A Letter From Dean Pogue

On June 30, 2011 by Grad Forum

Dear Dartmouth Graduate Community,

Our Dartmouth Academic year has ended with a flourish, having a graduation ceremony with Conan O’Brien capping things off in his address to the campus in his own hilarious manner.   This was a historic year with 82 graduating PhDs and over 100 Masters degrees awarded.  On campus this summer, graduate students are either departing for internships or permanent jobs, or digging deeply into their thesis research.

This past year we saw the creation of a new Graduate Studies logo, shown above, initiated by our own students and completed through an online competitive design process.  It shows the iconic Dartmouth lone pine tree with the waves of the Connecticut River that embrace the campus boundary.  The year 1885 in the logo was the year of the first graduate degree awarded at Dartmouth.  We have come a long way in 125 years!   Dartmouth is now categorized by the Carnegie Foundation as a Research University with very high research activity, and the academic success of our students attests to this.

This year, Dartmouth Board of Trustees elected the first Graduate Studies alumni.  Marye Anne Fox, Ph.D. ’74 (Chemistry), who is now Chancellor of University of California San Diego, will join the board for a 3 year term.  In 2010, President Obama presented her with the highest scientific honor in the country, the National Medal of Science. We look forward to welcoming her to campus in the fall, and having her leadership within the Trustees.

We continue to shape our outward image, and you will see that our website has a new look and our Graduate Forum newsletter is now online and updated with human interest stories weekly. Check it out!  You will be amazed at what Dartmouth graduate students and faculty are up to! Look for our smart phone app, being designed by Jane Seibel, Assistant Dean for Recruiting and Diversity, to be released this fall.  It will help prospective and newly admitted students get acquainted with the campus.

We have had a terrific series of professional training events for graduate students, run by Kerry Landers, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs. These events serve to advise students in all aspects of the job search process, business training, entrepreneurship and ethics, all of which help them round out themselves outside of their academic training.  Notably, the Dartmouth Center for Advancement of Learning, together with Professor Carl Renshaw from the Department of Earth Sciences, started an NSF funded program called GK-12, which trains graduate students to present their work to a general student audience, from Kindergarten to grade 12.  This program funds up to 8 students per year and gives them a mentored experience working with teachers in the Upper Valley.   We also had a terrific event with Professors Tillman Gerngross, PhD, P. Jack Hoopes, DVM, PhD, and Hany Farid, PhD, discussing how to balance Academic and Industry interactions within the same career track.  Their experiences range from starting three pharmaceutical companies, to doing extensive contract research, to working with Microsoft and Google on novel software products. These intimate experiences between outstanding professors and our graduate students are one of the keys to their academic success at Dartmouth outside of their academic departments.

Because many of you are fully launched into a career, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that graduate students typically struggle for direction and focus throughout their years in graduate school.  The Graduate Alumni Research Award was created from your donations to provide students with financial support to do things that reward their own initiatives.  In this past year, we funded seven scholarships as listed below:

Barbara Stubbs, Master of Arts in Liberal Studies

Barbara is studying the identity that is expressed in Caribbean art and will research, identify and analyze contributing elements in a creative manner.   The funds will be used to allow her to conduct research in Jamaica.

Marcella Lucas, Neurology, Experimental and Molecular Medicine Marcella is researching the effect of early life epileptic seizures in animals with an abnormal brain.  The funds will be used to purchase 7 electrodes to record brain waves.

Josiah Proietti, Master of Arts in Liberal Studies

Josiah is studying the typology of rejection anxiety management styles through the initiation process of sexual relationships in college men.  The funds are being used to remunerate participants for their involvement in the study.

Ramsa Chaves-Ulloa, Biological Sciences

Ramsa will be investigating the ways in which land use, a factor known to affect aquatic insect community composition and emergence, affects the transport of nutrients, energy and contaminants from streams to terrestrial ecosystems.  The funds will be used to conduct mercury and isotopic analysis on spiders.

Max Overstrom-Coleman, Biology-Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Max is studying what is the relative importance of food and habitat provided by a foundation species, such as seagrasses, to marine food webs and fish?  The funds from this award would allow him to use state of the art stable isotope techniques at Dartmouth College.

Samuel Beal, Earth Sciences

Samuel is focused on developing records of aridity and wind dynamics from lakes in Peru to reconstruct tropical climate changes over the Holocene (the past 10,000 years.)  The funds will be used for dating samples using radiocarbon methods.

Wesley Whitaker, Master of Arts in Liberal Studies

Wesley will be researching Friedrich Von Hayek and John Maynard Keynes at Oxford University’s Exeter College.  The funding will be used for access to documents and travel.


I am writing to ask you to consider donating to the fund and take part in the Dartmouth tradition of alumni supporting current students. We use 100% of your donations to fund the annual Graduate Alumni Research Awards, and a new Graduate Studies Teaching Award.  If you think back to your own graduate days, imagine how much an award of $500 or $1000 would have meant to you.  Please contribute online.  We appreciate your ongoing support.

Contributing your time is also very welcome, and please do contact us if you would like to be more involved! Thank you for your time and active involvement with Dartmouth graduate students!



Brian W. Pogue, Ph.D., Dean of Graduate Studies at Dartmouth







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