Success for Underrepresented Students in Graduate Education (SURGE)

Success for Underrepresented Students in Graduate Education (SURGE) is a graduate mentorship program supporting undergraduate domestic students from underserved backgrounds, including first-generation college students. SURGE is a safe space where students prepare for graduate school and grow together with peers and mentors in a supportive community.

SURGE trainees are paired with graduate student mentors who help them think about and prepare for the challenges that come with being a graduate student. SURGE also provides students with resources and professional development opportunities to support their future. Plus, the program helps students find graduate programs that are cost effective and require less time to degree.

Questions? Email Program Director Mary Wood at


The SURGE application is currently closed


GIbson Kirui 
SURGE mentor '22
Ph.D. candidate in chemistry

From my own judgment, this is a safe space for both people who aspire to be mentors and mentees to chat about career aspirations and build a community here at WSU. The 1:1 mentoring of underserved students with subsequent workshops ranging from personal planning for success to developing psychological fortitude and financial well-being have been the best experiences so far and have improved my hard and soft mentoring skills.

Rayshawda Temple
SURGE mentor '22
Master's student in public health

Being a SURGE mentor has made me more confident in my overall leadership skills, which will be an asset for me in my future field of public health. I would definitely recommend this experience to anyone looking to get involved in a more meaningful way. It is really a great way to network with peers and make lasting connections.

Darius Love
SURGE mentee '22
Student in psychology

Overall the SURGE experience has been very helpful. I've learned so many important things about graduate school. My favorite aspect would be the community and mentors. Everyone is so nice and supportive. It's nice to learn from people who are in graduate school. I would recommend everyone who is interested in going to graduate school to join the SURGE group!

Shaqyna Ross
SURGE trainee '21
Student in secondary education

"We don't only learn more information about our future careers, but we also learn valuable information we need during our daily lifestyle such as creating a resume, saving, protecting our mental health, and filing taxes. These are things we don't learn in school."

Sarah Whitney
SURGE mentor '21
Master's student in social work

"My mentee is incredibly smart, she teaches me new things constantly. She challenges me and has helped shape my world view and mentoring her has required me to do a great deal of self-reflection so that I could support her reflection. My experience has been gratifying and humbling and I highly recommend it."