Victoria Blodgett, Guarini assistant dean of postdoctoral affairs, dies at 59

by The Dartmouth Senior Staff | 11/10/20 5:02pm

victoria-blodgett
Source: Courtesy of Dartmouth College

Victoria Blodgett, assistant dean of postdoctoral affairs at the Guarini School of Graduate and Advanced Studies, died on Nov. 4 after a two-year battle with cancer. She was 59.

“[Blodgett] has left an indelible mark on our community through the incredible support she provided to our postdoctoral scholars, and she will be deeply missed by me and by many, both here at Dartmouth and across all of the institutions she so generously served over the course of her career,” College President Phil Hanlon wrote in an email to campus Tuesday afternoon. 

In 2017, Blodgett assumed the newly created position of assistant dean of postdoctoral affairs — a role in which she worked to increase support for Dartmouth’s postdoctoral scholars and graduate students. 

Blodgett joined Dartmouth’s staff with an established history of work in higher education. A graduate of Keene State College in New Hampshire, Blodgett served as a residence director at her alma mater for four years before moving on to positions in graduate student affairs at Cornell University, Yale University and the University of Connecticut. At Cornell, Blodgett played an instrumental role in founding the Big Red Barn — a popular cafe and social space for graduate students.

Guarini dean Jon Kull wrote in an email to the Guarini community on Monday that Blodgett “set to work immediately” to expand and advocate for Dartmouth’s postdoctoral community.

“Despite her diagnosis of cancer in 2018, over the past two years [Blodgett] continued to bring a positive outlook to every situation and discussion,” Kull wrote. “We have all been socially distant during the pandemic, but [Blodgett] continued to participate where she was able.”

Beyond her work at universities, Blodgett served as a president of the Graduate Career Consortium — an international organization focused on professional development for graduate students — and was a founding member of Out Loud Chorus, a chorus for members and allies of the LGBTQ+ community in Ithaca, New York. She also served on the New Hampton School Board of Trustees for 11 years, and the reading room of the school’s Gordon-Nash Library will be named in Blodgett’s honor. 

Blodgett is survived by her partner of 31 years — women’s, gender and sexuality studies professor Susan Overton — and her siblings Edward, Jean and William. 

Blodgett will be buried near family members in Oswego, New York. Kull wrote that a remembrance ceremony for Blodgett will be announced at some point in the future.

A full obituary will be published in the near future. If you would like to share a memory, please contact editor@thedartmouth.com.