A biweekly publication for faculty and staff

Grad Specialist Helping with Campus Growth Plans

December 18, 2013

Anne DiCarlo has been with UC Merced for a little more than two years, working first as assistant director in the campus’s Center for Career and Professional Advancement and now as a graduate student specialist in the School of Natural Sciences. Previously, she worked at Intel Corporation as a financial analyst and later as a university recruiter. She got engaged to someone from high school (she attended Merced High) and they decided that they would settle in Merced once they were married.

What made you interested in becoming the graduate student specialist for the School of Natural Sciences? What do you do in this role?

I started my career at UC Merced in the Center for Career and Professional Advancement, and eventually I wanted to see what it was like to work for one of the schools. In the School of Natural Sciences, I help graduate students get internal fellowships, and I also manage an annual budget of graduate student aid funds, recruit new graduate students and work with students on professional development.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

I really love the interaction with students. They are so intelligent and motivated, and have so many decisions to make. It’s exciting to be a small part of helping them finish their graduate programs and start their lives after grad school.

What new initiatives/projects/plans are you looking forward to this year?

I’m excited that we are getting connected with the broader community that serves graduate students at other UC campuses and beyond. I’m fortunate to be attending the Council of Graduate Schools annual meeting in San Diego this year, where we will learn best practices and meet with colleagues. As the UC Merced campus seeks to increase its graduate student population significantly by 2020, these communities will help us to build and scale appropriately.

What are some of the biggest challenges in your work and how do you overcome them?

The biggest challenge I’ve seen, coming from Student Affairs -- which focuses much of its efforts on undergraduates -- is that some policies and procedures haven’t been as established for graduate students. This is across multiple units and seems to be a function of the traditionally smaller size of the graduate student population. The good news is that staff members are coming together across units to brainstorm viable growth models. It’s invigorating to be part of the planning process right from the beginning.

Tell us something about yourself that most people on campus wouldn’t know.

Most people don’t know that I spend most of my free time writing works of fiction. At any given time, I’m either writing or revising novels (right now I’m revising). I’m also looking forward to teaching a Novel-Writing Bootcamp course through Merced College Community Services in Spring 2014.