Phase II: Graduate Division Implementation

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Together, we will formulate and prioritize the most effective implementation strategy moving forward. 

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Laurence Bray

Associate Provost for Graduate Education,

Office of the Provost 

The Charge

The Graduate Education Reimagine Task Force, composed of representatives from each college and school, the Faculty Senate, Graduate Council, Graduate Student Association, and a variety of other stakeholders, provided a comprehensive set of recommendations for strategic enhancements of graduate education at Mason.

Based on these recommendations, Mason Senior Leadership is excited to initiate an implementation planning process leading to the creation of a Graduate Division, anticipated to begin in fall 2022. The overall goal is to develop an iterative implementation plan that would enable the Graduate Division to elevate Mason graduate education programs and support Mason’s graduate faculty and graduate students. The goal is to support a culture for graduate education at Mason that will foster a collaborative culture of academic excellence and contribute to the research productivity and the workforce development appropriate to an R1 institution.

Guided by specific strategic goals, four advisory teams will work together to help Dr. Laurence Bray, Associate Provost for Graduate Education, formulate the most effective implementation strategy.

Leadership & Strategic Goals

Implementation Team

Laurence Bray (Chair)
Associate Provost for Graduate Education, Office of the Provost 

Stephen McWilliams
Executive Director of Finance and Planning, Office of the Provost
Representing: Administration, Finance and Planning

Susan Woodruff
Director of Academic Program Development, Office of the Provost
Representing: Academic Affairs, State Council of Higher Education for Virginia Liaison

Molli Herth
Program Manager for Faculty Affairs & Development, Office of the Provost
Representing: Project Management

Blue Advisory Group Members & Goals

Debra Isaacs-Kasemi
Solutions Analyst, Information Technology Services         
Representing: Information Technology Services, Systems Integration

Elijah Earl
Assistant Director, Data Management, Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Planning  
Representing: Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Planning, Data Access & Reporting

Jason McKnight
Associate Director for Graduate Academic Success, Office of the Provost
Representing: Graduate Education, Graduate Student Success

Juliet Blank-Godlove
Dean of Students, University Life             
Representing: University Life, Graduate Student Life and Services

Kimberly Macvaugh*
Policy and Government Librarian, Arlington Campus Library, University Libraries 
Representing: University Libraries, University Dissertation and Thesis Services

Marguerite Rippy*
Associate Dean of Graduate Academic Affairs, College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Representing: Graduate Council

Natalie Burls
Graduate Program Director, Climate Dynamics and Associate Professor, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences, College of Science    
Representing: Graduate Program Director and Faculty

Patricia Appiah
Research Analyst, Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Planning
Representing: Data Access and Reporting

Rebecca Sutter
Assistant Professor, School of Nursing, College of Health and Human Services
Representing: Faculty Senate

Saskia Campbell (Chair)
Executive Director, University Career Services
Representing: University Life, University Career Services

Steven Zhou*
Doctoral Student, Psychology, College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Representing: Graduate and Professional Student Assembly

Guided by specific strategic goals, this group will work together to help Dr. Laurence Bray, Associate Provost for Graduate Education, formulate the most effective implementation strategy to:

  • Increase the number of graduate degrees conferred, with a priority at the doctoral level  
  • Improve graduate time-to-degree, with a focus on full-time doctoral students  
  • Improve graduate retention, with an emphasis on first-generation and underserved students  
  • Increase the participation in and equalize the access to career and professional development opportunities offered across graduate programs  
  • Optimize the graduate student experience and engagement across graduate programs   

*Graduate Education Reimagine Task Force member

Green Advisory Group Members & Goals

Chris DiTeresi (Chair)
Associate Director for Research Integrity and University Affiliate Faculty of Philosophy, College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Representing: Research Conduct and Integrity

James Parrish
Assistant Vice President, Corporate and Foundation Relations, Office of University Advancement and Alumni Relations
Representing: Alumni, External Relations and Advancement

Jeremy Campbell
Assistant Director of Strategic Engagement and Affiliate Faculty, Sociology and Anthropology, College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Representing: Research and External Partnerships

JP Singh
Professor, Schar School of Policy and Government
Representing: Faculty and Graduate Programs

Kimberly Maze
Reporting and Systems Administrator, Office of Sponsored Programs
Representing: Research

Parag Chitnis*
Associate Professor, Bioengineering, Volgenau School of Engineering, College of Engineering and Computing
Representing: Graduate Program Director, Graduate Education and Faculty

Paula Sorrell
Associate Vice President, Innovation and Economic Development, Office of Research
Representing: Research, Commercialization and Economic Impact

Siddhartha Sikdar
Professor, Bioengineering, Volgenau School of Engineering, College of Engineering and Computing
Representing: Faculty and Trans-diciplinary Centers

Guided by specific strategic goals, this group will work together to help Dr. Laurence Bray, Associate Provost for Graduate Education, formulate the most effective implementation strategy to:

  • Increase multi-year and competitive graduate assistantships and scholarships, especially from sponsored research   
  • Increase student and fellow access to inter- and trans-disciplinary education and research opportunities  
  • Increase student and fellow engagement with external partners and the community  
  • Increase funding from philanthropic and advancement initiatives   

*Graduate Education Reimagine Task Force member

Orange Advisory Group Members & Goals

Anastasia Kitsantas
Director, PhD in Education Program and Professor, School of Education, College of Education and Human Development
Representing: Graduate Program Director and Faculty

Debra Isaacs-Kasemi
Solutions Analyst, Information Technology Services
Representing: Information Technology Services, Systems Integration

Doug McKenna
University Registrar, Office of the University Registrar
Representing: Academic Affairs, University Registrar

Jennifer Bazaz Gettys (Chair)
Director, Enrollment, and Curriculum Management, College of Science
Representing: Curriculum Management

Matt Smith
Director of Accreditation, Office of the Provost
Representing: Academic Affairs, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Matthew DeSantis
Executive Director for Institutional Effectiveness , Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Planning
Representing: Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Planning, Academic Program Review and Data Reporting

Michael Bloom
Associate Professor, Global and Community Health, College of Health and Human Services
Representing: Faculty and Graduate Programs

Paige Wolf*
Associate Dean, Graduate Programs, School of Business
Representing: Faculty and Graduate Council

Pallavi Rai Gullo
Director, Graduate Academic and Student Affairs, Office of the Provost
Representing: Graduate Education, Graduate Policies & Procedures

Guided by specific strategic goals, this group will work together to help Dr. Laurence Bray, Associate Provost for Graduate Education, formulate the most effective implementation strategy to:

  • Improve graduate programs’ quality and rigor  
  • Elevate graduate programs’ ranking and reputation  
  • Maintain academic standards and ensure consistency and compliance 

*Graduate Education Reimagine Task Force member

Red Advisory Group Members & Goals

Caitlin Shear
Senior Director, Integrated Enrollment Marketing Communications, Office of the Provost
Representing: Enrollment Management, Marketing

Dawn Anderson Kelley*
Graduate Admissions and Recruitment, College of Visual and Performing Arts
Representing: Graduate Admissions Operations Liaisons

Jeff Offutt
Associate Chair, Volgenau School of Engineering College of Engineering and Computing
Representing: Graduate Program Director and Faculty

Jenny Chism (Chair)
Director of Admissions Operations, Enrollment Management
Representing: Enrollment Management, Admissions and Enrollment

Kevin Connor*
Admissions Counselor, Graduate Programs and Master's Student, School of Business
Representing: Graduate and Professional Student Assembly

Purshara Church
Associate Director, Technology  Admissions
Representing: Enrollment Management, Target X

Reeti Bibhuti
Salesforce Technical Administrator, Information Technology Services
Representing: Information Technology Services, Salesforce

Thomas Flores*
Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Programs, Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution    
Representing: Graduate Program Director and Faculty

Guided by specific strategic goals, this group will work together to help Dr. Laurence Bray, Associate Provost for Graduate Education, formulate the most effective implementation strategy to:

  • Increase full-time doctoral enrollment in current doctoral programs (Full-time classification: 9 enrolled credits per semester (or 6 + GA)  
  • Increase master’s and graduate certificate enrollment in current programs  
  • Improve yield rates at both the master’s and doctoral level (Yield rate: Percentage of number of enrolled graduate students from number of admitted graduate students) 

*Graduate Education Reimagine Task Force member