Sabine Stanley named next vice provost for graduate and professional education

Planetary physicist and Bloomberg Distinguished Professor succeeds Nancy Kass, who assumed the role in 2017

Sabine Stanley, a planetary physicist whose research seeks answers to fundamental questions about the character and interior structure of planets in our solar system and beyond, has been selected for the role of vice provost of graduate and professional education at Johns Hopkins University.

Sabine Stanley

Image caption: Sabine Stanley

Stanley succeeds Nancy Kass, who in 2017 became the first person to fill the role dedicated to improving the PhD student experience, increasing accountability around PhD education and quality, and ensuring that PhD students are prepared for fulfilling, impactful careers. Kass, a scholar of bioethics and health policy, will leave the provost's office this spring for a role as ethics advisor in the Office of the Commissioner at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (clearance pending) while also maintaining her faculty appointments in JHU's Bloomberg School of Public Health and Berman Institute of Bioethics.

Stanley will assume her provost's office role beginning May 1.

"We are fortunate to be able to call on someone with Sabine's leadership and administrative experience to build on the great foundation that Nancy has created," Provost Sunil Kumar wrote in a message shared with university leadership today.

"Sabine is passionate about graduate and postdoctoral training and has extensive experience in teaching and mentoring students."

Stanley joined the university in 2017 as a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor in the Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences at JHU's Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and in the Space Exploration Sector of the Applied Physics Lab. She is a renowned physicist whose work focuses on planetary magnetic fields, dynamo theory, and planetary interiors and evolution.

Stanley received a BSc degree in physics and astronomy from the University of Toronto and MA and PhD degrees in geophysics from Harvard. Prior to joining Johns Hopkins, she spent time as a postdoctoral researcher at MIT, then as a professor at the University of Toronto from 2005-2017, where she also served as a Canada Chair of Planetary Physics.

"I'm excited to take on this role and work with the provost's office and all the schools to support our graduate student and postdoctoral training missions," Stanley said. "Nancy and her team have done amazing work over the past six years and I hope to continue that."

During her provost's office tenure, Kass routinely and effectively advocated for new initiatives and policies designed to enhance the graduate student experience. She was instrumental in the creation of the PhD Student Advisory Committee, from which she receives regular feedback about the doctoral student experience, and the Ombuds Office, which offers independent and confidential support to doctoral students and postdocs.

Kass's work has led to improved postdoctoral policies, data collection for graduate students, increased accountability around PhD education and quality, and mentoring policies and training, Kumar wrote, and bolstered student access to professional development and career opportunities both inside and outside academia. She has also championed diversity and inclusion initiatives, helping to effect Johns Hopkins' participation in the Bouchet Graduate Honor Society, to launch the Vivien Thomas Scholars Initiative, and to create the innovative pathways to PhD programs across JHU.

"It has been a privilege to work with Nancy over the past five plus years," Kumar wrote, "and I am grateful for the significant contributions she has made on behalf of our graduate students and the Hopkins community."

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