Graduate Student Campus Climate Survey

Congratulations to Dr. Heinz on Receiving Kunze Award

Dr. Heinz accepting a plaque for the Kunze Award.

Pictured above are GSC Executive Vice President Amanda Rutherford (left), Dr. Kevin Heinz (center) and GSC President Brittany Bounds (right).
Photo by Charlotte Garroway.

The Office of Graduate and Professional Studies would like to congratulate our own Assistant Provost, Dr. Kevin Heinz, on receiving the Kunze Award from the TAMU Graduate Student Council.

Dr. Heinz received the award during a special ceremony on Monday, April 28, 2014 for his work and dedication with the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies and the Department of Entomology.

For more information about his work and accomplishments, view the full article provided by the Entomology Department.

Community of Scholars Event 2014

2014 Regional 3 Minute Thesis Competition at Conference of Southern Graduate Schools

There were 15 students competing in the regional competition from schools all over the southern US including SEC rivals University of Alabama and University of Georgia.  Of the 15 students competing two were chosen as Winner and Runner-up and two People’s Choice Awards were given. Kelly had an excellent 3 minute speech but unfortunately was not chosen for one of the four awards.

Regional Comp

Kelly Lemmons Talks About Creating a 3 Minute Thesis Presentation

Kelly Lemmons, winner of the inaugural 2013 Texas A&M 3 Minute Thesis Competition, shares advice on how to create a winning 3 Minute Thesis presentation.

Kelly Lemmons
Department: Geography
Degree Level: PhD
Advisor: Jonathan Smith
3MT Title: Short Term Study Abroad
Research Description: This research measures the degree to which students interact with the host culture on a short-term study abroad and offers suggestions to make the experience more impactful.

YouTube Preview Image

Campus Climate Assessment Studies Announced

The Office of Graduate and Professional Studies invites you to join us at the February 24 Campus Climate Work Session, where the results of the Spring 2012 Graduate Student Campus Climate Survey will be shared along with undergraduate student,  faculty and staff climate survey results. Most importantly, you will have the opportunity to engage in small group discussions to generate concrete recommendations to address graduate student campus climate concerns/problems identified through the survey process.  Your involvement in this work session would be valued and is important. Lunch will be provided. Information to RSVP is included below.

Attend the Announcement Session of the Campus Climate Assessment Studies

You are invited to a work session to discuss the results of recent faculty, staff, and student (graduate and undergraduate) campus climate assessments. Dr. Christine Stanley, Vice President and Associate Provost for Diversity, will provide an overview of current activities and challenges grounded in the campus climate assessments and state of diversity at Texas A&M.

Key Unit and University leaders will present results and challenges evident in the campus climate data for their respective groups. Working in structured groups, participants will have the opportunity to consider data and concerns from the campus climate assessments and generate actionable strategies to address those concerns.

February 24, 2014
9:30 AM – 12:30 PM
301 Rudder Tower

Session goals:

  • To report to the campus community how the results of the campus climate assessments have been used to create an inclusive and welcoming environment; and
  • To generate specific, concrete, and actionable recommendations, anchored to the assessment results, to create an inclusive and welcoming environment at Texas A&M University

Session Presenters and Facilitators:

Dr. Christine Stanley, Vice President and Associate Provost for Diversity
Dr. Michael Benedik, Dean of Faculties and Associate Provost
Dr. Laura Hammons, Director, Office of Graduate and Professional Studies
Dr. Merna Jacobsen, Chief of Staff to the Vice President for Finance and Administration
Ms. Janelle Ramirez, Interim Associate Vice President for Human Resources & Administrative Services
Dr. Jennifer Reyes, Director of Assessment for the Office of the Vice President and Associate Provost for Diversity
Dr. C.J. Woods, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs


To register, contact Kelley Robbins at or (979) 862-2926 by Monday, February 17, 2014.

  • If you require an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), please notify us at the time of registration.
  • Boxed lunches will be provided for registered participants.  Please note any dietary restrictions at the time of registration.

Click here to download the flyer: Campus Climate Assessment Studies – Flyer (PDF)

Texas A&M University to Increase the Number of Underrepresented Minorities Entering and Completing Their Doctorates in Energy and Sustainability

Texas A&M University announces receipt of National Science Foundation funding to lead a TAMU System-wide alliance that will increase the number of underrepresented graduate students transitioning to faculty positions in energy and sustainability.  The alliance also includes four, PhD-granting institutions in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (Prairie View A&M University, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Texas A&M-Kingsville, and West Texas A&M University) and six additional collaborating institutions (Tarleton State University, Texas A&M International University in Laredo, Texas A&M–San Antonio, Texas A&M –Texarkana, Texas A&M–Commerce, and Texas A&M University- Central Texas).  The Alliance has been awarded approximately $1.2 million over 42 months by the NSF Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) program to open multiple pathways to the doctorate and professoriate for underrepresented minority (URM) populations that have been historically underserved, geographically isolated, and place bound by successfully developing and sustaining large-scale, distributed STEM communities and cultures that promote access and success.

The NSF funding will allow the Alliance to operate as one cohesive unit to: 1) develop a robust cyber-enabled social and virtual infrastructure; 2) use existing Texas A&M University System Graduate Faculty infrastructure to allow graduate faculty at one TAMU System university to participate on the graduate committee and act as co-advisor for students at another System university; 3) use existing TAMUS administrative structures and communication technologies to coordinate AGEP activities with local STEM efforts and strategize on institutionalization of successful AGEP activities; 4) leverage existing Texas A&M System Pathways to the Doctorate program to facilitate fellowships among AGEP students and promote collaborative research of colleagues across the TAMUS; and 5) develop a multi-level, highly engaged mentoring structure..

Execution of these approaches will generate: 1) a replicable, transportable, and evidence-based model for sustainable strategies to remove barriers to participation and success of STEM URM doctoral students on their path to the professoriate; 2) infrastructure integrating TAMUS activities that will enable the future expansion of this model to additional interdisciplinary themes, thus expanding the impact of this approach; and 3) multiple paths to academic careers for URM STEM students by them obtaining the skills needed for academic positions in research-intensive as well as teaching-intensive universities, depending on their preference.

The TAMUS-AGEP program will also include a social science component. Dr. Adrienne Carter-Sowell, Assistant Professor in the Departments of Psychology and Africana Studies, will lead the Social Science research project. The core research question, examined through four hypotheses, is if and how URM STEM graduate students experience their campuses’ climates differently in terms of feelings of inclusion verses isolation, than their majority status colleagues, and how this impacts commitment, persistence and success along the path to the professoriate.  The results of this research will inform the Alliance’s efforts to identify and address key factors that affect success of URM STEM graduate students and their advancement to the professoriate in various institutional settings.

This NSF-funded AGEP program includes a directive as stated in NSF 12-554 ( that the program “must focus on underrepresented minority, U.S. citizens in STEM graduate education, and/or postdoctoral training, and their preparation for academic STEM careers at all types of institutions of higher education.”  The National Science Foundation’s AGEP program is committed to the national goal of increasing the numbers of African Americans, Hispanic Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders (URMs), including URMs with disabilities entering and completing graduate education and postdoctoral training to levels representative of the available pool of URMs.  For more information regarding the TAMUS-AGEP program, please log onto

Videos of Finalists for 3 Minute Thesis Now Available

Winners and People’s Choice Awarded for 3 Minute Thesis Competition

Kelly Lemmons - Winner

Dr. Butler-Purry, Associate Provost for the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies, pictured with Kelly Lemmons, winner of the 2013 TAMU 3 Minute Thesis competition.

Congratulations to Kelly Lemmons who was the winner of the 3 Minute Thesis competition. Mr. Lemmons will advance and represent Texas A&M University at the 3 Minute Thesis competition hosted by the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools in San Antonio, TX on February 22, 2014.

Kelly Lemmon’s Department: Geography
Degree Level: PhD
Advisor: Jonathan Smith
3MT Title: Short Term Study Abroad
Research Description: this research measures the degree to which students interact with the host culture on a short-term study abroad and offers suggestions to make the experience more impactful.

Matthew Berg - Runner-Up

Matthew Berg, Runner-Up, giving his presentation during the 2013 TAMU 3 Minute Thesis competition.



The judges also selected a Runner-Up title for the competition which was given to Matthew Berg.

Matthew Berg’s Department: Ecosystem Science and Management
Degree Level: PhD
Advisor: Dr. Brad Wilcox
3MT Title: Long-term chances Of Dynamic  Rangelands and Impacts On Water Resources
Research Description: using airborne and satellite photography combined with lake sediment analysis, I investigate how rangelands have changed since the beginning of the 20th century and what that means for water supplies in the future.

The attending audience voted for their favorite particpant and selected the People’s Choice award which went to Rhushabh Bhandari.

Rhushabh Bhandari - People's Choice

Rhushabh Bhandari, voted as People’s Choice, presenting during the 2013 TAMU 3 Minute Thesis competition.

Rhushabh Bhandari’s Department: Computer Science & Engineering
Degree Level: Masters
Advisor: Dr. Ricardo Gutierrez-Osuna
3MT Title: Biofeedback Mobile Games for Stress Management
Research Description: We have developed methods to detect heart rate and respiration rate using the mobile camera. We will integrate this with applications to reduce stress in a user such as biofeedback based mobile games.

Congratulations to the 3 Minute Thesis winners and thank you to the judges for the competition! We had a great turnout at the 3 Minute Thesis event on Thursday, November 21, 2013. Over 100 faculty, staff, and students joined us for the inaugural competition.

3MT Winners & Judges

The judges and winners pictured left to right: Dr. Joanne Lupton, Dr. Christine Ehlig-Economides, Dr. Joe Feagin, Rhushabh Bhandari – People’s Choice, Matthew Berg – Runner-Up, Kelly Lemmons – Winner, Dr. John Crompton, Ms. Brittney Bounds, and Dr. Deborah Bell-Pedersen.


Aggies Place First and Second at the 11th Annual Pathways Student Research Symposium

The 11th Annual Texas A&M University System Pathways Student Research Symposium was hosted by Texas A&M University, Kingsville on November 8.  Symposium participants included more than 500 undergraduate, masters, and doctoral students, and a total of 58 oral and 378 poster presentations on cutting edge research.  A panel of judges evaluated each of the student oral and poster presentations according to content, presentation, and organization or preparation.

Two Texas A&M University students, Natividad Robert Fuentes and Sonia Marrero placed first and second, respectively, in the category of poster presentations – doctoral.  Mr. Fuentes, advised by Dr. Robert S. Chapkin in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, presented his research on the use of intramolecular fluorescence resonance energy transfer biosensors to evaluate the effects of lipophilic natural compounds on Ras activiation.   These data are noteworthy because hyperactivated Ras is associated with the progression of colorectal cancer.  Ms. Marrero, advised by Dr. Norvella Carter in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Culture, presented her research on professional development in an urban, diverse school district.  She shared the results of a Cultural Awareness and Beliefs Inventory used to measure the perceptions of 1873 urban teachers about their African American students and how a professional development program was created to improve instruction for African American learners.

Congratulations to Natividad and Sonia in this Texas A&M University System-wide student research competition!  The 12th Annual Pathways Student Research Symposium will take place in Fall, 2014.  Plan ahead, and watch for announcements of the symposium in Summer 2014.