The University of New Hampshire has been selected as the new lead institution for the Northeast Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (NEAGEP). This alliance, initiated in 1999 via funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), united 10 majority and five minority-serving colleges and universities to collaborate on activities towards increasing the number of students from underrepresented groups who earn doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects.
Directed by Sandra Petersen of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst for 15 years, NEAGEP has succeeded on a number of fronts, including collaborative work on recruitment and retention activities, support for grant applications and innovative research. “The NEAGEP network of research universities and minority-serving institutions was built on mutual trust and respect that has developed over nearly 20 years,” Petersen notes. “The alliance has supported more than 30 training grants and NSF CAREER awards, leveraging the NEAGEP network for recruiting and broadening the impact of these projects. NEAGEP is an example of true ‘institutionalization’ of an NSF project that continues to have impact far beyond the initial funding.”
UNH’s Graduate School will assume lead institution responsibilities for NEAGEP Next under the direction of interim dean Cari Moorhead and assistant dean Dovev Levine.
“I am thrilled that we are about to launch NEAGEP Next with UNH at the helm,” Petersen says. “The UNH leadership team has the administrative support, vision and enthusiasm needed to ensure that NEAGEP Next continues to innovate and impact national efforts to diversify STEM graduate programs and the professoriate.”
According to Moorhead, “UNH Graduate School is excited to build upon and fortify NEAGEP via numerous initiatives, including collaborative efforts to recruit and retain underrepresented students into graduate education, provide alliance-wide professional and career development and engage in cross-institutional assessment and research concerning diversity in graduate education.”
Monica Chiu, interim associate vice president for community, equity and diversity at UNH, offers strong institutional support for an alliance “that is doing much needed diversity work in STEM fields. That UNH was chosen to head up NEAGEP is noteworthy, and I applaud our UNH champions for carrying this work into the future for the benefit of so many graduate students. My office looks forward to partnering with NEAGEP.”
Among the NEAGEP alliance’s most recent activities, several members co-authored a groundbreaking study investigating the validity of the Graduate Record Examination or GRE in predicting the success of doctoral students. This study has garnered national attention and illustrates NEAGEP’s capability to leverage its collective resources to inform important discussions pertaining to graduate education and diversity.
“UNH is proud to take the lead in continuing this important work to increase diversity in graduate education, particularly in STEM fields,” says Wayne Jones, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “NEAGEP has made great strides and we are committed to ensuring it only grows.”