July 9-22, 2004
Vol. 34, Issue 13
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Ford to spearhead graduate studies
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Ford to spearhead graduate studies
Roseanne Ford
Photo by Andrew Shurtleff
Roseanne Ford

By Fariss Samarrai

Dr. Ariel Gomez, vice president for research and graduate studies, has appointed Roseanne Ford, chemical engineering professor, as associate vice president for research and graduate studies. She will be the chief adviser and representative in matters related to graduate studies.

Ford will promote graduate education across Grounds, acting as a leader for pan-University graduate student issues, and ensuring that qualified and diverse graduate students are attracted to the University.

She will advocate for the fair and equitable support of these students.
Most graduate student affairs work is now conducted at the level of schools and departments. This will continue, she said, but, “My role will be to enhance those efforts by operating a central office serving as a resource for graduate students and graduate student issues. We will be a centralized point of contact.

“I’m enthusiastic about enhancing and facilitating our graduate student recruitment ... to get the best students interested in U.Va.,” she said.

“We need to be fully competitive with the top graduate schools.”

She says she wants to increase financial support, especially for students interested in interdisciplinary research, and she will work to bring down barriers that limit research collaboration between disciplines.

“As a comprehensive University we are in a good position to attract more bright students who are interested in solving big-picture problems, working across the disciplines,” she said.

The past few years she has been involved in two highly successful training grant programs that support biotechnology research and work in contaminant hydrogeology. These grants, from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Education, support programs in the School of Medicine, the College of Arts & Sciences and the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Ford will seek additional training grants to support research fellowships. She also will serve as a contact point with other universities, responding to inquiries about graduate student issues at the University and keeping up to date on issues concerning and affecting state universities.

Ford also will look more closely at job placement and internships by maintaining a network of contacts in industry and especially in local and regional enterprises. In addition, she plans to focus on maintaining and strengthening ties with recent alumni.

“I am excited that I was able to attract a person with Roseanne’s expertise and experience to join my team,” Gomez said. “I look forward to Roseanne partnering with the school graduate deans, Provost’s office and faculty to enhance graduate studies activity at the University.”

Ford joined U.Va.’s faculty in 1989 and has served the past four years as a member of the Faculty Senate on the research and scholarship committee. She also has been associate chair of chemical engineering and twice the department’s graduate program director. She will continue to teach graduate and undergraduate students and conduct research half-time, while fulfilling her role as associate vice president.

“I’m not ready to fully abandon my own teaching and research,” she said. “But I also want to enhance these activities for our students and faculty.”


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