Dear students, friends and colleagues:
Welcome to the second edition of the Graduate School newsletter! I hope you enjoy our featured stories such as the one about our two exceptional graduate students, Amanda Waters and Caroline Turnage-Butterbaugh, who are serving as class marshals this year.
As this academic year comes to a close, I am very pleased to note several areas of significant progress in the Graduate School. First, effective fall semester 2014, there will be an increase in the minimum stipend rates for graduate students from the current $7,200 for full-time students to $10,000. The funds for this increase will come from central sources through the Office of the Provost as well as from Graduate School resources. Of course, we still need to be working on increasing stipend support in many areas of graduate education, but I believe this is a step in the right direction. I thank Provost Stocks and others in the administration for their continued support of graduate education.
The Graduate School also is pleased to announce a new parental leave policy for graduate students that is effective immediately. Under the new policy, a full-time graduate student with a quarter- or half-time graduate assistantship is eligible for six weeks of leave from his/her graduate program. The underlying philosophy of this policy is that we are committed to a diverse graduate student body, which includes graduate students with children. I want to acknowledge the efforts of the Graduate Student Council and Associate Dean Christy Wyandt in developing and implementing our new policy.
I am pleased to report that the first Three Minute Thesis Competition (3MT) at the University of Mississippi was very successful. This program challenges graduate students to present a compelling talk on their research thesis topic (to nonspecialists) and its significance in just three minutes. The 3MT competition promotes vital communication skills that are a common need across all graduate programs. Harish Chandler, our grand prize winner from the Department of Health, Exercise Science and Recreation Management, represented us at the regional competition at the Southern Conference of Graduate Schools (CSGS) in San Antonio earlier this spring.
Thanks for reading our newsletter, and please continue to send us suggestions and ideas. We welcome story concepts from students and faculty, and we would love to hear about the successes of our graduate alumni. We appreciate your support of the Graduate School at the University of Mississippi!
John Z. Kiss
Dean of the Graduate School
Professor of Biology