Office of Postdoctoral Affairs to transition to vice provost for graduate education’s portfolio

On Feb. 15, the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA) will transition to the portfolio of André Christie-Mizell, the new vice provost for graduate education and dean of the Graduate School. Moving forward, he will assume the title of director of the office.

Interim Chancellor and Provost Susan R. Wente (Vanderbilt University)
Susan R. Wente, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs (Vanderbilt University)

This placement will create direct connectivity and integration with the Office of the Provost to ensure the needs of postdoctoral scholars who are an integral part of Vanderbilt’s research enterprise.

“I look forward to working closely with Vice Provost Christie-Mizell as he works with the schools and colleges to provide stewardship over our postdoctoral community at Vanderbilt,” Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Susan R. Wente said. “Postdocs are vital to the university’s scholarly and research missions, and with his new role within the Office of the Provost, Vice Provost Christie-Mizell will have a network of resources to leverage to support this community and the many partners across the university who rely on them. I want to thank Senior Assistant Provost Sally Parker and the OPA working group for their leadership and efforts over the past semester.”

C. André Christie-Mizell
C. André Christie-Mizell, vice provost for graduate education and dean of the Graduate School (Vanderbilt University)

Parker served as interim director of the OPA since August 2020. She charged the working group, listed below, with evaluating the office’s needs and making a recommendation regarding how it should be positioned moving forward. After careful review, and based on the strategy group’s recommendation, Wente appointed Christie-Mizell as the director of the OPA as part of his overall responsibilities.

“I’m excited to partner with postdocs, the vice provost team and our schools and colleges to elevate and serve this community,” Christie-Mizell said. “My goal is to connect and advocate for postdocs across the university, allowing their aspirations, groundbreaking research contributions and careers to flourish.”

Office of Postdoctoral Affairs Working Group

  • Faith Bishop, program manager, Biomedical Research Education and Training
  • Robin Carlson, assistant to the dean, School of Engineering
  • Bonnie Dow, dean of academic affairs, professor of communication studies
  • Ellen Goldring, executive associate dean, Patricia and Rodes Hart Chair of Leadership Policy and Organizations
  • Sally Parker, senior assistant provost and interim director, Office of Postdoctoral Affairs
  • James  Sears, postdoctoral scholar, research, Biological Sciences
  • Rei Ukita, postdoctoral scholar, research, Vanderbilt Section of Surgical Sciences

About Vanderbilt postdoctoral scholars

Vanderbilt postdoctoral scholars, commonly known as postdocs, are professionals who have earned doctoral degrees and are, in most cases, temporarily pursuing additional scholarly training, experience and research progress necessary for a wide range of career paths. Postdocs play an important role in Vanderbilt’s research enterprise and are integral to the discovery and learning mission of Vanderbilt University and Medical Center. At any given time, Vanderbilt has more than 500 postdocs across both VU and VUMC.