Fiona M. Doyle, Vice Provost for Graduate Studies and Dean of the Graduate DivisionI was thrilled to hear the recent news of Frances Arnold receiving the 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry and send her the warmest congratulations on behalf of Berkeley’s graduate community. I was also inspired to read that Frances embarked on the work recognized by the Nobel committee because of a setback in her graduate studies at Berkeley — she came here in 1980 to study biofuels, but her initial plan was derailed by political decisions and global economics.

In my own life setbacks have pushed me to change direction, sometimes in ways that I’d never have contemplated otherwise. Graduate studies, whether research-based or professional, can often bring surprises that are initially unwelcome.

I encourage you to remember Frances when you next face a setback and to take the time to reflect on what the next step might be. We also have a comprehensive list of resources for graduate students that may be helpful as you regroup. I am confident that this will lead each of you to make amazing contributions — contributions that will have a lasting impact on our world.

Fiat Lux!

fiona signature



Fiona M. Doyle
Vice Provost for Graduate Studies
and Dean of the Graduate Division