November 2022 Message from Dean Mayo
Dear members of The Graduate School (TGS) community,
November 30, 2022
I hope you had a pleasant Thanksgiving and were able to spend some quality time with the people and activities you enjoy. This is the time in the academic cycle when TGS begins planning for the next academic year. As part of this planning, we are thinking about current and future support for graduate students and postdoctoral trainees. Some of the ways TGS currently supports graduate students in particular are outlined here.
Looking ahead, we have been focusing for quite some time on initiatives that support students and postdoctoral trainees and advance our educational mission, and we will continue to do so. For example, this year TGS is offering a limited number of application fee waivers for international applicants in addition to waivers for eligible domestic applicants and U.S. citizens. To date, applicants from 15 countries to more than 30 PhD and MFA programs have benefited from this pilot, including applicants from countries where civil unrest has created financial instability. We have been considering ways to expand this program for some time and hope to be able to do so in the future.
A core tenet of TGS is coordinating professional and career services for our graduate and postdoctoral communities. To this end, I am pleased to share that TGS has partnered with Northwestern Career Advancement (NCA) to provide an expanded resource for graduate students. Aubrey Korneta recently joined the NCA/TGS teams as an assistant director of professional and career development. She will work collaboratively with NCA, TGS, and other campus partners to support students in their professional and career development. Aubrey holds a PhD from New York University and will focus on preparing doctoral students for a variety of career outcomes. Our Office of Postdoctoral Affairs also has set the dates for the Winter Quarter “Mentoring Up & Down” workshop series (March 8, 15, and 22) and will provide registration information soon. These educational workshops for postdoctoral trainees focus on managing mentoring relationships both “up” as a mentee and “down” as a mentor.
In addition, as co-chair of the search committee for the next vice president of Student Affairs, I am grateful to the many graduate students who participated in our listening sessions this fall. Your feedback has been invaluable in this process. Student Affairs provides essential resources and services to all students at Northwestern, and we hope to see an even greater focus on graduate students in the future.
As outlined in recent messaging, a union representation petition has been filed by a labor union, the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE), with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). UE is seeking to unionize graduate students enrolled in degree programs who are “employed to provide instructional and research services” at the University. Eligible graduate students will vote for or against union representation by UE in an upcoming election. I encourage you to learn as much as you can about unionization in the meantime and, if eligible, exercise your right to vote when the time comes. The University’s website and other sources of information, such as nlrb.gov, may be helpful. No website or source of information has all the facts, and I encourage you to search broadly for information.
Our graduate students, postdoctoral trainees, faculty members, and staff are all vital to Northwestern’s research and teaching missions and to creating a vibrant educational community. I am grateful for the commitment, passion, and ideas you continue to display and am here to support you.
Kelly E. Mayo
Walter and Jennie Bayne Professor of Molecular Biosciences
Dean of The Graduate School and
Associate Provost for Graduate Education
Categories: From the Dean