The School of Graduate and Advanced Studies has hired Victoria Blodgett as the new Assistant Dean for Postdoctoral Affairs, reaffirming the commitment of President Phil Hanlon to bridge the gap between faculty and young scholars at Dartmouth.
Increasing the postdoctoral community and the support available is in alignment with Hanlon’s vision to "fill the middle", and comes at a time when the capacity to achieve the expertise required for high level research cannot always be fulfilled with a PhD. “Some schools have been actively supporting postdocs for decades (Harvard, UNC, Yale, etc.), but others are focusing on this next step of scholars in the pipeline,” Blodgett says. “I am excited that Dartmouth has taken the leap to consider this population in their planning.”
Blodgett brings a strong background in student affairs administration to the position, including 15 years at Cornell University, where she established one of the first graduate student centers in the country – the Big Red Barn. “Initially a 5-year experiment, the BRB just celebrated a 25-year landmark,” she tells us. From Cornell she went on to Yale and has served most recently as the Assistant Dean for Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs at the University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut.
Speaking of changes she has seen during her extensive career, Blodgett speaks of developments that affirm the importance of robust postdoctoral support. “Over the last 30 years, the national landscape has improved for graduate and postdoctoral students – most schools now fully support their students, with reasonable stipends, health insurance, access to campus services, career services support, teaching centers, writing support, programs for families, graduate housing etc. It isn’t perfect yet, but it’s close.”
Blodgett is eager to strengthen the services and support available to postdocs and ready to get to work on several exciting initiatives that will bring postdocs out of isolation and into the body of Dartmouth. She is also tasked with developing the GRAD alumni community.
“The positioning of the School allows for more collaboration and flow between populations,” she states, “the size of Dartmouth is ideal for making real impact, and the location for me is perfect – a little bit like coming home.”
She and her partner have recently bought a house and both look forward to exploring all the local area has to offer with their two dogs. “It’s a habit for us to buy houses and fix them up – hopefully this one will do the trick and we’ll stay a while!” We hope so, too!
You can reach Victoria via email and alumni can submit news and contact information here.