Fall 2012 Message from the Dean

Welcome from John Swaddle, Dean of Graduate Studies and Research

Welcome to our burgeoning and vibrant community of scholars and teachers. As graduate students in Arts & Sciences you are among a select set—we admitted an impressive group of 128 new students in 2012-13 across eleven A&S graduate programs from a pool of more than 850 applicants. The vast majority of you already have significant research experiences under your belt and many have been active teachers and mentors. This, combined with your diverse interests, hobbies, and backgrounds is what makes our graduate programs distinctive. We are a melting pot of teacher-scholars striving for excellence in all of our endeavors; addressing questions of global importance while serving our communities with distinction.

While at William and Mary we want you to fully immerse yourself in your studies and teaching while being closely mentored by the faculty around you. Make use of every resource, from the expertise and wisdom of your faculty to the professional development opportunities offered through our excellent COLL courses and programming with the Cohen Career Center. As the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research my main goal is to provide you with the most enriching, nurturing yet academically challenging environment that William & Mary can offer.

In the spirit of celebrating the success of our graduate community, I want to ensure that you know that our wonderful A&S Graduate Studies Advisory Board provides four Distinguished Thesis and Distinguished Dissertation Awards every year, along with three annual awards to honor how graduate students facilitate and mentor William & Mary’s deep tradition in undergraduate research:  A&S Graduate Studies Advisory Board Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Mentoring. There are also many opportunities for you to apply for research and travel grants that facilitate and enhance your studies. The College also formally celebrates graduate studies during the all university commencement ceremony in the spring by awarding the Thatcher Prize for Excellence in Graduate and Professional Study. The 2011 recipient of the Thatcher Prize was Edward Maris-Wolf (2011 PhD in History).

In partnership with A&S Graduate Student Association (GSA) we also actively encourage all graduate students to share their achievements through the Graduate Portfolio. This helps us highlight your successes, which strengthens our community and also makes it easier for us to attract more support for your graduate programs. It is important that you all participate in this.

As you will quickly learn, William & Mary is a very open community—you can seek guidance and advice from literally anyone on campus—and in this spirit I welcome all of you to contact me if you think there are ways we can make your graduate experience still better. Professor Hiroshi Kitamura serves as your Graduate Ombudsperson and can be contacted for any confidential purposes.

Again, welcome to William and Mary and our community of scholars, teachers, and mentors. I am looking forward to working with you over the coming years.

John Swaddle
Dean of Graduate Studies and Research