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Right now of course the focus is on saving lives. But once this aspect of the disaster is over, how can we help people get their lives back? I am a researcher at a university in the Southeast and we would like to help the displaced graduate students along the coast.

Our universities have already opened their doors to undergrad students, but graduate students have very different needs. They will need to be hosted in individual research laboratories that have the facilities required to do their work. We would like to somehow find students in need and hook them up with the appropriate people around the country. I am sure there were many International students there-no family no money that have nowhere to go. How can we (I) set up a communication system for this?

Originally posted to science geek on Sat Sep 03, 2005 at 07:17 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  UNT is offering space (none)
    and services for professors, RAs and Grads.

    University of North Texas.  Direct people to the website

    The Christian Right is neither Witness Every Day

    by TXsharon on Sat Sep 03, 2005 at 07:22:55 AM PDT

  •  Law schools... (none)
    ... have had a conference with the national accrediting organization and the ABA resulting in  this.

    Perhaps coordinate with governing bodies in your field, if there is such a thing?

    Power to the people 'cause the people want peace.

    by socratic on Sat Sep 03, 2005 at 07:24:57 AM PDT

  •  All academics (none)
    Should write to their Deans and Graduate Directors asking for an attempt to open labs to new students.

    I want to briefly posit a scenario that emphasizes why NIH and NSF should get on top of this.

    A) Graduate students from foreign countries displaced and impoverished by disaster and given no place to go.

    B) These people have knowledge.

    C) If you don't help them and allow them to disappear ...

    I don't need to give you D.  Don't freak out or get xenophobic.  It takes only one, and even a modest effort may prevent that one from occurring.

    •  The xenophobia is in your (none)
      implication that foreign grad students are potential terrorists.

      Your scenario is hardly a compelling argument for supplanting American students by foreign ones. It IS a zero-sum game, as unpleasant as that is to acknowledge.

      Mother Nature bats last.

      by pigpaste on Sat Sep 03, 2005 at 09:22:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No it isn't (none)
        There are TONS of labs that have no grad students.

        It may be possible to have grad students finish their work or do a new project with a mentor at one institution and still get the degree through the university in the disaster zone.

        They were already here.  The only other solution is to kick them out of the country.  That's not right.

  •  deans.... (none)
    the law schools are doing an amazing job.  we should follow their example:

    yesterday (friday) i called the dean of the grad school here at the medical school.  as we talked, i think i got him excited about the idea - he said his office would get right on it.  what i proposed was that lab space be found for one or more grad students from lsu medical shool and that volunteers be found among the faculty/staff/students to provide free housing for a year - i offered my spare bedroom (i'm only a lowly postdoc).  this would not require a great deal of financial resources, but would require organizational work that could best be done out of his office.

    anyway, monday i'm going to the dean of the school where i did my phd.   if we could get a critical mass of deans working on it, i think this could really fly.

    •  call to action! (none)
      science geek and other interested me with your phone number.

      i propose we do the following:

      1. coordinate our proposal and talking points
      2. make a list and divded it amongst us of deans to call & follow up with email
      3. see how many schools we can interest in participating.

      if we can get enough deans excited, it will take off.

      when i called the dean here (who i'd never spoken to before), he hadn't thought of trying to sponsor an lsu grad student - but it clearly appealed to him.

    •  contact your Dean (none)
      Yes I think we need the Deans online. Unfortunately it's a holiday weekend but I will start contacting folks here as well. The faculty I have spoken with here are extremely enthusiastic and excited about this prospect. I know nothing about setting up websites, but perhaps we could create one that would link up researchers. I guess this is the administrative stuff, huh?
  •  We don't have much space (none)
    so I haven't offered in the other threads, but we could take in one.  

    I'll keep checking back to see whether this gets going.

  •  Mouse Genome Informatics mailing list (none)
    Had a request for ideas to help colleagues in the affected area.  There are actually a lot of topic-specific widely read lists.  Some postings on those might be helpful.
  •  Would host a/some student in my home (none)
    Also have a friend who might.

    Houston Tex.

    Support the troops (for real)! write to any soldier

    by sberel on Sat Sep 03, 2005 at 08:26:35 AM PDT

  •  VA Tech offer (none)

    BLACKSBURG, Sept. 2, 2005 -- Virginia Tech will offer specialized admissions to students displaced by Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. "We will offer admission for non-degree status on a case by case basis to qualified undergraduate or graduate students for the fall and/or spring semester.  We know that it will be difficult for students already traumatized by the tragedies in the South, but these are not normal times and we want to do everything in our power to help students stay on
    their academic paths," said Charles Steger, president.

    Tech's program will be open to students already enrolled in a school shut down or likely to remain closed as a result of the hurricane.

    The university residence halls have a very limited number of on-campus spaces available, but many off-campus apartment complexes have vacancies and are willing to offer special arrangements to students displaced by Hurricane Katrina.

    Undergraduate students interested should immediately contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, (540) 231-6267 or and complete an application at  Graduate students should contact the Graduate School, (540) 231-7581.  Students and their families are advised to act quickly. Admissions will not take applications after 5 P.M on Wed., Sept. 7.  Virginia Tech completed its second week of the 15-week semester today.   Admissions personnel will be available Saturday and on Monday, Labor Day, to assist.

    David Ford, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs calls the Virginia Tech option a "temporary academic experience" that will allow students to complete transferable credit courses back to their home university. Ford says, "Our hearts go out to everyone in those grief stricken areas. This is but one small way that we can help ease the pain for those struggling to recover."

    As of this writing, the university also is investigating ways to expand on-line course offerings to assist affected students.  The Sloan Foundation is offering grants to universities to expand existing on-line course programs and Tech is responding.  Displaced faculty in hurricane affected areas interested in visiting faculty status are encouraged to contact Provost Mark McNamee, (540) 231-6123.

  •  It would be a lot easier (none)
    if the money supporting the grad student were transportable to a different institution. Some calls to the NIH asking them to allow training grant recipients to continue to be funded, but at a different institution, might be helpful. Walter Goldschmidts heads the Research Training section. (His e-mail address can be found at the NIH website.) These kinds of decisions might have to be made at higher levels, though.

    Mother Nature bats last.

    by pigpaste on Sat Sep 03, 2005 at 09:18:00 AM PDT

    •  NIH funds (none)
      I think keeping the funding from NIH will be do able as I did most of my research at an off-site location. But should be confirmed. Will check their website.

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