Graduate Student Services Specialist

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Deadline to Apply:

Friday, July 8, 2016, 11:45pm


Seattle, WA
United States

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Job Type:


Job Description:



Seattle Campus

Requisition #: 134063

Established in 2008, the College of the Environment is one of the premier environmental and policy colleges in the United States and the world and is an unparalleled hub of environmental scholarship, innovation, and education. By connecting world leading educators and researchers with undergraduate and graduate students, practitioners, and citizens, the College cultivates communities who work with and learn from each other as they tackle the environmental challenges of the 21st century. The College’s unique strength is the combination of outstanding faculty studying the Earth’s atmosphere, land, and water systems with those studying human dimensions of the environment, the application of engineering and technological solutions to environmental problems, and the impact of policy on environmental change.  

The Academic Affairs (AA) team within the Dean’s Office manages programs, initiatives, and events that serve hundreds of students and faculty across seven degree-granting units. The cross-college scope of the AA team affords opportunities to collaborate with departments and schools within the college and with key campus partners to leverage capacity and resources for highest impact. The five-person AA team focuses on supporting the college’s academic units in delivering excellent courses and programs, and recruiting and retaining a diverse pool of academically outstanding students. 

Academic Affairs at the College of the Environment seeks a Graduate Student Services Specialist to join this team and enhance and strengthen the College’s outreach to and engagement with current and future graduate students. 


The Graduate Student Services Specialist leads the development and implementation of college-wide graduate student programming, including but not limited to: 

  • Developing and implementing strategies to recruit and retain a more diverse pool of academically outstanding students. 
  • Coordinating events and services aimed at providing graduate students with additional professional and career development opportunities. 
  • Building and leveraging the community of unit-based Graduate Program Assistants to provide coordinated services across the college. Some services may also be provided to postdoctoral associates. 

This position works in partnership with the Director of Student and Academic Services, the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, the Associate Dean of Diversity and Access, the Associate Dean of Research, the Graduate Program Coordinators (GPCs), and the Graduate Program Assistants (GPAs). 


  • Set, adjust and manage priorities and stakeholder needs in a fast-paced environment in concert with both College and unit-level leadership. At any given moment, this position must be able to sort and (re)prioritize stakeholder needs, and make independent decisions about best use of time and resources to highest effect. 
  • Bring critical leadership to expanding the foundation of cooperative graduate student initiatives and events across the college. This position must forge strong alliances with relevant faculty and staff in all degree-granting units in the college, and must work seamlessly with these individuals and disciplinary communities to leverage unit-based work.  
  • Develop strong working relationships with all chairs/directors of degree-granting units in CoEnv, faculty GPCs, and staff GPAs. 
  • Engage with potential graduate students, including "Early Explorers," from communities and demographics traditionally underrepresented in and underserved by STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics). Working closely with the Undergraduate Student Services Specialist on appropriate projects, this position will: help develop strategies to engage community college (transfer) students; strengthen existing networks and partnerships with Historically Black Colleges, Tribal Colleges, and Hispanic-Serving Institutions and other critical partners in increasing the pipeline of URM students pursing graduate degrees in environmental science and environmental policy.  
  • Work directly with the College’s graduate student and postdoctoral associate community to understand their needs beyond disciplinary specialties, and speak directly to recruitment, retention and career launching of this sector of the academic and research community. 

The success of the position will be measured by metrics such as an increase in the number of incoming URM graduate students and successful retention of URM graduate students; positive feedback from current and former graduate students and postdoctoral associates regarding professional and career development opportunities especially regarding readiness for next steps and ability to achieve those goals. 


Develop and lead college-wide graduate student programming, cooperative initiatives, and coordinated services. This area would include, but not be limited to: 

  • Lead regular meetings of Graduate Program Coordinators (GPCs) and Graduate Program Assistants (GPAs) to plan and implement college-wide graduate student recruitment and retention efforts, including but not limited to prospective student receptions and new student orientation events.  Serve as central liaison to The Graduate School, representing the college at meetings and reporting updates and policy changes to GPAs and GPCs. Work closely with Dean’s Office and unit leadership to develop and refine policies to support graduate education within the college, including mentoring plans to support satisfactory progress. Coordinate centralized training for graduate students in areas such as field safety. Actively analyze and advise units and Dean's Office when objectives are not being achieved. 
  • Manage cooperative marketing of CoEnv graduate programs focused on cultivating a more diverse pool of academically outstanding students, including print, web and social media strategies.  Serve as College liaison to the UW Graduate Opportunities and Minority Achievement Program (GO-MAP) to coordinate CoEnv representation at GO-MAP events and activities.  Collaborate with the College’s Academic Affairs team, Diversity and Access team, Marketing and Communications team, and GPCs and GPAs in college units to develop the marketing plan. Create graduate student outreach content for College website and publications. 
  • Professionally and actively communicate in person and electronically with prospective graduate students and facilitate connections with appropriate college units.  Manage continued outreach to graduate students during their first year at UW to share information about resources and events. Manage a transparent partnership across potential students and College units. 
  • Decision participant for the staffing of the College Scholarship and Funding Committee, including managing annual graduate student scholarships, the Hall Conservation Genetics Research Award, the Integral Big Data Research Award, and the Yakama Nation Endowed Fund for Support Fund.  Manage the process to ensure funds are allocated fully.

Create, implement and lead professional networking and career development initiatives and services. This area would include, but not be limited to: 

·         Organize and manage professional development and career services programming and resources for graduate students and postdoctoral associates, including developing peer mentoring opportunities.  

  • Plan, implement and lead the twice quarterly “Meet, Greet, Teach” events designed to bring graduate students, postdoctoral teaching fellows, faculty, and staff together for networking and panel discussions on topics related to teaching in environment and/or interdisciplinarity. 
  • Lead regular meetings of the Graduate Recruitment, Retention, and Diversity (GRRAD) student group to seek feedback on recruitment, retention and career launching initiatives.  Analyze feedback and report out to leadership as to beneficial changes which would enhance the graduate student recruiting efforts to ensure vibrancy and sustainability. 
  • Manage science communication training and initiatives such as the “Engage: Communicating Science Effectively to the Public” graduate student-led course and speaker series to ensure success and benefit to graduate students and the College. 

Lead College’s participation in off-campus recruitment events and conferences. This area would include, but not be limited to: 

  • Liaison with GPCs and GPAs to represent the College on and off-campus at graduate student recruitment events and conferences devoted to underrepresented minorities (URMs), such as the national conference for the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS), the regional conference for Women in Science and Engineering (WISE), and the national conference for the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES).  Coordination of outreach to National Name Exchange students, students on the McNair Scholars Directory, SACNAS conference attendees, etc. 

As with all members of the Academic Affairs team and Dean’s Office, the Graduate Student Services Specialist also contributes to “all hands on deck” type projects and events, and will perform other duties as assigned.  


A Master’s degree in a STEM-related field AND 4 or more years of experience with: 

  • Providing student services, professional development, or career services to graduate students and/or postdoctoral associates. 
  • Working with diversity and access programs. 
  • Quantitative data manipulation to provide outward reporting on a variety of metrics to include advanced Excel use and/or database design and use. 
  • Designing and implementing tracking systems to facilitate monitoring student trends and other data to manage decision making processes. 
  • Project management, especially involving cross-university teams
  • Working with underrepresented populations, and able to effectively communicate across various demographics within and beyond the UW campus. 
  • Working with university faculty on student recruitment, retention, and development. 
  • Event planning, implementation and management experience. 


  • A highly motivated self-starter with an ability to set and meet goals and to multi-task and prioritize in fast-paced environments. 
  • Fearless and highly social communicator with in-person, social media, and written experience. 
  • Flexible and available to work evenings and weekends as needed. 
  • Flexible and available to travel occasionally as needed. 
  • A strong communicator with excellent interpersonal and presentation skills.
  • Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except when there are legal requirements, such as a license/certification/registration. 


  • An environmentally-related degree(s) and/or professional experience. 
  • Education and/or professional experience in higher education
  • Familiarity with the administrative structure of a large university. 
  • Experience autonomously planning and managing projects and events. 

Job Duration:


How to Apply:

Apply for this position using the UWHires portal:

Requisition #134063

Priority deadline July 8