Yale University and Howard University established the Edward Alexander Bouchet Graduate Honor Society in 2005. Named for the first African American doctoral recipient in the United States (PhD in physics from Yale University in 1876), the Bouchet Graduate Honor Society recognizes outstanding scholarly achievement and promotes diversity and excellence in doctoral education and the professoriate.

The Bouchet Graduate Honor Society at Washington University in St. Louis seeks to develop a network of preeminent scholars who exemplify academic and personal excellence, foster environments of support, and serve as examples of character, leadership, advocacy, scholarship, and service for students and postdocs who have been traditionally underrepresented in the academy. In the spirit of  Edward A. Bouchet‘s commitment to these pursuits both in and out of the academic realm, inductees into the honor society bearing his name also exhibit these qualities.

Edward Bouchet (1852-1918) graduated from Yale College in 1874. He went on to be the first African American to earn a doctorate from an American university when he earned a PhD. in physics at Yale University in 1876. At that time, Bouchet was the sixth person in the western hemisphere to earn a doctorate in physics. He was also one of the first African Americans to be elected to the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society.

BGHS Member Qualities

Bouchet Graduate Honor Society members exhibit the highest values of their university, through their integrity, honor, and exemplary conduct and behavior. Character may be exemplified through an individual’s emotional courage, principles, endurance, and perseverance. He or she must be reliable and consistent. At each member’s core must be an awareness of the importance of contributing and working for the good of society.
LeadershipBouchet Graduate Honor Society members take their responsibility for their departments and their academic fields of study seriously. Bouchet Society scholars are the embodiment of the ideals of their respective universities. They not only represent the mission of their university, but they also demonstrate strong initiative. WashU. Bouchet Scholars play a leadership role in extending access to the university to a wider community by creating and sharing knowledge.
Bouchet Graduate Honor Society members should advocate for broader access to graduate education and other resources within the academy. Activities might include advocating for the concerns of diverse faculty members and students, serving as a mentor, helping to address the needs of communities, and educating others on the issues that may be at the heart of the continued inequities and disparities in our society, particularly in education.
ScholarshipThe Bouchet Graduate Honor Society is an academic honor society that is committed to the goals of lifelong education, as well as the production and dissemination of knowledge in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. Bouchet Society members are committed to contributing to the development of their field(s) of study and to the application of knowledge into action that improves the lives and conditions of their communities.
ServiceBouchet Graduate Honor Society members are expected to actively contribute to the well-being of society by giving, remaining involved, sharing personal gifts and talents, and exhibiting a Bouchet-like commitment to the service of others. Examples of service might include participating in an educational program for youth, serving in local or state politics, or volunteering with a local non-profit organization.
Eligibility and Application Process

To be eligible, an individual must:

  • Be enrolled in a PhD program at WashU and be in good academic standing.
  • Be considered “All But Dissertation” (ABD) (i.e., completed qualifying exam, orals, qualifying papers or equivalent) and be within a reasonable time frame of completing their PhD degree as expected within their discipline.
  • Through initial research achievement in a humanities, social sciences and sciences field, show outstanding promise as a scholar, as evidenced by independent investigation or current work on a dissertation project.
  • Priority consideration is given to those who intend to pursue academic careers, have a demonstrated commitment to advancing diversity, equity, access, and inclusion in higher education, and are from backgrounds historically underrepresented in the academy.
BGHS Member Responsibilities

Members of the BGHS at Washington University are required to:

  • Register for and attend the Annual Yale Bouchet Conference on Diversity and Graduate Education in the year that they are inducted into the Society and participate in the BGHS Induction Ceremony. The 2024 conference dates are April 5-6, 2024.
  • Participate in WashU chapter inductee reception.
  • Represent WashU’s BGHS chapter, assist in the selection process for the annual WashU Bouchet Speaker event and may be asked to speak at events.
BGHS Member Benefits

Members of the BGHS at Washington University receive:

  • Coverage of travel costs and registration fees for the Annual Yale Bouchet Conference on Diversity and Graduate Education in the year that they are inducted into the Society to participate in the BGHS Induction Ceremony.
  • Participate in WashU chapter inductee reception and chapter events on campus.
  • Access to the BGHS member network via the Bouchet Connect platform and invitations to national BGHS programming.
Application Materials

The 2024 application cycle is closed. The 2025 cycle will open in Fall 2024.

  1. A completed application form (link below).
  2. A personal statement (2-3 pages) that explains how the applicant embodies the characteristics of Dr. Bouchet. The statement should describe the applicant’s character, leadership, advocacy, scholarship, service, and anticipated contribution to the Society.
  3. A current curriculum vitae.
  4. An unofficial copy of the applicant’s transcript.
  5. Two letters of recommendation. One letter should be from the applicant’s dissertation advisor or graduate faculty member who is knowledgeable about the applicant’s research and can describe the nominee’s current and potential contributions to their field(s) of study. The second letter can be from a faculty member, dean or director familiar with the applicant’s research and/or service. Both letters should address how the applicant exemplifies each of the core values of the Bouchet Graduate Honor Society (i.e., CLASS: Character, Leadership, Advocacy, Scholarship, and Service) and embodies the Bouchet legacy.

Please contact Jessica Cissell, Director of Graduate Programming and The Graduate Center, with questions at jessica.k.cissell@wustl.edu.

2023 Bouchet Inductees

David Balmaceda Marenco | Applied Linguistics

David Balmaceda is a candidate for the Ph.D. in applied linguistics.  David’s interdisciplinary research focuses on second language acquisition and use. His scholarship draws on theories in applied linguistics, social psychology, and higher education. He studies socio-psychological factors influencing language enrollment decisions, particularly beliefs, attitudes, and gender, and their impact on the enrollment decline of Spanish programs in the U.S. David’s research aims to foster a positive outlook towards language learning, multilingualism, and linguistic diversity with the aim of enhancing understanding of diverse cultures and the ethnic communities that are associated with them. Previously, David collaborated on research projects in health literacy with linguistically diverse patients and is currently exploring the role of second language learning and transnational mobility in developing countries amidst socio-political crises.

During his graduate studies, David helped develop an online reading program for new refugees and immigrants in St. Louis. He designed and co-coordinated the CDI Fellows Program, which enables graduate and undergraduate students to implement DEI projects on campus. He has received two professional certificates and fellowships from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and is dedicated to advancing knowledge and diversity in academia.

Rosie Dutt | Imaging Science

Rosie Dutt is a candidate for the Ph.D. in imaging science. Her research interests focus on neuroimaging analysis techniques in the context of mental health conditions and psychiatric disorders. Prior to moving to the US, Rosie graduated from St George’s University of London with a BSc in Biomedical Sciences, specializing in Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience. Since then, she has completed a MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience at Durham University and an MRes in Bioimaging Science from Imperial College London. Alongside her academics, Rosie has mobilized scientists and engineers across the country to apply their skills on a local, national and international scale, sitting on the leadership teams of numerous national organizations. Her roles include serving as Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Science Policy and Governance, Writer/Editor for 500 Women Scientists. Lastly, Rosie’s desire to inspire the next generation of scientists has led her to seek our several teaching roles at various university in the United States.

Dominique A. Horton, MSA, LCSW | Social Work

Dominique Horton is a candidate for the Ph.D. in social work.  Dominique’s scholarship, teaching and community work aims to educate, equip and empower those committed to dismantling systemic racism in and around schools. Her work seeks to expand the ways urban educators, parents, community stakeholders, other researchers and policymakers think about how racism impact academic, social-emotional and family well-being outcomes, particularly for African American families and their children. Bringing over a decade of experience as a Chicago educator and school social worker to research, Dominique’s dissertation work explores reimagining how schools engage with Black families and its potential implications for these outcomes in addition to broader educational and social policy reform. In addition to teaching and research, she has served as a mentor for incoming doctoral students, been a member of the Center for Teaching and Learning Graduate Advisory Council, collaborated with education developers on campus to support faculty incorporating anti-racist pedagogy and volunteers with St. Louis Public Schools.

Maurice Tetne | French Language & Literature

Maurice Tetne is a Ph.D. candidate in French Language and Literature. His dissertation project explores regional French and its transcription into literature and cinema, focusing on a comparative study of two francophone areas: Louisiana and francophone Africa. His research examines literature and film from the nineteenth century to the present, with the aim of demonstrating how the multiethnic nature of these French-speaking regions informs the stylistic approaches adopted by authors and filmmakers in their use of the French language. Literature and cinema serve as meeting places for multiple linguistic components expressed through a domesticated French that diverges from the grammatical and semantic norms of Parisian French.

Tetne has made contributions in both creative and critical writing. In June 2020, his collection of poems and short stories was published by Les Éditions Saint Honoré in Paris. His poem Fatale dissemblance won first prize in the American Journal of French Studies  writing contest in 2021. He was also awarded the “Silver critical essay prize” by the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures in 2022, and his article Le noir et le blanc du Fils d’Agatha Moudio, discours sur l’altérité et le mêmeté was published in Voix Plurielles, Vol. 19.1. His most recent work is a contribution to a book project with a chapter titled Français, argot et vernaculaire: une zone de confort linguistique en littérature africaine?, which will be published in March 2023 by Les Presses Universitaires de Montréal. The book won the prestigious “Langues en dialogues” prize awarded by the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF).

2023 Bouchet Graduate Honor Society Reception. Pictured (from left) are Maurice Tetne, Dominique Horton, Rosie Dutt, David Balmaceda, and Vijay Ramani (vice provost for graduate education and international affairs).
2022 Bouchet Graduate Honor Society Reception. Pictured: Kaché Claytor, Vijay Ramani (VPGE), Ananda Rankin, Peter Ogunniran.