Happy Holidays from The Graduate School – 2016

Hello, I’m Paula D. McClain,
dean of the Duke Graduate School. On behalf of our
staff, I would like to wish our students,
faculty, alumni, supporters and the entire graduate school
community, happy holidays as we wrap up a special
year for the school. 2016 marked the 90th
year since the founding of the Duke Graduate School. Throughout the
year, we celebrated the school’s past and present. Here’s a look back at some of
the highlights of the year. In March, we gave
out 10 dean’s awards to recognize Duke graduate
students, faculty, and programs for mentoring,
teaching, and creating an inclusive environment. In may, 255 graduating
PhD students attended our annual
hooding ceremony to celebrate the completion of
their graduate school career. In all, 915 PhD and
master’s students earned their degrees during
the 2015-2016 academic year. At the hooding ceremony,
we also honored noted Shakespeare scholar,
Ralph Allen Cohen, as the recipient of our
Distinguished Alumni Award. In June, we marked the 20th
year of the Duke Summer Research Opportunity Program, a
pipeline program administered by the graduate
school, that aims to bring more students from
under-represented groups into science. From June to August,
the graduate school supported 450 PhD students
through summer research fellowships that totaled
nearly $4 million. These fellowships
allowed the students to spend their summers focusing
on their academic work, whether it’s conducting
field work abroad or staying in Durham and writing
their dissertations. In August, we welcomed 832
new PhD and masters students as they began their
graduate school journey. And in September, our
year-long commemoration of the graduate school’s
90th anniversary culminated with a celebration at
our homecoming reception, which had its best attendance ever
with more than 500 students, alumni and faculty. At the reception, we also
honored the first group of inductees into the duke
graduate school Few-Glasson Alumni Society. They included General Martin
Dempsey, a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff, Dr. Linda George, a well-regarded sociologist and
longtime Duke faculty member, and Dr. Yibin Kang, a
noted cancer researcher. As we look forward
to 2017, there are exciting developments
on the horizon, such as the launch of Duke
OPTIONS, an online tools to help graduate students
start mapping out their professional development
paths from the moment they arrive at Duke. The graduate school will
also play an integral part in a university-wide program
funded by the National Endowment for the
Humanities to help PhD students in the humanities
explore a broad array of career paths, so keep an eye
out for updates from us as those and other
efforts take shape. From all of us at
the graduate school, thank you for your
support in the past year and have a safe and
happy holiday season.

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