The Graduate Education Advancement Board (GEAB) champions graduate students at UNC-Chapel Hill. Members believe in the importance of graduate education at Carolina and share their perspectives on issues as diverse as advocacy for student needs and forward-thinking professional development. They also provide direct financial support for Graduate School initiatives such as the GEAB Impact Awards (honoring graduate student research of direct benefit to North Carolina) and Summer Research Fellowships (providing crucial support for students in academic areas where summer support is limited).

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Pictured above are members of the GEAB:
(front row, left to right) Howard Lee, Fran Meyer, Jean Grainger, Fran Hoch, Burnet Tucker and Linda Dykstra Hylander; and (back row, left to right) Andrew McMillan Jr., Paul Hoch, Lana Dial, Ross Johnson, Carol Smithwick, Charles Holmes, Blair Kutrow, Don Buckley, Ken Smith and Priscilla Taylor.

Graduate School Dean Steve Matson presents the 2015 Dean’s Award for Significant Contributions to Graduate Education to Fran Hoch.

Graduate School Dean Steve Matson presents the 2015 Dean’s Award for Significant Contributions to Graduate Education to Fran Hoch.

Graduate School Dean Steve Matson presented the 2015 Dean’s Award for Significant Contributions to Graduate Education to Fran Hoch. This award, given at the annual Graduate Student Recognition Celebration, goes to an individual who has made significant and lasting contributions to graduate education at Carolina. Hoch received her master’s degree and doctorate in Romance languages from UNC-Chapel Hill. She is a longtime member and former chair of the Graduate Education Advancement Board and former member of the University’s Board of Visitors. Matson said Hoch is “a strong advocate for graduate students and for the ways The Graduate School can most powerfully respond to their academic needs.”

Mary Anne Larson with Mrs. Caroline H. Royster

Mary Anne Larson (right) with Mrs. Caroline H. Royster

Dozens of friends, colleagues and family members filled the Carolina Inn’s Hill Ballroom on October 23, 2015, to honor retiring Graduate School director of development Mary Anne Larson. She joined the University in 1998. During the University’s Carolina First Campaign, Larson provided critical leadership to The Graduate School in raising $19.2 million in graduate student support. Larson is pictured with Mrs. Caroline H. Royster at the Carolina Inn celebration. The Royster Society of Fellows, The Graduate School’s preeminent fellowship program, was endowed by Dr. and Mrs. Thomas S. Royster.

Four members of the Graduate Education Advancement Board (GEAB) provide their perspectives on graduate education as members of the University’s Board of Visitors

KENNETH SMITH: Serving as a Resource

Kenneth Smith with Andrew Roberts, who received a 2015 GEAB Impact Award.

Kenneth Smith (right) with Andrew Roberts, who received a 2015 GEAB Impact Award.

Kenneth Smith received his M.B.A from Harvard University and his bachelor’s degree in economics from UNC-Chapel Hill, where he was a Morehead Scholar. He was also a Fulbright Scholar, traveling to Malaysia as a part of his scholarship. He brings his international perspective, business acumen and Tar Heel spirit to the GEAB and Board of Visitors. He speaks of the uniqueness of Carolina as a melting pot that combines many academic interests, mixed with an integrity and intellectual passion rarely seen at other universities. His desire for the GEAB is for the Board to be a resource for graduate students—all in an effort to help graduate students navigate the next step in their careers. Smith is managing director of Park Street Capital, LLC. He enjoys interacting with students and giving back to the school that began his illustrious academic career. Smith provides support for GEAB Impact Awards and Summer Research Fellowships, including creating two fellowships in 2015.

DEBU CHATTERJEE: Making Authentic Connections

Debu Chatterjee with Matthew Harkey, recipient of the 2015 T.N. Chatterjee Summer Research Fellowship.

Debu Chatterjee (right) with Matthew Harkey, recipient of the 2015 T.N. Chatterjee Summer Research Fellowship.

Debu Chatterjee is the founder and CEO of DxContinuum, a California-based start-up company. He says he brings the perspective of an entrepreneur, of a West Coast alumnus from the high-tech center of the country, and of an immigrant who is now a naturalized citizen. Chatterjee, who received his master’s degree in computer science from Carolina, says graduate students need a way to connect to professionals “so they can make their work and education relevant to the progress that has been made in the outside world.” Chatterjee remembers his own formative experiences as a graduate student at Carolina. “When I first received the brochure, the way it described the department, the offerings, the faculty, the mission and the University, and then what I realized and experienced when I came—there were no differences. It was so authentic. Carolina and its community is truly what it aspires to be, and the principle of being authentic has supported me really well through my evolving journey as I established my roots in my adopted country.” Chatterjee and his wife, Aparna, give generously to The Graduate School’s Summer Research Fellowships. “That we could help graduate students in some small way at this point in their lives is something we cherish,” he says.

ANDREW MCMILLAN: Giving Back Across the Board

Andrew McMillan

Andrew McMillan

As an alumnus of Carolina (bachelor’s degree in chemistry), Andrew McMillan has always wanted to give back to the University by becoming more actively involved. In his own words: “The GEAB is unique to UNC and serves as a terrific portal to bring in an ‘outside the university’ perspective on issues pertaining to graduate education at Carolina. While I hold an undergraduate degree from Carolina, I did my graduate work elsewhere. [He received his doctorate from Emory University.] I bring an outsider’s perspective to the GEAB; however, I am a Tar Heel through and through.” McMillan, chief operating officer for Jefferson Distributing Company, says he enjoys meeting students and hearing their inspirational stories. “Carolina continues to excel with the quality and caliber of both faculty and students. I am thrilled to be involved with the GEAB, Board of Visitors and the Department of Chemistry as a way to give back to my alma mater and the institution that enabled me to succeed in so many ways, both personally and professionally.” McMillan and his wife, Kathrine, support the Summer Research Fellowships, the GEAB Impact Award and the Graduate School Special Fund.

HAROLD GLASS: Returning to Mentor

Harold Glass

Harold Glass

Harold Glass has lived and worked all over the world, but UNC-Chapel Hill remains an important part of his life. He received his doctorate in political science from Carolina, and his experiences in Chapel Hill left a lasting impression. “A person, if fortunate, goes through three key periods in their life: They learn, they earn and they return. As I entered the third phase I was asked to join the Graduate Education Advancement Board, which I agreed to do without hesitation.” Glass says he has been fortunate to meet many graduate students through his membership on the GEAB. “That I was able in some way to help them understand what lay before them—at least, how I had negotiated that path—was of great reward to me. That I was able to help financially so that they could focus on their own graduate education was equally rewarding.” Glass is Dean’s Professor within Mayes College at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. He and his wife, Holly, have created 32 Summer Research Fellowships during the past five years. The Glasses also provided a gift enabling The Graduate School to establish the Harold J. Glass USAF Faculty Mentor/Graduate Fellow Distinguished Term Professorship, named for Harold Glass’ father, which also includes a graduate fellowship for a student chosen by the professor.

Graduate Education Advancement Board Members

  • Penny Aldrich
  • Suzanne Buchta
  • Donald Buckley
  • Ivy Carroll
  • Debashish Chatterjee
  • Lana Dial
  • Harold Glass
  • Jean Grainger
  • Michael Harpold
  • Frances Hoch
  • Paul Hoch
  • Charles Holmes
  • Linda Dykstra Hylander
  • Verla Insko
  • Ross Johnson
  • Blair Kutrow
  • Howard Lee
  • David Lewis
  • Susan Lord
  • Andrew McMillan Jr.
  • David McNelis
  • Francis Meyer
  • Philip Nelson
  • Laurie Sanford
  • Drusilla Scott
  • Kenneth Smith
  • Carol Smithwick
  • Thomas Sox
  • Priscilla Taylor
  • Burnet Tucker
  • Beth Whitaker

GEAB Members Emeritus

  • Timothy Crowder
  • Lyle Jones
  • Peace Sullivan
  • Charles Weiss