For release: March 26, 2010
For press information, contact Dr. Karen Weddle-West, 901/678-4212
To increase awareness of the value of graduate-level education and the contributions
of graduate students, Tenn. Gov. Phil Bredesen has proclaimed April 5-9 to be Graduate
Education Week in Tennessee. Events will include research forums, recruitment fairs,
conferences and scholarly presentations.
Graduate education attracts more than 37,462 students to Tennessee universities annually
from across the nation and the world, and more than 11,080 advanced degrees are awarded
each year. Tuition and fees generate more than $250 million for the state.
Graduate-level education has benefits for its students as well. According to U.S.
Census data, a master’s degree increases lifetime earnings by $400,000, and a doctoral
degree increases lifetime earnings by $1.5 million.
The University of Memphis will observe the week in several ways, including two events
on campus and one in Nashville:
Monday, April 5, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m., University Center Ballroom
21st annual Student Research Forum
Student research posters will be presented from 10 to 11:30 a.m., followed by an awards
ceremony. The Forum, which is free and open to all, will feature graduate and undergraduate
students’ research. Approximately 120 students will participate in the Forum, presenting
research from such fields as engineering, physical and applied sciences, life/health
sciences, liberal and fine arts, education, business, social and behavioral sciences,
and math and computer science. Cash prizes will be awarded to students whose research
is judged exemplary. The Student Research Forum is co-sponsored by the Graduate School
and the Helen Hardin Honors Program.
Friday, April 9, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.,University Center Atrium
Phase 1: “Hearts for Haitian and Chilean Relief “
In January, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit the small island country of Haiti, devastating
its infrastructure and affecting the lives of millions. In February, the South American
nation of Chile was hit by an earthquake of 8.8 magnitude, causing the Chilean president
to declare a state of catastrophe. The Graduate Student Association (GSA) is coordinating
a series of fundraising events to benefit the victims of these disasters.
Graduate students will collect donations in the atrium of the new University Center.
For each dollar given, the donor will receive a paper heart to color and sign. Once
this phase of the project is complete, the hearts will be displayed on campus to illustrate
the concern of the University of Memphis for the victims of this disaster.
Donations from faculty, staff, and students who are not often on campus will be collected
through April 9th in the offices of the associate deans of each college or school and in the Graduate
School offices, 215 Administration Building. Easily identifiable canisters marked
“Hearts for Haitian and Chilean Relief” will be available for those donations.
Phase 2: “Shake the Quake Benefit and Presentation”
Also on Friday, a Memphis representative of the American Red Cross will accept the
U of M donations on behalf of that organization, which will facilitate the distribution
of the funds in Haiti. This event will feature entertainment including faculty and
students performing Caribbean dances and playing steel drums.
The GSA has set a goal of $21,540, representing approximately $1 for every student
attending The University of Memphis.
The third event, “Celebrating Graduate Student Research in Tennessee,” will take place
at Nashville’s Legislative Plaza on Wednesday, April 7, from 8 a.m. to noon, when graduate students from institutions of higher learning throughout Tennessee
will present their research posters to legislators. U of M student Pam Hurley, who is seeking a master’s degree in architecture, will
present her research that is being conducted in Henning, Tenn.
The project, initially funded through a federal/state grant, has evolved considerably
over the past year. Pam has expanded the concept of community revitalization beyond
the traditional realm of architecture and design and has incorporated story gathering,
storytelling, and performance art, among others, into the process. She is also integrating
the work into her Master of Architecture thesis.
For more information, call GSA President Sean Connable, GSA Special Events Coordinator
Sera Babakus, or Dr. Karen Weddle-West, U of M vice provost for Graduate Studies,