Graduate School News

Graduate School Introduces First Caroline H. and Thomas S. Royster Distinguished Professor for Graduate Education

October 8, 2009

Announcement from UNC News Services

Photographs from the reception on October 8, 2009

Profiles of current Royster Fellows

Professor Julia WoodThe Graduate School is pleased to introduce the first Caroline H. and Thomas S. Royster Distinguished Professor for Graduate Education, Julia Wood. Professor Wood outlined her future vision for the Royster Society of Fellows at a reception on October 8 from 5 to 7 p.m., in the Morehead Lounge and Terrace, Graham Memorial Building, on the UNC Chapel Hill Campus.

“Julia Wood was selected for this new post from among an exceptional group of faculty nominated for their scholarly and teaching excellence and their dedication to graduate students,” said Steve Matson, Dean of the Graduate School. “Even within this extraordinary group of faculty, Professor Wood stood out as the perfect choice.”

Wood has been on Carolina’s faculty for 34 years during which time she has published more than 25 books, 58 articles, and 35 chapters. She has received 14 awards for scholarship including the Gerald M. Phillips Award for Communication Scholarship, the Gender Scholar of the Year Award, and Distinguished Scholar of the National Communication Association. She’s also been recognized for her teaching and mentoring with 13 awards including the Bowman & Gordon Gray Distinguished Term Professor, Donald Ecroyd Award for Outstanding Teaching in Higher Education, and the North Carolina Teacher of the Year Award.

“Her work as a Fellow of the Academic Leadership Program at the Institute for the Arts and Humanities was highly relevant,” Matson said. “Her many recommenders noted her ability to facilitate interdisciplinary discussion, to mentor others, and to stimulate creative and insightful thinking. We are very fortunate to have Julia provide leadership for the graduate students in the Royster Society of Fellows.”

Dr. and Mrs. Thomas S. Royster established the University’s flagship interdisciplinary graduate fellowship program in 1995. The Royster Society of Fellows provides five-year and dissertation fellowships to a select group of outstanding graduate students. The program was designed to attract exceptionally talented students from across the nation and the world. It provides the financial support, professional development, and interdisciplinary learning opportunities to enable the fellows to be highly successful in their graduate programs and to become leaders in the future. More than 275 students from doctoral programs across the Chapel Hill campus have been selected to receive fellowships in the Society of Fellows since its inception.

The University recently established the Caroline H. and Thomas S. Royster Distinguished Professorship for Graduate Education in honor of their commitment to graduate education throughout the last decade. This professorship was made possible by a lead gift from Dr. and Mrs. Royster along with matching funds from the state’s faculty endowment trust. The recipient of the Royster Professorship will direct the Society of Fellows, ensuring exceptional and dedicated faculty leadership for the Royster Society of Fellows.

In honor of their dedication to Carolina, the Roysters were awarded the University’s Light on the Hill Award in September of 2006. Presented to them by then-Chancellor James Moeser, the award recognizes exceptional individuals who have advanced the University in teaching, research and service, benefiting its community of students, faculty and staff.