|Pat Mooney-Melvin, associate dean of the graduate school at Loyola-Chicago, presents on joint and dual degrees to representatives of AJCU graduate programs. Submitted photos
Saint Louis University's Office of Graduate Education hosted the Association of Jesuit Universities and Colleges (AJCU) annual graduate administrators meeting March 14-16. The graduate group is one of nearly 30 AJCU affinity groups. This is the first time SLU has hosted the conference.
"The AJCU affinity groups provide an excellent opportunity to relate mission to our everyday responsibilities and to share best practices in achieving mission and goals," said Diana Carlin, Ph.D., associate vice president for Graduate Education. "SLU had an opportunity as host to highlight some of our programs and to help set the agenda for discussion. The group's openness and willingness to collaborate resulted in many ideas that will help us better serve SLU graduate students and faculty."
The three-day event was designed to share best practices and develop collaborations among the AJCU graduate programs. Carlin developed the program based on suggestions from administrators at other universities. In keeping with a charge given to all affinity group conference chairs by AJCU President Gregory Lucey, S.J., the conference focused on the role of mission in graduate education and considered how to incorporate the AJCU's strategic goals of collaboration among the members, effective presence in Washington on issues affecting higher education, mission and identity formation, and international collaborations among Jesuit schools.
Specific session topics included joint and dual-degree programs, funding interdisciplinary degree programs, diversity recruitment, career planning for graduate degree holders, the role of associate deans, and incorporating mission into graduate degree programs and support services for graduate students.
Twenty administrators from across the country and six SLU graduate administrators participated. Paul Stark, S.J., vice president for Mission and Ministry, led the group's first session on understanding mission. Jan Barber, associate dean for Graduate Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences, participated on the associate deans panel. Diana Carlin was on the joint and dual degree program session. Don Highberger, S.J., led a brainstorming session on achieving the AJCU goals. And lastly, Cherell Johnson, master's candidacy advisor; Michael Hankins, graduate student in applied and integrated sciences; Jordan Wilson, graduate student in public health; and Karissa Anderson, a future SLU graduate student in social work served on a panel discussing SLU's award-winning Program GRAD for diversity recruitment.