As the PhD Pipeline Opportunity Program prepares to celebrate its first anniversary, Antoinette Smith, assistant professor of accounting in the College of Business Administration at Florida International University (FIU), has been named the program’s Faculty Associate of the Year.
This exciting program, the brainchild of Duke University business school professor Lucy J. Reuben who obtained a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, seeks to increase the number of under-represented minorities among business school faculty. Working through partner universities, the PhD Pipeline Program encourages minority undergraduates to consider pursuing a doctorate in business.
“I applaud Antoinette Smith’s dedicated work to inform and motivate students,” said Reuben in announcing Smith’s award, given primarily for the “significant participation” of FIU students she recruited for the program.
“We had a large number of our students apply for the PhD Pipeline 2011 Summer Workshop held at Duke University and, happily, three were selected,” Smith said. “I used Facebook and mass emails within the college to get the word out. I also sent information to our organizations and followed up with faculty members. This workshop was a terrific opportunity for students to become aware of PhD advantages.”
Smith, profiled in the organization’s inaugural newsletter, is passionate about the need for more minorities in her profession; she plans to conduct seminars and initiate other outreach efforts.
“Often a student perceives obstacles to earning a doctorate,” she said. “It took someone in my life to encourage me and now I want to help others.”
“Dr. Smith was my first choice to lead PhD Pipeline at FIU because I knew that she wholeheartedly supported the goals,” Executive Dean Joyce J. Elam said.
Summer workshop at Duke opens new doors.
FIU students Lorena Lizarralde, Natalie Palacios and Sasha Thomas joined 19 business students from Duke University, Fisk University and other institutions for the workshop, a program packed with information and motivation.
“A PhD was a ‘maybe someday’ goal for me,” said Palacios, a junior majoring in human resources and business management. “Now I know this is the path I want to take. I am very grateful to Dr. Smith for bringing this opportunity to us.”