New resource center to promote UA graduate programs' prestige - Tucson News Now

New resource center to promote UA graduate programs' prestige

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A resource center designed to help recruit the country's top-notch graduate students into the University of Arizona held its grand opening reception at Old Main on Friday.

UA Graduate Center Director Dr. Meg Lota Brown joined Provost Andrew Comrie and UA President Ann Weaver Hart in launching the new Graduate Center located at the Babcock Building on Speedway Boulevard near Campbell Avenue.

The non-academic center will provide professional development for UA's thousands of graduate students and Ph.D candidates. Approximately 7,500 students are currently enrolled in graduate programs at UA.

Other goals include boosting funding and promoting the UA graduate program's prestige. Brown said the new center also hopes to spur more engagement among UA's 120 graduate programs that are offered.  

"Many of them will stay and serve the local communities here, will become leaders in the local communities, others will reach out into the state level, and others at the national and global level. But they'll all be leaders and it's important to bring the best minds together to work together," Brown said.

At the heart of the center is the University Fellows program, which helps graduate students "become the next generation of interdisciplinary leaders and scholars," according to the university.

Interdisciplinary opportunities helped attract UA's current fellows, such as Andrew Kunihiro, who is pursuing a Ph.D in nutritional sciences. His research will focus on how certain foods are linked with cancer.

"Definitely collaborating with doctors, epidemiologists, biologists, statisticians, there's a lot of inter-collaboration among the departments here with the university of Arizona so I'm really looking forward to that," Kunihiro said.

Master of Fine Arts student Danielle Sheather moved across the country from her hometown in Ontario, Canada to pursue her degree in dance -- performance and choreography at UA.

"We have the opportunity to work with musicians; when we're teaching for instance, we have collaborative musicians that come in and play for our classes, and then again performance, choreography, things like that," Sheather said.

This year, 18 students were accepted in the graduate center's University Fellows program.

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