JANUARY 17, 2023 BY MARGARET SAVOIE FOR THE UM GRADUATE SCHOOL WINTER NEWSLETTER
In 2021, the Southeastern Conference (SEC) schools created a new program to promote the success of current doctoral students and postdoctoral associates, with attention to those from historically underrepresented groups, in their professional development as they work towards becoming future faculty members at an SEC member institution. The initiative grew from discussions among the provosts at the 14 institutions and began with an annual workshop. Now, in its second year, the institutions agreed to minimum stipends for the scholars, financial support to attend the annual seminar, and provision of funds to pursue other professional development opportunities that align with their unique scholarly needs.
At The University of Mississippi, the SEC Emerging Scholars program is funded by the Office of the Provost. Selection criteria included advanced standing in their graduate work or postdoctoral status, demonstrated exceptional research and/or teaching skills, and established interest in a career in higher education. Below, we introduce you to our two SEC Emerging Scholars for 2022-2023 in the College of Liberal Arts.
Alicia L. Arrington-Thomas, originally from Los Angeles, CA, is a biology graduate student studying fire ecology. Arrington-Thomas hopes to use fire as a source of restoration to repair forested ecosystems.
“When Dr. Murrell Godfrey informed me that I was accepted as an Emerging Scholar, I was overjoyed with excitement,” said Arrington-Thomas. “I’ve never experienced being called a scholar; there was this feeling of humility, allowing me to become comfortable in my place of purpose, vision, power, and knowledge.”
Dr. Krishna Chaturvedi, originally from India, is a postdoctoral research associate with the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Chaturvedi has long considered a career in academia and has always been passionate about engaging students in new and developing pathways. She hopes to start the next phase of her career as an independent researcher with academic responsibilities such as an Assistant Professorship.
“It has been a great honor and privilege to receive this prestigious fellowship and become an Emerging Scholar,” said Chaturvedi. “In doing so, I have gained the necessary resources to sharpen my professional skills and form a platform to obtain my dream job.”
The University of Mississippi will continue to support the SEC Emerging Scholars Program with its promotion of success for current doctoral students and postdoctoral associates from underrepresented groups working towards becoming future faculty members at an SEC member institution.
Individuals interested in learning more about the SEC Emerging Scholars program at The University of Mississippi, which requires nomination and participation in a competitive selection process, should contact the Graduate School.