Sam Caldis, doctoral candidate in Ancient History, has been named to the Provost Proctorship in Academic Administration for the Fall semester. Launched newly this year through the Office of the Provost, the position offers doctoral students hands-on experience in higher education administration. “We are excited about this initiative,” shares Vanessa Ryan, Associate Dean in the Graduate School. “Proctorships like this are an innovative way to include graduate student voices and perspectives in academic administration and to provide students the opportunity to see how day-to-day administrative operations are balanced with larger, long-term strategic projects of a University.”
Sam was motivated to apply for this proctorship by previous experiences during undergraduate and graduate training. He credits his involvement in service positions at Brown and his participation in the Brown Executive Scholars Training (BEST) program as highlighting for him the “indispensable (if often unseen) role which members of a university's administration play in ensuring positive student experience and educational excellence.” The BEST program, he shared, “connected me to an administrative sponsor who gave me a look at day-to-day life in university administration and showed me that an academic administrative career path still presented opportunities for me to continue pursuing my own independent research as well as classroom teaching.”
In this semester-long proctorship, Sam will work side-by-side with the Associate Provost for Academic Space and Professor of Sociology, Leah VanWey, on projects related to the allocation and modification of academic spaces, considering issues of space utility, functionality, accessibility, among other space impacting factors. Sam hopes that the proctorship will allow him “to become more familiar with both the day-to-day operations of the Provost’s Office and to gain experience in collaborative project development in an academic administrative setting.”
This proctorship, one of about twenty currently offered to graduate students, is the first to be hosted by an administrative office. Others are hosted by departments, libraries and museums, and centers and institutes. With an internship-like approach, proctorships aim to build communication, creative problem-solving, analytical, and project-management skills and to challenge students to use the transferrable skills they have been cultivating throughout their graduate career.