Staff Profile

Esther Pandian-Risk, Associate Director of Graduate Student-at-Large Programs

Esther Pandian-Riske, MA, MAPSS

Director, Graduate Student-at-Large

Esther Pandian-Riske is the Program Director of the Graduate Student-at-Large Program. Originally from Singapore, she came to Chicago as an international student and has two Master’s degrees from the University of Chicago: a MAPSS from the Graduate Division of the Social Sciences and an MPP from the Harris School of Public Policy Studies. Pandian-Riske has over twenty years of academic advising experience. She was previously the Assistant Dean of Students at the Honors College at UIC, Dean of Multicultural Affairs at the Latin School of Chicago, and the Assistant Dean of Students for the Graduate Division of the Social Sciences at the University of Chicago.

Pandian-Riske has years of experience in academic advising and coaching, and her main objective at the GSAL program is to ensure an exemplary student academic experience, helping students bridge successfully into future MA or PhD programs. She helps students explore fields of research and study, choose and map classes, and connect with faculty, departmental advisors, and admissions directors of MA and PhD programs at UChicago so they can utilize their GSAL time towards future graduate and professional studies. She hosts a weekly Thursday Graduate Students’ Happy Hour which connects recent GSAL/B alumni with current students to build a community of networking support and collegiality.