March Madness in the School of Graduate Studies

g in officeBy Gretchen Sullivan, Assistant Director  School of Graduate Studies

Welcome back from Spring Break!  We hope you have enjoyed some time off from your studies and are able to easily transition back into school mode to finish out the spring semester.

While many folks are busy keeping up with college basketball playoffs, the staff in the School of Graduate Studies at Western Illinois University is busy assisting graduate students with many aspects of their academic careers.  March seems to be a pivotal month in our office!  While our admissions staff has been frantically processing admissions applications for the upcoming academic year, our graduation department has recently passed an important deadline for spring graduation applications (March 10).  Also, it won’t be long until our staff will be able to begin writing assistantship contracts for the coming academic year.  Be sure to check with your academic departments as to when selection decisions will be made.

We are also in the planning stages for this May’s graduate commencement which is always an exciting time at WIU.  It is rewarding to watch as our graduate students, many of whom we have interacted with personally in the office or via email or phone, achieve their graduate degrees and receive graduate hoods on the stage.  It is a joy to see all of the families and friends come together to support their loved ones at such a happy occasion.  The Macomb graduate ceremony is scheduled for Friday, May 10 at 5:30 p.m. in Western Hall with the Quad Cities combined undergraduate and graduate ceremony being held at 1 p.m. on Sunday, May 12 at the iWireless Center in Moline.

The School of Graduate Studies also recently announced the award recipients of the spring/summer Graduate Student Research and Professional Development Fund.  We were able to award a total of just over $6,000 to 14 applicants.  These graduate students will receive funding to assist with research projects, professional presentations, and other scholarly activities. The list of award recipients is available at:  http://www.wiu.edu/graduate_studies/news_and_events/award.php.  Visit http://www.wiu.edu/graduate_studies/current_students/studentfund.php  to learn more about this competitive award and plan to apply for an upcoming semester!

While we are experiencing our own version of “March Madness” in the School of Graduate Studies, we recognize that the next eight weeks will be hectic for our graduate students as well.  Particularly, for those who may be working on completing capstone courses or who may need to submit theses/dissertations.  Please be aware of the theses/dissertation deadline which requires them to be submitted no later than the Friday before finals week.  Other details may be found at:   http://www.wiu.edu/graduate_studies/thesis_and_dissertation/index.php.

Please remember we are here to help our graduate students progress through the graduate school experience as smoothly as possible.  Do not hesitate to contact us with questions!  You may reach us via email at Grad-Office@wiu.edu, via phone at (309) 298-1806 or toll-free at (877) WIU-GRAD, or visit us at 116 Sherman Hall, Macomb campus.

Best wishes for a successful spring semester!

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