Purdue University has promoted Linda Mason dean of the Graduate School. She has been at the university since 1991, and was a professor of entomology before joining the Graduate School in 2010 as associate dean and becoming interim dean in August 2017. Mason succeeds Mark J.T. Smith.
Mason will oversee graduate education that includes more than 80 programs at the West Lafayette campus and nearly 40 programs at Purdue Fort Wayne, Purdue Northwest and IUPUI. More than 11,700 graduate students were enrolled in fall 2017.
She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida, her master’s degree from Auburn University and her doctorate in entomology from Louisiana State University. Mason was a biological scientist for the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Division of Water Resources before arriving at Purdue in 1991. In 2010 she became associate dean of the Graduate School, then senior associate dean in 2017.
Mason helped create the Graduate Parent Support Network for those students who have or will have children. She helped find grant funding for eligible child care and travel expenses that the Purdue Graduate Student Government was not able to fund with its budget, and helped launch the “Say it in 6” competition to recognize graduate students for their research and connection to the community. "Say it in 6" will be the cornerstone of the Graduate School’s new effort to promote the graduate experience across campus and the community.
Mason also brought to Purdue the Three Minute Thesis, a research communication competition that was developed by the University of Queensland, Australia. The competition gives graduate students three minutes to present their research, showing its significance and relevance to the public.