Graduate School Spotlight: Dean Maureen Grasso
Maureen Grasso, Dean of the University of Georgia Graduate School, was invited to join higher education leaders from sixteen countries to participate in the 2011 Global Summit on Career Outcomes for Post-Graduate Students, held in Hong Kong Sept. 26-28, 2011. An annual event designed to promote international best practices on pressing topics in master’s and doctoral education, this year’s Summit focused on creating and strengthening pathways from graduate school to careers.
Grasso one of three representatives from the United States invited to attend the Summit, where she was a member of the panel which addressed “The Role of Programs and Faculty in Supporting Student Careers.” She spoke about her paper, “Using Career Data to Enhance Programs,” sharing examples of best practices that have been implemented by graduate programs at the University of Georgia.
“The Summit was a remarkable opportunity to meet with leaders in graduate education from 16 countries to focus on the pathways we can provide our students through graduate education into their careers,” said Grasso. “It is clear that we must maintain our strategic commitment to innovation and creativity in graduate education in the US, as other countries continue to increase funding and support for building their own graduate programs.”
The focus on career outcomes was prompted by several parallel trends, including:
- Academic institutions seeking to enhance the professional skills and career outcomes of graduate students due to increasing student demand for career development opportunities,
- Governments working to strengthen the link between graduate training and workforce development in a competitive global economy and
- Employers joining national and global conversation about the skills needed to succeed and their expectations for graduates.
The Summit featured sessions on creating institutional cultures that value career and professional development, global trends shaping careers and professional needs, the role of programs and faculty in supporting student careers, defining new areas of professional skills and opportunities for global collaboration.
“Once again, the Global Summit has yielded a diverse set of best practice strategies that will inspire new efforts to enhance the experience of post-graduate students,” stated the Council of Graduate Schools’ President Debra Stewart. “While there are significant differences among national and regional approaches to enhancing career outcomes for post-graduate students, this year’s Summit participants have demonstrated strong collective support for initiatives that make career preparation a more integral part of graduate education.”
Grasso was one of three Deans from universities in the United States invited to participate in the Summit. The thirty-five university and graduate school leaders who attended the Summit included Deans and other leaders of graduate schools as well as representatives of national and international associations devoted to graduate education. Along with the United States, countries represented at the Summit included Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, South Africa, and South Korea.