A Message to Graduate Students

Sent February 19,  2021

Dear Graduate and Professional Students,
 
I hope you and your family are safe and warm. As we resume operations after our historic winter weather, Interim Provost Weichold sent a message to faculty and staff urging flexibility and compassion for students who may have lingering issues with power, internet connectivity, and infrastructure. While we have learning outcomes and objectives that must be met, this is an important directive encouraging faculty to operate throughout the upcoming weeks with awareness about the challenges you are facing. 
 
The University is aware that you have almost certainly experienced delays in your academic progress this week. We are not extending the semester, but have revised deadlines for thesis and dissertation defenses and document submissions as follows:
 

  • Last day to take final exam: move to March 22.
  • Last day to submit a signed approval form and PDF file of thesis or dissertation: April 5.

We will update our calendar to reflect these changes.
 
The University is also aware that the ongoing pandemic is a source of stress for graduate students that may have been exacerbated by the recent winter weather. I am writing to remind you of the many financial and mental health resources available to graduate students and to direct you to sites where you can find information about these resources.
 
Financial Resources
In addition to grants, fellowships, and awards, you can apply for emergency aid. Some, but not all, sources of emergency aid are loans requiring repayment.
 
For information, please visit the Funding Your Education page on our website. We have updated the page to include a section on “Emergency Aid.” You may also check the Financial Aid Office website to see funding options or go directly to the Emergency Aid page to view your options.
 
Mental Health Resources
Texas A&M Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) provides prevention, education and counseling services. If you are in need of mental healthcare, visit CAPS website to schedule an appointment. CAPS also connects students to Emergency Resources and operates Helpline, a support, information, crisis intervention, and referrals resource for students and those concerned about students.
 
General Resources
Student Assistance Services also offers emergency financial support and connects students who are experiencing mental health challenges, food insecurity or other difficulties to local resources. If you or someone you know is in need or seems to be in distress, please contact their office at 979.845.3113 or submit a Tell Somebody report.
 
A Note of Gratitude
Lastly, I would like to thank you for the incredible effort and flexibility you and all of your graduate and professional colleagues have exhibited since last March. It is beyond remarkable that you have been able to make the kind of adjustments necessary to keep researching, teaching, and learning during these trying times. I truly believe that one of the defining characteristics of you and your cohort will be your resilience. You have forged ahead in the face of COVID-19, racial strife, political division, and other events like this week’s weather, in pursuit of your academic goals. We know this has been a struggle, but you have shown that you have the ability not only to endure anything that comes at you over the course of your lives, but—as you have done over the last ten months—to thrive. 
 
You have earned the respect and admiration of everyone in our Aggie community.
 
Sincerely,
Dr. Karen Butler-Purry, Associate Provost and Dean
Texas A&M University Graduate and Professional School

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