Reflections from the Dean
|Ramona Mellott, PhD|
Things I wish I had known from the start. As I read through that article, I began reminiscing about my early days in graduate school. It was 1986, and I had just arrived in the United States as an international pursuing a second masterís degree in my discipline with the hope of getting into a doctoral program. I wish I had known all the wonderful advice offered by your fellow students. I urge you to read these pieces. All three authors stress the importance of getting involved, and I would like to strongly endorse that suggestion. From becoming a member of the NAU Grad Students Facebook group so you stay informed on the various social activities of your fellow students across campus to becoming involved in professional organizations, all are worthy pursuits in graduate school.
I would like to take this opportunity to welcome all our new and returning students in Flagstaff, across the state, and beyond. I would like to add a special welcome to students who have begun in our brand new programs at a brand new campusóthe Phoenix Bio Medical Campus that we share with the University of Arizona. The two new programs housed in this campus are the Masterís of Physician Assistant Studies and a new Phoenix-based cohort for the Doctor of Physical Therapy program. We also have our first Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program in creative writing that began this fall. Welcome to all our students.
This newsletter, like the rest, is chockfull of interesting articles, useful tips on teaching and critical thinking by our faculty, and heartwarming stories related to the experiences our students have in the US and all around the globe. The dual degree program designed by Dr. Michelle Harris is a wonderful example of this type of program between NAU and the University of Botswana. Bob Sather, who just graduated from the Peace Corp Masterís International program in Forestry, shares his experiences in a remote part of Africa, and his story about making a difference is a must-read.
On a sad note, I would like to take this opportunity to say goodbye to Melissa Hatfield Riggs, the editor of this wonderful newsletter. Melissa is leaving the Graduate College, though she is not going very far. She will continue to serve graduate and undergraduate students at NAU in her new role as the National Scholarship and Fellowship Advisor/Coordinator. This is a brand new position for NAU, and I know Melissa will do an outstanding job in her new role. She has helped many a student over the last five years with their scholarship applications and through her workshops on preparing for scholarships and fellowships.
Melissa began The Graduate College e-newsletter in 2008, and each one is special in its own right. All of these newsletters are available on the Graduate College website under About the Grad College in the Newsletter Archives section. Melissa, I know I will miss working with you each day, but look forward to supporting and working alongside you in your new role.
Have a wonderful semester!