GradFUTURES Recognizes University Administrative Fellowship Program's Mentor of the Year: Dan Day

Friday, Jun 4, 2021

Each year, approximately 50 graduate students take part in the University Administrative Fellowship Program, gaining a better understanding of the administrative units that make up a university. 

Key to the program are the dozens of mentors that partner with GradFUTURES to provide this experiential and mentored opportunity in offices throughout Princeton.

Fellows are mentored by an administrator on campus, and they learn new skills or use existing skills to complete a project in an office that takes them beyond their academic department, and introduces them to potential career fields and a range of new connections.

This experience is invaluable for those preparing for the tenure-track job market, those exploring careers in academic administration, and for those looking for experiences that will position them for careers beyond the academy.

Mentorship is at the heart of the University Administrative Fellowship (UAF) Program. This year, in recognition of exceptional and sustained contributions as a UAF mentor, the UAF Mentor of the Year Award had been given to Dan Day the Director of Operations, Communications & Public Affairs, in the Office of the Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs.


The UAF Mentor of the Year: Dan Day, Director of Operations, Communications & Public Affairs

Dan Day is director of operations for communications and public affairs at Princeton University, overseeing trademark licensing, finances and HR administration for the communications and public affairs division. Previously, Day was assistant vice president for communications at Princeton from 2014 to 2019. He joined the university as director of news and editorial services in 2012 from The Modesto (California) Bee, where he was director of interactive media and managing editor. Day spent 23 years with The Associated Press, where he worked as an executive at headquarters in New York and as a reporter, editor and bureau chief in Trenton, New Jersey; San Francisco; Seattle; Omaha, Nebraska; and Milwaukee. He also worked as a reporter at The Daily Times of Ottawa, Illinois. A Cleveland native, Day has an M.A. degree in journalism from Marquette University and an A.B. degree in the classics from the College of the Holy Cross. He is secretary on the board of directors of the Princeton Federal Credit Union and is a member of the board of trustees for CivicStory, a statewide nonprofit news organization focusing on sustainability and the environment.


University Administrative Fellows on Dan's leadership & mentorship:

"Dan brings so much heart and hand to his work with students. I learned so much about university communications, but also about communications as a broader field. I learned so much from working with Dan about the university's public-facing platforms. But COVID gave me a unique opportunity to learn more about how universities communicate internally during emergencies. Dan's mentorship showed me how communications is a grassroots enterprise at its core. I learned how communications professionals listen to the community to anticipate questions and craft informative messages all while getting ahead of the next issue. Dan is a thoughtful, creative, and nurturing mentor. It was such an honor and privilege to learn from him. Thank you so much to Dan for his thoughtful mentorship and to the entire GradFUTURES team for this amazing UAF experience." -- Philmon Haile, *21 (SPIA)

"Dan's mentorship this year has been invaluable. In addition to coordinating meetings with staff from across the communications office--who each offered insight into their career trajectory and offered advice--Dan also placed me in a Podcasting Incubator project to serve as a Productions & Research Assistant to work alongside industry-leading podcast developers (including a long-time RadioLab producer) to create pilot podcasts showcasing faculty research through a storytelling format. This on-going assignment is one of the most exciting projects I've had a chance to work on in ages, and it would not have been possible without Dan's help. Also, Dan is a great person. He is supportive and offered continuity and inspiration to my work life. He deserves an award for all his kindness and advocacy on my behalf!" Shelby Lohr, GS (HIS)

Congratulations and a hearty thank you to Dan Day, and to all the University Administrative Fellowship mentors who have made and continue to make the UAF a perennial and valuable part of the professional development experience for graduate students. 

For more information about the University Administrative Fellowship, please visit the GradFUTURES University Administrative Fellowship page!


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