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Associate Dean of Graduate Studies

June 30, 2021

To: The Caltech Community
From: David C. Chan, Dean of Graduate Studies
Date: June 30, 2021
Re: Associate Dean of Graduate Studies

I'm pleased to announce that R. Darrell Peterson, an experienced higher education professional who has dedicated more than 20 years to working in student affairs, is joining Caltech as the associate dean of graduate studies. Darrell will embark on his new role on August 4, 2021.

Darrell will work with me and Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies Natalie Gilmore to oversee Caltech's graduate program, which comprises more than 1,300 students across 31 graduate options. The Graduate Studies Office plays a central role in shaping graduate students' academic and social experiences at Caltech, actively supporting the recruitment and admissions process, overseeing students' progress through degree and research programs, facilitating academic advising, managing and awarding graduate fellowships on behalf of the Institute, and allocating financial assistance as needed. As the associate dean of graduate studies, Darrell will also work closely with graduate student leaders, building and sustaining a partnership between the administration and the student body that will help advance the Institute's research and education mission.

Darrell comes to Caltech from Monmouth University in New Jersey, where he has served as the associate vice provost for graduate student services since 2017. At Monmouth, he was responsible for developing and coordinating resources and services for 1,500 graduate students. Previous to that position, he dedicated eight years to Boston College, the last five of which were spent as the director of the Office of Graduate Student Life. Through his experiences at Monmouth University and Boston College, Darrell has expanded his leadership skills and cultivated a deep understanding of and appreciation for the graduate student experience that will help enhance the programming, support services, and functions offered through Caltech's Graduate Studies Office. Darrell earned his bachelor's and master's degrees at James Madison University, and a PhD in educational leadership from Iowa State University of Science and Technology. 

Please join me in welcoming Darrell to the Caltech community. Please also join me in thanking the search committee members who worked with me to select Darrell: Natalie Gilmore (Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies), Charles Guan (Advocacy Chair of the Graduate Student Council), Felicia Hunt (Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Residential Experience), Lesley Nye (Interim Dean of Undergraduate Students), and Douglas Rees (former Dean of Graduate Studies, Roscoe Gilkey Dickinson Professor of Chemistry, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator).