Report from the dean
A better graduate student experience.
Graduate students are the lifeblood of a research institution: they generate new ideas, challenge orthodoxy, and support research projects in collaboration with their faculty mentors. Yet as higher education's environment and graduate students' needs change, so must a research institution be prepared to adapt. This year I am launching our Emerging Leaders Initiative, an effort to reform how the division supports graduate education. The initiative aims to improve the graduate experience, provide opportunities for professional and personal development, and better prepare our students to finish on time and with their best years ahead of them. The Social Sciences Division will sponsor a set of workshops to promote professional skills useful inside and outside the academy; create opportunities for professional and personal development; and bolster our support of students in the later years of their graduate education with health and medical resources, information for students who are also parents, and career and professionalization guidance. Many of our alumni have told me that while they are grateful for the challenging education they received here, their graduate experience was either unnecessarily long or difficult to navigate. The Emerging Leaders Initiative is committed to the idea that the graduate experience should be as healthy as it is rigorous, as balanced as it is intense. You can be involved with this initiative too: tell us your story, volunteer your support and advice to current students, or ask us any questions via our website. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Mario L. Small, Dean