Stromberger new associate dean of Graduate School

Mary Stromberger

Mary Stromberger has stepped into a new leadership role at Colorado State: associate dean of the Graduate School.

Stromberger has been a faculty member since 2001, served as Faculty Council chair since 2014, and held other leadership roles at CSU including associate chair of the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences in the College of Agricultural Sciences.

“I am honored and thrilled to join the Graduate School’s leadership team,” said Stromberger, who began her role as associate dean at the start of the semester.

“Dr. Stromberger is a dedicated educator, an accomplished professor, a person of remarkable leadership qualities and an exceptional advocate for graduate students. We are delighted she has joined us,” said Jodie Redditi Hanzlik, dean of the Graduate School.

Hanzlik said Stromberger will assist in providing leadership and management for all areas of graduate education, focusing on enrollment management, student recruitment and retention, professional development, and activities related to the overall graduate admissions and graduation process.

“This is an exciting time for us, as we expand our graduate programs, provide new professional development opportunities, and grow and support our diverse student and post-doctorate populations,” said Stromberger. “I look forward to working with our talented faculty, staff, and students across campus to provide the best teaching, scholarship, and research experiences possible for our students and post-doctorates.”

Leadership and engagement

As the chair of Faculty Council, Stromberger oversees and directs the flow of Faculty Council business, ensuring faculty involvement in decision making through a process of shared governance. Stromberger has helped work on several Faculty Council initiatives that include strategic and financial planning, teaching and service recognition for faculty evaluations, career pathways for non-tenure track faculty, new policies to address campus climate concerns, affordable housing solutions and living wages for CSU employees, parking and transportation planning, and recruitment and retention of minority faculty.

Outside Faculty Council, she has helped lead student success initiatives, was a member of the Provost’s Advisory Committee on Undergraduate Affairs, and participated in the Provost’s Advisory Committee on Student Success as vice-chair of Faculty Council. Stromberger also helped develop and review Graduate School policies and graduate programs as a member and chair of the Committee on Scholarship, Research, and Graduate Education.

Mentorship focus

Stromberger is active in training and mentoring graduate students, and has been her entire career. She is especially proud of her work with students from diverse backgrounds, including women and students from developing countries studying at CSU. In addition to her own graduate students, Stromberger has served on more than 50 graduate committees, and trained many of these students in microbial techniques in her own laboratory.

Outside of CSU, she mentored several international graduate student fellows, and helped develop a two-week course for the Summer Soil Institute. Now self-sustaining, this course attracts approximately 24 participants every year, many of whom are graduate students from universities around the world.

Awards and scholarship

Stromberger’s research in soil health and soil ecosystem services is internationally recognized. She is the author of more than 40 peer-reviewed journal articles, four technical reports, one book chapter, and is a co-recipient of the Soil Biology and Biochemistry journal’s John S. Waid Review Award for the most influential paper of 2013.  She is a Fulbright Scholar and holds multiple teaching awards, including the Charles N. Shepardson Faculty Teaching Award and the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) Education Award.

Additionally, Stromberger is an active leader and SSSA fellow. Her work with the society includes organizing multiple conferences and symposia, serving as an associate editor for the society’s journal, and serving as division chair.