*Updated* Graduate School Wins 2012 WAGS/ETS Award for Excellence and Innovation

Associate Dean Mia Tuan with the WAGS/ETS Award certificate

In light of its “outstanding contributions to graduate education” and its role in actively promoting increased diversity in the STEM disciplines, the University of Oregon Graduate School has been named the winner of the 2011-2012 WAGS/ETS Award for Excellence and Innovation.

Presented by Education Testing Service’s (ETS) GRE® and TOEFL® programs, the award honors a Western Association of Graduate Schools (WAGS) member institution for implementing a specific program that has advanced excellence, innovation, and diverse participation in graduate education. The UO Graduate School was recognized for fostering and funding a synergistic collaboration of the Summer Program for Undergraduate Research (SPUR) and the Center on Diversity and Community (CoDaC). SPUR aims to change the face of the next generation of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) scientists by providing opportunities for underrepresented students to participate in ongoing research in life sciences laboratories.

“This award reflects the widespread recognition of the innovative work that is happening at the Graduate School in collaboration with our campus partners,” says Kimberly Andrews Espy, vice president for research and innovation and dean of the Graduate School.  “UO recognizes that excellence is achieved through diversity and is working hard to provide students from all backgrounds access to advanced graduate study.”

Mia Tuan, associate dean of the Graduate School and director of the Center on Diversity and Community, adds, “This project provides an important model for how graduate schools can work effectively with pipeline programs to increase diversity and inclusiveness.”

SPUR received support through the Graduate School’s 2010-2011 Innovations in Graduate Education Track 2 initiative. Sandra Morgen, vice provost for graduate studies and associate dean of the Graduate School, observes that “By providing undergraduate students with research experience prior to their applying to graduate school, the SPUR program is enhancing not only their qualifications for admission, but also the skills and abilities needed to be successful in STEM fields.”

Tuan accepted the WAGS/ETS award on behalf of the Graduate School at the annual meeting of WAGS in Fort Collins, Colorado, on March 20. The award consists of a certificate and a $2,500 grant to support graduate recruitment, admissions, or retention programs.


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