GradImpact Submissions

    The CGS GradImpact project tells the larger story of graduate education through featured examples from our member institutions. Our goal is to demonstrate the importance of graduate education not only to degree holders, but also to the communities where we live and work. Do you have a great story to share about the impact of master’s or doctoral education? Visit the CGS website for more information.

    Better Living Through Chemistry
    Kori Andrea
    Chemistry, Memorial University
    North Sydney, N.S.

    Kori Andrea didn’t know how she would fare in graduate school. Though her parents are both public school teachers and had always valued education, the Memorial University student from Nova Scotia was the first person in her family to pursue a graduate degree. “The idea of graduate school was new,” she said in a recent interview, “especially being involved in research.”

    It was her passion for research, however, that led Andrea to pursue her doctorate in chemistry at Memorial University in Newfoundland. While pursuing her bachelor’s degree in chemistry, she fell in love with research. She enjoyed the intellectual challenges, meeting leading scholars, and traveling for conferences. “The decision to continue my research career by pursuing a PhD was an easy decision for me,” she noted, even though it meant being the first member of her family to enroll in graduate school.

    Since arriving at Memorial her research has flourished. Her PhD research focuses on using carbon dioxide (CO2) to design plastics “that can degrade and not pollute our oceans.” Early in her research she realized that though CO2 is inexpensive and easy to access, its stability means that it can only be made into plastics by applying high temperatures and pressures combined with an, often metal, catalyst. This production method is costly and risks metal contamination in the products. Andrea’s current research focuses on studying “a metal-free catalyst that is commercially available and capable of performing just as well if not better than the traditionally used metal catalysts.” The aim is to refine this catalyst to improve the types of plastics being produced and eliminate the possibility of metal contamination. Her long-term hope is that better catalysts will produce more biodegradable plastics that will allow for continued use of plastics in key industries without the damaging environmental impact.

    Her innovative research has already attracted widespread acclaim. In May 2018 she was awarded a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship, which is the most prestigious award granted to a Canadian graduate student. She was also named Cape Breton University Young Alumni of the Year for 2018. In 2019, she received the NSERC Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplement grant that allowed her to spend six months studying at Oxford University in England.

    Despite these awards, Andrea remains humble and focused on her research. Her work has thrived under the mentorship she has received at Memorial, but she realizes that it’s the student’s drive to succeed that defines their graduate career. “My main point of advice would be to follow your heart,” she concluded, “Take advice from others but remember [that] to succeed, especially in graduate studies you really have to enjoy what you are doing and hard-workers are rewarded.” 

    To learn more about Kori’s work visit the Memorial University website.

    An Advocate for Higher Education Equity
    Theresa E. Hernandez
    Urban Education Policy, University of Southern California
    San Francisco

    As a Latina first generation college student from a disadvantaged socioeconomic background, Theresa E. Hernandez’s research is inspired by her own experiences. As a doctoral student in urban education policy at the University of Southern California, she is interested in how policies and interventions either support or hinder access and academic success of first-generation students of color from low socioeconomic backgrounds.

    Hernandez experienced first-hand how policies that did not account for the unique challenges faced by underrepresented persons could hinder one’s education. “[My undergrad] was very difficult transition and acculturation that kind of had me hit pause on my education for a while” she noted. “But it ultimately inspired me to come back to get my master’s and now my PhD and inspires me to do the work I’m doing to make higher ed a more equitable space to people who come from my background.”

    Her experience and research have compelled Hernandez to take an active role advocating for graduate students, particularly those from underrepresented groups. In April 2019, Hernandez was one of two graduate students from USC to attend CGS Advocacy Day to meet with lawmakers in Washington, D.C., and advocate for graduate education. “Just seeing the process of policymaking…was interesting to me,” Hernandez said. “Also, participating helped me see the ways in which grad students and others who are really fighting for educational support from the government are a part of the process, and got me thinking about the roles we have, and the voices we have.”

    In addition to Advocacy Day, Hernandez has amplified her voice in other ways, including a published op-ed in The Huffington Post urging colleges and universities to abolish standardized testing requirements for admissions. To learn more about Theresa’s work, visit the University of Southern California website.

    Examining the Effects of Post-War Displacement on Women and Children
    Monica Burney
    History, Eastern Illinois University
    Dix, Illinois

    Monica Burney, a master’s degree alum in history at Eastern Illinois University, was recently awarded the 2019 Robert and Kathryn Augustine Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award for her work, “The Meaning of a Woman's Work: Refugees, Statelessness, Nationality, and the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, 1918-1931.” Burney’s thesis examines “how the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) sought to influence how the League of Nations approached questions of nationality and statelessness between 1918 and 1931.”

    First as an undergraduate and later as a graduate student at EIU, Burney participated in its Living History Program. This project was started in 1989 to underscore the contributions of women in the past and to inspire interest in women’s history by portraying women in history at local elementary schools. "Through this program children are introduced to some of the captivating women who had a hand in creating the world today,” Burney said. “This new knowledge helps to inspire children to embrace their individuality and to make a difference."

    Burney was named a 2018 Hamand Scholar for her achievements in both scholarship and service that have impact on the discipline and in the community. She plans to pursue a graduate degree in library sciences and hopes to then work in an academic library. To learn more about Monica’s work, visit the Eastern Illinois University website.

    Photo Credit: Bev Cruse/EIU

    Pushing Boundaries and Changing Perspective
    Thoin Begum
    Public Health, University at Albany, SUNY

    As a master’s student in the School of Public Health at the University at Albany, SUNY, Thoin Begum’s research has focused on environmental exposures and how they impact in vitro fertilization. Her work was recently recognized by Global Kids, a nonprofit that “develops youth leaders through dynamic global education and leadership development programs.” Named as one of Global Kids’ 30 under 30 in March 2019, Begum is a young alumnus of the program.

    Beginning her sophomore year of high school, Begum became involved with Global Kids through college tours, annual functions, and scholarships. “Global Kids taught me to push boundaries and change perspectives, something that is needed in this field,” said Begum.

    Begum intends to continue her graduate education and pursue a doctoral degree. “Public health and environmental health is an emerging field that has a lot of misconceptions – it isn’t just about global warming or about dealing with the amount of natural disasters we are seeing. It’s really about our everyday life.” To learn more about Thoin’s work, visit the University at Albany, SUNY website.

    Photo Credit: University at Albany

    Improving Mobility for Children with Cerebral Palsy
    Ahad Behboodi
    Biomechanics and Movement Science, University of Delaware

    As the most common physical disability in childhood, one in 323 babies is diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy (CP) annually in the U.S. and most require medical devices to improve mobility. CP is a life-long disability due to damage of the developing brain, and there is no known cure. Ahad Behboodi, a doctoral candidate in biomechanics and movement science at the University of Delaware, is leading a team of researchers to improve mobility in children with CP.

    Behboodi and his team recently received a QED grant from the University City Science Center in Philadelphia, “to develop a motorized ankle foot device for children with Cerebral Palsy that includes a novel artificial muscle.” The device will help correct and improve ankle motion, potentially leading to better mobility. Comprised of common elastic materials, the artificial muscle device is lightweight and compact and simulates the motion of skeletal muscle.

    “For now, the device can only assist the wearer’s own muscle contractions, but we are able to customize where we put the force to change the movement,” said Behboodi. “In the future, we may add functional electrical stimulation technology, which is a major area of research in Dr. Lee’s lab, to also trigger muscles, when needed. This would improve the timing and power of the muscle’s activation, thereby strengthening the muscle and improving the user’s walking coordination.” To learn more about Ahad’s work, visit the University of Delaware website.

    Photo Credit: University of Delaware

    Therapy Dog Helps Kids Expand Reading Paw-sibilities
    Meghen Bassel
    Media Specialist Program, University of West Georgia

    According to recent data from Get Georgia Reading, only 34% of children in the state are reading proficiently by the end of third grade. In addition to future learning barriers, these children are more likely to face other challenges, including disciplinary issues and poor health; they’re also more likely to drop out of high school and spend time in prison. Meghen Bassel, a graduate student in the library media specialist program at the University of West Georgia, has an interesting approach to help children at South Salem elementary school improve their reading skills. His name is Mr. Booker T. Pug.

    “Booker offers a nonjudgmental environment for kids to practice reading,” said Bassel. “He's not going to notice if they said a word incorrectly, missed a word or didn't attempt a word. He will simply sit and listen.” Students at South Salem visit the media center at least once a week, and their reward for good behavior is time with Mr. Booker, a certified therapy dog.

    “We’ve had students who become different children because of him and the program,” Bassel concluded. “They're no longer afraid of picking up books and reading in front of the class, whereas before they would whisper or pass on the opportunity. They jump at the chance now. It’s amazing to see. One little dog.” To learn more about Meghen and Booker, visit the University of West Georgia website.

    Photo Credit: Julia Mothersole

    Empowering Community to Kickstart Rural Recovery
    Fatima Morys Barrios
    International Studies, North Carolina State University

    Sometimes a transformative moment in a graduate student’s career comes from the surprising intersection of the local and the global. A master’s student in international studies at North Carolina State University, Fatima Morys Barrios never expected to find parallels between her native Paraguay and Kinston, North Carolina. Through Rural Works!, a summer internship program connecting NC State students to rural North Carolina communities, Barrios discovered the commonalities between her home country and the rural communities around Raleigh, NC. “Paraguay’s…very similar to Kinston.” She said, “Our economy [in Paraguay] is based on agricultural products – we produce and export soybeans and corn and wheat and also beef.”

    Barrios’ impact on Rural Works! in Kinston was immediate. She launched “Kickstart Kinston” with funding from NC Rural Center’s Small Business Recovery Program as a resource to help local small businesses grow and modernize. Furthermore, she connected local small businesses to one another in a network of mutual support. “Let’s say business owners do not have a website. We connected them with a web developer here in Kinston. So you don’t have to go to Raleigh, and you don’t have to go to Greenville to do that.”

    Her community involvement went beyond “Kickstart Kinston,” however. Barrios worked with several local groups, including Kingston Economic Empowerment, where she organized an employment bootcamp for members of the community who had been incarcerated. She also worked on an oral history project for the African American Heritage Commission by interviewing senior citizens about their memories of Kinston.

    Her experience was transformative both professionally and personally. “It changed my career goals,” said Barrios. “I never considered economic development as a way of becoming a consultant or as a person that might work in the planning department of a city hall. But I realized I was really good at that.” Beyond her career, Barrios’ experience also changed the way she thought about the relationship between her work and those it impacted. “I wanted to learn from the people, to learn what they need,” she concluded. To learn more about Fatima, visit the North Carolina State University website.

    Photo Credit: Becky Kirkland

    Can Fool’s Gold Help Provide Cleaner Drinking Water?
    Andrew Shaughnassy
    Geosciences, Penn State University

    As a doctoral student in geosciences at The Pennsylvania State University, Andrew Shaughnassy’s research focuses on how agriculture, specifically nitrate, can alter the structure of bedrock. When farmers use excessive amounts of fertilizer to stimulate crop growth, a surplus of nutrients, including nitrate, can develop in surface and groundwater. Drinking water with high levels of nitrates can cause harm, particularly for infants.

    Shaughnessy’s research examines the effects of the elevated levels of nitrate on the bedrock weathering process. In particular, he’s investigating how the introduction of the mineral pyrite (found in some bedrock) will do. He’s discovered that pyrite can actually remove nitrates from groundwater, a kind of natural cleaning process. “Depending on the concentration of pyrite in the bedrock, our research could provide an appropriate strategy for individual farmers’ land management methods,” Shaughnessy said.

    Shaughnassy was awarded a 2019 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship to support his work. “I was very happy to receive the fellowship and felt it was a great honor to be selected,” said Shaughnessy, who hopes to become a professor and continue his research. To learn more about Andrew, visit the Penn State website.

    Image Credit: David Kubarek

    Stages of Grief and Celebration
    Leigh Marshall
    MFA, University of Iowa

    “I crossed a threshold at a very young age in terms of my knowledge about death,’’ says Leigh Marshall, an MFA playwright in the Theater Arts Program at the University of Iowa. “It doesn’t mean there was any innocence lost per se, but it just means there was an acquisition of a certain type of knowing.” Marshall lost her father, Albert, to cancer at age 16 and this trauma was the foundation of her play Laterality, which debuted at the University of Iowa this past February.

    Laterality is a story of twin brothers; one, Skinny, who is dying of lung cancer and the other, Blue, who is forced to take care of him in his final days. Blue struggles with substance abuse and ponders abandoning his dying brother. The relationship between the two brothers is complicated when they befriend a neighbor and poet who reframes their suffering as love and brotherhood. While the play is not autobiographical, it did grow out of Marshall’s experience caring for her father. “The play came out of what it was like to be in the room with somebody you love who is plugged into an oxygen machine,” she described. “You have to deal with these finalities and keep everything going. This play is me thinking about what really happens to the body when you have a galaxy of tumors inside of you and how that warps reality.”

    Though Laterality was written over a decade of processing her father’s death, Marshall’s time at the University of Iowa has been instrumental in turning it from an idea into a reality. “One of the fortunate things about being an MFA playwright at Iowa, you’re given space, time and resources to devote the majority of your time to the writing of your plays.” Furthermore, the MFA program at Iowa gave Marshall the opportunity to work alongside and learn from other students from diverse backgrounds and with varied interests. This diversity was a significant reason why Marshall chose Iowa: “I wanted to collaborate with intellectually different writers with different viewpoints.”

    Even though Laterality is in many ways a play exploring the finality of death, it is also a celebration of life. Marshall reflected that Skinny, the terminally ill brother, is alive throughout the play and that his emotions are central to the story. Impending death is an amplifier of emotion for Marshall, making the pursuit and presence of love more urgent. This urgency is reflected in Marshall’s work itself as well as the characters she creates. “Even in those rock bottom moments, the pursuit of love and the presence of love exists powerfully and in a very tangible way,” Marshall concluded. To learn more about Leigh Marshall, visit the University of Iowa website

    Image Credit: University of Iowa

    Providing a Beacon of Hope for Veterans and First Responders
    Nick Harnish
    School of Human Ecology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
    Madison, WI

    Nick Harnish is an applied master’s student in the School of Human Ecology at the University of Wisconsin—Madison with an emphasis in community organizing, human development, nonprofit management, and public humanities. He’s also a veteran of the U.S. Army, a former first responder, a volunteer with Wisconsin Hero Outdoors, and a Public Humanities Scholar with the UW—Madison Center for Humanities.

    Harnish is using his broad and impressive range of experiences and expertise to turn a lighthouse on the grounds of Lakewood WWV Camp in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, into a cultural retreat for veterans and first responders. “It’s going to be the beacon of hope for our veterans and first responders. A lighthouse is very fitting for that,” Harnish said.

    Aptly named Havenwood, the outdoor wellness center is scheduled to open in spring 2020. Harnish’s certification in mindfulness-based stress reduction and experience with wilderness therapy will help ensure programs that work. “That’s where Havenwood is really unique,” he said. “I’m going to give you this space to be alone with your thoughts and your feelings and allow you to process them. And I want to give you the tools and resources to process it, versus forcing that process to happen.”

    Harnish currently works at the Department of Military Affairs as a state program coordinator, organizing programs for military-connected youth. To learn more about Nick’s work, visit the University of Wisconsin—Madison website

    Image Credit: University of Wisconsin—Madison

    Turning Trauma into Purpose
    James “Jayme” Hentig
    Biology, University of Notre Dame
    Cedar Springs, MI

    As a doctoral candidate in biology at the University of Notre Dame, James “Jayme” Hentig researches Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) and regenerative therapies. In 2017, he received a Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation to develop and implement an innovative TBI model design for pre-clinical trials. His project requires managing budgets, collaborating with interdisciplinary teams at other universities, and overseeing junior scientists, all skills he honed while in the U.S. military.

    Hentig joined the U.S. Army in 2008 as an airborne combat medic. His role required supervision of junior medics and ensuring the well-being of 120 personnel. He served in Europe before being deployed to Afghanistan. His experience there has greatly informed his research interests. Suffering a severe blow to the head, which caused a TBI, Hentig spent a year rehabbing before retiring from the Army in 2012. The trauma of the injury and the long road to recovery offered Hentig a new path. After leaving the Army, he earned a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience at Western Michigan University in 2016. His Honors Undergraduate Thesis, "Chemical Ablation with Zinc Sulfate Results in Differential Effects on Olfactory Sensory Neuron Subtypes in the Adult Zebrafish" received the 2016 Best Honors Thesis Award and serves as the basis for his doctoral research.

    Using zebrafish, which have remarkable regenerative capabilities, Hentig hopes to develop a traumatic brain injury model and see how and if the brain of a zebrafish regenerates following blunt force trauma. “I love neuroscience because the brain is the center of individual existence,” Hentig said. “Furthering our knowledge and working towards regenerative therapies for individuals suffering from neurodegenerative diseases provides hope for not only the individual, but also for the families watching their loved ones slip in and out day by day.”

    In addition to his doctoral work, Hentig serves as a STEM Mentor for the Warrior-Scholar Project, where he helps veterans transitioning from military service to civilian/student life. To learn more about James’s work, visit the University of Notre Dame website. To see the UND military spotlight on Hentig, visit their YouTube page.

    Image Credit: University of Notre Dame

    Mission Driven
    William LaRose
    Public Administration, Cornell University

    A commitment to public service is a value shared by almost all veterans and active duty servicemembers. This commitment is also shared by many graduate students who hope to use their education for the betterment of their communities. It was the commitment to public service that spurred William LaRose, a master’s candidate in public administration at Cornell University, to pursue a graduate degree after serving four years in the US Army. “I knew I wanted to continue to service after the Army,” LaRose said, “and that I wanted to do so at a premier university and program.”

    LaRose’s military service provided him with skills to help him succeed in his graduate program. “Time management, coping with stress, and working with diverse teams of people” were all important parts of his military training that translated into success at Cornell.

    These skills have allowed LaRose to not only succeed in graduate school, but become a leader and role model for other students. He has channeled that leadership into volunteer work at Service to School, a veteran-run not for profit that connects veterans and active duty military with free college application preparation services. LaRose relied on Service to School to help him prepare his graduate school applications and now volunteers with the organization as an “undergraduate ambassador” to help other veterans get into college. He has also continued his military service with the New York National Guard’s 2-108th Infantry.

    More than anything else, LaRose hopes that his example will encourage other veterans to apply to graduate programs. He recognizes the need for veteran’s leadership in many sectors of American life and views graduate school as one way to translate veteran experiences into civilian success. In the end, he found military service to be excellent preparation for graduate school. “To my fellow veterans,” he concluded, “you have the skills and experience to flourish at an Ivy League institution. Believe that. Our country needs your leadership now more than ever, so shoot for that top program, study hard, and continue to service the nation in whatever capacity you can.”

    Image Credit: Cornell University

    Living Her Life for Others
    Meghan Lowry
    Social Work, University of Oklahoma-Tulsa
    Bixby, OK

    “As veterans, we’re trained to fight, but we’re not really trained to come home,” said Megan Lowry, a master’s student in social work at The University of Oklahoma—Tulsa. Lowry knows this first-hand and is determined to make a difference.

    While serving in the U.S. Marine Corps from 2005-2008, Lowry faced tremendous trauma. “I had four traumatic brain injuries and a dozen fractures to my face and head alone. My back had three disks that were pushed in and pinching my spinal cord. I would lose feeling in my legs,” Lowry said. “I ended up snapping the ligaments in both of my knees, and my right ankle was destroyed.”

    Not long after, a fellow Marine violently assaulted her. She was nervous to report it, but she was more concerned that he would do it to someone else. The experience was a trying one, and her post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) wreaked havoc on her life.

    “It got to a point where my PTSD was so bad that I couldn’t work. I was terrified to go to the grocery store,” Lowry revealed. “There were days where I never got out of bed.” She sought treatment at a Houston VA medical center. Afterwards, she started taking sociology classes at Tulsa Community College and later at the University of Tulsa. While there, she transitioned from military service to community service, becoming an advocate for veteran’s rights, indigenous peoples, eating disorders, military sexual trauma survivors.

    She also become a service dog trainer with American Humane’s Pups4Patriots™ program. “I’m super passionate about getting veterans service dogs because… losing some of my brothers and sisters to veteran’s suicide which is extremely painful. I can speak from my own personal experience, my service dog has saved my life, and I want that to help other veterans.” The Pups4Patriots program trains service dogs for veterans struggling with post-traumatic stress or traumatic brain injury, which can contribute to veteran suicide rates.

    “Even if I don’t wear my uniform anymore, my service is never going to be over,” said Lowry. “Just knowing that something happens, whether it’s on American soil or worldwide, I have the heart to be there and help out.” Lowry graduated with a B.A. in sociology from The University of Tulsa, where she received the Marcy Lawless Service Award. You can learn more about the Pups4Patriots program on the American Humane website.

    Image Credit: The University of Oklahoma – Tulsa

    Radical Experimentation and Emotional Leadership
    Wayne Johnson
    Management, Cornell University

    Many graduate students learn the importance of experimentation to good research through coursework, mentorship, and controlled lab environments. Wayne Johnson, a doctoral student in management at Cornell University, took a completely different path. As the leader of an Army counter-bomb unit in Eastern Afghanistan, Johnson had seen how bomb defusal and removal strategies designed for troops serving in Iraq were failing in Afghanistan. “After a month of heavy losses, I realized radical experimentation was needed,” he said. Johnson found that the new methods worked well and he was reassigned to the Army Research lab to teach what he had learned to others.

    Johnson’s improvised counter-bomb strategy and time at the Army research lab taught him that “research was a powerful microphone to project voice and knowledge far beyond my reach as a tactics instructor.” As his interests shifted into the field of organizational behavior, Johnson wondered if he import the lessons he learned from his military service to other organizations. He thought the best path for achieving this goal would be to complete a Ph.D. in management at Cornell University’s Johnson School of Business.

    The transition was not easy. The writing requirements were more than Johnson expected and he felt that he was behind his peers who had already spent years studying organizational management at the undergraduate level. “I chose subjects for which I did not have deep experience or knowledge,” he noted, “so that naturally led to a steeper learning curve.”

    One area that Johnson found did translate to graduate school was leadership. He had seen both successful and unsuccessful leaders in the Army and found that successful leaders were constantly engaged with their associates instead of only engaging when there was a problem or issue. “I learned that I should take time often to go find someone who usually only hears complaints and tell them, hey, I don’t have any complaints because you’re doing such a great job.” He found once a peer or subordinate felt valued as a person they were more likely to listen to and accept criticism. “It’s true that people often don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

    Johnson’s care for others has animated much of his service since leaving the military. He volunteered for a suicide hotline for three years. His experience working for the hotline taught him “how deep a need people have to be validated and heard.” Listening to others has always been a core component of Johnson’s worldview and one that will serve him well in the classroom.  To learn more about Wayne’s work, visit the Cornell University website

    Image Credit: Cornell University

    For Country and Family
    Tyler Mobra
    Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, University of Oklahoma-Tulsa

    For many, graduate study holds the promise of a better life and more secure financial future for the student and their family. Veterans share this interest in financial security when charting a career path after their military service ends. Tyler Mobra, a doctoral candidate in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Oklahoma - Tulsa, is one such student veteran. After serving as a staff sergeant in the U.S. Army and being deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, Mobra was awarded a Purple Heart and Bronze Star for heroic or meritorious service.

    Returning home was difficult for Mobra. His valiant military career was over, and he was beginning to feel the financial squeeze of raising two children on a medical retirement pension. Though his children were young, he realized that they couldn’t “sleep on bunk beds forever,” and that providing for them the lives he wanted would require a new career. In these challenging times, support came in two forms. Operation Homefront helped Mobra acquire a mortgage-free home through their Homes on the Homefront program. This new home helped ease the immediate financial strain on Mobra and his family. Without this support, the Mobras would “be living paycheck to paycheck” without any hope of saving for the future.

    If Homes for the Homefront helped alleviate Mobra’s immediate financial squeeze, the University of Oklahoma - Tulsa provided him a path to a financially stable and fulfilling career. Mobra has been working towards his doctorate since 2010 with the hopes of becoming a university professor. In acquiring his doctorate, he has already completed certification to teach grades K-12 in Oklahoma. His research focuses on how Oklahoma has responded to widespread teacher shortages in the state.

    With his financial insecurity behind him and a promising career ahead of him, Mobra will be able to impart some of the heroism and life lessons he learned during his military service to the next generation of students. His story is a reminder of the role university communities can play in supporting American veterans and their families, as well as the ways graduate education can help students achieve financial security.

    Image Credit: The University of Oklahoma – Tulsa

    CGS is the leading source of information, data analysis, and trends in graduate education. Our benchmarking data help member institutions to assess performance in key areas, make informed decisions, and develop plans that are suited to their goals.
    CGS Best Practice initiatives address common challenges in graduate education by supporting institutional innovations and sharing effective practices with the graduate community. Our programs have provided millions of dollars of support for improvement and innovation projects at member institutions.
    As the national voice for graduate education, CGS serves as a resource on issues regarding graduate education, research, and scholarship. CGS collaborates with other national stakeholders to advance the graduate education community in the policy and advocacy arenas.  
    CGS is an authority on global trends in graduate education and a leader in the international graduate community. Our resources and meetings on global issues help members internationalize their campuses, develop sustainable collaborations, and prepare their students for a global future.