To help promote diversity at West Virginia University, the annual Colloquium for Aspiring Minority Doctoral Students offers prospective and current students a glimpse of what the University has to offer in terms of graduate education.
The event is in its ninth year and will be held at the Hotel Morgan in downtown Morgantown on Oct. 3-5.
“The lack of minority doctoral candidates in West Virginia really inspired us to create this opportunity. Through the colloquium, we invite students to complete a doctorate degree at WVU and show them what we’re all about,” said Jennifer McIntosh, executive director of the President’s Office for Social Justice. “They can meet with people from departments in their academic interests, graduate admissions representatives, current students and more.”
High-achieving minority college students from across the country and globe, who are completing a bachelor’s degree or are currently enrolled in a master’s program and interested in completing a doctoral degree, apply to attend the colloquium with the Office of Graduate Education. Other minority students, who aren’t enrolled at a higher education institution, but wish to explore an academic career may also apply.
WVU provides hotel lodging and meals; participants are responsible for their travel expenses to and from Morgantown.
About 25-40 students attend each colloquium and the smaller number of attendees allows University representatives to develop a more personal connection with aspiring minority doctoral students, McIntosh said.
Damien Clement, originally from Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean, was attending the University of Charleston when he heard about the WVU Colloquium and chose to attend in 2003.
“They did an excellent job of educating us about what it takes to be in a doctoral program and provided many opportunities to help us make our decision. This is the only school I visited because I knew WVU was the school I wanted to attend,” Clement said.
He completed his doctorate degree in sport and exercise psychology at WVU and is now in his second year as an assistant professor at the College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences.
“I truly believe if I hadn’t attended the colloquium that I would not have gone to school here or have the job I do now,” Clement said. “Since I’ve been at WVU, I’ve had a wonderful experience and I try to give back to the colloquium program every chance I get.”
Clement has attended each colloquium since 2003 where he tells his story to other aspiring minority doctoral students, serves on expert panels and greets students who attend. He has been invited to give a brief speech at this year.
The Colloquium for Aspiring Minority Doctoral Candidates is sponsored by the President’s Office for Social Justice, the Office of the Provost, and the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission as a part of their commitment to diversity and enrichment.
For more information about Colloquium IX, see http://socialjustice.wvu.edu/news_and_events/colloquium_ix.
CONTACT: Rochelle Hutchins, President’s Office for Social Justice