Dr. Ambika Mathur, Dean of the Graduate School, and her husband Dr. Deepak Kamat, professor of Pediatrics and Vice Chair for Education for the Department of Pediatrics at Wayne State University School of Medicine, recently established the Ambika Mathur, Ph.D. and Deepak Kamat, M.D., Ph.D. Endowed Scholarship to support the Wayne State University Graduate School. The funds will provide opportunities for all Wayne State University students to continue to pursue academic excellence through Ph.D. graduate programs.
As Dean of the Wayne State University Graduate School, Dr. Mathur has led initiatives for a new graduate admissions review process and was instrumental in bringing programs like Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training (BEST) to Wayne State University to enhance an already-robust graduate education. Dr. Mathur spoke of such initiatives as the inspiration for her and Dr. Kamat’s philanthropic contribution to the school.
“Diversity in graduate programs is crucial because we want to make sure all perspectives are represented in higher education,” added Dr. Mathur. “Philanthropic support to the graduate school will allow us to retain talent and help all of our students—including our large population of non-traditional students—to advance their graduate degree completion.”
While many donors may direct their funds to undergraduate programs, Dr. Mathur spoke to the importance of philanthropically sustaining the graduate school. “Graduate programs give the students advanced disciplinary knowledge, and, equally important, these programs allow the student to acquire transferable skills with advanced knowledge beyond an academic setting,” said Dr. Mathur. “Things like leadership, communication, and presentation skills are some of the qualities students shape during graduate school. Such skills allow them to move forward in their careers and become leaders in their field or specialty.”
Dr. Mathur and Dr. Kamat also described the particular importance that Wayne State University graduate programs play on global, national, and local levels. As Dr. Kamat described, “our programs impact the urban understanding of inequities and our role in reducing them, and they enhance community engagement.” Dr. Mathur added, “Our data is showing that many doctoral alumni—more than half—remain in the state of Michigan, and they contribute both intellectually and economically to the state.”
The Ambika Mathur, Ph.D. and Deepak Kamat, M.D., Ph.D. Endowed Scholarship will help to ensure that the Wayne State University Graduate School maintains a broad range of students from varying economic, ethnic, cultural and intellectual perspectives.
“We want to make sure students are not limited by their ability to perform on standardized exams,” Dr. Mathur said in reference to the recent gift. “We would like to see students succeed by evaluating the entire spectrum of the student’s personality through a more holistic review process. The admission review process should examine a student’s talent, their resilience, their persistence and their leadership skills. I believe these qualities are the hallmarks of success.”
With two children recently graduated from the Wayne State University School of Medicine, Dr. Mathur and Dr. Kamat felt the time was right to philanthropically give back to the university. “Continued support of the graduate school will allow us to bring in the best, most diverse—both in thought process and cultural background—group of students whose strengths will keep Wayne State University at the forefront of graduate education,” said Dr. Mathur.
Dr. Mathur and Dr. Kamat hope that others will recognize the importance of graduate programs and join them in supporting the Wayne State University Graduate School by contributing to the fund. To learn more about the Wayne State University Graduate School, visit gradschool.wayne.edu.