August 2012 Archways

Celebrating Grad Students

Graduate students presented posters on their scholarship during Graduate Student Appreciation Week. Photo by Stephen Clatos.

Graduate Student Appreciation Week at Bryn Mawr

This past April the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) and the Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research (GSSWSR) collaborated on the College’s inaugural Graduate Student Appreciation Week. The program, says GSAS Dean Mary Osirim, was “an attempt to significantly recognize the excellence of our graduate programs and our graduate students as well as the College’s long history of commitment to graduate education.”

In her keynote address for Graduate Student Appreciation week, President Emeritus Mary Patterson McPherson, Ph.D. ’69, focused on this history, mentioning M. Carey Thomas’ statement that “a college without graduate students never occurred to us.” Indeed, graduate education has been provided at Bryn Mawr since its inception in 1885, and the College was one of the first institutions to accept women fully into programs for master’s and doctoral education.

Other highlights of the week included a talk by James Wright, Ph.D. ’78, former GSAS dean and professor of classical and Near Eastern archaeology, on how graduate education has evolved at the College through the years; a research symposium, during which current graduate students presented posters on their scholarship; a networking reception that brought together graduate alumnae/i and current students; and a panel discussion with current and former deans of the graduate schools.

“The panel was a great opportunity for our graduate students to get a sense of what graduate studies mean to the institution,” Osirim says. “Obviously, Bryn Mawr’s strong graduate programs, many internationally recognized, benefit our students. But the relationship is reciprocal. Having strong graduate education at a women’s liberal arts college makes us more distinctive among our peers. Undergraduates really benefit from the role graduate students play not only as teaching assistants, but also as mentors and role models for pursuing excellence in academic fields beyond the bachelor’s degree.”

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