Professional Development Associate Information & Application Form


The Graduate Student Professional Development Associates (Associate) program is an opportunity for graduate students to engage with the GradFUTURES professional development team of the Graduate School to assist with the expansion of professional development initiatives at the department and divisional level. There is one Associate per division. Each Associate liaises with the departments within their division to assist with promoting and supporting the GradFUTURES professional development initiative. The Associate program is modeled as a hybrid of the existing ADI team’s Diversity Fellows program and the Student Life team’s Community Associates program of the Graduate School.  The Associates will be selected in the summer and begin their fellowship in August through the end of May with the flexibility to continue through the summer and the following year.

Position Description:

Responsibilities of the Professional Development Associates will include:

  • Identifying the unique professional development needs of graduate students within their division and by department
  • Co-creating and promoting customized programs in-person and virtually by division/department that align with the GradFUTURES eight professional competencies
  • Providing peer mentoring for fellow graduate students and referring students to resources across campus as appropriate
  • Serving as graduate student liaison to the campus-wide Professional Development Working Group comprised of more than 40+ campus partners, faculty, and industry partners
  • Participating in and promoting the GradFUTURES Forum (held annually in the spring semester)
  • Meeting with DGSs and department faculty to gather feedback, share data, and support new professional development initiatives within the departments

Characteristics of a good candidate:

  • Post-generals and in good academic standing
  • Demonstrated leadership in the department and would serve as a strong liaison between graduate students, faculty, and administration
  • Engaged member in the campus community
  • Communication, project management, and qualitative/quantitative research skills
  • Responsible, reliable team player
  • Familiarity with University policies and resources
  • Positive attitude and a sense of humor


Associates will receive a $4,000 stipend which will be distributed over the 9 months of the academic year (August-May).   The time commitment is an average commitment of 5 hours per week or 20 hours per month. The stipend is in addition to any research, teaching and/or fellowship awards they may hold, subject to Graduate School & University policies. 

Note to students on temporary F-1 and J-1 student visas: please be aware of any restrictions on payment for work or services.  For more information, please visit The Davis International Center. (link is external)


Assistant Dean James Van Wyck oversees and mentors the Professional Development Associates, in collaboration with the entire professional development team of the Graduate School.  In addition to receiving mentorship, graduate students will expand their professional skills and competencies and build connections as they participate in campus-wide initiatives related to their own profession and career interests.

Please reach out to James Van Wyck with any questions,

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