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Graduate School Pathways program adds to staff

MSU Denver’s new Pathways coordinator helps create a supportive network for scholars.

By Asia Wesley

September 20, 2021

Waleska Rivera-ShonThe Classroom to Career Hub’s Faculty Engagement Unit recently added a key position to its staff: Graduate School Pathways coordinator. In this new role, Waleska Rivera-Shon (she/her/ella), who has extensive experience in secondary science education and graduate-program management, will help students prepare to apply to graduate school and collaborate with campus leaders, faculty members and staff members to strengthen existing initiatives and create new opportunities for students seeking to continue their education post-graduation.

Helping students apply to graduate school 

“It is common for first-generation and BIPOC students to lack access to resources that educate and help them through the process of evaluating and applying to graduate programs,” said Rivera-Shon, who joined Metropolitan State University of Denver in July. “For these scholars, a graduate degree might symbolize access to upward mobility in academic, professional and social circles, something that may have been unavailable to them and their families for generations. The personal sense of empowerment that comes from obtaining an advanced degree nourishes networks of support that extend beyond one individual’s accomplishments.”

Rivera-Shon will serve students as well as faculty and staff by:

  • Offering graduate-school-related programming for faculty members to incorporate into their courses. 
  • Providing workshops for students, faculty and staff on how to explore, select and apply to graduate programs. 
  • Leading committees to increase support for students applying for graduate scholarships, fellowships and programs. 
  • Conducting data-driven exploration of the graduate programs Roadrunners apply to and attend, including those offered by MSU Denver.

How faculty and staff members can get involved

Attention, faculty and staff members:

  • Are you a Rhodes, Fulbright, Marshall or Ford scholar?
  • Did you receive a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship or any other prestigious fellowship to attend graduate school?
  • Have you been involved in helping students apply for these opportunities?

If so, please contact Rivera-Shon to join a committee that will support faculty members and employees who help students apply to these programs.

Additionally, if your department advises students who are interested in graduate school individually or through  pre-grad-school programs and initiatives, and to learn more about graduate-school advising, please contact Rivera-Shon to learn more about resources and opportunities for collaboration. 

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