In just the past few years, we have implemented the following programs and changes to continue our efforts to promote a dynamic, inclusive, and collegial environment with equitable access to resources and programs for our graduate student cohort.



  • Implementation of the faculty position Director of Graduate Recruiting for Diversity (Professor Marcos Pires)


  • GRE requirement for graduate applications removed by a faculty vote


  • Developed and implemented new First Year Peer Mentor program


  • The Graduate Student Council, the Director of Graduate Studies and the Graduate Studies Committee developed a faculty-approved Statement of Mutual Expectations.



  • Two elected positions in the Chemistry Department Graduate Student Council: 1) The Director of Graduate Studies Ambassador and 2) the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Liaison. Graduate students in both of these positions communicate directly to the Director of Graduate Studies on various topics and issues of interest and importance to the broader graduate student population.


  • A new graduate student led Career Seminar Series hosts guests to our department from a diverse range of careers and backgrounds to meet with graduate students and postdocs and to deliver presentations about their career paths


  • A new annual reporting process for Ph. D. students that features one-on-one discussion of their IDP (individual development plan), including career planning, with their advisor


  • New Faces in Chemistry, an international workshop for future faculty, held over Zoom, to enable competitive applications from prospective faculty members from diverse backgrounds


  • Director of Graduate Studies holds formal monthly meeting with officers of our Graduate Student Council


  • Director of Graduate Studies holds monthly informal social events with graduate students and postdocs


  • President of the Graduate Student Council is a formal member of the Chemistry Department's Graduate Studies Committee


  • Introduction of 4th year Seminars into the Ph. D. program to provide students with direct feedback from their faculty advisory committee members at this critical time in their studies


  • Annual First-Generation Student Day event in the Chemistry Department for undergraduate and graduate students


  • Enhanced access for graduate students to external fellowship programs: a) Working with UVA's PhD Plus program, expenses are paid for graduate students to use an external program to assist with preparation of application materials for the NSF Graduate Research Fellowships Program; b) maintenance of a list of external fellowships, requirements and deadlines with access by all graduate students.


  • Clarified and formalized faculty participation in the process for student preparation for candidacy exams in order to provide a balanced and equitable process for all graduate students.


  • Multi-year overhaul of General Chemistry, for which our graduate students serve as teaching assistants, to an inclusive active learning format with impacts on support for students from underprivileged backgrounds