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Success on the Faculty Track

May 25, 2017

Marisa FrancoMarisa Franco graduates this spring with a Ph.D. in Psychology and has accepted a tenure-track faculty position at Georgia State University.  She is a success story for Maryland and the Graduate School because she was a participant in many of its programs for underrepresented doctoral students on the path to the professoriate.

When she first arrived here, as a former McNair Scholar from New York University, she was awarded the McNair Graduate Fellowship, for her first year of doctoral study. This is an $18,000 stipend that includes tuition for the first year – a critical time for underrepresented students. Marisa would agree that indeed it was her “most difficult year in the Ph.D. program.”

Marisa also received the University’s highest merit fellowship – the Flagship, which provides $10,000 per year for four years, plus a $10,000 dissertation fellowship. As an active scholar, she also applied for and received the International Graduate Research Fellowship which allowed her to complete a project on ‘Interventions for Haitian Adolescents with a Conduct Disorder.’  She spent a summer in Haiti exploring this area, while also teaching in Haitian-Creole.  Through this experience, she “became more competent and confident in developing an international research program, made connections with Haitian researchers, and developed a passion for community-based methods that respect and harness the existing resources in the community,” says Marisa. A year later, she received the Graduate School’s All Star Fellowship, awarded for excellence as a Graduate Assistant and as a scholar.  For these accomplishments, she was presented with $10,000 for that academic year. 

And because she was focused on the joining the academy, she became a member of the Promise program upon her entry into the University.  This allowed the Graduate School to nominate Marisa for the Southern Regional Education Board’s Doctoral Scholars Program (SREB) – which provided her with training and support toward the professoriate.

This preparation coupled with strong mentoring from Drs. Mia Smith-Bynum and Karen O’Brien, Marisa was able to pursue her scholarly and professional passions. In her own words, “a field that continues to amplify and express my values, and gives me the tools to take action on behalf of these values--toward creating a more equitable society. Counseling psychology, in some ways, is extension of who I am, what I think is right, and what I revere. And I have always felt that it was necessary for me to direct these energies to one of the highest degrees--the Ph.D.”

Further information about Marisa Franco can be found here.

The Graduate Student of Color in the DMV, founded by Marisa Franco.

Contact Information

The Graduate School
University of Maryland

2123 Lee Building
7809 Regents Drive
College Park, MD 20742

301-405-3644
gradschool@umd.edu