MSUToday
Published: Dec. 9, 2019

Judith Stoddart wins Assistant and Associate Deans Leadership Award

Contact(s): Abby Rubley Center for Global Connections in Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources office: (517) 884-4675 rubleyab@anr.msu.edu, Kim Ward Communication and Brand Strategy office: (517) 432-0117 cell: (734) 658-4250 kim.ward@cabs.msu.edu

The Board of Directors of the Council of Graduate Schools, or CGS, has announced that Judith Stoddart, senior associate dean of the Graduate School at Michigan State University, is the 2019 winner of the Assistant and Associate Deans Leadership Award. The awards ceremony was held during the CGS 59th annual meeting in Nashville, TN.

The award was created by the CGS Board of Directors to recognize individuals who have demonstrated exemplary commitment to graduate education by demonstrating creativity and innovation in response to institutional challenges and/or limited budgets or resources; building partnerships both internal and external to the graduate school; identifying and obtaining resources, both internal and external to the graduate school; effectively advocating on behalf of graduate education; fostering inclusiveness in the graduate community; and engaging student voices, including diverse voices.

Stoddart becomes the award’s first recipient for her valuable contributions to the MSU graduate community. Her many accomplishments include developing new institutional guidelines for mentoring and advising, launching an internal grant program for departments that develop three-year systemic change projects to recruit and retain traditionally underrepresented students and formalizing a network among MSU and HBCUs that focuses on cross-institutional mechanisms for enhancing and expanding pathways to the professoriate. Stoddart serves on the steering committee for the Big 10/ACM Mellon Undergraduate and Faculty Fellows Program for a Diverse Professoriate and works with the advisory team for the gradSERU data project.

“Dr. Stoddart lives an extraordinary career of commitment to securing individuals’ aspirations through higher education,” said Thomas Jeitschko, dean of the Graduate School and associate provost for graduate education. “Her commitment to elevating higher education in general, and graduate education in particular, by creating more inclusive and more engaging spaces at MSU and beyond is a hallmark of her dedication.”

“Indeed, throughout her career, her focus has always been on finding resources, often through small grant programs or smaller-scale collaborative efforts, that she would leverage into programs, partnerships and practices that would contribute to impactful and long-lasting institutional change” Jeitschko said.

Nominees for the award must be a current assistant or associate-level dean at a CGS member institution, regular or associate, with primary administrative responsibility in graduate education. Assistant or associate deans whose graduate deans currently serve on the CGS Board are not eligible to be nominated for the award during the dean’s active years of board service. Nominations are made by CGS member institutions and are reviewed by a committee selected by the CGS Board of Directors. The winner receives a $1,500 honorarium and is invited to plan and participate in a session at the CGS Summer Workshop on a topic of their choosing.

“Our committee viewed the pool of nominated colleagues for this award as exemplary,” stated William Tate, selection committee chair, and dean of the Graduate School and vice provost for graduate education, Washington University in St. Louis. “Dean Stoddart stood out among this outstanding group of leaders. Her invested leadership at Michigan State University resulted in transparent graduate program improvement including building a pathway for greater access for graduate study among underrepresented student groups. Her efforts represent the very best in intellectual leadership of graduate education. She establishes a high bar as the inaugural awardee.”

CGS gratefully acknowledges Liaison’s financial support of the Assistant and Associate Deans Leadership Award. Liaison, a higher education enrollment marketing and admissions management company, is a CGS Sustaining Member.