Current PhD Students

PME Dean of Students Office

The Dean of Students Office within the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering provides essential support structures to students and advances the school’s academic mission through an inclusive and student-centered approach. Overall, our mission is to support PME education from recruitment to graduation. We do so in collaboration with the faculty, with other PME administrative offices, and with the broader University community.

Services and responsibilities

The Dean of Students Office supports PME education from recruitment to graduation. Our responsibilities and services include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Managing graduate student enrollment;
  • Administering graduate student funding;
  • Serving as the stewards of PME student records;
  • Working with students on issues of concern and well-being;
  • Managing student disciplinary processes;
  • Promoting PME student development beyond coursework and research;
  • Organizing and hosting PME special events such as Convocation;
  • Seeking generally to foster an inclusive, collaborative, and supportive learning environment.

Core values

The staff in the PME Dean of Students Office are growth-minded in our approach to working with students, faculty, and staff and are guided by the following core values.

  • Integrity: We regularly evaluate and consider our work to make sure that it reflects the values that we articulate here, that we acknowledge the impact of our actions on others, and that we are accountable to ourselves and to our community
  • Equity: We maintain fairness and impartiality as the foundation of our interactions, practices, and policies
  • Intentionality: Our work is goal-oriented and evidence-based
  • Empowerment: We aim to foster capacity for self-direction in students, faculty, and colleagues
  • Collaboration: We believe that the exchange of knowledge, ideas, and resources advances our work and that of the broader PME
  • Responsiveness: We strive to always respond in a thoughtful and timely manner with robust answers and/or appropriate referrals (typically within two business days)

Dean of Students Office staff

David Taylor
Dean of Students
ACC 213

Dean of Students David Taylor is generally responsible for student status changes (e.g., leaves of absence and graduation), management of academic and behavioral disciplinary issues, and providing/coordinating support for students with disabilities and health difficulties. He also regularly meets with individual students to discuss topics such as academic opportunities, lab difficulties, and general well-being.

He is available to meet with students privately to address any concerns, questions, or issues that may arise during their time at UChicago. Appointments can be scheduled with Dean Taylor by contacting him at

Nicole Beck
Associate Dean of Students for Recruitment and Admissions

Associate Dean of Students Nicole Beck leads in coordinating our graduate admissions/recruitment processes.

Lisa R. Abston
Assistant Dean of Students
ACC 214

Assistant Dean of Students Lisa Abston manages graduate financial aid and divisional administration of fellowships, e.g. Fulbright and National Science Foundation, as well as graduation processing and events. She is also responsible for managing the processing and onboarding of all non­degree visiting students. Lisa coordinates the Student Deans Advisory Council.

The PME Dean of Students staff are available in person, Monday-Friday, 8:30 am - 5:00 pm.