University Worth Fighting For Event: Is Graduate School For Me? – Recap

On Friday, March 25th, FI hosted a University Worth Fighting For Event titled “Is Graduate School For Me?” The event consisted of a panel discussion featuring FI fellows, which included three predetermined questions asked by CUNY Peer Leaders (CPL) undergraduate students, Aaliyah McCoy, Dawn Ressy, Malachi Davidson, Malik Brizan-Reed, and Victoria Caserta followed by three breakout rooms sessions, and a final main room discussion to wrap up the event. 

Attendees of the event were met with a warm introduction from Cathy Davidson. Followed by a welcome from Provost Steve Everett, who made his very first appearance at an FI event! Adashima Oyo kicked-off the event by providing context of the format and details of what attendees could expect. 

Lauren Mendez and Coline Chevrin started off the panel by discussing various reasons students should consider pursuing a master’s degree. They each gave information based on their personal experiences with changing careers or their pursuit to dig deeper into their chosen discipline. Chris McGuinness and Jessica Fletcher shared tips on things to consider when applying for a graduate school program. They provided attendees with insight into the application process, including how to organize deadlines and outreach to gather the necessary materials in time. Finally, to round out the panel, Hilary Wilson and Kashema Hutchinson explored mental health and funding in their discussion. They urged students to prioritize research and a balanced schedule for a manageable graduate school experience. 

In part two of the event, attendees were broken out into three breakout rooms for an opportunity to dive deeper into the panel discussions. The breakout rooms allowed attendees to ask specific questions to FI fellows. Each room offered a fruitful discussion on the various questions/concerns students are considering while determining if graduate school is the path for them. Speakers and attendees utilized the chat as a tool to engage with questions and queries about graduate school. It was also used to provide links to useful resources and tips for students to explore for further information. 

After the breakout session, attendees were welcomed back into the main room for final questions and for additional resources. The main impetus of the event was to affirm the importance of undergraduate students’ awareness that they belong in the academy. Adashima was firm in her message that the academy needs the bright and curious minds of active thinkers, learners, and dreamers. The message behind this UWF mirrors the essence of FI’s mission to help build an inclusive and diverse community of change makers. 

So, if you’re wondering whether or not graduate school is for you; take this as a sign for the affirmation you’re looking for. Graduate school is for you … it is for any and everyone. The academy needs you.


The Futures Initiative
The Graduate Center, CUNY
365 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10016-4309