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Enhancing Student Success

Accelerate to Industry Wins American Association of University Administrators Blackburn Award

Participants engage in team-building exercises at the 2019 A2i Immersion Week. (Darren White photo)

The Graduate School’s Accelerate to Industry (A2i) has received the Blackburn Award from the American Association of University Administrators (AAUA). The Blackburn Award, named for the AAUA-pioneer and long-time AAUA General Secretary John L. Blackburn, is considered to be AAUA’s highest institutional/programmatic recognition and will be presented virtually during the AAUA leadership seminar on June 7.

The Blackburn Award recognizes outstanding examples of college/university leadership activities that demonstrate creative solutions to common problems in higher education. These include programs or methods that exemplify successful efforts to meet internal or external challenges and demands, including, but not limited to, those posed by one or more of a wide variety of influencing sources such as legislative bodies or public policy bureaucracies, accreditation agencies, institution-based strategic aspirations, and/or external demands for documentable evidence of the effectiveness and value of higher education.

A2i is a program offered by the Graduate School’s professional development team that helps graduate students, postdoctoral scholars and graduate alumni explore careers in industry. Though careers in academia traditionally have been the career pathway for many Ph.D. graduates, those jobs have become increasingly difficult to obtain over the past several decades. However, industry is eager to hire Ph.D. grads with the right kind of technical expertise and skillsets.

“We are delighted that A2i continues to earn national recognition and support. To the students we serve across multiple institutions, our industry, and institutional partners, we share this win. We are so grateful and thank the AAUA for this award,” said Laura Demarse, assistant dean for professional development at the Graduate School.

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