Dear Graduate Student Community,

Lisa García Bedolla

If you can believe it, the end of the academic year is in sight! I applaud all of you for your hard work and dedication getting to this point. While graduation, summer, and research opportunities are on the horizon, I urge you to hang in there as the semester comes to a close. If you need support, please do not hesitate to reach out to the Graduate Wellness Center or our Graduate Peer Support Providers (PSPs)

I recognize that this summer may be an exciting opportunity for your research. We’d love to hear what you’re up to, so ask that you please share your plans with us. As you go off into the world or stay in the bay area, we are eagerly planning your return in the Fall – save the date for the Graduate Student Welcome (back) Event on August 25. More details to come this summer.

April is a bustling time for those graduating, but as you may recall this is the season where thousands of newly admitted students make the decision to commit to Berkeley. This year we received 38,439 graduate applications. The application cycle is not yet complete; decisions are still rolling in. But I am thrilled to see that so far, 22% of incoming domestic graduate students will be 1st generation, which is a 16% increase from 2021! This comes on the heels of other positive reporting that UC Berkeley graduate schools and programs scored highly in the 2023 Best Graduate Schools rankings released in late march by U.S. News & World Report. While these rankings speak to the incredible efforts put forth by our programs, schools, and each of you, Berkeley is far from perfect and we continue to innovate and improve.

To that end, I want to provide a status update on the Inclusive Excellence Hub I mentioned in February. We saw a need for a physical space where graduate students can come together to form a community, get support, and know they belong at Berkeley. I’m excited to announce that we have officially signed an MOU with the Division of Equity and Inclusion to create The Inclusive Excellence Hub. This first of its kind “Hub” will be located in a unique 2-story building at 2515 Channing Way. As renovations get underway to make the first phase of this project a reality, we look forward to hearing your ideas as to how this space could benefit you during your time at Berkeley. 

Before I conclude, I must acknowledge that this month our campus is celebrating National Arab American Heritage Month. This is the first time we are honoring National Arab American Heritage Month since the State Department began officially recognizing the Arab American community with a month-long celebration in April 2021. There are a variety of events that you can still participate in like these hosted by the Berkeley Center for Middle Eastern Studies.

Lastly, a highlight for me last week was hosting the 2022 Grad Slam competition where I was fortunate to hear three minute talks from ten semi-finalists about their research and discoveries. (You can still watch the Grad Slam on our website.) All of us at the Graduate Division are humbled and inspired by your work and we look forward to more opportunities to learn from you – so please do not hesitate to share your summer plans with us

Fiat Lux, 

Lisa García Bedolla
Vice Provost for Graduate Studies and Dean of the Graduate Division