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Fall 2011 Message from the Dean

Profile of Entering A&S Graduate Students

We’ve welcomed an impressive group of 130 new A&S graduate students in eleven programs for 2011-12, selected from a pool of more than 800 applicants.  More than 90% of the entering graduate students conducted research as undergraduates, with most receiving awards or honors for their scholarship.  Approximately half of the incoming students have contributed to their communities through volunteer service, and more than 60% have been teachers or mentors to students ranging from pre-schoolers through senior citizens.  Thirty percent of the entering A&S graduate students are students of color, including international students from eleven countries.  Entering students include a USA gymnastics national vaulting champion, a college Green Team president, and a primary school math and English teacher in Gulu, Uganda.

Recruitment Fellowships Funded by A&S Graduate Studies Advisory Board

The A&S Graduate Studies Advisory Board formed in 2004, is a select group of educational, business, and community leaders whose mission is to enhance the quality of graduate education in Arts & Sciences at W&M.  Four current A&S graduate students have received recruitment fellowships supported in part by contributions from members of the A&S Graduate Studies Advisory Board. These stipend supplements of $2500-$3500 for each of two years are offered to exceptional prospective students who represent extraordinary recruitment opportunities. Applicants to the College of W&M are nominated for the fellowships by departments/programs. The current recipients of these recruitment fellowships are in American Studies, Computational Operations Research, and Computer Science.

Kelso Fellowship in Early American Studies

A generous gift to the College has established the William M. Kelso Fellowship in Early American Studies and provided a model for endowments that increase stipend support and research funding for A&S graduate students.  The Kelso Fellowship will be awarded annually to an entering PhD or MA/PhD student in American Studies, Anthropology, or History.  Recipients of this two-year fellowship receive a $4000 stipend supplement annually and up to $500 for research expenses in the field of early American studies.

2010-11 A&S Distinguished Thesis and Distinguished Dissertation Awardees

Four 2010-11 W&M graduates received A&S Graduate Studies Advisory Board Distinguished Thesis and Distinguished Dissertation Awards, which recognize exemplary achievement in A&S graduate student research: Michael Bagge-Hansen (Applied Science), Edward Downing Maris-Wolf (History), Ivo Ivanov Gyurovski (Psychology), and Elizabeth Marie O’Grady (American Studies).  Nominations are submitted by the students’ faculty advisors in April, and an A&S faculty panel ranks the nominations.  Recipients are awarded a certificate and a check for $250-$500.

A&S Graduate Student Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Mentoring

Three A&S graduate students were honored in 2010-11 with A&S Graduate Studies Advisory Board Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Mentoring, which recognize outstanding undergraduate mentoring in scholarship and research outside of classroom teaching: Zachary Elmore (Biology), Adam Stackhouse (American Studies), and Fengyuan Xu (Computer Science).  Nominations are submitted in January and consist of supporting statements from current or past W&M undergraduate students and faculty members.  A panel of A&S faculty and Graduate Studies Advisory Board members ranks the nominations.  Recipients are awarded a certificate and a check for $250.

A&S Graduate Portfolio Website

The A&S Graduate Student Association (GSA) and I initiated a Graduate Portfolio website to highlight the quality of A&S graduate programs by compiling and disseminating information on the accomplishments of A&S graduate students, including external awards, conference presentations and publications, and recent alumni employment/positions. GSA representatives collect information on graduate student achievements in their respective departments/programs. A&S graduate students can also provide their updates electronically. Three times per year, these updated entries provided by students are posted by my office to the Graduate Portfolio website.  Please join the Directors of Graduate Studies in encouraging your students to provide updates on their accomplishments.

Applications Encouraged for A&S Graduate Student Research Grants

A stable program for minor research grant support was initiated by the A&S Office of Graduate Studies and Research in 2006 and is funded using continuous enrollment fees. A&S graduate students are eligible to apply for support [maximum of $300] that will allow them to collect data at museums or archives, purchase research supplies, and travel to field work sites. In 2010-11, 48 students received A&S Graduate Student Research Grants, with an average award of $285. Applications are accepted each term.

Graduate Research Fellowships Received from VA Space Grant Consortium

Congratulations to Megan Ivory (Physics), Gardner Marshall (Physics), Collin McMillan (Computer Science), Daniel Ramos (Biology), William Roach (Applied Science), and Jennifer Thorne (Computational Operations Research) for receiving 2011-12 Graduate Research Fellowships from the Virginia Space Grant Consortium. These $5000/year awards are renewable for an additional year.  Judith Providence (Computer Science) has received a renewal award for 2011-12.  In addition, four W&M undergraduate students, Jacquelyn Blake-Hedges (Chemistry), David Hill (Chemistry), Joshua Holt (Biology/Physics), and Eric Yang (Physics/Computer Science/Applied Science) received a $4000-$8500 Undergraduate Research Scholarship for 2011-12 from the Virginia Space Grant Consortium. The next application deadline will be approximately February 2012.  I have served on or chaired the consortium’s selection committees for the past six years; please feel free to contact me with questions or encourage your students to do so.

A&S Recipient of 2011 Thatcher Prize for Excellence in Graduate and Professional Study

Edward Maris-Wolf (2011 PhD, History, W&M) was honored with the College’s Thatcher Prize at the May 2011 commencement ceremony.  Nominations for the award are sought from A&S faculty in April, to recognize an outstanding recent graduate on the basis of character, scholarship, leadership, and service during graduate or professional study at W&M. 

Welcome to Our Web Pages

Whether you have already joined the William & Mary community or are a prospective student, we invite you to browse our web pages as you take this next exciting step into the future.

Best wishes for continued success,

S. Laurie Sanderson
Dean of Graduate Studies and Research