2013-14 Innovations in Graduate Education

The following proposals, selected through a competitive process in spring 2013, began in the 2013-2014 academic year.

Track 1: Supporting Graduate Specializations
During the 2013-14 academic year the Graduate School has provided support for four new graduate specializations.

  • Culture, Identity, and Politics (CIP) Graduate Specialization – The CIP specialization will bring together scholars with shared interests in using the theories and methods of cultural studies – and its attention to narrative, identity, discourse, and representation – to questions of political power, order and change. Jointly sponsored by the Departments of Political Science and English, graduate students designed to draw students from any program at the UO will be eligible and encouraged to apply.
  • Graduate Specialization in Neuroscience – Anchored in the Biology and Psychology departments, the graduate specialization in neuroscience has two overriding objectives. The first is to produce innovative, intellectually critical, and experimentally skilled neuroscientists with an interdisciplinary outlook. The second is to foster interdisciplinary research at the intersection between cellular neuroscience and cognitive neuroscience. Although UO is already a nationally recognized center for neuroscience research, this graduate specialization will for establish for the first time a common curriculum across the neurosciences in Biology and Psychology.
  • Specialization in Spanish Language Psychological Service and Research – The rapid increase in Spanish-speaking populations in the U.S., barriers to educational and mental health access have created a need for psychological services for monolingual Spanish-speaker. In response to this need, the Counseling Psychology program has sponsored a specialization in Spanish language psychology service and research for graduate students possessing conversational Spanish language skills.
  • Graduate Specialization in Food Studies – Food is central to human life and in the past five years food has emerged as a new and vibrant area of study among UO faculty and students. The Food Studies graduate specialization builds on this foundation to create an inclusive and developmental process. The specialization, open to students from any discipline, offers more space to collaborate, innovate and publish within this burgeoning academic field.   


Track 2: Recruiting and Retaining Diverse Graduate Students
The second track for Innovations in Graduate Education is a recurring theme focused on diversity in graduate education. The Graduate School has partnered with the Center on Diversity and Community (CoDaC) to provide expertise and seed funding to:

  1. Develop effective recruitment and retention strategies to attract and retain a more diverse graduate student body, broadly defined, and;
  2. Create inclusive learning environments for all graduate students.

This year the Department of Architecture received funding in recognition of their commitment to promoting a diverse and inclusive environment within the department. Now in its third year, previous Track 2 recipients include Couples & Family Therapy, Summer Program for Undergraduate Research (SPUR), Anthropology, and the Institute of Neuroscience (ION).

“The Graduate School is so pleased to see such a high level of commitment from our graduate programs to creating inclusive student environments and in recognizing the vital importance of recruiting and retaining diverse students," said Mia Tuan, Associate Dean of the Graduate School and Director of CoDaC.

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