Grad Fair a success

Students flocked into Grambling State University’s Black and Gold Room for the 18th consecutive year to attend the Big Ten school “Grad Fair” Tuesday. The fair included The Commission on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) Recruitment Caravan, a consortium of the Big Ten member universities plus the University of Chicago. Students were also treated to cookies, brownies, lemon squares coffee and hot chocolate for the morning event. 

The schools that participated in this year’s fair included Penn State, Purdue State University, University of Chicago and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, informed students on an array of graduate studies during the two-hour informational. 

“The fair was a worthwhile experience,” said senior Sharlene Cassius, a Spanish and English double major, from Laborie, St. Lucia.  “I was particularly impressed by the representative from The Ohio State University. She was personable and informative.  She really did a good job of explaining our career options if we’re considering grad school in a particular field.” 

Dr.  J. Russell Willis, a GSU sociology professor who graduated from Ohio State University, has hosted the grad fair with the goal of exposing students to graduate school opportunities. 

The event was an informative session about the participating universities’ grad programs and/or paid summer research opportunities.

“The Commission on Institutional Cooperation universities represent the nation’s premier higher education consortium of top tier research institutions,” said Willis. 

“The fact that they continue to return to Grambling every year to recruit our students speaks very highly of the caliber of students we are able to send them for graduate study and summer research learning opportunities. Dr. Connie Walton and her staff in the Office of Academic Affairs are strong supporters of this event. And, as in years past, I am delighted to be associated with it,” said Willis.

Interested sophomores and juniors were granted the opportunity to have on-site interviews about graduate school programs, and even paid summer research internships. Each participating Big Ten school had a representative detailing information about what the school has to offer. 

There were also discussions about what to look for when considering graduate schools, how to find funds for graduate school and how to successfully apply to graduate school. 

Students asked questions about financial aid, assistantships, fellowships and other graduate school matters.

“Even though I was a little disappointed that I only got to talk to four representatives, I’m still glad I had a chance to attend since I’m expected to graduate this year,” said Cassius.