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Grad Life Contributors

Derek AttigDerek Attig is the Director of Career Development for the Graduate College. After earning a PhD in History here at Illinois, Derek worked in nonprofit communications and instructional development before joining the Career Development team. A devotee of libraries and all things peculiar, Derek is currently writing a book about bookmobiles.


Caitlin EdwardsCaitlin Brooks is a PhD student in Recreation, Sport, and Tourism. Her research focuses on the creation of communities of meaning in liminal leisure spaces and her dissertation explores marriage practices at Burning Man. In her free time, you can find her traveling, cooking, and exploring with her handsome pug, Torbin.


Laura SpradlinLaura Spradlin is an alumna of the iSchool at Illinois and studied English and French at Illinois Wesleyan University. Prior to joining the Graduate College, Laura worked in communications and public libraries. In her spare time, you can find her browsing libraries and used bookstores, writing, knitting, or running (slowly).


Karen Ruhleder worked at the Graduate College from 2014 - 2018. As Assistant Director of External Fellowships, she presented proposal writing workshops for graduate students and postdocs in STEM fields and individually advises graduate students applying for grants and fellowships across all disciplines. She also helped manage the Fellowship Finder database – a nationally recognized listing of funding awards available to graduate students. Now, she's a research development specialist in the School of Engineering at UCSC.


Wojtek J. Chodzko-Zajko, PhD, is Dean of the Graduate College, Interim Dean of the College of Media, and Shahid and Ann Carlson Khan Professor in Applied Health Sciences. His primary research interests are in the area of aging and health. He spends his free time entertaining and being entertained by his three young children.



Students Advising on Graduate EducationArticles tagged with "SAGE" are written from the perspective of the current Students Advising on Graduate Education (SAGE) members. SAGE is a student advisory board and leadership opportunity for graduate students at Illinois that fosters active engagement with Graduate College programs and initiatives.