Jessica Tate: Valuing diversity and fit in graduate education

By Jessica Tate. Posted November 27, 2013.

The McNair program at Iowa State University is one of the primary reasons that I am currently in an APA accredited doctoral program in Counseling Psychology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  Not only did it prepare me to assess the university as a whole, but more specifically my program of interest during the interview process.  During my evaluation, it was clear that Nebraska was the perfect fit for me, mainly because of the welcoming and genuine vibe I experienced my first time walking on campus.  The support within my program, the Office of Graduate Studies, and other university organizations, such as the Jackie Gaughan Multicultural Center, are pivotal reasons as to why I was comfortable and confident with starting my story and new chapter as a Ph.D. student at UNL.

I decided to accept my offer at UNL because I felt confident that this was a place where I could live for the next 5-6 years and have a memorable and worthwhile experience.  When I interviewed for the program it was evident that the university as a whole was supportive of my graduate program and towards enhancing diversity, which is one of the most important components for me as a graduate student of color.  For example, the university is constantly developing programs to enhance the college experience for students of color, such as the Black Graduate Student Association and Graduate Students of Color group.  Nebraska also offers events for social and professional development for us, like the career panel with alumni of color last month, and the Empowerment Forum in the spring, among many others.   

I am currently in the second chapter of my story as a graduate student at UNL.  It has been extremely busy but enjoyable at the same time.  I have expanded my network and thus have developed amazing relationships across many programs and disciplines.   Overall, I am happy with my decision to attend UNL for graduate school and am thankful every single day for the opportunities and experiences I have had and will have in the future as a Cornhusker!

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