RISE Bridge Program

Fall 2020 Update

In keeping with guidelines from the Arkansas Department of Health and our Board of Trustees, we are planning to offer the Razorgrad Institute for Success and Engagement as a mixed-format experience this August. All nominated students will be updated with session details and additional information.

If you have any questions at all, please reach out to the office of graduate student support at gradsupport@uark.edu or 479-575-7308. We are standing by to help.

Important 2020 Dates

  • June 19, 2020: Application Deadline
  • August 10-14, 2020: RISE Program Dates

About RISE

The most important thing I got out of the RISE program was the connections to people. The people from that week have already been amazing help and I know that I will keep in touch. I learned how to get around campus, learned not to be afraid to ask for help.” -2019 RISE Participant


"Thanks to the resources provided, I truly feel like I belong here." -2018 RISE participant

The Razorgrad Institute for Success and Engagement (RISE) is a week-long program designed to invest in promising new graduate students from historically underrepresented populations in graduate school (African American, Hispanic or Latinx, American Indian and Alaskan Native, and first-generation) during the transition into graduate education on our campus.

RISE 2020 will be August 10th-14th with 18-20 new graduate students participating in activities designed to create community and provide a toolkit for academic and personal success. Additionally, activities will be planned to familiarize students with campus, Fayetteville, and the Northwest Arkansas area.

Time Commitment & Content

Participants are expected to attend all activities and events. A timetable of the week’s activities will be shared with participants closer to the start of the program. In the meantime, participants can expect to start around 9am CDT every morning and go to 5pm CDT every evening during the week-long program. Below are some of the topics we’ll be addressing during the institute.


  • Library Tour & Citation Software
  • Mentoring Discussion
  • Blackboard & Other Technologies
  • Paragraph Mapping & Other Tricks of the Trade

Professional Development

  • Professionalism in the Classroom & the Workplace
  • Successful Networking & Professional Presence
  • Post-PhD process talk on “Climbing the Academic Ladder”

Personal Toolkit

  • Managing Personal Finances (and Building A Budget)
  • 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
  • Stress & Anxiety Toolbox
  • Time Management/Self Care
  • Not Knowing What You Don’t Know & How to Find Out

Community Building

  • Unexpected Art Walk with the School of Art
  • Strengths Quest & Lenses of Introspection Exercises
  • Current Student & Faculty Panels
  • Social Group Activities
  • Shared Group Meals
  • Visit to Crystal Bridges Museum

What's Included?

  • There is no cost for participants to join the institute.
  • Participants will also have access to current graduate students as group mentors during the institute. These student mentors will assist in answering questions about campus and community life, provide a connection to the university, and be able to share personal insight on the graduate school experience here at the University of Arkansas.
  • Depending on health restrictions at the time of the program, participants will be provided lunch and/or dinner Monday-Friday during the institute.
  • Transportation and any costs for group activities will be covered by the program. Additionally, participants will receive selected materials to accompany some of the presentations.

Application Process

To participate, students must be admitted to the University of Arkansas Graduate School without condition, and commence their studies in the summer or fall of 2020. Preference will be given to students who earned their previous degree(s) at an institution other than the University of Arkansas.

A complete application packet will include:

  1. A nomination in support of the student by the graduate coordinator for their department/program or the department chair
  2. An academic résumé or CV from the student
  3. A one-page statement of purpose from the student, discussing their goals for their graduate studies and how the RISE program will help achieve those goals

Applications must be submitted to the Office of Graduate Student Support (gradsupport@uark.edu) by the date listed above.

Applications are reviewed by committee after the application deadline. All applicants will be notified of the committee's decision by email, usually within 1 week after the deadline.


For additional information about RISE or the graduate school, please contact the Office of Graduate Student Support at 479-575-7038 or gradsupport@uark.edu.

Want to know more the university and Fayetteville? Check out our Learn About Us section.