Calling SIGS “farsighted,” the Chronicle described the PLAN program launched in 2009 as a model for the kind of comprehensive professionalization program all graduate students need. Highlighted in the article were Beth Boehm and Ghanashyam (Shyam) Sharma, who were PLAN’s architects. PLAN stands for professional development, life skills, academic development and networking.

“Programs like Louisville’s point the way forward for graduate schools. Broadly conceived professionalism can no longer be the sole province of ‘applied’ fields like business or engineering,” the Chronicle said.

Rasitha Wickramasinghe was so enthusiastic about PLAN that she attended more than 15 workshops in the 2012-2013 academic year – more than any other student at the time.

After she earned her PhD in math, she went on to an assistant professorship position at Centre College in Danville. Rasitha credited PLAN with helping her land the job.

“PLAN helped me in so many ways. I changed my CV, cover letter, teaching statement, the places to look for jobs, what to do before the interview and at the interview because of PLAN,” Rasitha said.

PLAN is serving more students with more workshops, academies and classes than ever, according to Michelle Rodems, the program manager. In addition to a grant-writing academy and a graduate teaching assistant academy, PLAN this year added an entrepreneurship academy.

The Chronicle article praised Boehm, dean of SIGS and vice provost for graduate affairs, and Sharma, now an assistant professor of writing and rhetoric at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, for creating a culture that helped PLAN succeed. (Sharma was a UofL graduate student research assistant for Boehm when he helped develop PLAN.)

“The collaboration between Boehm and Sharma invented the program and also defines it,” the Chronicle wrote.

To see the original Chronicle article, click here:

Janet Cappiello covers student success for the Office of Communications and Marketing. She has more than 30 years’ experience in journalism, including working for The Associated Press and magazines such as Vegetarian Times and Sustainability: The Journal of Record. She has been at UofL since 2014.