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NIH grants extend programs at Brown focused on student diversity, success in Ph.D. science programs

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With renewed federal funding, Brown University faculty will extend two initiatives built to encourage the success of students historically underrepresented in STEM graduate programs and prepare them for careers in the sciences: the Initiative to Maximize Student Development and the Post-baccalaureate Research Education Program.

The National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health has awarded both programs renewed funding for the next five years: the grants for IMSD and PREP are $3.3 million and $1.6 million, respectively.

The two separate programs share similar goals, said Andrew Campbell, who co-leads both IMSD and PREP at Brown: increasing diversity among scientists earning Ph.D. degrees and giving them the tools to succeed in biomedical and behavioral sciences. Read more.

Brown Ph.D. student uncovers early evidence of brain surgery in Ancient Near East

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Rachel Kalisher, a Ph.D. candidate Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World and member of the Open Graduate Education Program, led an analysis of the excavated remains of two upper-class brothers who lived in Megiddo around the 15th century B.C. She found that not long before one of the brothers died, he had undergone a specific type of cranial surgery called angular notched trephination. The procedure involves cutting the scalp, using an instrument with a sharp beveled edge to carve four intersecting lines in the skull, and using leverage to make a square-shaped hole. Read more.

Brown renames Graduate School diversity fellowships in honor of first Black Ph.D. alumna

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The Mae Belle Williamson Simmons Diversity Fellowships honor the legacy of a trailblazing Providence native whose lasting impact on the field of child psychology belied a life and career that were cut short.

After a collaborative research effort led in large part by recent Ph.D. graduate N’Kosi Oates, the Graduate School at Brown University has renamed its diversity fellowships in honor of Mae Belle Williamson Simmons, who earned her Ph.D. in psychology from Brown in 1962 — the earliest known Black woman to earn her doctoral degree from the University. Alycia Mosley Austin, associate dean of diversity and inclusion at the Graduate School, said the renaming will bring the late Williamson Simmons into the annals of University history, highlight her impact and bring further visibility to the diversity fellowships program, founded in 2017. Read more.

Holiday Food Drive, Nov. 1-21

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All are welcome to particiate in the Graduate School's 14th annual Food Drive to benefit the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. We are collecting food from November 1-21, 2022. Please drop off needed canned goods (see list), in the Food Bank boxes to Horace Mann, at 47 George St (boxes in the lobby & 3rd floor) or the Arnold Lab. Be sure to check the expiration date.

Report of the Task Force on Doctoral Education

The Task Force on Doctoral Education has released its final report, and feedback is invited on the Task Force’s recommendations. Drawing on broad engagement with the community and extensive review of data, the report offers a robust overview of doctoral education at Brown and its recommendations offer a positive path for further enhancement.

Academic strength, inclusion and collaboration among top priorities of Graduate School's interim dean

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As Professor of Religious Studies Thomas A. Lewis settles into a new role as interim dean of Brown University’s Graduate School for the 2022-23 academic year, he said he’s ready to embrace a “whole school” approach to enhance the excellence of graduate education at Brown.

“So much of the conversation around graduate education rightly centers on individual graduate programs, but I think we’re increasingly recognizing the importance of what happens between and around those programs,” Lewis said. Read more.

With major contributions from a Brown team, massive dark matter detector is up and running

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Deep below the Black Hills of South Dakota in the Sanford Underground Research Facility, an innovative and uniquely sensitive dark matter detector — the LUX-ZEPLIN experiment, led by Lawrence Berkeley National Lab — has passed a check-out phase of startup operations and delivered its first results.

In a study published on Thursday, July 7, the researchers behind the experiment report that with its initial run, LZ is already the world’s most sensitive detector of dark matter — the elusive particles thought to account for a majority of matter in the universe. Read about graduate student and alum contributions from Will Taylor '22 PhD and current students Jihyeun Bang and Austin Vaitkus. 

Delaney Appointed Senior Associate Dean of Academic Affairs

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Sarah Delaney, Professor of Chemistry, will become the new Senior Associate Dean of Academic Affairs for the Graduate School beginning on July 1, 2022. She will serve as a core member of the Graduate School leadership team, providing skilled guidance and coordination of the academic affairs of the Graduate School. 

Dr. Maheen Mausoof Adamson ‘22 Sc.M. Wins Professional Excellence Award

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The Brown University Master’s Award for Professional Excellence recognizes a Brown University master’s student whose outstanding contributions have influenced or contributed to the field or profession. This year’s recipient is Dr. Maheen Mausoof Adamson ’22 Sc.M., a graduate of the master’s in healthcare leadership program at the School of Professional Studies at Brown University. This award recognizes Adamson’s notable accomplishments during the master’s in healthcare leadership program, including her work on the Critical Challenge Project.