As part of the Graduate Division’s broader vision for improving internal coordination and communication with and across the more than 100 graduate programs at UC Berkeley, graduate student affairs officers and divisional leadership have formed a GSAO Coordinating Committee to expand advisor training and support and to develop more robust connections and collaboration among GSAOs across campus.

As the chief advocate for graduate education on campus, the Graduate Division is responsible for the equitable administration of policies governing graduate studies across Berkeley’s 14 schools and colleges. But, many procedures, practices, and resources to support graduate students depend on departmental advising staff and an effective channel of communication between those advisors and Graduate Division staff and leaders.

The newly formed GSAO Coordinating Committee is responsible for collaborative and multi-directional feedback among the campus’ graduate programs and the Graduate Division to ensure that the division’s policies, processes, and practices are easily understood and accessible to those who need to know them. This group is chaired by Andrea Rex, Assistant Dean for Student Services, and membership includes Graduate Division staff as well as 15 GSAOs (see list below) from a variety of programs, including both state-supported programs and Self-Supporting Graduate Professional Degree Programs. Each GSAO member will be charged with bringing information to and input from other programs across campus to ensure a robust feedback loop. GSAO committee members will serve a two-year term; membership will turn over regularly to encourage broader participation by campus GSAOs.

By understanding the needs of campus programs, connecting with a  broad array of graduate programs at Berkeley, and sharing best practices, the Graduate Division will be better able to respond to the greatest needs across campus by devoting resources to meeting those needs. Additionally, the campus now educates more master’s students than doctoral students, and we are updating our services and resources to reflect our changing student body. 

The GSAO Coordinating Committee will work to design onboarding and training for GSAOs, will advise on the content and structure of the Graduate Division website, and will review other forms of communication between the Graduate Division and our constituents. Regular engagement and collaborative effort from the participants on the Coordinating Committee will allow the Graduate Division to support their efforts to care for their students, and improve the graduate student experience for all.

Have any questions about this committee? Feel free to reach out to Andrea Rex at andrea_r@berkeley.edu.


GSAO Coordinating Committee Members and Departments

  • Monica Albe, Integrative Biology
  • David Apilado, Statistics
  • Hannah Bloom, MCB
  • Carissa Caloud, GSE
  • Kate Chase, Biophysics, CCB
  • Katie Gede, Information
  • Amanda Gill, EWMBA
  • Heather Iwata, IEOR
  • Blaine Jones, GSPP
  • Ken Mahru, History
  • Lyn Rivera, PMB
  • Shirley Salanio, EECS
  • Isabel Seneca, Math
  • Judy Smithson, OOMPH/DrPH
  • Zoe Xu, Music

Graduate Division Committee Members

  • Sarah Acosta, Office of Graduate Diversity
  • Kathleen Aycock, Communications & Events
  • Gail Brager Degrees, Professional Development
  • Larissa Charnsangavej, Student Life
  • Kara Ganter, Digital Education
  • Vicky Lee, Student Funding
  • Annika Meri, Systems
  • Andrea Rex, Student Services
  • Linda Song, Academic Affairs
  • Britney Stewar,t Degrees
  • Ziada Tewelde, GSI Teaching & Resource Center

Categories: Graduate Division Announcements, January 2021