New year’s greetings from the Graduate College! As I reflect on the six months that I’ve been serving as Acting Dean of the Graduate College, I feel so much gratitude for the many people who have helped me in this position. It is such a privilege for me to work with the staff of the Graduate College. Each is an expert in her/his particular area of the graduate enterprise. You may have heard that we have had some changes in staff recently. First and foremost, Dr. Susan Stapleton is serving as Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, which is why I am in the acting dean role. Angie Phelps, our former budget analyst, has moved down south to Florida to escape the Michigan winters. Virginia Bryan, our program manager of graduate appointments, retired from WMU after 36 years (!) at the university. Linda Comrie, Executive Assistant to the Dean, will be retiring at the end of this month, and while I can’t imagine the office without her cheerful attitude, professionalism, extremely capable skills, and caring nature, she deserves some rest after 19 years of service to the Graduate College.
As sad as it is to lose our respected colleagues and friends, this is an opportunity to welcome some new faces in the office. Elena Wood is our new budget analyst and Joanne Beverage is our new program manager, graduate appointments. Both bring years of valuable WMU experience and many key skills to the Graduate College. We are currently performing a search for a new executive assistant, and I am confident we will find an amazing new colleague.
Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2018.
Dr. Christine Byrd-Jacobs