COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Now one of the most diversified and comprehensive universities in the nation, Texas A&M University will have even more than usual reason to celebrate next week when it spotlights its students enrolled in graduate-level studies and professional degree programs.
The week-long observance will include advice and encouragement offered up by nationally prominent scholars and the awarding of the U.S. Senator Phil Gramm Doctoral Fellowship Awards. Since the 2013 week-long event to acknowledge its graduate and professional students, Texas A&M has acquired a law school and incorporated the Texas A&M Health Science Center into its administrative structure. The Fort Worth-based law school was formerly operated by Texas Wesleyan University.
Bottom line: Texas A&M now enrolls more than 13,000 such students. That includes almost 10,000 pursuing master’s or doctoral degrees in the university’s traditional academic fields, almost 775 in law, more than 525 in Veterinary Medicine and more than 2,400 in health sciences – medicine, nursing, dentistry, pharmacy, and public health.
Thus, Texas A&M officials and members of the Graduate Student Council express confidence that Graduate & Professional Student Appreciation Week, which begins Monday (April 7), will be special. It is jointly hosted by the Graduate Student Council (GSC) and the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies.
“We are excited about this annual opportunity to bring attention to the vital role that graduate and professional students have at Texas A&M, celebrated at our Community of Scholars event and highlighted later in the week with honoring this year’s Gramm Fellows Awards Program,” says Karen Butler-Purry, the university’s associate provost for graduate and professional studies.
The 2014 recipients of the U.S. Senator Phil Gramm Fellowships:
---Shannon Smith, Dept. of Psychology, nominated by Dr. John Edens, (Psychology)
---Adam Naito, Dept. of Geography, nominated by Dr. David Cairns, (Geography)
---Sneha Wager, Dept. of Psychology, nominated by Dr. Sherecce Fields (Psychology)
---Bradley Ewers, Dept. of Chemistry, nominated by Dr. James Batteas (Chemistry)
---Matthew Berg, Dept. of Ecosystem Science and Management, nominated by Dr. Bradford Wilcox (Ecosystem Science and Management)
---Meagan Harris, Dept. of Biomedical Engineering, nominated by Dr. Kristen Maitland (Biomedical Engineering)
GSC President Brittany Bounds said she is grateful for the week of recognition for graduate and professional students. “Texas A&M University has shown that they do value graduate and professional students by recognizing our hard work and contributions in research and teaching with key awards like the Phil Gramm Fellowship and the Community of Scholars event,” she says. “Graduate and professional students deserve to be recognized for serving the university as the foundation for research labs, teaching undergraduate students, and giving back to the university in the form or mentorship and volunteer service.”
With a “Mentoring: A Bridge to Success” theme, the week’s activities move into high gear Tuesday evening with a “community of scholars dinner and dialogue” highlighted by remarks by two nationally prominent scholars who are currently serving as faculty fellows of the Texas A&M University Institute for Advanced Study (TIAS). The institute, inspired by the renowned Institute of Advanced Study associated with Princeton University, brings internationally prominent scholars to Texas A&M for extended stays to work with the university ‘s faculty and students—both on the graduate and undergraduate levels.
The two TIAS faculty fellows are Roger E. Howe, who is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Mathematics at Yale University, and Katepalli R. Sreenivasan, president of the Polytechnic School of Engineering at New York University.
They will be joined in the presentation by R. J. Quincy Adams, who holds the title of Distinguished Professor of History at Texas A&M and serves on the TIAS advisory board, and John Junkins, who holds the title of Distinguished Professor of Aerospace Engineering and is the founding director of TIAS. Junkins will moderate the panel discussion by the three other participants.
The U.S. Senator Phil Gramm Doctoral Fellowships are funded through an endowment established in 2000 by private donations made in honor of Gramm. The endowment is administered by the Texas A&M Foundation. Recipients are determined via a nomination and selection process.
The “dinner and dialogue” session will be in the Bethancourt Ballroom of the Memorial Student Center, beginning at 5:30 p.m. and is an RSVP event. The Gramm fellowships will be awarded at 3:30 p.m. Thursday (April 10) in the MSC Stark Galleries. A list of recipients may be found on the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies website.
More information about the week-long activities is available at the websites of the two sponsors: Office of Professional and Graduate Studies) and Graduate Student Council.