Mary Stromberger new Dean of the Graduate School

Mary Stromberger portrait
Mary Stromberger

Mary Stromberger has been named Vice Provost for Graduate Affairs and Dean of the Graduate School at Colorado State University.

Stromberger, who has served as associate dean of the school since January 2017, will assume her new position at the first of the year.

Jodie Hanzlik, who has been vice provost for graduate affairs and dean since 2012, is retiring from CSU after more than 34 years as a faculty member and department head in the Department of Occupational Therapy and in the Graduate School.

“I’d like to thank Jodie for her years of very productive leadership in the Graduate School,” said Provost and Executive Vice President Rick Miranda in announcing the hire after an internal search. “She has done a great job of keeping graduate education top-of-mind for the colleges of CSU, and has instituted a number of programs that have enhanced the graduate student experience on campus.”

Some of those programs include parental leave benefits, tuition support and health care benefits for Graduate Teaching Assistants, benefits package for post-doctoral fellows, Graduate Student Travel Award program, and the Graduate Center for Inclusive Mentoring.

As associate dean, Stromberger was instrumental, with center director Greg Florant, in moving graduate student mentoring initiatives forward over the past two years. The center grew out of efforts to create a community for grad students from underrepresented populations who might feel isolated on the CSU campus. It’s something that she says she will remain dedicated to advancing as dean.

“Through the spring, I’ll be concentrating on growing our resources to help faculty and staff become excellent mentors for all graduate students,” Stromberger says. “I want to focus on advocacy not just for graduate students, but for graduate education overall at CSU.”

That will include spending more time telling the Graduate School story to the campus community and external constituents, including business leaders and state legislators.

Working with campus leaders

Stromberger, who came to CSU in August 2001 as a faculty member of the Department of Soil and Crop Science in the College of Agricultural Sciences, is looking forward to working with leaders across campus so that CSU attracts the most talented students and supports their success.

“I will work cooperatively and collaboratively with the colleges and units across campus, from TILT to the Career Center and the Health Network, to build a community that is the best place for graduate students to succeed, not only in their degree progression but in preparation for future careers,” she says. “Not only will I provide leadership and administrative oversight of our policies and procedures,  but I want to make sure that a full range of co-academic experiences offered by CSU are available to grad students.”

Stromberger served as chair of the Faculty Council between 2014 and 2017, and Miranda says that her experience building relationships as part of CSU’s shared governance will be her strongest asset in her new role.

“The dean of the Graduate School doesn’t control programs but works with others to see that there are good outcomes from programs,” he explains. “Mary has always worked to build good partnerships on campus, and I look forward to working with her on many ideas for moving graduate education forward here at CSU.”

Stromberger is also looking forward to the challenges ahead.

“What I find personally most rewarding is helping other people solve problems and be successful,” she says. “I love doing that work.”