Suzanne Barbour

Suzanne Barbour

Dean of The Graduate School

sbarbour@unc.edu, (919) 962-3521
Bynum Hall, Room 214A

Suzanne Barbour, who has received 20 awards for teaching excellence in her academic career, became dean of The Graduate School on Sept. 3, 2019. She also is a professor in the School of Medicine’s biochemistry and biophysics department.

Barbour received her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Rutgers University and her doctorate in molecular biology and genetics from Johns Hopkins University. She received postdoctoral training at the University of California San Diego within chemistry.

Barbour previously served as dean of the University of Georgia Graduate School (2015-2019), and she also was professor of biochemistry and molecular biology. In her role as dean, she was responsible for administering more than 250 graduate degree programs.

Before joining the University of Georgia, she was a program director (2013-2015) within the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Directorate for Biological Sciences. Barbour is currently a member of the NSF’s Biological Sciences Advisory Committee.

From 1993 to 2013, Barbour held several positions at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), including faculty appointments in microbiology and immunology, biochemistry, biology and African American studies; and director of research training within the VCU Center on Health Disparities (2010-2013). She received her 20 teaching excellence awards while a member of the VCU faculty.

Barbour has extensive national service in initiatives focused on increasing opportunities within graduate education and preparing graduate students for careers of the future. Among her national leadership positions are membership on the Graduate Record Examination Board (2019-2023), the NSF Committee for Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering (2018-2021), the National Professional Science Master’s Association Southern Region working group (2018-present) and the Council of Graduate Schools Diversity and Inclusiveness Advisory Committee (2018-2019).

Rob Bacchus

Rob Bacchus

Assistant Dean for Development and Alumni Relations

rbacchus@email.unc.edu, (919) 966-4933
Bynum Hall, Room 214

Rob Bacchus is the Assistant Dean for Development and Alumni Relations and leads The Graduate School's overall advancement efforts. In this role, he works to engage alumni and friends in the life of The Graduate School and secure resources critical to the School's mission. An important partner in these efforts is the Graduate Education Advancement Board, whose meetings and initiatives he helps to facilitate.

Prior to The Graduate School, Bacchus held leadership roles in development at The University of Texas at Austin, Elon University and Southwestern University. Before moving into fundraising, Bacchus worked with international corporations such as Dell Inc. and Hewitt Associates (now Aon), as well as Convio (now Blackbaud). After seeing the impact of graduate education on his own life, he strongly believes in the power of supporting graduate students and their success.

Born in Austin, Bacchus received his bachelor's degree from The University of Texas at Austin as a Plan II/History major and a Master of Nonprofit Administration degree from the University of Notre Dame. He and his wife are the parents of three boys. He is a huge soccer fan and general sports enthusiast, and is also a voracious reader in his fleeting moments of leisure.

Maria Erb

Maria Erb

Co-Director, Diversity and Student Success

Maria.Erb@unc.edu, (919) 966-2613
Graduate Student Center, Room 102

Maria Erb directs a number of initiatives within the Diversity and Student Success program: Carolina Grad Student F1RSTS, Global Grads, Military-Affiliated Grads, and Queer Grads.

Erb is a higher education and student affairs professional with a wide range of experience in admissions and enrollment management; academic dean's office and program administration; and the holistic development of students with diverse backgrounds. As a proud first-generation college graduate, she holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel Administration from the University of New Hampshire, and a Master of Education degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Higher Education, Leadership, and Counseling from the University of Vermont.

While at the University of Vermont, she held several roles in the Undergraduate Admissions Office, the Women's Agricultural Network in Extension, The Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, and the ALANA Student Center. After 20 years at the University of Vermont, Maria moved with her family to North Carolina to take a position as the Associate Director of College Access and Success in the Multicultural Center at Elon University. Following Elon, she served as the Senior Program Coordinator for the Master of Science in Nursing Program at Duke University. Erb currently works at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill as the Co-Director for Diversity and Student Success in The Graduate School.

Areas of research and professional interest include social justice, access to higher education, and exploring religio-spirituality as a way to make meaning in one's life. Erb's scholarly writing includes contributions to “Our Stories Matter: Liberating the Voices of Marginalized Students Through Scholarly Personal Narrative Writing” by Dr. Robert J. Nash and Ms. Sydnee Viray, and “Crossover Pedagogy: A Rationale for a New Teaching Partnership Between Faculty and Student Affairs Leaders on College Campuses” by Dr. Robert J. Nash, Ms. Jennifer J.J. Jang, and Ms. Patricia C. Nguyen; and “The View From The Mountaintop: What Would Dr. King Have to Say Today?” as Co-Author and Editor with Dr. T. Leon Williams.

Erb's passion in life is serving as a meaning-making mentor. She enjoys encouraging those around her to reach their fullest potential, whether that be students, young professionals, colleagues, friends, and family.

Rhonda Ethridge

Rhonda Ethridge

Administrative Support

rhondae@email.unc.edu, (919) 966-2611
Bynum Hall, Room 200

Rhonda Ethridge provides information to prospective applicants, currently enrolled students, visitors, and faculty and staff members of the campus community; provides accounting and administrative support for The Graduate School.

Pam Frome

Pam Frome

Research Associate for Graduate Education Studies

frome@unc.edu, (919) 843-8611
Carr Building, Room 306

Pam Frome conducts research and tracks data related to graduate students and graduate education.

Jennifer Gerz-Escandón

Jennifer Gerz-Escandón

Associate Dean for Interdisciplinary Education and Fellowship Programs

jenge@email.unc.edu, (919) 962-6323
Bynum Hall, Room 215

Jennifer Gerz-Escandón is the Associate Dean for Interdisciplinary Education and Fellowship Programs in The Graduate School. In this role, she develops and implements graduate funding policies and oversees the review processes for a dozen fellowships, six awards, plus several grants, scholarships and assistantships annually administered by The Graduate School, including the Royster Society of Fellows and Weiss Urban Livability Fellowship. She also oversees initiatives supporting graduate students receiving external fellowships and grants from private foundations and federal agencies, including the National Science Foundation professional training initiative. Gerz-Escandón serves as Chair of the Fellowship Committee of The Graduate School Administrative Board. In collaboration with the Director of Fellowships, she manages the Graduate Funding Information Center and initiates innovative programs to meet the changing needs of graduate students.

Interdisciplinary education and professional development activities in The Graduate School also fall under her scope of responsibility. To ensure master’s and doctoral students develop professional skills and core competencies, Gerz-Escandón collaborates with the Assistant Dean for Academic and Professional Development to provide oversight of The Graduate School's professional development workshops and courses and international student/scholar support efforts such as the Preparing International Teaching Assistants Program.

During her 15 years of higher education administrative leadership, Gerz-Escandón has served in the roles of chair and associate professor in the International Relations Program, and director of the Center for International Programs and Services at Lynn University and director of International Studies and assistant professor in the Political Science Department at the University of Evansville. She previously served as director of National Scholarships and Fellowships in the Honors College at Georgia State University. As a visiting faculty member at universities in Japan and the United Kingdom, she enjoyed teaching interdisciplinary courses and was recognized by Lynn University students as Teacher of the Year. Gerz-Escandón is a 2001-2002 recipient of a Fulbright International Education Administrator grant to Germany and a 2018 German Academic Exchange Service grant. In The Graduate School, she supports graduate education across international borders through opportunities such as Royster Global and encourages graduate students to engage globally by pursuing international dissertation research funding.

Gerz-Escandón holds a bachelor's degree in government from Georgetown University, and a master's degree and a doctorate in international relations from the University of Miami. She represents graduate education interests on several university-wide committees, including the Carolina Engagement Council, Tuition and Fee Advisory Task Force, Global Affairs Leadership Group and the Humanities for the Public Good Steering Committee. She is active civically and professionally, most notably as an advisory board member of the State Employee’s Credit Union and as a member of the Council of Graduate Schools. Her recent presentations and workshops emphasize strategic improvements to the fellowship review process, fellowship best practices, and strategies for engaging faculty and campus stakeholders. Gerz-Escandón has also served as a national reviewer for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute graduate and public policy fellowships and the Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund.

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Chris Harris

Admissions and Enrolled Students Specialist

Supporting: College of Arts & Sciences- Natural Sciences & Mathematics and School of Dentistry

harriscr@email.unc.edu, (919) 843-9899
Bynum Hall, Room 205

Chris Harris serves as the first line of contact providing information and administrative assistance for applicants, students and staff members in the programs listed above; administers admissions applications, enrollment, registration and graduation; reviews graduate student applications for in-state residence and assists graduate students in submitting electronic theses and dissertations.

No photo available

Sarah Jacobson

Assistant Dean for Admission/Enrolled Students

sjacobson@unc.edu, (919) 962-6312
Bynum Hall, Room 204

Sarah Jacobson manages the office of Admissions and Enrolled Students Services, and serves as ETD Site Administrator, providing statistical information and responses to inquiries regarding admission, enrolled student services and graduation.

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Betty Lewis

Admissions and Enrolled Students Specialist

Supporting: College of Arts & Sciences- Social Sciences, School of Information & Library Science, School of Social Work, and Professional Science Masters in Biomedical & Health Informatics and Digital Curation

bhaggert@email.unc.edu, (919) 962-6307
Bynum Hall, Room 205

Betty Lewis serves as the first line of contact providing information and administrative assistance for applicants, students and staff members in the programs listed above; administers admissions applications, enrollment, registration and graduation; reviews graduate student applications for in-state residence and assists graduate students in submitting electronic theses and dissertations.

Faye Lewis

Faye Lewis

Executive Assistant to the Dean and Alumni and Donor Relations Coordinator

flewis@email.unc.edu, (919) 962-6311
Bynum Hall, Room 214

Faye Lewis is the primary administrative support for the Dean of The Graduate School. This position oversees the Dean's calendar as well as creates correspondence on the dean's behalf as needed. She is the prime contact for questions related to the Dean's participation in numerous internal and external activities. As the alumni and donor relations coordinator, she works with the Assistant Dean for Development and Alumni Relations, the office of University Development as well as other staff members as part of a development team that oversees and manages events, communications, solicitations, acknowledgements, stewardship, and other activities.

No photo available

Jenny Lewis

Admissions and Enrolled Students Specialist

Supporting: College of Arts & Sciences- Fine Arts & Humanities, School of Education, Hussman School of Journalism & Media, and the Gillings School of Public Health-Public Health Leadership

lewis923@email.unc.edu, (919) 962-6322
Bynum Hall, Room 205

Jenny Lewis serves as the first line of contact providing information and administrative assistance for applicants, students and staff members in the programs listed above; administers admissions applications, enrollment, registration and graduation; reviews graduate student applications for in-state residence and assists graduate students in submitting electronic theses and dissertations.

No photo available

Kelly March

Professional Development Coordinator

klmarch@email.unc.edu, (919) 966-5118
Bynum Hall, 200-B

Kelly March coordinates professional development programs for The Graduate School.

Amber Meads

Amber Meads

Student Finance Assistant

ameads12@email.unc.edu, (919) 962-6617
Bynum Hall, Room 200-A

Amber Meads manages student funding for current fellows, the GradStar system, GSHIP, and other financial tasks related to students.

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Abby Mitcham

Admissions and Enrolled Students Specialist

Supporting: School of Government, Kenan-Flagler Business School (PhD), and Gillings School of Global Public Health MPH@UNC program

amitcham@email.unc.edu, (919) 962-6206
Bynum Hall, Room 205

Serves as the first line of contact providing information and administrative assistance for applicants, students and staff members in the programs listed above; administers admissions applications, enrollment, registration and graduation; reviews graduate student applications for in-state residence and assists graduate students in submitting electronic theses and dissertations.

Julie Montaigne

Julie Montaigne

Director of Fellowships

julie_montaigne@unc.edu, (919) 843-8392
Bynum Hall, Room 216

Julie Montaigne coordinates internal and external fellowship support, including funding initiatives and The Graduate School fellowship review process and processes payments of tuition, grants and fellowships.

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Lian Niu

Functional Data Analyst

Lniu@unc.edu, (919) 962-1026
Bynum Hall, Room 207

In her role as Functional Data Analyst, Lian Niu is responsible for the collection, analysis, and reporting of academic data of graduate education at UNC-Chapel Hill. The focus of her work is to quantitatively identify and reveal trends, strengths, and weaknesses in the practice of graduate education in support of data-driven decision making.

Niu works on research projects involving institutional data collection through student, alumni, and faculty surveys, conducts quantitative analysis of longitudinal institutional data, designs data visualization shared with both internal and external stakeholders, creates written reports in support of academic program review studies, conducts data reporting to external funding agency, and responds to ad hoc data analysis requests related to graduate education.

Niu earned a PhD in Higher Education Administration and has conducted research projects using a variety of national and institutional datasets such as the ELS:2002, IPEDS, and NPSAS.

Yesenia Pedro Vicente

Yesenia Pedro Vicente

Diversity and Student Success Program Coordinator

yesipv@email.unc.edu, (919) 843-7261
Graduate Student Center, Room 204

Yesenia Pedro Vicente supports the Diversity and Student Success Program. Areas of responsibility include event management, program management, and working with financial awards to students. Pedro Vicente also updates the DSS website, creates invitations, events and newsletters, and collaborates with the Communications team.

Lou Anne Phelps

Lou Anne Phelps

Program Review & Student Services Coordinator

laphelps@email.unc.edu, (919) 962-8145
Bynum Hall, Room 218

Lou Anne Phelps assists with scheduling student services, such as the Foreign Language Proficiency Assessment and GRAD professional development courses, assists with revising publications, coordinating workshops, scheduling academic program reviews, and special projects and maintains The Graduate School Contact Directory.

Laura Pratt

Laura Pratt

Fellowship Programs Coordinator

lepratt@email.unc.edu, (919) 843-7262
Bynum Hall, Room 218

Laura Pratt is responsible for planning and implementing various activities and events, managing student services and information, and communicating with programs, students and alumni as relates to The Graduate School’s interdisciplinary fellowship programs. These fellowship programs include the Royster Society of Fellows, the Weiss Urban Livability Program, and the National Science Foundation grant recipients. She manages annual student assessments as well as student and program data. She earned a B.A. from UNC Charlotte and an M.A. in Higher Education Administration from Georgia Southern University.

Ethan Quinn

Ethan Quinn

Public Communications Specialist

ethantq@email.unc.edu, (919) 966-0715
Bynum Hall, Room 200-C

Ethan Quinn assists with communications projects for The Graduate School.

Alicia Rogers

Alicia Rogers

Human Resources Manager

alicia_rogers@unc.edu, (919) 962-7011
Bynum Hall, Room 200

Alicia Rogers manages the overall provision of Human Resources services and policies for the Graduate School.

No photo available

Shaun Rutherford

Admissions and Enrolled Students Specialist

Supporting: School of Medicine, School of Nursing, College of Arts & Sciences-Exercise & Sport Science, Eshelman School of Pharmacy, and Professional Science Masters in Toxicology

srutherford@unc.edu, (919) 966-4524
Bynum Hall, Room 205

Shaun Rutherford serves as the first line of contact providing information and administrative assistance for applicants, students and staff members in the programs listed above; administers admissions applications, enrollment, registration, and graduation; reviews graduate student applications for in-state residence and assists graduate students in submitting electronic theses and dissertations.

Brian Rybarczyk

Brian Rybarczyk

Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Academic & Professional Development

brybar@unc.edu, (919) 962-2505
Graduate Student Center, Room 101

Brian Rybarczyk coordinates and implements academic and professional development training for graduate students across disciplines; manages the Graduate Student Center; teaches courses and directs the Preparing International Teaching Assistants Program (PITAP); is program coordinator for the SPIRE Postdoctoral Fellowship program and is co-administrative director at UNC for the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL).

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Deb Saine

Communications Director

saine@email.unc.edu, (919) 962-6326
Bynum Hall, Room 213

Deb Saine specializes in writing and editing content that promotes the importance of graduate education at UNC-Chapel Hill. Working with colleagues within The Graduate School and communications colleagues campus-wide, she generates and pursues story ideas focused on The Graduate School’s support for graduate students and graduate students’ commitment to research, teaching and service. She received her bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Stephanie Schmitt

Stephanie Schmitt

Associate Dean for Academics

sschmitt@email.unc.edu, (919) 962-6306
Bynum Hall, Room 217

Stephanie Schmitt is the Associate Dean for Academics in The Graduate School. In this position, she is responsible for administrative oversight for graduate education assessment efforts such as the campus-wide Program Review Process. This includes approximately 8 external reviews each year and an equal number of closure meetings and midpoint evaluations for prior reviews. The review process is conducted for all undergraduate and graduate programs at the university in concert with the Provost's Office and includes the preparation of a self-study, a site visit by external reviewers from peer institutions, and extensive follow-up from the recommendations such as program responses and midpoint progress evaluations.

Schmitt also has collaborative oversight for several academic initiatives, including The Graduate School's academic policy interpretation, admissions and enrolled student services for graduate programs, academic and professional development for graduate students, international collaborations and initiatives, and major data collection and reporting initiatives within The Graduate School. Other academic initiatives falling within the scope of Schmitt's responsibilities include facilitating new and revised degree/program requests for graduate studies at Carolina, overseeing the graduate certificate policies process, chairing the Academic Policy Committee of The Graduate School's Administrative Board, maintaining the university's polices on graduate faculty designation, and updating academic policies like the Graduate Handbook relevant to graduate education.

Schmitt also represents graduate education interests on various university-wide committees, including the Student Data Stewards, Friday Center Advisory Board, International Advisory Council, Curriculum Committee, Diploma Task Force, and Academic Planning Task Force.

Prior to coming to The Graduate School Schmitt was an executive with a management consulting firm and served as a nonpartisan policy analyst with the North Carolina General Assembly. An alumna of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Schmitt earned her BA in International Studies and Political Science, her MPA from the School of Government, and her PhD in Public Policy. She has participated in and worked closely with programs at Carolina Leadership Development, Carolina Women's Center, and the Graduate and Professional Student Federation, for which she was inducted into the Order of the Golden Fleece honor society and the Frank Porter Graham Graduate & Professional Student Honor Society.

Medelia Stambach

Medelia Stambach

Financial Manager

stambach@email.unc.edu, (919) 843-6125
Graduate Student Center, Room 103

Medelia Stambach manages budgets and expenses for The Graduate School's Diversity and Student Success Program. Provides financial reports, support for payment processing and approvals, account reconciliation, journal entries, GradStar student award entry, deposits, ePARS and other accounting related functions.

No photo available

Leah Townsend

Director, Graduate School Professional Programs

lbtownse@email.unc.edu, (919) 962-4658
Bynum Hall, Room 209

Leah Townsend directs Professional Science Master's Programs in Biomedical and Health Informatics, Digital Curation and Management, and Toxicology.

Rachell Underhill

Rachell Underhill

Director, Web & Information Systems

runderhill@unc.edu, (919) 843-3494
Graduate Student Center, Room 202

Rachell Underhill develops and manages Graduate School web sites, builds and administers custom web applications and internal databases, and produces analytical reports and other documents. She develops custom technical solutions to support The Graduate School and provides training and guidance on information technology matters, including digital communications, accessibility and information security.

Underhill serves on the board of directors of the UNC Webmasters group and is a charter member of the national HighEdWeb Association where she currently serves on the Safety and Inclusion Committee.

Kathy Wood

Kathy Wood

Co-Director, Diversity and Student Success

kathy_wood@unc.edu, (919) 962-2509
Graduate Student Center, Room 201

Kathy Wood directs a number of initiatives within the Diversity and Student Success program: Initiative for Minority Excellence and the Summer Undergraduate Pipeline.

Beverly Wyrick

Beverly Wyrick

Director, Administration and Finance

beverly_wyrick@unc.edu, (919) 962-6318
Bynum Hall, Room 201

Beverly Wyrick directs and oversees personnel, budgets, and the office of The Graduate School, and manages financial accounting for all Graduate School awards to graduate students including fellowships, grants, and tuition support.