Dear Rackham Students,
I am delighted to welcome you to a new academic year as you continue—or embark on—your path to degree. Graduate study is always a dynamic undertaking, with competing pressures and responsibilities. This year, that’s even more true as we all continue to balance the additional demands of COVID-19 and the complex and trying challenges of the past year and a half with our academic pursuits.
At the beginning of each new year, I feel it is important to reemphasize the numerous ways in which Rackham offers resources and assistance to support you in every facet of your graduate education.
- Professional and Academic Development
Rackham offers numerous avenues for you to develop the skills necessary to be successful in your professional and academic development during your student experience and as you transition to your career. These include our Professional Development DEI Certificate (which is accepting applications now), Program in Public Scholarship, embedded career counselor, workshops, and much more.
- Support and Well-Being
As a graduate student, you are often working to navigate studies, research, and relationships with peers and advisors. For times when you need guidance, Rackham provides help. U-M Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) has an embedded staff member, Dr. Laura Monschau, dedicated to working specifically with graduate students. The Rackham website offers additional resources, including contact information for Rackham’s Resolution Office, which offers a safe and private pathway to discussing concerns. You’ll also find connections to various student communities, including Students of Color of Rackham, Graduate Rackham International, and Rackham Student Government.
In addition to fellowships for students at different stages of their degree, Rackham offers grants to support research, grants to support professional development, funds to help in emergency situations, and more. I would like to note that the expanded emergency fund eligibility for expenses related to the pandemic has been extended for this academic year.
I encourage you to take full advantage of the ways that Rackham can be your ally in pursuing your goals. Please take time each week to explore the opportunities listed in this newsletter, along with the frequently updated offerings on the Rackham events calendar.
Of course, this year there will be other information that it is critical for you to be aware of. I realize that many continue to have concerns about the progression of the pandemic given the prevalence of the delta variant. I also know that international students are facing a range of unique pressures as you get ready for this year. My colleagues and I at Rackham are committed to assisting and advising you. For information of particular relevance to graduate students, please refer frequently to the Rackham COVID-19 Resource Page, which also includes links to important campus messages and resources. This page will be updated regularly, and additions to it will be communicated through this newsletter and Rackham’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts.
As the year progresses, I commit to two-way communication with you about what you’re experiencing. To that end, I will be writing regularly in this newsletter to address questions and concerns I hear from Rackham students and the student organizations who represent you. You can submit questions using this form. In addition, we have a long history of town hall dialogues at Rackham—we hold four per year—and will continue to hold those this year. Finally, I will host a State of the Graduate School event on Wednesday, September 22, to which you will receive an invitation early next week. Topics to be covered include our plans for the Rackham Doctoral Internship Program, the launch of the new standing committee on graduate student mental health and well-being, and more.
I admire the resilience that the Rackham community has displayed during this difficult period. I look forward to continuing to work together to overcome our common obstacles and achieve our shared goals for your success.