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Graduate faculty initiative boosts doctoral mentoring

October 01, 2007

ASU’s doctoral degree students soon will have access to a broader range of expertise, intellectual partnerships and mentors within their area of research.

The new graduate faculty initiative will expand doctoral mentoring opportunities beyond the specific doctoral program to include faculty with research related expertise. This harnesses the strengths and mentoring capacities of outstanding faculty members across ASU’s departments, schools, colleges and campuses.

The initiative will link doctoral students with faculty that represent the best ASU has to offer, including ASU tenured and tenure-track faculty members, as well as research professors and others who hold appropriate related ASU appointments and with affiliations, such as with Mayo Clinic, TGen, Barrow Neurological Institute or Banner Health.

A doctoral degree student in history, for example, might have access to faculty not only in history, but also faculty from women and gender studies, American Indian studies, Chicana(o)/Latina(o) studies, art history or anthropology, that may possess research-related expertise. This approach facilitates not only the building of depth, but of breadth and diversity in intellectual perspective, a centerpiece of doctoral education.

“English has been cooperating with faculty colleagues on other campuses for some time, so this model of extending invitations for service, mentoring, and even teaching opportunities beyond and within the Tempe campus is not new,” says Neal Lester, chair of the Department of English. “Surely, this new graduate faculty initiative can only enhance our doctoral students’ experiences in our various programs, and will provide better and more direct opportunities to work more collaboratively with our colleagues at other campuses.”

“As ASU’s vision, mission, and organization evolve, it is essential that Ph.D. education across the institution evolves as well,” adds Maria T. Allison, university vice provost and dean of the Graduate College. “This will provide our doctoral students with a transformative, cutting-edge education, and enhance the ability of students and faculty to engage each other across all campuses as part of the New American University.”

Beginning Oct. 1, faculty members who are interested in becoming a member of the graduate faculty in a particular program can apply to do so. Applications will be made available online at Faculty should submit their electronic application and a current vita to the Graduate College by Oct. 12.

For more information about the initiative, go online to view a PowerPoint presentation at, or contact Joan Brett, associate vice provost in the Graduate College, at

Michele St. George,
(480) 965-5995