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A Celebration of Learning: Union’s 2016 Ph.D. Residency

By | Alumni, Doctoral Degree, Faculty & Staff, Students | No Comments

Highlights from the 2016 July Ph.D. Residency


Highlights from

the 2016 Ph.D. Residency

A Celebration of Learning was on display as students from around the nation gathered at the 2016 July Ph.D. Residency in Cincinnati, Ohio for the collective purpose of pursuing professional goals and a lifetime of learning, service and social responsibility. 

The residency opened Sunday, July 3rd with an Opening Night Dinner event featuring Dr. Betty Overton-Adkins, renowned social justice speaker, with a, powerful presentation entitled, “Intersectionality Part 2: Intersectionality and the New Normalcy.” Other featured events included Breakfast with University Provost Dr. Nelson Soto; New Student lunch with Dr. Arlene Sacks, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs; Two MLK Capstone Presentations; Women & Power Hour with Dr. Diane Allerdyce, Program Chair; and Curriculum and Dissertation process with Dr. Raffanti, Dean of the Ph.D. Program.   

Outside of hitting the books after dinner, the evenings of the residency week were filled with fun group activities such as a Dance Social and Open Mic Night. The culminating event, held Friday, July 8th, was the Presidential Luncheon hosted by University President, Dr. Roger H. Sublett. Dr. Sublett reflected on the current state of higher education in America and Union’s role in transforming lives and communities. 

Our Ph.D. residency weeks are held twice a year in January and July. All doctoral students are required to attend the residencies. Most students find extreme value in these week-long connection events. Dr. Raffanti, Dean of the Ph.D. Program noted, “We make ourselves as faculty very available to our students that week, from mornings through well into the evenings,” Raffanti said. “We try to establish those connections you won’t find in other, similar programs.”

Learn more about Union’s
distinctive doctoral program

From the President’s Desk

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“Monday, January 19, 2015 provides us with a gift: another opportunity to celebrate the life and vision of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

At Union Institute & University, we celebrate his teachings throughout the year, most recently during our eleventh semi-annual Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Lecture on January 8. We were fortunate to feature Dr. Betty Overton-Adkins who spoke about “intersectionality,” a term coined by Kimberlee Crenshaw, that expresses the interconnected realities that impact our interconnected lives.  We also celebrated Dr. Virgil Wood, a Baptist minister who has dedicated his life to Dr. King’s teachings. And, we honored recent doctoral graduate Rev. Greg T. Bailey with the first Virgil Wood award. All three, along with so many others at Union, are making a difference in the lives of others and bringing Dr. King’s vision to life every day.

Union Institute & University has made a major commitment to further the dream of Dr. King through our Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Studies Program, a specialization in our Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies program.  I am very proud of Union and our support of the King Studies Program, as well as our students and faculty who together are pursuing a vision for the future. In time, I believe it will become a signature program of the university.

Dr. King’s vision was one of unifying all people with respect for the individual dignity of each person.  This year, with the violence around the world, it will be even more important for all of us to listen carefully for the powerful voice and message of Dr. King calling for the best of the human spirit to show itself in peaceful ways to solve social inequities, social injustices, violence, and intolerance. We are all a part of a human network that must honor the fragile bond of life that holds all of us together. Recent events may make us feel we have lost our way, but I believe that whether it is violence in Florida, Missouri, New York, Paris, or around the world, Dr. King would focus on the positive progress we have made together in building a better and safer world for our children and ourselves and call on us to double down and work harder for one another.

On this occasion of remembering a giant among men of the last century, let us dream of a future when all people can live together in peace and harmony with a deep respect for one another regardless of race, creed, or religion.

Dr. King stated, “Life’s most persistent, urgent question is:  What are you doing for others?”  As we celebrate the life and memory of Dr. King, let us ask the question, “What are we doing for others?”  At Union, we are challenged by that question each day.

Enjoy your holiday and please take time for a moment of reflection”.

Roger H. Sublett
Union Institute & University