Graduate Student Appreciation Week Message from Dr. Kenya Taylor

Posted: April 4, 2017 9:50:00 AM CDT

Kenya Taylor photo

Dear UNK Graduate Students,

Today, I’d like to take a moment and thank you for making my job so fulfilling. I’m often asked why I do what I do, and the answer for many of us on this campus is a simple one: for our students. Graduate students, both in online programs and on campus, have made my career so rewarding, and that’s why I’m honored to celebrate Graduate Student Appreciation Week, April 3-7.

As graduate students, you bring a great deal of value to the UNK community—new ideas and perspectives that serve as positive influences for undergraduate students and that challenge our faculty to dive deeper into their own research and quality of instruction. Many of you serve as Graduate Assistants, teaching undergraduate courses and even doing research of your own that strengthens the workforce and impacts society. 

With as many applications as I’ve signed, common traits have risen to the top when graduate students are admitted. You are intelligent, resilient, self-motivated, willing to work hard, and passionate about your field of study. You are also critical thinkers, independent but collaborative, and extremely goal-oriented. If ever you question your ability to keep pursuing your education, remember these qualities you have already mastered.

As we know, graduate students are extremely busy. Non-traditional online students enrolled in graduate programs are often employed full time, have families, and other community responsibilities. Often, your coursework is done at night, on weekends, during the lunch hour, and any available moment in between. Your focused behavior is matched by the focus and attention from your UNK faculty members who understand the challenges of balancing education, work, and life. This creates a very special and unique bond between students and faculty—often closer than the bond that may be present in a face-to-face class. 

We will continue to provide services to help you succeed in your graduate program and support you at every step in your educational experience at UNK. It is our job to make sure each course is of high quality and taught by prepared and caring faculty. You are an integral part of UNK, and we are always available to answer questions, provide guidance, or be a listening ear if you are struggling or have suggestions for improvement. Maintaining strong online graduate programs, on-campus graduate programs, and student experiences is essential to UNK’s role in research and higher education.

Thank you for everything you contribute to the UNK community. Have a great Graduate Student Appreciation Week.


Dr. Kenya Taylor
Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs & Dean for Graduate Studies & Research

By: Dr. Kenya Taylor

Category: eCampus, General

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