The Graduate School at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst has announced a new initiative to increase the number of students from underrepresented groups who pursue graduate degrees. The Research Enhancement and Leadership Program will provide increased financial aid for about 150 graduate students.
The program will be funded by a $600,000 annual investment from the Office of the Provost and the university’s colleges and schools. This doubles the university’s commitment to provide financial aid to graduate students from underrepresented minority groups.
John McCarthy, dean of the Graduate School and senior vice provost for academic affairs at the University of Massachusetts, stated the “this undertaking arises from the Graduate School’s recognition that minority graduate students play a crucial role in enhancing UMass’ stature as a world-class research institution. Along with their diverse identities, students from underrepresented populations bring to our campus a diversity of ideas that energizes, expands and elevates the university’s intellectual enterprise. To help ensure the continued vibrancy of our scholarly community, we must more effectively recruit academically talented graduate students from underrepresented populations and prepare them to succeed. This new fellowship program will help accomplish both of these objectives.”
Barbara Krauthamer, associate dean for student inclusion and engagement in the Graduate School, who will supervise development of the REAL initiative, added that “our institutional investment in the academic and professional success of minority students extends well beyond the critical area of fellowship funding. By offering fellows increased faculty mentorship, access to high-impact professional development activities designed to position them for faculty careers, and an array of regularly scheduled events that will promote social connections across academic departments, this program will foster the development of a larger, more engaged, and more supportive community for underrepresented graduate students at UMass.”
Dr. Krauthamer holds a master’s degree from Washington University in St. Louis and a second master’s degree and a Ph.D. from Princeton University. She is the author of Black Slaves, Indian Masters: Slavery, Emancipation, and Citizenship in the Native American South (University of North Carolina Press, 2013)