The Micro Accelerator Information Sessions have been created to increase equity in education for minority students in STEM.  On June 22nd, 2021, The Department of Energy's Office of Economic Impact and Diversity hosted Yale University with Dr. Michelle D. Nearon, Sr. Associate Dean for Graduate Student Development and Diversity. Yale University is one of the most preeminent science research institutions consisting of high-quality facilities. Located in New Haven, Connecticut, the school is halfway between Boston and New York City, making Yale the center of social, cultural, arts, and recreational opportunities. The neighborhoods in New Haven are diverse and affordable, including quiet residential blocks to the lively quiet streets.

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Throughout the session Dr. Nearon shared exciting information to help attendees understand Yale’s graduate school programs. Yale offers 12 professional schools and students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs have access to several resources such as the library system, which is considered the most extensive academic library system globally. Also, it is essential to know that Yale and many other graduate schools provide Ph.D. students a financial package that covers tuition, rent, meals, and books.

Dr. Nearon's presentation explained the process of applying for graduate schools, tips, and specific information one should be made aware of. For example, an MA, MS, and PhD are for concentrated courses of studies and contribute original contributions to their fields whereas JD-PhD, and MD-PhDs are joint degrees. Graduate school degrees excel further than a bachelor’s degree and focus on a particular academic discipline. Students who pursue postgraduate degrees obtain skills they can utilize, such as research, investigative techniques, public speaking, and critical analysis. More career options open along with those skills, such as qualifying for an entry position in higher education. Still, one can have an advantage when trying to obtain a corporate, non-profit, or government career.

Dr. Nearon provided an analysis of the admissions process. The application components are GRE scores, official transcript, letters of recommendation, personal statement, and writing samples. Many believe the graduate admissions look at only grades and GRE scores when applying, but schools look at everything to determine if they will be a good fit for their school. Optional additions to someone's application such as a resume/cover letter, diversity statement, external fellowship, or contacting faculty members could help highlight abilities as a student and person. Also, many tips were given to make an application good such as not plagiarizing, organizing your thoughts, and staying upbeat.

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This micro accelerator information session has allowed many to understand the graduate process and how one should approach it. One should not be focusing on only one part of an application because all components are vital in the admissions process, as they are trying to understand who a student is and if they would be a good fit for their graduate program. Dr. Nearon has highlighted the many advantages of completing a graduate program, such as those who have a postgraduate degree, unemployment rates are much significantly lower, and the skills one gains over the course, such as organizational skills and ability to work under pressure, independence, and public speaking. Yale University has 14 schools, and they offer many graduate programs such as in Engineering & Applied Science, Biological Sciences, and Law.  Dr. Nearon encourages everyone to apply to Yale’s graduate school and to utilize her information to apply for any graduate program.


Click here to see the presentation slides