PULLMAN, Wash.–Thirteen scholars who have almost completed their doctoral studies at other universities are now at Washington State University to live, teach and study for the Summer Doctoral Fellows Program, sponsored by the WSU College of Education to encourage and recruit minority faculty.
The Summer Doctoral Fellows Program is now in its fifth year, said Ron Rochon, assistant professor of education and program director. Fellows, who come from universities across the United States, are paired with senior faculty who share similar research interests, to provide the visitors with an introduction to the professoriate and WSU. At the end of the six-week program, the fellows will return to their original university to complete their doctoral studies.
At that point, when they are looking for that first job, the college hopes that they will recall their Pullman experience and accept employment at WSU, Rochon explained.
Michael Strickland is one of this summer’s fellows. Strickland, now an assistant professor of literacy education at Jersey City State College in New Jersey and a doctoral student at New York University, is the first sponsored by another college in collaboration with the College of Education.
After touring the World Wide Web sites from several Northwest universities, Strickland decided that WSU’s pages were the most friendly and accessible. He e-mailed the Department of English about his interest in relocating to this region. Susan McLeod, College of Liberal Arts chair, and Eileen Oliver, associate dean, arranged the funding and the invitation to bring Strickland to the fellows program. Oliver offered to serve as his faculty mentor during the program.
“I was really encouraged by the quick response from WSU,” Strickland said. “That shows me they are walking the walk. My experience so far, the reputation of the college, and my enjoyment of the area — for all those reasons, I am exploring the possibility of joining the faculty here.”
“At Liberal Arts, we hope this collaboration is the first of many. We could have fellows in all academic areas,” Oliver said. “This is an excellent way to help recruit diverse faculty.”

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