About the Shepherd Initiative
The Shepherd Initiative is a different approach to achieving the goals of diversity and inclusiveness in graduate education. Instead of focusing primarily on individual students, the Shepherd Project has the aim of establishing long-term partnerships with faculty at institutions that have a track record of producing minority baccalaureates.
The reasoning is that unlike the ever-changing student population, faculty tend to be relatively stable. Thus, the key to success is an emphasis on a “win-win” philosophy in the partnerships. We plan to bring prospective faculty partners to campus to interact with their colleagues in their respective fields. These meetings will facilitate collaborations. Faculty at the targeted institutions win because they will have opportunities to advance their research agendas. SUNY-Albany wins because these “shepherds,” the mentors of students at targeted partner institutions, will direct their best graduates to our Ph.D. programs. In other words, the goal of increasing the number of minority Ph.D. students will be accomplished because the Shepherd Initiative will facilitate the development of a strong and self-sustaining pipeline.