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Slavkovic honored with 2018 Graduate Program Chair Leadership Award

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04 April 2018

Aleksandra SlavkovicAleksandra Slavkovic, professor of statistics, associate dean for graduate education, and former associate head for graduate studies in the Eberly College of Science, is the 2018 recipient of the Graduate School Alumni Society Graduate Program Chair Leadership Award.

The award honors faculty members for exemplary leadership that benefits graduate students and faculty in an existing graduate program at the University.

Slavkovic, who became graduate chair in statistics department in 2013, is credited with improving both diversity and the caliber of students recruited into the program. She inherited a program with no underrepresented minorities. Working jointly with faculty and graduate students in statistics, in 2015, they improved those numbers to 55.6 percent women, 10 percent underrepresented minorities.

To improve mentoring and retention, Slavkovic helped spearhead the idea of creating an online advising and mentoring system to better track student progress and provide more meaningful feedback. The system has been adopted and implemented by the Eberly College of Science for use in all of its programs with great success.

Other improvements led by Slavkovic include: encouraging the formation of the Statistics Graduate Student Association in 2014, setting up town hall meetings to address work-life balances for students and to provide feedback to the department on academic and other matters and creating an innovative feedback blog for students to share their opinions about the field of statistics.

“I believe that our department is doing an outstanding job of preparing statistical scientists but it is also preparing individuals who know what it means to be a good colleague and an active member of a professional scientific community,” a colleague said. “This I believe is due in large part to Slavkovic’s administration of the graduate program.”

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