Graduate students welcomed with convocation
Louisiana Tech held a graduate student convocation Wednesday afternoon to welcome graduate students into the Tech family.
The convocation is designed to help graduate students become acclimated to Tech and the community, said Stacy Gilbert, director of co-curricular programs, testing and disability services. It is similar to the freshmen convocation held before the beginning of fall quarter.
“It’s a little more dignified than the freshman convocation,” Gilbert said. “It looks a little different and is more of a meet and greet, but it’s still equally important to make sure they’re connected to the university.”
Gilbert said the first graduate convocation was held last fall when administrators realized that the graduate students, which account for 25 percent of Tech’s students, needed a similar function as the undergraduate convocation.
“It occurred to us that our graduate students are receiving a medallion at graduation, but they don’t know the story of the medallion unless they were an undergraduate here,” she said.
Linda Griffin, dean of student development, said the purpose of convocation was to celebrate the graduate students.
“It’s designated to parallel freshmen convocation,” Griffin said. “We see these students in transition, and we want to make that transition as smooth as possible.”
Dr. Terry McConathy, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the graduate school, welcomed the graduate students and introduced them to the concept of the Tech family.
“You have a network of colleagues and peers to contact,” she said. “There is a culture of caring at this university.”
Nathan Docter of Jackson, Miss., said he came to the convocation to reach out to that network.
“It seemed like a good opportunity to meet other graduate students,” he said.
Amit Kumthekav, of India, said he was already enjoying his time at Tech and is looking forward to doing research.
“I like Ruston,” he said. “It’s a small town, and I heard a lot about it from friends who came here. It’s good.”