GCC Mourns the Loss of a Founding Member


With very deep sadness we announce Victoria Blodgett passed away last week following her battle with cancer.
Victoria, our friend and colleague, was one of the founding members of the Graduate Career Consortium, and served as our first president. She mentored and inspired so many of us, and it was wonderful to see her this past June at our virtual conference. We will be honoring Victoria's memory by establishing a professional development fund for GCC members in her name, as well as hosting an online GCC community event for colleagues to share remembrances, and we will send details of this in the near future.
Victoria's obituary can be found here.  
Victoria's energy and spirit helped shape the GCC into the vibrant, caring community it is today, and we are finding it difficult to find words to express our grief, and convey how much we will miss her overflowing optimism, encouragement, and good nature.  We include below part of a message Jon Kull, Dean of Guarini School of Advanced and Graduate Studies at Dartmouth College, sent to his staff today, providing a snapshot of Victoria's contributions to our profession, as well as a poem which reminds us how Victoria lived her life to the fullest, no matter what she was doing.
Sincerely yours,
The GCC Executive Board
Message from Jon Kull at Dartmouth: It is with a heavy heart that I write to share that our colleague and friend Victoria Blodgett passed away last Wednesday following a valiant battle with cancer. Victoria joined us in 2017 to take the newly-created position of assistant dean of postdoctoral affairs, a role developed in collaboration with President Hanlon’s vision to increase support and services for postdoctoral scholars and graduate students in the Dartmouth community. Victoria began her career in higher education at Keene State College, New Hampshire as a residence director where she spent four years before moving to Cornell as the director of graduate student life. 
While at Cornell, she was instrumental in establishing the Big Red Barn, a student center on campus, one of the first of its kind in the country. That project, initially a five-year experiment, recently celebrated its 25-year anniversary. From Cornell, she moved to Yale as the assistant dean and director of graduate career services. During her time at Yale, Victoria was elected president of the Graduate Career Consortium where she served for three years fiercely advocating for graduate students nationwide. 
She served at UConn as assistant dean for graduate student and postgraduate affairs before moving to Dartmouth as assistant dean for postdoctoral affairs. Victoria set to work immediately growing the Dartmouth postdoc community, advocating for them across all levels of the Dartmouth administration and faculty. It is difficult to adequately express the generosity of Victoria’s spirit and the always valuable insight she offered to every conversation she joined. Despite her diagnosis of cancer in 2018, over the past two years she continued to bring a positive outlook to every situation and discussion. 
The Dash by Linda Ellis
I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend. He referred to the dates on the tombstone from the beginning… to the end.
He noted that first came the date of birth and spoke of the following date with tears, but he said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years.
For that dash represents all the time they spent alive on earth and now only those who loved them know what that little line is worth.
For it matters not, how much we own, the cars… the house… the cash. What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash.
So think about this long and hard; are there things you’d like to change? For you never know how much time is left that still can be rearranged.
To be less quick to anger and show appreciation more and love the people in our lives like we’ve never loved before.
If we treat each other with respect and more often wear a smile… remembering that this special dash might only last a little while.
So when your eulogy is being read, with your life’s actions to rehash, would you be proud of the things they say about how you lived your dash? 
by Linda Ellis, Copyright © 2020, thedashpoem.com