Quick Ref

To: Faculty, Students, Staff
From: Eric D. Isaacs
Subject: Enhancing support for graduate students
Date: May 20, 2015

Over the past several years, the University has focused on developing new resources for graduate education, and I am pleased today to announce the next phase of these efforts: UChicagoGRAD, a new office and comprehensive program designed to make resources for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars more accessible and more effective.

UChicagoGRAD will complement the discipline-specific training and support provided by the departments, divisions and schools, by offering a range of services to enhance the ability of graduate students and postdoctoral scholars to navigate their careers on campus and beyond. Our goal is to capitalize on the upward trajectory of our graduate students and postdocs in recent years and to ensure that every graduate student and postdoc is prepared for important roles in academia, non-profits, industry, and government.

UChicagoGRAD will focus on four aspects of graduate students’ and postdoctoral scholars’ careers: (1) recruitment and enrollment; (2) general student skills and experiences such as the development of teaching portfolios and dissertation writing support; (3) career development; and (4) alumni connections. 

Working in coordination with the divisions and schools, UChicagoGRAD will serve as a hub for general services such as training for presentation of academic papers; development of skills for public speaking; interviewing and writing for a variety of audiences; advising on applications for graduate fellowships; resources for students with families; expanded teaching support through the Chicago Center for Teaching; and career development.  

UChicagoGRAD will provide one point of access for grad-related support, and will involve the merging of Graduate Student Affairs with other University-wide graduate services. UChicagoGRAD will be overseen by Vice Provost for Academic Initiatives, Sian Beilock, a Professor of Psychology and the College and a member of the Committee on Education. Beilock will work closely with three directors: Brooke Noonan (Director of Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Experience), Beth Niestat (Director of Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Administration and Policy), and a to-be-named Director of Graduate Enrollment. Michele Rasmussen, Dean of Students in the University, will also be an integral part of the UChicagoGRAD team, while continuing her role within Campus and Student Life. 

Our newest graduate efforts represent a next phase of the outstanding work done by Deputy Provost for Graduate Education, Debbie Nelson - who has decided to return full-time to her teaching and research as an Associate Professor of English and the College starting July 1st, 2015 - and the important work of the Deputy Provost before her, Cathy J. Cohen, the David and Mary Winton Green Professor of Political Science and the College. 

More information about UChicagoGRAD can be found here: http://grad.uchicago.edu