School of Graduate Studies looks for potential award nominees

Emily Komorowski

The Graduate Dean’s Award and Graduate Dean’s Travel Award nominations were expected to be in this past Friday by faculty and staff members.

The Division of Graduate Studies funds both the GDA and GDTA. Unlike most awards, these are unique in that faculty and staff nominate students instead of students applying individually.

The GDA is given to 10 nominees who belong to minority groups in their field of study or have some kind of physical or mental handicap. Both awards are incentives to encourage a more diverse group of students to attend Kent State’s graduate program.

Mary Ann Stephens, dean of Graduate Studies, established the awards last spring. Kate McAnulty, director of Graduate Student Services, said each recipient will be given a $5,000 enhancement of the assistantship. Recipients of the award are also expected to provide a graduate assistantship 20 hours a week for two years.

“We want to increase the diversity in ethnicities, as well as women, in traditionally male-dominated disciplines and vise-versa here at the university,” McAnulty said.

Stephens established the GDTA this semester to help cover the costs for

prospective graduate students to travel to Kent for campus visits. Between $200 and $400 per person will be given, depending on the individual’s travel costs to Kent. Students who wish to receive this must also belong to an underrepresented group in their field of study.

Through both the GDA and GDTA application process, McAnulty said faculty members get a chance to personally connect with the students. Departments are not limited in the amount of nominations they want to give.

“Each department makes their own decision about assistantships,” McAnulty said. “Since assistantships are very competitive, we want nominees who are high achieving students.”

McAnulty also said that each department must provide documentation of discipline in terms of need on the application.

A committee, which includes Stephens, McAnulty and members of the Graduate Studies Administrative Advisory Committee, will review the applications for selection. They will also review the nominees’ admission materials, such as recommendation letters and GPA.

“We expect to grow every year,” McAnulty said. “We’re hoping to increase communication and have more nominations.”

The priority deadline for the GDA was Friday, but nominations will be accepted as long as the funds are available; however, the GDTA has no set deadline, so it will be rolling through spring semester.

“These awards are a great contribution to the university,” McAnulty said. “It gives attention to the need for a more diverse campus.”

Contact Emily Komorowski at [email protected].