Providing Community

“We don’t turn anyone away,” says Maria Erb. “Ever,” Kathy Wood adds emphatically.

Maria and Kathy, co-directors of The Graduate School’s Diversity and Student Success Program (DSS), know that diverse experiences, backgrounds, viewpoints and contributions are key elements to everyone’s success. Large institutions like UNC “aren’t successful unless their student body looks like our country.” The Graduate School has broadly defined diversity to include as many students as possible in its efforts to contribute to each student’s graduation. Are you a graduate student? From another country? A student of color? Military-affiliated? LGBTQIA+-identifying? All of these identities? Maria and Kathy have developed initiatives that will meet your needs and provide you with community.

When the Diversity and Student Success Program began at The Graduate School in 2014, it was small. Small as in few students, limited programming, minimal staff and lots of questions about where funding would come from. But there was passion for the work and a recognized need to attract and retain diverse graduate students. Since then, the program has changed and expanded and is now a national model. Its five diversity initiatives and one recruitment initiative serve the diverse population of approximately 9,000 graduate and professional students.

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