Reflections from the Dean
|Ramona Mellott, PhD|
I would like to take this opportunity to welcome all new and returning students to the 2011-12 academic year. Congratulations to our new students on your decision to pursue a graduate education and to our returning students for staying the course. Graduate education and the choice you made to complete a graduate program not only are going to help you in your future goals but also will help you address the many challenges facing our country and the world. The Council of Graduate Schools recently published a paper titled The Path Forward (CGS, April 2010), which discusses the future of graduate education and confirms that our “capacity for innovation hinges fundamentally on a strong system of graduate education.”
NAU is a community of scholars, teachers, researchers, and students committed to the discovery and application of knowledge. NAU offers a wide array of opportunities in traditionally defined disciplines and professional programs. We have about 25,000 students at NAU. A little under 5,000 are graduate students who are enrolled in eight doctoral programs, one professional doctoral program, approximately 49 master's programs, and 16+ certificate programs. Close to a third of our graduate students are on the Flagstaff Mountain Campus; another 44 percent are enrolled in our extended campus programs at various statewide locations and the remaining 25 percent are online.
Since it is the start of a new academic year, I would like to take this opportunity to offer you some advice. To make the most of your graduate school experience, be ready to gain knowledge not only through your excellent programs and classes, but also from your peers, faculty, 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.
The Graduate Student Government (GSG) is off to a great start in its first year as an independent student government. Each of the colleges has at least one elected representative. Please check their website for more information or to get in touch with your representative. You are also welcome to attend their meetings, which are generally held on the first and third Tuesday of the month in Ashurst 109 at 7 pm.
I hope your semester is off to a great start! 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. Our newsletter includes useful features including important deadlines, and you can check our newsletter archives for additional articles to enhance your success as a teacher, researcher, and student. 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.