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Elizabeth Sturdy Named New Director of Mentoring and Advising

Elizabeth Sturdy in front of Mrak Hall
Wednesday, January 8, 2020 (All day)

Former Senior Academic Advisor Takes On New Role in Graduate Studies

Just in time for the new year, UC Davis Graduate Studies has selected a leader for new initiatives that address mentoring for graduate students.

Elizabeth Sturdy, who previously served as a Senior Academic Advisor in the division, was named the new Director of Mentoring and Advising earlier this academic year. She assumed the role on November 18.

The creation of the position marks the beginning of a new era in mentoring at UC Davis. "Graduate student mentoring is sometimes viewed as an optional activity, but mentoring is as important to faculty success as research and teaching," said Jean-Pierre Delplanque, Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies. "Not only does it advance the professional goals of both students and faculty mentors, but it contributes to the development of a strong, enduring scholarly enterprise." Vice Provost and Dean Delplanque intends to make faculty-graduate student mentoring one of the division's top priorities in the new decade and has charged Sturdy with exploring different programming opportunities, content delivery models, and incentives. 

Sturdy said that the leadership's commitment to mentoring is part of what drew her to pursue the job. "One of the things that originally attracted me to this role is the opportunity to build on initiatives that will make a positive impact on mentor-mentee relationships and graduate student success overall," she said. "Faculty, staff and graduate students are already discovering and implementing promising mentoring practices. I want to help make resources readily available to the greater academic community."

A Davis native, Sturdy earned her bachelor's degree from UC Davis a master's degree in English from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She has worked for UC Davis since 2013, serving as a Public Advisor for Undergraduate Admissions, Graduate Program Coordinator for the Graduate Group in Ecology, and most recently as a Senior Academic Advisor at Graduate Studies.  

As a Senior Academic Advisor, Sturdy served as chair of the division's mentoring committee, which devised and implemented faculty-graduate student mentoring training opportunities, such as the Mentoring at Critical Transitions workshop series. She also led several professional development initiatives for Graduate Program Coordinators, facilitating the creation of a Graduate Education Certificate Series and recently co-chairing the annual Advising Graduate Students Conference. 

"I've worked closely with Elizabeth since I joined Graduate Studies last year. She is a trusted colleague and cares deeply about graduate student mentorship and well-being," said Ellen Hartigan-O'Connor, Associate Dean of Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars. "I look forward to continued work with Elizabeth on initiatives to advance mentoring at UC Davis."

In her new role, Sturdy will serve as the point person within Graduate Studies for issues related to graduate advising and mentoring programming, as well as materials for faculty and staff. In the coming years, she will partner with academic and student service departments on campus to create resources for faculty mentor training and development.  

As she develops the new initiative, Sturdy is eager to hit the ground running by helping students, faculty and staff identify helpful tools and navigate mentoring challenges. To learn more, please visit the Graduate Studies Mentoring webpage or email Elizabeth Sturdy at ejsturdy@ucdavis.edu


About Graduate Studies

Graduate Studies at UC Davis includes over 100 dynamic degree programs and a diverse and interactive student body from around the world. Known for our state-of-the-art research facilities, productive laboratories and progressive spirit – UC Davis offers collaborative and interdisciplinary curricula through graduate groups and designated emphasis options, bringing students and faculty of different academic disciplines together to address real-world challenges.
UC Davis graduate students and postdoctoral scholars become leaders in their fields: researchers, teachers, politicians, mentors and entrepreneurs. They go on to guide, define and impact change within our global community.

For information on Graduate Studies’ current strategic initiatives, visit the Graduate Studies strategic plan page.