Meet Caitie Norrie, Program Manager for Professional Development
Written by Erin Michel, Graduate Assistant for the Graduate College
“Graduate school is a bridge between undergrad and the professional world,” says Caitie Norrie, program manager for professional development at UC’s Graduate College. “Professional development in grad school is important [in order to] to make sure that students are being equipped with the tools that they need to prosper [...] no matter where their degree takes them, whether it’s into more academia, into a faculty role, or into a workforce or industry type of role.”
Norrie is excited to bring her passion for professional development to UC’s graduate community. She is currently completing her master's degree in Higher Education Administration right here at UC, where she has strengthened her belief in models of holistic student support and is excited to weave this philosophy into her new role. Fortunately, Norrie’s values surrounding holistic support are shared by the Graduate College as a whole; we believe that supporting and empowering our students goes far beyond academics, although that is of course an important component of success. Mental and physical health, community belonging, social connectedness, academic enrichment, and professional growth are all important aspects of graduate success and are all intertwined with each other in myriad ways. Norrie believes that to truly serve students, we need to recognize and address all of these needs. “Being in tune with yourself and your mental health is such a critical part of becoming a professional,” explains Norrie. “You’re not going to be able to perform the best you can if you’re not right with yourself.” She is excited to collaborate with the Graduate College’s mental health team to develop professional mental health programming and advocacy efforts in her new role, endeavoring to help students remove mental health stigma in their professional spheres and advocate for their mental health needs.
Norrie is also enthusiastic about building connections amongst students. “I want to put a big focus on mentorship in the fall,” she tells me. “All aspects of it, really: how to be a mentor, how to be a mentee, how to work with faculty and staff, but also how to work with undergraduate students or students in a lab.” She also hopes to help students build a broad range of different types of connections, including connections with a variety of campus resources, which she feels are underutilized by graduate students. “[I want students to not be afraid] to reach out to different offices, different people on campus ... because more likely than not, there’s going to be a program or a person who can help you or push you in the right direction.” Norrie wants it known that she herself is one of those people—she encourages students to reach out to her directly to give feedback about programming they would like to see or to ask for professional development advice. “I’m accessible and approachable!” she says enthusiastically. “I’d love for whoever to send me an email, send me a Teams chat, come talk to me. I want to meet students and hear about what their needs are and how we can change and meet those needs.”
Norrie is excited to begin her new role at the Graduate College and put her expertise in higher education to work serving her very own GradCats. Outside of work, Norrie loves watching football, particularly the Bengals and the University of Alabama. She also enjoys audio books and Taylor Swift, as well as hanging out with her Cockapoo puppy, Teddy.