N Degree th
VOLUME 1, ISSUE 3
A Degree Above the Rest Vision 2020 and Graduate Education By Tracey Wellington A Graduate Student Council Newsletter
There has been a lot of buzz about Vision 2020 over the past few months. What have we done as a University and how far are we from our goal? In her address at the 2008 Convocation and Investiture, TAMU President Dr. Elsa Murano highlighted initiatives that the university planned to implement to make Vision 2020 a reality. The excerpt below is a highlight of Dr. Murano’s speech outlining Vision 2020 plans with regards to graduate education: While I am pleased to report that we have a record 9,100 graduate students on our campus this fall, the question of accessibility applies to this student population as well. Having more and higher‐quality students at the graduate level is critical to our teaching and research mission. A highly ranked graduate school increases the value of every Texas A&M degree, and provides experiences that four‐year universities simply can’t offer. But this is also an important issue for our state’s economic future. If we want to attract high‐tech industries to Texas, we must be able to offer a highly educated workforce. We are lagging behind other states in this effort. For example, out of 48 Texas students who competed in the National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship Program, 32 of these students left the state in pursuit of a graduate degree. The economic growth of the state depends on students completing their doctorates in Texas universities—and then building, maintaining, and growing successful businesses and research programs in the State of Texas. To combat this problem, we will request funds from the Legislature for a program we call ‘Keeping Texas Scholars in Texas.’ This money would be used to provide incentive funds for “superstar” students who graduate from a Texas college or university to continue their graduate education here at Texas A&M. Excerpt from Dr. Murano’s 2008 Convocation and Investiture address
Upcoming 6 Events General 7‐8 info/Study Break
The Nth Degree is a publication of the Graduate Student Council at Texas A&M University. 1
Continued on Pg. 2…
Most likely you are unaware of the exact goals of Vision 2020 with regards to graduate education. Imperative 2 in Vision 2020 is dedicated to strengthening graduate programs. There are many other initiatives that indirectly affect the future of graduate education at A&M, but imperative 2 highlights the Universities’ vision for graduate education Vision 2020 Imperative 2: Strengthening our Graduate Programs PRECEPT: INCREASE THE SIZE AND QUALITY OF THE GRADUATE POPULATION Texas A&M University aspires for graduate education to play an expanded role in our institutional life. Graduate students should make up a greater proportion of the student body and more should come from the best institutions in the nation and the world. Enhanced ability to attract and retain graduate students and provide the framework in which they can complete their studies as full participants in the community of scholars is essential for healthy growth in graduate programs. Many forces affect our ability to attract the brightest graduate students. The state’s view of the graduate student must be differentiated from the well‐understood need to serve our own population of undergraduates. Stipends, insurance benefits, tuition waivers, and other forms of financial support are important for effective results. However, if our response to the challenge stops there, a key ingredient to graduate student life remains beyond our reach. Avenues must be found to involve graduate students more in the creative enterprise of higher education, to make them contributing members of the academic community. Incorporating the work of graduate students into the mainstream work of the university will ensure a more energetic, high‐quality engagement with the faculty and pursuits of the institution. GOALS: Create a climate that welcomes graduate students as part of the community of scholars and increase the size of the graduate student population while maintaining present numbers of undergraduate students. Increase the proportion of graduate students to 30 percent of the student population, while developing financial resources, influencing state policy, and refining the academic culture that support excellence in graduate education. Specifically, make financial support for graduate students competitive with that of the best institutions. Recruit top students. Recruit 75 percent of graduate students from institutions other than Texas A&M University and 50 percent from outside Texas. Develop more master’s degree programs. Have 20 percent of the student body enrolled in master’s programs. Impact the quality of higher education in the 21st century by providing graduate students excellent preparation as teachers as well as researchers. Give responsible training in pedagogy to graduate teaching assistants and to graduate students seeking academic careers. Post‐doctoral study should be increased for graduates of Texas A&M University as well as for those from peer institutions. Double the number of post‐doctoral fellows. Advance Texas A&M University’s information technology strategies and infrastructure to position us to be a world leader in the development and delivery of education in the 21st Century.
Increase to 50 percent the proportion of the master’s population enrolled in distance and other non‐ traditional master’s offerings. PRECEPT: CREATE A COMPREHENSIVE RANGE OF PROGRAMS All programs should be responsive to student needs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Graduate programs in particular should be flexible and cover a range of issues that are current, subject to change, sensitive to changing economic, social, and cultural developments, and broad enough to create critical mass for the graduate student. The last consideration speaks directly to the quality of graduate student life in the university. Excellent science programs must be balanced with excellent humanities programs at the graduate level. Focus, the primary characteristic of graduate study, does not alleviate the responsibility of the university to provide breadth so that graduate study is informed from a number of perspectives. Texas A&M University must respond to this notion and commit to providing a range of graduate programs that is both balanced and of the highest quality. One distinguishing characteristic of great public universities is that they have many graduate offerings, and all are strong or improving. GOALS: New programs need to be created in areas that are central to quality graduate study and that would contribute to overall enhancement of the university. Commit to an implementation plan that identifies and initiates graduate programs in the humanities and social sciences that are configured to achieve distinction. Texas A&M University should assume a leadership role for graduate education in the Texas A&M University System. Create special opportunities, such as articulation agreements, for graduate students from System institutions and have 10 percent of total graduate enrollment from those institutions. These are ambitious goals, especially since this is one of twelve imperatives. And with twelve more years to go lots more needs to be done to attain the goals outlined above. What are your opinions on the goals for graduate student programs? How much do you think have been achieved so far and are there any other ideas you think should be addressed to improve graduate programs and the graduate experience? As the University begins to create an Academic Master Plan, your feedback is very important in making Texas A&M University the best value for graduate education. Please send comments about this article to email@example.com. The full version of Vision 2020 can be found at http://www.tamu.edu/vision2020/.
TRADITION SPOTLIGHT: Midnight Yell
Yell practice began in 1913, when different corps companies would gather together to “learn heartily the old time prep.” However, in 1931, the first actual Midnight Yell came about before a t.u. (what Aggies call The University of Texas at Austin) game. It began when a group of cadets suggested that all of the freshmen meet on the steps of the YMCA building at midnight. The cadets notified Senior Yell leaders Horsefly Berryhill and Two Gun Herman from Sherman, and they hinted that they may show up to the event. The word spread around campus, and when the freshmen arrived, there were railroad flares and torpedoes stuck in flower pots around the YMCA building to light the area, making this the first official Midnight Yell. Today, when the Ags play at home, Yell Practice is at Kyle Field. If the Ags play on the road, Yell Practice takes place at a designated location in the town or area where the game is played. Yell Practice begins when the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band marches into Kyle Field, with the Yell Leaders carrying flaming torches. Thousands of students, former students, and fans make their way to Kyle Field where they gather together and ʺpracticeʺ yells. During Midnight Yell, the crowd also sings The Aggie War Hymn and The Spirit of Aggieland. During Yell Practice, both a junior and senior Yell Leader tell a traditional Aggie fable (usually a good‐natured jab directed at the opposing team and their fans) that fire up the Aggie faithful. Lastly, the lights go out, and the Aggies kiss their dates. If they do not have a date, all they do is “flick their Bic”. As the story goes, the light from the flames make it easier for two dateless people to find each other, and maybe they won’t be dateless anymore. The overall purpose of Midnight Yell is to pump up the Twelfth Man for the next day’s big game.
Fightinʹ Texas Aggie War Hymn
Spirit of Aggieland
Hullabaloo, Caneck! Caneck! Hullabaloo, Caneck! Caneck! Good‐bye to Texas University. So long to the Orange and White. Good luck to the dear old Texas Aggies; They are the boys who show the real old fight. The eyes of Texas are upon you. That is the song they sing so well, (Sounds like hell) So, good‐bye to Texas University, Weʹre goinʹ to beat you all to ‐‐ Chig‐gar‐roo‐gar‐rem! Chig‐gar‐roo‐gar‐rem! Rough! Tough! Real stuff! Texas A&M! Saw Varsityʹs Horns Off (normally follows War Hymn) Saw Varsityʹs Horns Off! Saw Varsityʹs Horns Off! Saw Varsityʹs Horns Off! Short! A! Varsityʹs Horns are Sawed Off! Varsityʹs Horns are Sawed Off! Varsityʹs Horns are Sawed Off! Short! A!
Some may boast of prowess bold Of the school they think so grand But thereʹs a spirit can neʹer be told Itʹs the Spirit of Aggieland. (Chorus) We are the Aggies ‐ the Aggies are we True to each other as Aggies can be Weʹve got to FIGHT boys Weʹve got to fight! Weʹve got to fight for Maroon and White After theyʹve boosted all the rest They will come and join the best For we are the Aggies ‐ the Aggies are we Weʹre from Texas A.M.C. Hump It Ags T‐E‐X‐A‐S A‐G‐G‐I‐E Fight! Fight! Fight‐fight‐fight! Fight! Maroon! White‐White‐White! A‐G‐G‐I‐E Texas! Texas! A‐M‐C! Gig ʹem, Aggies, 1‐2‐3 Farmers fight! Farmers fight! Fight! Fight! Farmers, farmers fight! A! Whoop!
AGGIE SPOTLIGHT Zengchao Hao President of Chinese Students and Scholars Association Where are you originally from? “Shandong Province in China” Where did you complete your undergraduate degree and master degree? “I completed my undergraduate degree at China Agriculture University in China, with the major of Agriculture Engineering and I completed my Master’s degree at Tsinghua University, with the major in Civil Engineering and I am now a Doctoral student specializing in Biological and Agricultural Engineering.” Can you describe what your current research is? “My research area is water resources and hydrology, and the specific area that I work in is drought analysis.” What is the name and main purpose of the organization that you represent? “The name is Chinese Students and Scholars Association and we have two main goals; first, to provide social activities and service to students, scholars, and their family members; second, to facilitate academic and cultural exchange and promote the understanding and friendship between the people of China and the United States. We currently have over 1,000 members at Texas A&M, and a majority of those individuals are graduate students.” What are some of the events that are available to students through CSSA? “We provide social, academic, and cultural aspects in our organization. The social part is throwing parties that offer both entertainment and celebrates traditions that are native to the Chinese culture at the same time, and the academic part being in the workshops and seminars made available to the students in order to help them troubleshoot the problems that might occur during the search for a career. The cultural aspect is in that we hold or attend various kinds of cultural displays to showcase our culture and get to know other cultures.” What was your reason for joining the Graduate Student Council? “My reason for joining the GSC is to represent the CSSA, since a great majority of our students are graduates students, which ensures our questions and concerns are recognized.” What is your favorite Aggie tradition? “My favorite Aggie tradition is the 12th Man, actually, I like all of them. I feel that the fact that there are many traditions at A&M is what sets it apart from other universities.” Is there anything else that you would like our readers to know? “I would like to welcome all students to join CSSA, it is not just for Chinese students, in fact, we currently have an American on our executive staff. Our main goal is to facilitate understanding and communication, not just between United States and China, but between all countries. Also if you would like to join, you can visit our website at www.tamu.edu/cssa, and request information from any one of the executives.”
Band, Performer: Esther Eng, Jun Huang, Rachel Jamison (from left to right) 5
UPCOMING EVENTS Tuesday, October 21: GSC Meeting 5:15pm Koldus, Room 144 Tuesday, October 28: Grad Student Town Hall Meeting 5:30pm Koldus, Room 111 Tuesday, November 4: GSC Meeting 5:15pm Koldus, Room 144
SOCIALS Friday, October 17: Midnight Yell/Graduate Social Social Starts at 10:15pm MSC 292 Midnight Yell starts at 12am Kyle Field Wednesday, October 22: National Campus Sustainability Day Rudder Plaza Sunday, October 26: Graduate Student Recreation(Yoga) 7:00‐8:00pm REC CENTER, Room 301 **PASS IS REQUIRED** (You can pick up your pass at Cain Hall C114 M‐F 8:00am‐5:00pm. Passes may be picked up anytime until the Friday before the Sunday class. Class is limited to the first 40 people.) Wednesday, October 29: Halloween Social at Fox and the Hound University Drive 7:00‐10:00pm **REGISTRATION REQUIRED** and now open at http://studentlife.tamu.edu/agoss/ programs/MixNMingle/ Sunday, November 2: Graduate Student Recreation(Yoga) 7:00‐8:00pm REC CENTER, Room 301 **PASS IS REQUIRED** Sunday, November 9: Graduate Student Recreation (Zumba) 7:00‐8:00pm REC CENTER, Room 301 **PASS IS REQUIRED**
WORKSHOPS/SEMINARS Monday, October 20: Writing and Plagarism w/Valerie Balester 5:30‐6:30pm Rudder Tower, Room 401
October 17‐November 17 Wednesday, October 22: Academic Job Application 3:00‐4:00pm Rudder Tower, Room 302 And/or Leading with Your Strengths 4:00‐7:00pm **REGISTRATION REQUIRED** and now open at http://studentlife.tamu.edu/agoss/ programs/MixNMingle/ Thursday, October 23: Is Buying a Home Right for You? 11:30am‐1:00pm Rudder Tower, Room 502 Thursday, October 30: The Academic Interview 3:00‐4:00pm Rudder Tower, Room 302 Monday, November 3: MSC Renovation and Expansion Project 3:00pm Rudder Tower Friday, November 7: I:Cite: Using Electronic Tools to Help You Organize and Cite Your Sources Noon‐1:30pm Sterlings Evan Library204E **REGISTRATION REQUIRED** and now open at http://studentlife.tamu.edu/agoss/ programs/MixNMingle/ and/or Covey’s 7 Habits Workshop 4:00‐7:00pm **REGISTRATION REQUIRED** and now open at http://studentlife.tamu.edu/agoss/ programs/MixNMingle/ Saturday, November 8: Covey’s 7 Habits Workshop 9:00am‐5:00pm and now open at http://studentlife.tamu.edu/agoss/ programs/MixNMingle/
AGGIE SPORTING EVENTS Friday, October 17: Women’s Softball vs. Marron and White Series 4:00pm and/or Women’s Volleyball vs. Baylor 6:30pm
Saturday, October 18: Men’s Football vs.(#5) Texas Tech 11:10am Sunday, October 19: Women’s Soccer vs. Missouri 1:30pm Thursday, October 23: Men’s Baseball vs Fall World Series: Game 1 3:00pm Friday, October 24: Men’s Baseball vs Fall World Series: Game 2 3:00pm Saturday, October 25: Women’s Volleyball vs Kansas 6:30pm and/or Men’s Tennis: ITA Regionals All Day Sunday, October 26: Men’s Tennis: ITA Regionals All Day
Monday, October 27: Men’s Baseball vs Fall World Series:Game 3 3:00pm and/or Men’s Tennis: ITA Regionals All Day
Tuesday, October 28: Men’s Baseball vs Fall World Series:Game 4 3:00pm and/or Men’s Tennis: ITA Regionals All Day
Wednesday, October 29: Women’s Softball: Intramurual Scrimmage 4:00pm and/or Men’s Baseball vs Fall World Series:Game 5 6:00pm
Friday, October 31: Men’s and Women’s Swimming vs Penn State 6:30pm Saturday, November 1: Men’s Football vs Colorado 1:00pm Wednesday, November 5: Men’s Basketball vs Kingsville 7:00pm and/or Women’s Volleyball vs Nebraska 6:30pm Saturday, November 8: Men’s Football vs. Oklahoma 1:00pm
8 9 10
ACROSS 1.Everything seen on the ____ ____represents a value that an Aggie should hold. 3. A Living Memorial on the Texas A&M campus. 8. A time to look to the past, present, and future…not only to grieve but to reflect and to celebrate the lives that connect us to one another. 10. This tradition was born when an underdog Aggie team was playing the nationʹs top ranked team. 11. The official spirit organization of the university and they lead Aggie fans in “yells” during athletic events and other school events. 13. The goal is to promote understanding and communication about research among disciplines, as well as to the public, thereby promoting a positive university research environment. 14. The official greeting of Texas A&M University. 16. The largest, one‐day, student‐run service project in the nation where students of Texas A&M University come together to say ‘thank you’ to the residents of Bryan and College Station.
17. First lady of Aggieland.
DOWN 2. President of Texas A&M University 4. Held for a graduate or undergraduate student who passes away while enrolled at A&M. 5. Main purpose is to develop well‐educated leaders of character prepared to provide values‐based leadership and service in the public and private sectors. 6. The first hand sign of The Southwest Conference. 7. An event where Aggies and Aggie fans practice yells led by yell leaders in advance of or after a game. 9. The site of numerous marriage proposals, weddings and tourist snapshots because of its immense size and its unique drooping branches. 12. ʺlearn heartily the old time pepʺ 15. One of the largest student‐run, environmental service projects in the nation
CULTURAL AWARENESS At Texas A&M, we have over 4,000 non‐U.S. students, from approximately 130 different countries. In this month’s newsletter we will be sharing a few facts about China, and highlighting some of its interesting culture. Did you know?? • China’s total population is over 1 billion people, and around 1/5 of the world’s population lives there • Paper was created in China • Chinese people were the first people to make notes about the Supernova • Chinese people were the first people to use natural gas as a fuel • China has around 56 recognized ethnic groups within itself and altogether there are around 100 • Some historians believe that football originated in China, and they are widely known for their martial arts • A few notable inventions made by the Chinese are the wheelbarrow, parachutes, the compass, matches,the cannon, and the crossbow • The main religions in China are Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Catholism, and Protestism
The Graduate Student Council would like to encourage graduate student involvement in GSC initiatives. The general meetings are held the FIRST and THIRD TUESDAY of every month at 5:15 pm in Koldus room 144, and all interested individuals are encouraged to come. If you have any immediate questions or concerns, please contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. **If you would like to join the Nth Degree listserv and receive these monthly newsletters, send an email to email@example.com with the message type subscribe GSC‐NTHD firstname lastname, and no subject line is needed.(Example: subscribe GSC‐NTHD John Smith)
GSC and SGA Executive Officers at Midnight Yell The Graduate Student Council (GSC), which serves as the graduate student government at Texas A&M University, exists to share and discuss important information to all TAMU graduate and professional students and to act as an advocate for their interests in dealing with the University, its constituents, and all other appropriate entities. The Graduate Student Council ensures that the needs of graduate student are understood and considered when campus policies are being decided.
2008‐2009 EXECUTIVE COUNCIL PRESIDENT: TRACEY WELLINGTON firstname.lastname@example.org EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT: BRANDI REESE email@example.com V.P. FOR UNIVERSITY AFFAIRS: PAULA LORENTE firstname.lastname@example.org VICE PRESIDENT FOR FINANCE: JEFF STANLEY email@example.com VICE PRESIDENT OF INFORMATION: LAUREN HULSMAN firstname.lastname@example.org SRW DIRECTOR: MATTHEW KOPIL email@example.com Nth Degree Staff: Autumn M. Gardner ‘10 Executive Assistant to the Graduate Student Council President