Assistant dean of graduate studies takes position at new school


Photo courtesy of Kent State University.

Andrew Keiper

The assistant dean of the Division of Graduate Studies at Kent State for the past six years, Kate McAnulty, had her last day on Monday, as she leaves the university to hold a role at California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

“She has been here for about six years and we didn’t have all these programs before Kate came,” said Melody Tankersley, interim dean of the Division of Graduate Studies. “She really did amazing work at Kent State. She started from nothing and really built what we have today.”

McAnulty is leaving her post for the same position at Caltech, a “world-renowned science and engineering research and education institution,” according to the school’s website.

“Caltech is one of the top universities in the world,” McAnulty said. “I’m thrilled to have an opportunity to continue my career at a place where graduate education is at the centerpiece of the institution, and is lauded and appreciated.”

McAnulty said that she is going to take her experience creating a graduate professional development program, similar to the Graduate Professional and Academic Development (GPAD) workshop series at Kent State, to Caltech.

She said the California university liked her work creating Complex Conversations at the Graduate Student Orientation, which is a space that empowers student dialogue about challenging situations they may face as a graduate students and learn of aid resources available to them.

“Kate took an orientation program and moved it to epic size and opportunity,” Tankersley said. “She grew the professional development series so that students are not only learning their discipline, but also the nuts and bolts of being a professional. She also conceived of and brought in special programs, such as the Research Symposium and Three Minute Thesis.”

McAnulty’s advocacy for the professionalization of the Graduate Student Senate’s voice on campus and ready mentorship of the students involved has set her apart, according to Tankersley.

“It’s really all of these things together that create a unique, outstanding Kent State and much of that success goes to Kate,” Tankersley said.

During her tenure, McAnulty credited the expansion and revamping of the Graduate Student Orientation, the growth of the Graduate Research Symposium and the establishment of the Graduate Dean’s Award. She thinks these programs have done the most good for the graduate student community.

The Graduate Dean’s Award supports students who contribute to broadly-defined diversity within their discipline with a $5,000 stipend enhancement, according to McAnulty.

McAnulty said she is proud to have served as the advocate for the large and diverse graduate student population for almost the past six years. The former assistant dean is credited with the creation of the GPAD workshop series and expansion of the Graduate Research Symposium, according to a press release.

Most recently, McAnulty was selected as a 2016 recipient of the Kent State University’s Mothers, Mentors and Muses Award. This award is “the Women’s Center’s signature event that recognizes Kent State University female-identifying faculty or staff who have made a significant difference in the life of a student or colleague,” according to the Women’s Center website.

“I thank my wonderful colleagues across campus, and particularly in the Division of Graduate Studies,” McAnulty said in a poignant goodbye.  “I want to recognize my students: Thank you for inspiring me to do more every day. My successes and new opportunities would not be possible without your efforts and accomplishments.”

Fritz Yarrison, the executive chair of the GSS, expressed his gratitude for McAnulty.

“Kate was so paramount to the success of the GSS, losing her is going to be a very unique challenge for us,” Yarrison said. “She has always been so ready to fight for us. We are very, very happy for her in terms of her new position. We will miss her dearly, both personally and as our faculty champion (and) mentor.”

Andrew Keiper is the graduate education and research reporter for The kent Stater, contact him at [email protected].