Aug. 29-Sept. 12, 2003
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ACC looks beyond athletics with Traveling Scholars Program

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ACC looks beyond athletics with Traveling Scholars Program

By Lauren Fischer

For students attending universities in the Atlantic Coast Conference, the beginning of the school year signifies more than the opening of another football season.

A new academic program for graduate students will enable a student at Clemson who is interested in working with a faculty member in a Developmental Biology lab at U.Va. to do so. And a U.Va. student can use the century-old farming journals available only at the Strom Thurmond Institute at Clemson University.

The Inter-Institutional Academic Collaborative Traveling Scholars Program marks the first nonathletic collaboration in the ACC.

Through a semester-long stay at an alternative collegiate site, graduate students can take specialized courses, explore special library collections and participate in unique laboratory experiences that their home schools’ graduate programs do not provide.

A few years ago, graduate deans who represent the nine ACC universities used the Big 10 system of shared courses, students and faculty members as a model, and decided that their own conference would benefit greatly from a similar collaborative effort.

“Faculty love the idea of super-bright students coming to their schools because it can build their area of expertise,” said Dr. Bonnie Holaday, graduate dean at Clemson University. She added that the program is a “natural” for doctoral students whose dissertations are well under way, and who are looking for specific courses such as forestry agriculture, or Swahili.

“The idea behind the [IAC] program is that it opens up resources and expertise for everyone,” said Peter Brunjes, graduate dean at U.Va. “It can only be a good thing.”

A Traveling Scholar can seek out supplementary and distinctive graduate work experience once a disciplinary adviser confirms that the home campus does not provide a comparable opportunity.

Graduate deans from both the home and host universities then work together with host faculty members to ensure that the school of interest offers adequate facilities and space for the visiting student.

The Traveling Scholar pilot program will run through the 2003-04 and 2004-05 academic years, when conference presidents and graduate deans will reevaluate its success.

In order to study at another college for a semester, Traveling Scholars continue paying tuition at their home universities.

A limited number of stipends of up to $1,000 will be awarded to students to subsidize housing and transportation costs of the temporary move.

Graduate students who are in good standing in a doctoral degree program may apply now to be a Traveling Scholar, and should contact their graduate deans for an application.

For further information, they also can e-mail the IAC coordinator at


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