Judith Stoddart Wins Assistant and Associate Deans Leadership Award
    December 5, 2019

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                                              


    Contact: Katherine Hazelrigg  (202) 461-3888 / khazelrigg@cgs.nche.edu


    Washington, DC – The Board of Directors of the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) has announced that Dr. Judith Stoddart, senior associate dean, The Graduate School at Michigan State University (MSU), is the 2019 Winner of the Assistant and Associate Deans Leadership Award. The awards ceremony was held during the CGS 59th Annual Meeting in Nashville, TN.


    The award was created by the CGS Board of Directors to recognize individuals who have demonstrated exemplary commitment to graduate education by demonstrating creativity and innovation in response to institutional challenges and/or limited budgets or resources; building partnerships both internal and external to the graduate school; identifying and obtaining resources, both internal and external to the graduate school; effectively advocating on behalf of graduate education; fostering inclusiveness in the graduate community; and engaging student voices (including diverse voices).


    Dr. Stoddart becomes the award’s first recipient for her valuable contributions to the Michigan State University graduate community. Her many accomplishments include developing new institutional guidelines for mentoring and advising, launching an internal grant program for departments that develop 3-year systemic change projects to recruit and retain traditionally underrepresented students, and formalizing a network among MSU and HBCUs that focuses on cross-institutional mechanisms for enhancing and expanding pathways to the professoriate. Stoddart serves on the steering committee for the Big 10/ACM Mellon Undergraduate and Faculty Fellows Program for a Diverse Professoriate and works with the advisory team for the gradSERU data project.


    “Dr. Stoddart lives an extraordinary career of commitment to securing individuals’ aspirations through higher education. Her commitment to elevating higher education in general, and graduate education in particular, by creating more inclusive and more engaging spaces at MSU and beyond is a hallmark of her dedication,” said Thomas D. Jeitschko, dean of the Graduate School and associate provost for graduate education, Michigan State University. “Indeed, throughout her career, her focus has always been on finding resources—often through small grant programs (including some through CGS) or smaller-scale collaborative efforts—that she would leverage into programs, partnerships, and practices that would contribute to impactful and long-lasting institutional change.”


    “Our committee viewed the pool of nominated colleagues for this award as exemplary,” stated William F. Tate, selection committee chair, and dean of the Graduate School and vice provost for graduate education, Washington University in St. Louis. “Dean Stoddart stood out among this outstanding group of leaders. Her invested leadership at Michigan State University resulted in transparent graduate program improvement including building a pathway for greater access for graduate study among underrepresented student groups. Her efforts represent the very best in intellectual leadership of graduate education. She establishes a high bar as the inaugural awardee.”


    Nominees for the award must be a current assistant or associate-level dean at a CGS member institution (Regular or Associate) with primary administrative responsibility in graduate education. Assistant or associate deans whose graduate deans currently serve on the CGS Board are not eligible to be nominated for the award during the dean’s active years of board service. Nominations are made by CGS member institutions and are reviewed by a committee selected by the CGS Board of Directors. The winner receives a $1,500 honorarium and is invited to plan and participate in a session at the CGS Summer Workshop on a topic of their choosing.


    CGS gratefully acknowledges Liaison’s financial support of the Assistant and Associate Deans Leadership Award.  Liaison, a higher education enrollment marketing and admissions management company, is a CGS Sustaining Member.



    The Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) is an organization of approximately 500 institutions of higher education in the United States and Canada engaged in graduate education, research, and the preparation of candidates for advanced degrees. The organization’s mission is to improve and advance graduate education, which it accomplishes through advocacy in the federal policy arena, research, and the development and dissemination of best practices.


    CGS is the leading source of information, data analysis, and trends in graduate education. Our benchmarking data help member institutions to assess performance in key areas, make informed decisions, and develop plans that are suited to their goals.
    CGS Best Practice initiatives address common challenges in graduate education by supporting institutional innovations and sharing effective practices with the graduate community. Our programs have provided millions of dollars of support for improvement and innovation projects at member institutions.
    As the national voice for graduate education, CGS serves as a resource on issues regarding graduate education, research, and scholarship. CGS collaborates with other national stakeholders to advance the graduate education community in the policy and advocacy arenas.  
    CGS is an authority on global trends in graduate education and a leader in the international graduate community. Our resources and meetings on global issues help members internationalize their campuses, develop sustainable collaborations, and prepare their students for a global future.