Rackham’s Office of Graduate Student Success has been integrated into the Dean’s Office under a new unit: Graduate Student Programs. The two new units and their titles reflect strategic program priorities as outlined by Dean Carol A. Fierke: 1) Professional and Academic Development and 2) Recruitment and Graduate Student Engagement. These teams represent Rackham's commitment to provide programs to recruit and support a thriving, diverse, and inclusive graduate student community.
Graduate students and recent alumni will recall that Graduate Student Success was responsible for a wide variety of student programming and resources, including Rackham Merit Fellow Connection, Summer Research Opportunity Program, Mellon Fellowships and Immersives, and many other programs related to graduate student life, professionalization, and recruitment. Rackham will continue these programs and will continue to develop additional programs.
In addition to two new event coordinators, Rackham Graduate Student Programs will soon welcome several academic program managers who will facilitate recruitment, graduate student engagement, career exploration, and public scholarship.
The new unit’s mission closely mirrors that of the former area of Graduate Student Success but expands upon and deepens its commitments:
Professional and Academic Development
Professional and Academic Development’s mission will be to support graduate students in developing strategies, plans, and networks to be successful in their academic and professional development during their Michigan experience, and as they transition into their careers. To achieve this, Professional and Academic Development will focus on three key areas: core skill development, career exploration, and job search skill development. This will include continuing programs like the fall and winter workshop series on job search topics for careers within and beyond academe, Rackham’s Program in Public Scholarship, the Mellon Public Humanities Fellowships and career Immersives, and career panels with Rackham alumni.
Recruitment and Graduate Student Engagement
Recruitment and Graduate Student Engagement will support the recruitment of a diverse graduate student community by implementing recruitment-related activities in academic programs and engaging with prospective students. They will also enhance community connections and strengthen the diversity of the graduate community by creating opportunities for students to connect across disciplines and by maintaining university partnerships that promote the wellbeing of graduate students.
Dean’s Office Initiatives
The Dean’s Office will also be hiring a new academic program manager to support strategic faculty and postdoctoral development initiatives. This will include continuing programs such as Faculty Allies for Diversity, Rackham’s Faculty Committee on Mentoring (MORE), and postdoctoral outreach activities. We are also moving forward with hiring a Minority Serving Institution (MSI) Coordinator that was recently funded by the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiative. The work of this position will span all graduate programs, both Rackham degree programs and professional degree programs.
These new areas within Rackham will continue to value relationships, diversity, and partnerships, and will encourage reflection and engagement within the graduate school’s community. Stay tuned for updates on Rackham’s programming and website content as staff is transitioned and new members are brought on to serve our graduate and postdoctoral community more fully.