JANUARY 13, 2023 BY MARGARET SAVOIE FOR THE UM GRADUATE SCHOOL WINTER NEWSLETTER
The Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) Doctoral and Dissertation Scholars Program is a program whose primary aim is to encourage more minority Ph.D. students to seek careers as faculty on college campuses. More than one-third of college students in America are people of color. But this representation is not mirrored in college faculty. To change this, the SREB Doctoral and Dissertation Scholars are recruited through benefits such as financial support, career counseling, networking, and opportunities for research funding.
The University of Mississippi’s Graduate School is pleased to have four new SREB Scholars this year. These new scholars are Donovan Gordon, Akia Sherrod, Janita Springfield, and Joshua Hieu-Trung Nguyen. Learn about the two in the College of Liberal Arts.
Akia Sherrod, of Moss Point, is a doctoral student in clinical psychology. Her research focuses on child and adolescent anxiety as well as parent-child relationships. One of Sherrod’s favorite parts of being an SREB Scholar is the Graduate Diversity Seminars. “These seminars are filled with immense knowledge from individuals who have once been in my shoes,” said Sherrod, “I have gained so much useful advice on navigating through graduate school as a minority and how to utilize my resources so I can reach my goals.” In the future, Sherrod plans to practice as a clinical psychologist developing new treatment plans for all those facing mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders.
Joshua Hieu-Trung Nguyen, of Houston, TX, is a doctoral student in creative writing. The areas of focus for Nguyen are Asian-American Poetics, counter publics, and ecopoetics. Nguyen described that being an SREB Scholar, “means to be part of a group of scholars who are interested in preparing ourselves for our uncertain future–which is comforting!” In the future, Nguyen hopes to teach creative writing while also writing his own books.
We are excited to continue to fund several doctoral students to participate in the SREB Doctoral and Dissertation Scholars program. The students who participate in this program demonstrate great success. As is true across SREB participating states and institutions, our SREB Scholars graduate at a rate exceeding the national average. Our SREB Scholar graduates have positions in higher education, working in 10 states including the state of Mississippi.