Graduate School News

Prospective Students Welcomed to Carolina Community at American Indian Graduate Student Recruitment Event

March 29, 2012

The UNC-Chapel Hill Graduate School and First Nations Graduate Circle, a graduate student organization, recently sponsored an American Indian Graduate Student Recruitment Event, focused on introducing Native students to the University's graduate programs and community.

Mikaela Adams (far left) and Susannah Walker, First Nations Graduate Circle co-presidents, honor Cary Miller for her instrumental efforts in creating First Nations Graduate Circle.

Mikaela Adams (far left) and Susannah Walker, First Nations Graduate Circle co-presidents, honor Cary Miller for her instrumental efforts in creating First Nations Graduate Circle.

The two-day event featured meetings with faculty, panel discussions on “a day in the life of a Carolina student,” and discussions on funding resources and the application process. Prospective student attendees also toured the campus and enjoyed an evening symposium on Southern music and indigeneity sponsored through the University's Center for the Study of the American South.

On the first day of the event, two UNC-Chapel Hill doctoral alumni, representing the fields of history and cell and molecular physiology, were the featured speakers at the second annual Sequoyah Distinguished Lecture.

Cary Miller, who received her Ph.D. in history, is an associate professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She also is the author of “Ogimaag: Anishinaabeg Leadership, 1760-1845,” published by the University of Nebraska Press. Miller's book research included accounts from the Ojibwes, American and British officials and people who interacted with the Ojibwes in official and unofficial capacities.

As a graduate student at Carolina, she was instrumental in creating the First Nations Graduate Circle, a graduate and professional student organization that provides advocacy, support, professional development, mentoring and other enrichment opportunities to American Indians campuswide.

Miller's presentation focused on her ongoing research and on the foundations of the First Nations Graduate Circle.

Cary Miller (left), Dean Steve Matson (center), and Damon Jacobs (right).

Cary Miller (left), Dean Steve Matson (center), and Damon Jacobs (right).

Damon Jacobs, who received his Ph.D. in cell and molecular physiology, is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at the University of Kansas Medical Center. He recently began working in the laboratory of Pamela Tran, Ph.D., assistant professor. His current research is focused on ciliopathies, a growing class of diseases and conditions that arise from defects in primary cilia.

Jacobs' presentation focused on his ongoing research and on the ways under-represented graduate students can deal with challenges they may face.

The Sequoyah Distinguished Lecture is connected with the Sequoyah Dissertation Fellowship, within The Graduate School's Royster Society of Fellows. Now in its 15th year, the Royster Society of Fellows is The Graduate School's most selective fellowship program.The Sequoyah Distinguished Lecture and Dissertation Fellowships are supported by gifts from private donors.

“Recruiting top American Indian graduate students to UNC-Chapel Hill improves the excellence of our research, teaching and service to our communities. It also enhances our intellectual climate through the inclusion of people with different perspectives and experiences,” said Sandra Hoeflich, Ph.D., associate dean for interdisciplinary education, fellowships and communication at The Graduate School. “From opportunities for undergraduates to learn the Cherokee language or experience archeology field work, to the faculty and graduate students' research seminar series, we all benefit.”

Faculty members Jeanne Dennison, Anthropology, and Geni Eng, Public Health, speaking during a faculty panel presentation for prospective American Indian students.

Faculty members Jeanne Dennison, Anthropology, and Geni Eng, Public Health, speaking during a faculty panel presentation for prospective American Indian students.