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Fall 2019 Dean’s Message

Message from the Dean

I am humbled and honored to have been named dean of the Graduate School as of Sept. 13. Having served as interim dean for two years, I’ve had the ability to directly observe not only that the Graduate School is filled with remarkably dedicated and professional staff, but how the Graduate School helps guide and influence graduate education at NC State. It was also readily apparent that NC State’s graduate community is incredibly vibrant – including the faculty, students and staff – and that the work that our graduate students and postdoctoral scholars are pursuing is inspiring.

Dean Peter Harries with fishing pole
Dean Peter Harries landed a new opportunity back in September. (Becky Kirkland photo)

It’s been a full year at the Graduate School, celebrating the 125-year anniversary of the completion of the first graduate degree at NC State. In this issue of Think, you’ll read about the work of our public history graduate assistant Anna Spencer, who documented the complex history of graduate education at NC State. During her year with us, Anna wrote articles, which appear here, created a social media campaign, tracked down photos, recorded oral histories and developed a timeline of graduate education at NC State. You’ll find many of these resources in this issue – I hope you’ll enjoy learning more about graduate education at NC State.

You’ll also find out more about “What’s New in Graduate Education?” This year, we watched eagerly as astronaut Christine Koch, a North Carolina native who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees here, started her 300+ day journey aboard the International Space Station. And we were excited to learn recently that the Graduate School earned NC State’s first Innovations in Graduate Education grant from the National Science Foundation.

Carl Taylor with a fish and fishing pole
Carl Taylor, first dean of the Graduate School, with his big catch.

Our student stories show the depth of commitment our students have to service at NC State, in their communities and beyond. One student is a Mental Health Ambassador with the Counseling Center, and another recent alumna was the first graduate student to serve as student body vice president at NC State. Another recent graduate started a 5K run in Raleigh to raise awareness about Lewy body dementia, the disease that took her father’s life. Still another worked for many years at WKNC, the NC State student radio station, before leaving NC State to pursue her Ph.D. at Texas A&M.

I was pleased that this year we were able to redistribute some Graduate School resources to more directly support graduate students. Those efforts include 1) dramatically increasing support for graduate student travel through the Graduate Student Association, 2) initiating a joint program with Student Government to support graduate students attending short courses and workshops, and 3) creating the Graduate School Summer Fellowships to assist doctoral students who don’t have summer support.

Support Graduate Education

Your gift helps support the workshops and events that add value to graduate education at NC State.

Your financial support also allows us to increase opportunities for graduate students. Earlier this year, NC State University held its first Day of Giving, where the Wolfpack Nation donated over $13.5 million in just one day. The Graduate School received nearly $4,000 in donations to our Robert and Suester Sowell Graduate Student Travel Fund, which provides support to graduate students attending conferences. Watch for the next Day of Giving on March 25, 2020.

So please enjoy reading about all that’s happening in graduate education at NC State. And the next time you’re on campus, stop by the Graduate School to say hello.

Peter Harries
Graduate School Dean

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