Truman recognizes graduate studies

October normally is known for falling leaves, jack-o-lanterns and scary ghouls hanging from every other house, but this year on Truman State’s campus, October was known as Graduate Education Month.

Each year, the Missouri governor issues a proclamation stating when Graduate Education Week will occur during the year in an effort to further the growth of higher education among students.

Maria Di Stefano, dean of graduate studies, said previously Graduate Education Week was during April, but moved to October to coincide with the proclamation by Gov. Jay Nixon.

“When we started planning for this [Graduate Education Week], we decided that there were a number of activities that we actually wanted to put in place but did not fit within that week, so we decided to go with the celebration for the whole month,” Di Stefano said.

di Stefano said Truman has eight graduate programs — biology, music, English, education, communication disorders, accounting, leadership and school counseling — and approximately 350 students pursuing degree and non-degree programs.

Graduate students help out at Spooktacular Fun Night, a free speech and health clinic for the Kirksville community. Communication disorders graduate students hosted this event for Graduate Education Month. Photo by Courtney Kauffman.

di Stefano said nearly half of Truman students pursue graduate education and it is a path very much in tune with what Truman students want to do with their future.

“Graduate education is absolutely an essential part of the higher education system and in the U.S. the value that derives from it is extensive, so it’s a very important piece of what we do at Truman as well,” di Stefano said.

di Stefano said the one event which has been at the core of Graduate Education Week since its beginning is the graduate student appreciation lunch. di Stefano said this event is an opportunity for the students to take a break from what they are doing and get to know students in the other graduate programs.

Alumna Stephanie Dunn, graduate office secretary, said she mainly was in charge of putting the events together, collecting contact information, updating the website for Graduate Education Month and keeping the graduate students well-informed.

Dunn said the Graduate Education Month committee challenged each graduate program to host its own event for Graduate Education Month, which many programs accepted. The challenge, she said, not only was designed to spread aware-
ness of the graduate programs, but also to interact with and benefit the community in some way.

To learn more about Graduate Education Month, read the rest on Issuu.