February 2023 Message from Dean Mayo
Dear members of The Graduate School (TGS) community,
February 22, 2023
As Winter Quarter winds down, I would like to acknowledge a few recent events and reiterate our steadfast commitment to graduate education at Northwestern University.
We are deeply saddened by the tragic shooting that recently took place at Michigan State University. College campuses are designed to be safe spaces that invite learning, community, and the exchange of ideas. Witnessing yet another violation of these principles at a fellow Big Ten institution is very sobering. Our thoughts are with the victims of this tragedy and their friends and family members. Please make sure Northwestern can reach you in the event of an emergency by following these instructions and reach out to the resources listed if you need help processing this traumatic event. TGS continues to offer Mental Health First Aid Training to directors of graduate studies and program staff to help identify and address those who may be in distress, and we are here to support you.
We are also very saddened by the unimaginable devastation resulting from the earthquake that struck Turkey’s Gaziantep province earlier this month and the numerous aftershocks throughout southern Turkey and northern Syria, including in the Hatay province earlier this week. TGS leaders recently reached out to our Turkish and Syrian graduate students and postdoctoral trainees to express our heartfelt concern and sympathy. Our fervent hope is that their loved ones are safe from harm as we collectively continue to mourn the many thousands who have been lost to or displaced by this tragedy. You can read more about how to support the ongoing relief efforts or seek support from campus resources here.
As we turn toward spring, we are eager for upcoming opportunities to celebrate our TGS community. We encourage you to nominate someone for our annual TGS Ver Steeg and McBride Awards. The Ver Steeg Awards recognize one outstanding graduate faculty member and one non-faculty staff member for excellence in working with TGS students. The McBride Awards recognize one outstanding TGS student and one postdoctoral trainee who go above and beyond in any or all of the areas of diversity, service, and engagement. Nominations will be accepted until Monday, March 6, and the award recipients will be announced later in March.
In addition, we look forward to Graduate Student Appreciation Week in April and Graduation Weekend in June. To confirm if you are eligible for our annual PhD and MFA Hooding Ceremony on Saturday, June 10, please visit our Graduation webpage.
Lastly, as many of you are aware, a majority of eligible graduate students voted in favor of union representation by way of a secret ballot election in January. You can read more about who is included in and excluded from the bargaining unit definition here. During this interim period between the union election and the ratification of a collective bargaining agreement, Northwestern must maintain the status quo with respect to graduate student terms and conditions of employment. While issues like pay, benefits, or other working conditions must now be negotiated with the union, TGS will continue our mission to address the needs of graduate students.
We are proud to celebrate this remarkable community of students and scholars. Please reach out if we can assist you in your journey, and thank you for your continued devotion to making a difference in the world.
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