Ryan Hodge

2022 Graduate Student Advisor to the Dean and Chancellor Ryan Hodge

Three questions with new GSADC leader

Ryan Hodge, a UC Davis Ph.D. candidate in the Human Development Graduate Group, has assumed the role of Graduate Student Advisor to the Dean of Graduate Studies and to the Chancellor (GSADC) for the 2022-2023 academic year.

Hodge, who earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UC Davis, will serve as the primary student representative for graduate students’ concerns, needs and perspectives at UC Davis. Over the course of a year, he will work closely with Chancellor Gary May, Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies Jean-Pierre Delplanque, Graduate Council and other campus leaders. We had a chance to meet with Hodge and ask him a few questions.

Q: Tell us about yourself and why you decided to pursue your area of study?

A: I’m a Ph.D. candidate in Human Development researching positive adolescent development. Specifically, I explore socio-emotional and neurobiological developmental factors that may contribute to adolescents’ positive developmental trajectories.

My research interests, largely, have been informed by my service-related activities during my academic career. I’ve always been really passionate about helping other people, especially those who are marginalized, and, to me, adolescence poses as a time of marginalized development. In research and as a society we often frame adolescents as “risky” or “troubled;” but, based on my experience, there’s so much that we could be doing to affect change by supporting socially positive behaviors in adolescence.

Q: What motivated you to become the Graduate Student Advisor to the Dean and Chancellor?

A: Since the beginning of my grad school career I sought ways to be more involved with student advocacy. For instance, I’ve been a part of the the Chancellor's Graduate and Professional Student Advisory Board for three years and serving on this committee has been great because I’ve been able to employ some real-world application and outcomes to salient issues that face grad students at UC Davis. It’s been really informative to learn about the needs and issues of students on our campus, as well as the endless number of resources that are currently available to the student body. This year, I was motivated to apply to lead this advisory board because I knew there were certain issues and ideas that I wanted to tackle.

Q: What are your goals for this year?

A: My main goal for this year is to improve communication of available resources and services available to graduate students. I also want to help graduate students connect to campus again. I think, especially after COVID, a lot of people haven’t been on campus and in contact with their peers much in the past two-plus years. In general, graduate school can be a pretty isolating experience where you just sit at your computer, do your research, and leave at the end of the day. So, I really want to facilitate community-building opportunities for students to support their mental health and success during graduate school experience.

More about the CGPSA

The Chancellor's Graduate and Professional Student Advisory Board, which advises the Office of the Chancellor and advocates on the behalf of graduate and professional students. The CGPSA board is composed of 15-20 current graduate and professional students representing a variety of departments, graduate groups, professional schools, and perspectives on graduate student life. To this end, the board includes representatives from academic graduate programs as well as the professional schools: the School of Lawthe Graduate School of Managementthe School of Nursingthe School of Educationthe School of Medicine and the School of Veterinary Medicine. The board’s membership also reflects the diversity of graduate experiences and identities across gender, race, class, ability, age, sexuality and nationality.