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Chapter 8 - Graduate Student Support Programs

Cyndi Lynch
photo of Mark J. T. Smith

Cyndi Lynch is the director of fellowships and graduate student professional development for the Purdue University Graduate School. She is a registered veterinary technician, focusing on animal behavior. Ms. Lynch holds a BS degree in animal science and an MS degree in curriculum and instruction from Purdue University. Her research focuses on doctoral student engagement and the assessment of doctoral student learning outcomes in identified best practices, including mentoring, developing effective writing strategies, orientations and transition courses, and doctoral student professional development. Ms. Lynch administers Purdue’s Preparing Future Faculty and Preparing Future Professionals courses.

Kathy Garza Dixon, PhD
photo of Mark J. T. Smith

Dr. Dixon is the program director for the Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) and the co-director of the Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP) at Purdue University. She focuses on the recruitment, retention, and enrichment of underrepresented graduate students and provides support for postdocs seeking positions in academia. Dr. Dixon received her BA degree in psychology and her PhD in educational psychology with a concentration in human development from Indiana University. Prior to joining AGEP, Dr. Dixon served as the program director for a Lilly endowment grant at Ancilla College, where she taught psychology and developed recruitment, transition, retention, and diversity programs to support nontraditional and underrepresented college students. Dr. Dixon also worked as a visiting professor at Indiana University Southeast, where she taught courses in human development, education, and psychology. She is committed to increasing and supporting diversity in higher education. Her research interest is based on a multidisciplinary developmental approach to understanding the belief systems and academic achievement of minority college students.