Recently, GradNews student correspondent Sarah McClure, a masters of journalism student, met with Dean Fiona Doyle to discuss what makes Berkeley unique and Graduate Division services, from fellowship funding to GSI training, that contribute to its success.

As a woman in engineering, Dean Fiona Doyle has a lot of experience with diversity. She went from attending an all-girls schools in middle school and high school and a women’s college in England to studying in a more male-centric engineering field as a graduate student — an experience she humorously recalls as a “difference in culture.”

“When I went to graduate school, I was the first and only woman in my engineering program for 19 years,” said Doyle, who earned her B.A. in Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge in 1978. She later went on to earn a M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of London.

This early experience of being a minority as a female in class, according to Doyle, helped her appreciate academic diversity and prepare her for when she joined UC Berkeley’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering as the first and only female faculty — a position she has held for nearly 20 years.

“I was very conscious of the fact that I approach things from a different perspective and I think that gets to the heart of why diversity is so important,” said Doyle.

Today, she is the Donald H. McLaughlin Professor of Mineral Engineering in the College of Engineering and recently served as Executive Associate Dean of the College of Engineering.

Doyle hopes to build more awareness about Graduate Division’s professional development services for students, including career services, back-up child care, workshops, mentoring opportunities, classes and conferences, SMART Mentoring, and teaching and research development opportunities.

To hear more from our Dean, be sure to read “Message from the Dean,” published every month of GradNews.