Graduate Division welcomes two new staff members

To: UC Santa Cruz Community

From: Peter Biehl, Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies


The Graduate Division is excited to announce two new additions to its leadership team.

Donald Smith, professor of Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology, will serve as associate dean of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs, and Lorato Anderson will serve as the director of diversity, equity and inclusion.

Donald Smith, Ph.D.
Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs Professor, Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology

Dr. Smith received his Ph.D. in biology at UC Santa Cruz in 1991 and started as an assistant professor at UCSC in 1996. He is currently a distinguished professor of microbiology and environmental toxicology. He has worked extensively in extramurally funded research programs and has been mentoring and training graduate students and postdoctoral scholars across a wide array of fields and disciplines.donald-smith.jpg

In administrative leadership roles, he has served as chair of the Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology Department and as chair of the Academic Senate Graduate Council. He has also served on the UC Systemwide Coordinating Committee on Graduate Affairs and as co-chair of both the Senate-Administration Working Group on Graduate Education and the Master’s Incentive Program (MIP) Working Group.

Don is a wonderful addition to our team, who brings great personal warmth and a plethora of experience to the role and with the understanding that “a strong and visible graduate enterprise is fundamental to the success of an R1 AAU research university, in part because of the essential role it plays in training the next generation of scholars, innovators, and leaders.”

As a member of the Graduate Division executive team, Don will work on strategic initiatives regarding graduate students and postdocs. He will also co-chair the Task Force for Inclusive Excellence in Graduate Education, which will focus on implementing the recommendations proposed in the Joint Senate-Administration Working Group on Graduate Education (JWG) report from March 2021.

Lorato Anderson
Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Ms. Anderson graduated with a B.A. in Literature/Writing from UC San Diego and received her M.S. in Higher Education Administration and Policy from Northwestern University, where she researched and developed assessment models for English Language Learners and created multiple DEI programs that are still active today. She has extensive experience in grant writing, teaching, advising, assessment, and creating long-lasting research-backed programs to promote minoritized undergraduate and graduate student success.lorato-anderson.png

Lorato has worked on campus for five years and received the 2020 Outstanding Staff Achievement Award in Social Sciences. Prior campus positions include Graduate Program Advisor and Coordinator for Latin American and Latino Studies (LALS) and Politics, and Undergraduate Advisor for Psychology. She has also been involved in multiple campus-wide projects focused on minoritized student support.

Lorato takes pride in incorporating social justice, as well as empathetic advising strategies and teaching pedagogies, in her work in advising, administration, and grant and program development. She starts work in the Graduate Division on February 7, 2022.