Sarah Messbauer knows exactly what will follow the conclusion of her term as Graduate Student Assistant to the Dean of Graduate Studies and the Chancellor.
“I’m very much looking forward to taking a long nap,” she said with a laugh. There’s no question Messbauer, a Ph.D. candidate in Music, deserves a break.
The outgoing GSADC spent the last year advocating for graduate and professional students in an administrative context, as well as serving as a go-to resource for the students themselves. It’s the only position of its kind in the nation, giving graduate students access to top-level administrators.
On top of her normal duties, Messbauer conducted the Great Big Graduate Review, a qualitative survey of graduate and professional student life, which yielded nearly 1200 responses.
“It’s taken me longer to analyze the comments and come up with a coherent summary because of the response rate,” she said. “I can guarantee I’ve read every comment.” Next, she’ll compile them into a “State of the Union” report. While open to the public, the report will be designed as a resource for students and administration to consult before going forward with future projects.
After training the new GSADC, Jeanelle Hope, it’ll be back to dissertation work for Messbauer, a Ph.D. candidate in ethnomusicology. Her research centers on music and public arts policies concerning Haitian musicians in Canada, and she plans to defend in February 2018. Thanks for her year of service, she’ll be funded with a dissertation completion scholarship.
She’s not sure what life after completing her Ph.D. will hold. “Like everything else in my life, the plan is very flexible,” she said. She began the program committed to pursuing a job in academia and has taught under UC Davis’s Art/Science Fusion Program, housed under the Science and Society program. While she’ll being going on the academic job market this year, she’s keeping an open mind.
“One of the wonderful things about UC Davis is that they are on the absolute edge of professional career training,” she said. “The GradPathways program has been critical in helping me figure out that all of the skills I learned as a graduate student are highly valued outside of academia as well.”
Messbauer is also participating in a pilot program called Leaders for the Future, which places participants in immersive career experiences or internships with companies in the Sacramento area. “I think it’s going to give me a better sense of what direction I’ll be taking for the next few of years,” she said.
About the Graduate Student Assistant to the Dean of Graduate Studies and to the Chancellor
As a key leadership position, the Graduate Student Assistant to the Dean of Graduate Studies and to the Chancellor (GSADC) is the campus graduate student representative serving as a voice for graduate student concerns, needs and perspectives. In addition to their work with the Chancellor, the Dean of Graduate Studies, the Graduate Council and other campus administrators, the GSADC meets with graduate students, the Graduate Student Association (GSA) and other graduate student groups and organizations. This position also provides the opportunity for professional development during which the GSADC may hone their leadership skills while also becoming familiar with university administration, particularly in relation to graduate education.
Learn more about the GSADC and their role by visiting the GSADC webpage.