Graduate and Postdoc Academic Success (GPAS) Program

The Graduate & Postdoc Academic Success (GPAS) program provides the critical infrastructure and support for College/School leadership, departments/programs, and faculty to assist their students and postdocs in reaching their academic goals.


Critical Conversation Series

Mission Statement

GPAS provides support through direct outreach to departments and faculty, responsive programming and workshops, and direct support of students and postdocs in alignment with their development as the next generation of scholars and leaders. In addition to tailored and responsive programming to support departments, graduate students, and postdoc needs, we offer individual success planning sessions which include conversations around progress, productivity, and navigating academic relationships.

My experience with [GPAS] was extremely beneficial to my studies and work habits. The feedback was actionable and practical, and it helped address some of the issues I’d had with maintaining the lifestyle of a graduate student. – Vanderbilt doctoral student

GPAS Staff

For more information on GPAS services or scheduling a meeting with a GPAS staff member, see the GPAS Services & Consultations section on this page.

Stacey Satchell

Stacey Satchell

ICF Professional Certified Coach, MA, MS

Stacey has served as the Academic Life Coach for the last four years and is excited to expand the team to serve more graduate students and postdocs with the transition to Graduate & Postdoc Academic Success (GPAS). Prior to serving in this role, Stacey enjoyed a 20+ year career in higher education providing support for undergraduates and medical students in a variety of student support roles at Vanderbilt, NYU, Columbia, and St. John’s University – with much time focused in the field of academic advising. Stacey is also certified in mediation skills and is interested in supporting Vanderbilt community members in having difficult conversations that lead to growth, learning, and moving forward toward shared goals. Stacey enjoys problem-solving and finding new strategies to help graduate students and postdocs be successful during their time at Vanderbilt. A native of Oklahoma, she spent most of her adult life in New York City before moving to Nashville and Vanderbilt in 2013.

Nick Hyer

Nick Hyer

Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, MS                                               Designing Your Life Coach
Academic Success Coordinator

A Wisconsin native, Nick attended the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point, as a first-generation college student. During his undergraduate experience, he found a passion for serving and helping others. This passion led Nick to continue his education at Mississippi State University, where he earned a Master of Science in Counselor Education with an emphasis in College Counseling. Nick has spent the last ten years of his professional career helping students navigate the landscape of higher education. He has worked for large land grant institutions, small state schools, and private faith-based institutions. His roles have included work in housing, counseling, career services, academic advising, summer bridge programs, first-year experience, orientation, academic support, and student success. Nick works with individuals to help them activate their natural talents, abilities, and ways of thinking into productive and purposeful ways of living. Nick joined Vanderbilt and the GPAS team in July of 2022 and looks forward to learning and growing alongside you.

GPAS Services & Consultations

The Graduate and Postdoc Academic Success (GPAS) program assists Graduate School students and postdoctoral scholars in their academic and professional development during their time at Vanderbilt.  This program was created to support students and postdocs through collaborative consultations and group programming around effective time and stress management, resilience, conflict resolution, navigating academic relationships, and juggling work/life responsibilities.

Graduate Students and Postdocs, consider contacting the GPAS, if you need:

  • To discuss academic challenges and brainstorm strategies to move forward
  • Strategies for better productivity and/or progress, including goal setting, time management and prioritizing
  • Knowledge of and assistance accessing resources available to graduate students and postdocs on campus
  • Assistance working through an issue with a colleague, advisor or supervisor
  • Clarification concerning a university, departmental or program policy
  • To explore the formal options available for addressing your concern
  • Schedule an Appointment With GPAS Staff

    If you are a VU graduate student or postdoc and would like to make an appointment with a GPAS staff member, please first review the  Confidentiality & Consent form, then make an appointment (links below).

    If you are scheduling a follow-up appointment and have already completed the Confidentiality & Consent form, please go ahead and schedule via the links below.

    You can meet 1:1 with any GPAS staff member in Alumni Hall, Eskind Biomedical Library, or via Zoom.  Make an appointment using our online calendar tool.

    Have additional questions? Contact for assistance.

  • Schedule a Presentation by GPAS Staff to Your Department, Program, or Organization

    See our "Programming" page for more information or to schedule a presentation. 

Graduate Student Academic and Personal Concerns

Are you a graduate school student with a concern for yourself or a fellow student? Faculty or staff concerned about a student?  The chart of Graduate Student Academic and Personal Concerns guides students, faculty and staff to identify the simplest and most direct path to address student academic and personal concerns through the many available campus resources. 

Have additional questions? Contact  for assistance.