Bouchet - Nomination and Application Details

Inducted into the Edward Alexander Bouchet Graduate Honor Society on April 5, 2019 during the wonderful “New Chapter Installation Ceremony” at the 16th Annual Yale Bouchet Conference on Diversity and Graduate Education, the Michigan State University Bouchet Society chapter seeks to develop and cultivate a network of preeminent scholars who exemplify academic and personal excellence, foster environments of support, and serve as examples of scholarship, leadership, character, service, and advocacy for students who have been traditionally underrepresented in the academy. In the spirit of Bouchet’s commitment to these core values, inductees into the honor society bearing his name should also exhibit these qualities. The national charter of the Edward Alexander Bouchet Society was inaugurated on September 15, 2005, in commemoration of Bouchet’s birthday, by Yale University and Howard University.  There are currently eighteen chapter institutions.  Named in honor of Edward A. Bouchet (1852-1918), who became the first African American to earn a doctorate from an American university when he earned a Ph.D. in physics at Yale University in 1876, this society recognizes outstanding scholarly achievement and promotes diversity and excellence in doctoral education and the professoriate. 

While membership in the BGHS exists at five levels (i.e., doctoral student members, postdoctoral members, alumni members, faculty members, and lifetime or honorary members), the inaugural inductees into the BGHS at Michigan State University will be doctoral student members. 

Membership Eligibility Requirements for Doctoral Students

To be eligible at MSU, nominees/applicants must be:

  • currently enrolled full-time in a PhD. program at MSU and in excellent academic standing
  • completed with all academic requirements in their program except for the completion of the dissertation and be within a reasonable time frame of completing their doctoral degree as expected within their program
  • committed to inclusive excellence and diversity and to the outstanding qualities that Edward A. Bouchet exhibited, both inside and outside academic realms (i.e., scholarship, leadership, character, service, and advocacy)

Selection Criteria

The applications (only complete applications will be considered) will be evaluated by the MSU BGHS Institutional Steering Committee (ISC). The ISC will review nomination documents, vote on each nomination, and present selected inductees to the BGHS Executive Committee (BGHSEC).  All members of the BGHS are inducted upon the nomination of the Institutional Steering Committee (ISC) and approval of the BGHS Executive Committee (BGHSEC).

Preference will be given to those nominees/applicants who meet the following selection criteria: 

  • excellent academic credentials
  • outstanding letters of recommendation
  • compelling personal statement that addresses the Society’s core values
  • detailed description of dissertation project
  • significance of contributions to field of research
  • informed statement on diversity/inclusiveness

Conditions and Responsibilities 

Doctoral members of the BGHS at Michigan State University are required to:

  • participate in an orientation program, on campus Bouchet Society workshops, and meet with the MSU chapter’s institutional National Steering Committee representative at least once per semester
  • submit an abstract of their dissertation project
  • register for and attend the Annual Yale Bouchet Conference on Diversity and Graduate Education in April in the year that they are inducted into the Society and participate in the BGHS Induction Ceremony

Application Procedure

The application must include the following:

  • BGHS Nomination/Application Form (PDF)
  • current curriculum vitae (c.v.) that adheres to the standards of the applicant’s discipline
  • an unofficial copy of the applicant’s transcript from MSU
  • personal statement that explains how the individual embodies the characteristics of Dr. Bouchet and the mission of the MSU Bouchet Graduate Honor Society. The statement should include sections that describe the applicant’s scholarship, leadership, character, service, advocacy, and anticipated contribution to the Society (1250 words maximum)
  • description of your dissertation project—i.e., an abridged dissertation prospectus (750 words maximum)
  • diversity statement that addresses your experience with diversity in the classroom and/or in your past or planned research endeavors, any experience mentoring diverse students or community outreach initiatives, and how you will advance inclusive excellence (500 words maximum)
  • one letter of recommendation from each of the following people:  1.) the chair of the the applicant’s/nominee’s dissertation guidance committee (i.e., the major advisor); and 2.) a current faculty member at Michigan State University.  The letters should directly address how the applicant exemplifies each of the five core values of the Bouchet Graduate Honor Society: scholarship, character, leadership, service, and advocacy.

Application Due Date

Applications (only complete applications will be considered) must be received on or before December 1, 2019.

Questions? 

Contact  Dr. Pero G. Dagbovie at dagbovie@msu.edu.