The Graduate Dean’s Cabinet of the University of California, Santa Barbara advances philanthropic support for graduate education and the Graduate Division, and inspires members to serve as ambassadors for graduate education, its students and its programs.  

Anne Smith Towbes

Anne Smith Towbes H’20

Anne Smith Towbes has been a leader in the Santa Barbara philanthropic community for more than 30 years. A graduate of the University of Michigan, she spent the first 20 years of her professional life teaching English and drama in grades 4-12.  Ms. Towbes has served as president of the Cate School Parents Council and Lobero Theatre Foundation board as well as serving as a trustee on the Santa Barbara City College Foundation, the Hutton Foundation, and the Towbes Foundation.  She has been a UC Santa Barbara Arts & Lectures ambassador and council member for several years and a community member of the Taubman Foundation.  She was elected a trustee of the UC Santa Barbara Foundation in 2018 and received the UCSB Honorary Alumni Award in 2020.

Carol Genetti, Ph.D.

Carol Genetti is the Vice Provost for Graduate and Postdoctoral Programs at New York University Abu Dhabi, a position she moved into following a 30-year career on the faculty at UCSB. During that time she held a number of administrative roles, including 6 years as Chair of Linguistics, 7 years as Associate Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts, and 8 years leading the Graduate Division, first as Interim Dean, then as Dean, then as the inaugural Anne and Michael Towbes Graduate Dean. Carol continues to be active in her research on Himalayan languages and in promoting the revitalization of endangered languages. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring Abu Dhabi and the surrounding region, reading novels, and spending time with her husband and their dog.

Carol Genetti
David R. Seibold

David R. (Dave) Seibold, Ph.D.

Dave is an Emeritus Distinguished Professor at UCSB.  He served as Vice Chair of the Technology Management Program in the College of Engineering from 2012-2018, and was a Professor of Communication in the Division of Social Science from 1990-2012 (including Department Chair for six years). He has been a faculty member at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and Purdue University, and has held visiting appointments or delivered lectures at two dozen universities worldwide.  Author of 150 publications and three books, his research focuses on leadership and management, innovation and organizational change, organizational communication, team processes, and enhancing collaborative relationships among colleagues in the workplace. Dave also has consulted with more than 80 business, government, health, and service organizations with associates at over 120 of their sites, and he continues to be actively engaged with organizations in the South Coast region of California.

Steve Mendell ‘63

Steve received his undergraduate degree in political science from UC Santa Barbara and is a graduate of Arizona State University’s Thunderbird Graduate School of International Management. Mr. Mendell served in the US Army from 1964-1968 in Vietnam and Belgium, attaining the rank of captain. He was a senior executive with Becton, Dickinson and Company and was chairman and CEO of Xoma Corporation, Prizm Pharmaceuticals, and Selective Genetics. He was most recently CEO of the LMA Corporation, a leader in devices for medical anesthesia.  Mr. Mendell is a past chair of the UC Santa Barbara Foundation and served on the board of the UC Santa Barbara Alumni Association. He was elected a trustee of the UC Santa Barbara Foundation in 1983. Mr. and Mrs. Mendell established the Mendell Endowed Graduate Fellowship in Cultural Literacy and are members of the UC Santa Barbara Gold Circle Society. Mr. Mendell is the recipient of the Graver University Service Award from the UC Santa Barbara Alumni Association, which he received in 2015.

Steve Mendell
Julie Karbula

Julie Karbula

Julie Karbula spent nearly 30 years in higher education development, most recently as the Assistant Dean of Development for the Graduate Division of University of California, Santa Barbara. She previously worked in development at the University of Colorado and Colorado State University, developing resources  for engineering, agricultural sciences, and the university library. Julie holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Colorado State University and a master’s degree in telecommunication from the University of Colorado. After retiring from UCSB in 2019, she returned to her longtime home in Fort Collins and is involved on the fundraising committees of the League of Women Voters and Plymouth Congregational  Church. 

Stephanie Couch, Ph.D. ‘12

Stephanie Couch has dedicated her career to K-12 and higher education policy issues. She currently serves as the Executive Director of the Lemelson-MIT Program within the School of Engineering at MIT, and is an active participant in a national invention education research group working to advance the field. Her research as an ethnographer in education focuses on the expansion of invention education and STEM learning opportunities. She studies ways invention education impacts students (especially those from underrepresented backgrounds), schools, and local communities.

Locally, she is spearheading a consortium in Cambridge, MA that will operate a new 50,000 square foot community center for STEM and the arts opening in 2022. Prior to joining the Lemelson-MIT Program, Couch was the Interim Associate Vice President of Research and Professional Development at California State University, East Bay, served as Bayer Executive Director of the Institute for STEM Education, and was the Director for Gateways East Bay STEM Network. These opportunities came about as a result of her work in teaching and learning with technologies while employed by the Corporation for Education Networking Initiatives in California (CENIC).

Stephanie Couch
Nien-Tsu Shen

Nien-Tsu Shen '76, Ph.D.

Nien-Tsu Shen is an award-winning executive leader in the semiconductor industry with 29 years of experience who recently retired from her position as the Vice President of Quality at Skyworks Solutions, Inc., a top semiconductor company focused on radio frequency (RF) and complete cellular solutions for mobile communications. Nien-Tsu received her M.A. in mathematics from UCSB in 1976 before going on to earn a Ph.D. in mathematics from Purdue University in 1982. Prior to her time at UCSB, she received her B.S. in Mathematics from Taiwan National University. Growing up in an academic environment with two parents who were professors, and before her career in the private sector in Silicon Valley, Nien-Tsu taught in the math departments at UC Davis and later Rider University in New Jersey. Read more about Nien-Tsu in our graduate alumni spotlight.