides many noteworthy articles. Dr. Mary Reid, a 2010 President’s Distinguished Teaching Fellow and Professor of Geology, provides us with a thought-provoking discussion of how to be effective in the classroom. We are pleased as well to spotlight our excellent Ph.D. program in Applied Linguistics.

Above all, we are delighted to feature articles on Sam Borozan, a distinguished triple alumnus from NAU who completed his bachelor’s and two masters’ degrees from the College of Education. You may know him better as "Mr. NAU." While we're speaking of triples, read about current student Andrew Fitzgerald who is in the process of completing his third NAU degree. The e-newsletter also includes other valuable pieces written by our committed faculty, staff, and students, all of which seek to highlight the great things occurring in graduate education at NAU and provide informed advice on topics important to graduate students.

I wish you a Happy New Year and a productive and successful spring semester.

Ramona