BATON ROUGE -- A group of LSU faculty members, led by Paul Russo of the Department of Chemistry, is developing a new multidisciplinary, craft-based approach to graduate education that could serve as a model for graduate programs around the country.
LSU's apprentice-craftsman approach focuses on training doctoral students for the modern workplace through hands-on research, teaching and community service. The object of the training is to help students obtain prestigious positions at top universities and national research laboratories.
"The goal is not merely to get our students jobs, but careers," Russo said.
LSU is one of 57 colleges and universities around the country taking part in the National Science Foundation's Integrative Graduate Education Research Training program, known as IGERT. The IGERT program, designed to reinvent the way graduate students are trained, allows participating institutions to develop their own methods for graduate education. NSF offers guidelines for the program, including that it should involve new teaching methods, intensive research and problem-solving aspects for students. But many of the details are left up to the universities taking part in the program.
The 57 different IGERT programs around the nation span all areas of research, from the biological sciences to the social sciences. But all use a multidisciplinary approach, bringing researchers and students from a variety of fields together to study different aspects of one main topic or theme. The programs are also all integrative, meaning they use an array of different teaching methods such as lectures, laboratory sessions, research projects and seminar speakers.
LSU's program, "Teaching Craft for Macro-Molecular Creativity," involves faculty members and students from various departments, including chemistry, biological sciences, physics, chemical and mechanical engineering, human ecology, education and veterinary medicine. But all of the part
Contact: Kristine Calongne
Louisiana State University