University of New Mexico Scholar Named Chair-Elect of the Council of Graduate Schools

Julie Coonrod, professor of civil, construction, and environmental engineering and dean of graduate studies at the University of New Mexico, has been named chair-elect of the Board for the Council of Graduate Schools. Dr. Coonrod will serve as chair-elect during 2021 and become chair on January 1, 2022.

Founded more than half-century ago, the Council of Graduate Schools is dedicated solely to the advancement of graduate education and research. The council looks to advance graduate higher education by advocacy in the policy arena, innovative research, and the development and dissemination of best practices.

“COVID has had a particularly profound impact on graduate students,” Dr. Coonrod said. “They have not been able to complete their research and scholarship the way they envisioned. Lab hours have been limited, childcare and education responsibilities have increased, faculty mentors have additional challenges, and the isolation of it all can be demoralizing. The social, racial, and political climate of our times make graduate student success right now even more precarious.”

Dr. Coonrod’s new post comes on the heels of her serving as the president of the Western Association of Graduate Schools, a regional affiliate of the Council of Graduate Schools. Her research has focused on issues relating to the Middle Rio Grande, including bosque evapotranspiration estimates, climate change impacts on streamflow, and the intersection of restoration and flood control goals.

Professor Coonrod is a graduate of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. She holds a master’s degree in civil engineering from the University of New Mexico and a Ph.D. in civil engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.

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