Edward Alexander Bouchet earned a Ph.D. in physics from Yale College in 1876 and became the first African American to earn a doctorate from a U.S. institution. In recognition of his accomplishments and contributions to doctoral education, Yale University and Howard University founded the Edward Alexander Bouchet Graduate Honor Society in 2005.
The Bouchet Society “recognizes outstanding scholarly achievement and promotes diversity and excellence in doctoral education and the professoriate”. The purpose of the Bouchet Society is to “develop a network of preeminent scholars who exemplify academic and personal excellence” through supportive environments and advocacy for doctoral students of diverse backgrounds ‘traditionally those underrepresented in the academy.” For more information, see the Bouchet website associated with the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
In addition to the two founding institutional chapters (Howard University, Yale University), the Bouchet Society includes ten additional chapters including: Cornell University, Rutgers University, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, The George Washington University, University of California, Los Angeles, University of California, San Diego, University of Michigan, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and Washington University, St. Louis. As noted above, Virginia Tech Graduate School was recently invited to join and became a charter institution in 2014.
The induction of new members is held in conjunction with the Society’s annual conference, this year held on April 10-11, 2015 at Yale’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences campus. This year seven Virginia Tech graduate students were inducted into the Bouchet Society: Kelly Cross (Engineering Education), Nikhil Jain (Electrical Engineering), Elizabeth Jamison (Social, Political, Ethical and Cultural Thought), Nicole Johnson (Higher Education), Christian Matheis (Social, Political, Ethical, and Cultural Thought), Monica Motley (Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences), and Ashley Robinson (Computer Science and Application). Each of these individuals are highlighted in a recent Virginia Tech news release. VT Vice President and Dean Karen P. DePauw was also inducted as a faculty member.
The Virginia Tech chapter of the Bouchet Society is housed in the Office of Recruitment and Diversity Initiatives with the Graduate School. Dannette Beane serves as Director of the ORDI. In addition, check out the Graduate School’s commitment to inclusion and diversity through InclusiveVT.