Graduate Dean Accepts Advisory Roles with Key Education Organizations

Emory Woodard, PhD, Dean of Graduate Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS)

Emory H. Woodard IV, PhD, Dean of Graduate Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS), has recently accepted advisory roles with two organizations that have important connections to graduate education. Dean Woodard was named to the Executive Committee of the Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools (NAGS), which is the regional association of the broader Council of Graduate Schools (CGS). He also joined the Advisory Committee for the Duolingo English Test, which is used to evaluate the language proficiency of international candidates for admission to universities in English-speaking countries.

Last month, Dean Woodard took part in a Duolingo Advisory Committee meeting Dec. 5-6 before attending the CGS Annual Meeting Dec. 7-11. Both events took place in San Francisco.

At the CGS Meeting, Dean Woodard participated in several pre-meeting workshops on topics such as centralized support of graduate education, international student recruitment and support, and mentoring to support diverse students and careers.

“CGS is an important opportunity to connect with my colleagues from around the world on the most pressing issues facing graduate education,” says Dean Woodard. “It is important to be involved in these conversations so that I can position CLAS Graduate Studies for whatever is over the horizon in our efforts to meet the needs of the next generation of scholars and professionals and to advance their careers.”

The NAGS Executive Committee is more hands-on and is focused on finding creative solutions to problems experienced by member institutions relating to graduate study and research.

“We have open communication, share information and provide assistance to institutions embarking on graduate education,” says Dean Woodard. “Through this committee, I learn from the experiences of others in the region while sharing the lessons I have learned in my service as graduate dean. It is important for us to be in conversation with our peers so that we remain in solidarity with those from our area tackling similar challenges in graduate education.”

International student recruitment and support has been an area of focus for Dean Woodard through his work with NAGS and CGS, leading to his connection with Duolingo.

“I was introduced to Duolingo at a CGS meeting and learned of their work to make the U.S. graduate education accessible to international students,” Dean Woodard says. “The U.S. remains the preeminent destination for graduate education in the world, and as a result, Villanova is poised to attract the brightest minds in the world to our classrooms. Graduate education is often transformational for domestic students, and it is even more so for many international student populations. We benefit as much from the inclusion of international students in our classrooms as our students are exposed to the global ideas and experiences of their peers and are prepared to interact in our global community. My hope is to assist Duolingo create an English proficiency test that helps Villanova and international graduate students partner in our shared mission to solve the challenges facing the world.”

About Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Since its founding in 1842, Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has cultivated knowledge, understanding and intellectual courage for a purposeful life in a challenged and changing world. With 39 majors across the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, it is the oldest and largest of Villanova’s colleges, serving more than 4,500 undergraduate and graduate students each year. The College is committed to a teacher-scholar model, offering outstanding undergraduate and graduate research opportunities and a rigorous core curriculum that prepares students to become critical thinkers, strong communicators and ethical leaders with a truly global perspective.

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