Loyola University Maryland

The Office of Academic Affairs

Academic Affairs Leaders

Amy WolfsonAmy R. Wolfson, Ph.D., Vice President for Academic Affairs

Amy R. Wolfson, Ph.D., joined Loyola in 2014 as vice president for academic affairs and professor of psychology. In her role, Wolfson provides leadership and oversight for all facets of academic life at Loyola, focusing on faculty recruitment and development, undergraduate and graduate programs in Loyola College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Education, and the Sellinger School of Business and Management, the Loyola Clinical Centers, offices of research and sponsored programs, international programs, the records office, and the undergraduate Academic Advising Support Center. Read a biography of Amy R. Wolfson.

Email Amy Wolfson at awolfson@loyola.edu.

Jen LowryJen L. Lowry, Ph.D., Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs

Jen Lowry joined the Loyola faculty as an assistant professor in 1996 in the department of psychology, and was tenured and promoted to associate professor in 2002. While in the psychology department she served terms as director of undergraduate education, and also as department chair. She received her B.S. from the University of Evansville, and holds an M.S. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, both from Saint Louis University. She is licensed to practice psychology in Maryland. Dr. Lowry has the primary oversight for undergraduate achievement and success. She works closely with the academic deans and dean of undergraduate studies to view the undergraduate curriculum from a university-wide perspective, and oversees objectives and initiatives related to the strategic plan. She provides leadership and innovation regarding new undergraduate curricular initiatives, academic advising, student academic support services, and study abroad, as well as the Messina program, the dean of undergraduate studies, National Fellowships, the pre-health and pre-law programs, as well as the offices of international programs and international student services, and the records office.

Email Jen Lowry at jlowry@loyola.edu.

Brian Norman, Ph.D., Associate Vice President for Faculty Affairs and Diversity

Brian Norman

A professor of English, Brian Norman joined the Loyola faculty in 2008, after teaching at Idaho State and Fordham Universities. He served as the founding director of African and African American Studies from 2010-14 and joined the Academic Affairs leadership team in fall 2014. A graduate of Rutgers University and Pacific Lutheran University, Professor Norman is an active scholar with several books, special journal issues, and numerous peer reviewed articles focused on questions of identity, belonging, justice, and the special role of literature in asking such questions, including in Dead Women Talking: Figures of Injustice in American Literature (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013), Neo-Segregation Narratives: Jim Crow in Post-Civil Rights American Literature (University of Georgia Press, 2010), and The American Protest Essay and National Belonging: Addressing Division (SUNY Press, 2007). As the associate vice president for faculty affairs and diversity, Dr. Norman coordinates faculty communication and development initiatives across the career cycle and across areas of faculty life, including in recruitment and hiring, mentoring, teaching, scholarship, advancement, retention, and institutional mission; leads diversity and inclusion initiatives in Academic Affairs such as the Martin Luther King, Jr. Convocation and Diversity Reading Groups; acts as the academic liaison to shared  governance and as a liaison to existing affinity groups; and engages in special projects as warranted.

Email Brian Norman at bjnorman@loyola.edu.

Marie Kerins, Ed.D., Associate Vice President for Research and Graduate AffairsMarie Kerins

Marie Kerins joined the Loyola faculty as an assistant professor in 2000 and was tenured and promoted to associate professor in 2006. During her tenure in the department of speech-language pathology she served as graduate program director, and also as department chair. A graduate of Marquette University, she holds an M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology from Loyola University Maryland and an Ed.D. in Special Education Leadership from Johns Hopkins University. She also holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the Board of American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Dr. Kerins is an active researcher, with publications in the areas of literacy and language-based learning disabilities and, more recently, she has engaged in questions related to the impact of generational differences in graduate learning. Dr. Kerins oversees initiatives to support current and future graduate programs. She works with institutional research, associate deans, program directors, and enrollment management and marketing to benchmark, monitor, and improve graduate programs. She oversees administrative needs of the office of research and sponsored programs and also works collaboratively with the executive director of the Loyola Clinical Centers.

Email Marie Kerins at mkerins@loyola.edu.

Amanda M. Thomas, Ph.D.,  Dean of Loyola College 

amanda thomasAmanda Thomas joined the Loyola faculty in 1991 in the department of psychology, was tenured and promoted to associate professor in 1997 and promoted to full professor in 2002. She served at Loyola as department chair, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and associate vice president for graduate studies. Most recently, she served as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Saint Joseph’s University. Dr. Thomas received her B.A.from the College of William and Mary, a M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Georgia, and completed her predoctoral internship in clinical psychology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. She is licensed to practice psychology in the state of Maryland.  Dr. Thomas’s research focuses on family factors in adolescent functioning as well as anxiety disorders, particularly on the obsessive-compulsive spectrum. Most recently, she has been working in the area of Ignatian pedagogy. As dean of Loyola College, Dr. Thomas oversees all aspects of academic life in the humanities, social sciences, and the natural and applied sciences.

Email Amanda Thomas at athomas@loyola.edu

Joshua S. Smith, Ph.D., Dean of School of Educationsmith

 Joshua S. Smith, Ph.D. is the dean of the School of Education at Loyola University Maryland. Smith earned his B.A. in U.S. History, M.S. in Educational Psychology and Statistics, and Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and Methodology from the 
University of Albany, State University of New York.  Earlier in his career, he served as an academic advisor and later as director of assessment in the office of undergraduate studies at the University of Albany. Smith has been awarded over $3 million in external funding and he has 20+ publications in the areas of educational transitions. Awards and honors include the 2012 Student Government Associate Servant Leader Award, 2006 Indiana University Trustees’ Teaching Award and the National Advising Association’s 2002 Outstanding Advising Award. He is the immediate past-President of NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising, President for Maryland Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (MACTE), and President of the Education Conference of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU).

Email Joshua Smith at jssmith2@loyola.edu

Kathleen A. Getz, Ph.D., Dean of the Sellinger School of Business and Management  


Kathleen Getz earned her B.S. in Human Development from The Pennsylvania State University, M.B.A. from Gannon University, and Ph.D. in Business Environment and Public Policy from the University of Pittsburgh. Her scholarship has considered issues at the intersection of corporate responsibility and economic development, focusing on the role of business in building peace, bribery and corruption, and voluntary codes of conduct. She has been a speaker for the Department of State International Visitors Program, the Washington Board of Trade, and other organizations. She is former associate editor for the journal Business & Society and Past President of the International Association for Business and Society. She held an Aspen Fellowship in 2000 and was elected as a Fellow of the International Association for Business and Society in 2006. Dr. Getz is actively engaged with the AACSB, serving on peer review teams and as a member of the Continuous Improvement Review Committee.

Email Kathleen Getz at kgetz@loyola.edu.

Douglas Harris, Ph.D., Dean of Undergraduate Studiesdougharris

An excellent teacher, advisor, and scholar, Dr. Harris has been a member of the Political Science Department since 2002, tenured in 2006, and promoted to full professor in 2015. He was the Project Director for Loyola’s $500,000 Challenge Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities in 2014 and he has worked collaboratively with Mr. Mike Puma to lead the broader campus conversations that built Messina. He is an accomplished scholar in the use of archival research and author of a number of books and peer-reviewed articles, including his 2009 co-authored book, The Austin-Boston Connection: Fifty Years of House Democratic Leadership, 1937-1989. In 2015-16, Dr. Harris will serve as Dean of Undergraduate Studies and he will continue his role as Academic Co-Director of Messina. He will work closely with the Academic Advising and Support Center, The Study, and the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies. Dr. Harris will be a member of the Academic Affairs leadership team, and he will serve as a resource person for faculty, students, and parents.

Email Douglas Harris at dharris4@loyola.edu.

Natka Bianchini, Ph.D., 2019 Class DeanNatka Bianchini

Dr. Natka Bianchini, who holds a bachelor's degree in sociology from Wellesley College and a master's and doctoral degree in drama from Tufts University, joined the Loyola faculty as an assistant professor of fine arts, theatre, after teaching at Boston College and the University of Maryland, College Park. She was tenured and promoted to associate professor in 2015. Having published several articles and reviews in national journals in her field, Dr. Bianchini's monograph, Samuel Beckett's Theatre in America: The Legacy of Alan Schneider as Beckett's American Director was published by Palgrave Macmillan. She is currently vice president of the Edward Albee Society and will guest edit a volume of the annual series "New Perspectives" in Edward Albee Studies in 2019. A proponent of diversity and inclusion across campus, she taught Loyola's first ever explicitly LGBT-themed course, Queer Theatre and Film, has served as the faculty moderator for Spectrum, and is a member of OUTLoyola, where she frequently leads SafeZone training for groups across campus. Dr. Bianchini has directed seven productions for the Evergreen Players, including "Lysistrata"(2012), and "Rhinoceros" (2015), both of which were Humanities Symposium texts as well as "Clybourne Park" (2015), which was the Messina common text for first-year students in the Class of 2019, the class for which she will now serve as class dean.

Email Natka Bianchini at nbianchini@loyola.edu.

Arthur Sutherland, Ph.D., 2020 Class Deanarthur sutherland, class dean for the class of 2020

Dr. Arthur Sutherland, who holds advanced degrees from Yale University Divinity School and Princeton Theological Seminary, is an associate professor of theology. Dr. Sutherland conducted research in Germany and Switzerland for his dissertation on Karl Barth and has received fellowships from the Fund for Theological Education, the Association for Religion and Intellectual Life, the Christian Scholars Fund, and the Wabash Center for the Teaching of Theology and Religion. His research interests are in the history of Christian doctrine, African-American theology, and the spirituality of generosity. His book, I Was a Stranger: A Theology of Christian Hospitality, which addresses immigration, exile, and violence, was nominated for the Grawemeyer Award for Religion. As Loyola's director of national fellowships since 2007, he has helped students win nearly 40 prestigious academic awards including scholarships from Fulbright, Goldwater, Gilman, Critical Languages, Lilly, and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). As the director, he helped secure $100,000 in donor funding for the new Jennings Family International Summer Research Scholarship for Undergraduates. In 2007, he founded the Ignatian Pedagogy Seminar for Loyola's faculty, which has enabled almost 25 percent of the faculty to explore approaches to Jesuit education. He is a member of the Messina faculty, taught in the Alpha program for 12 years, and has taught in the Honors program since 2003.

Email Arthur Sutherland at asutherland@loyola.edu.

Birgit Albrecht, Ph.D., 2021 Class Dean

Dr. Birgit Albrecht, a native of Germany, was awarded her DPhil degree from the University of Oxford and was a post-doctoral research fellow at Yale University. Her research interests in physical, theoretical, and computational chemistry focus on computational studies of protein-protein and protein-ligand interactions at the interface of chemistry and biology. Last summer, she was co-PI for a National Science Foundation grant to establish a supercomputer at Loyola. Dr. Albrecht joined the Loyola community in 2007, has served as a core and major advisor, and is known for her dedication to her students. She has served multiple terms on the Academic Standards committee and the National Fellowship committee where she mentored students applying for Rhodes, Marshall, Mitchell, Fulbright, and Goldwater scholarships. She is committed to continuing to improve the educational experience for our students and currently serves on the ReImagining the Curriculum Committee.  As a dedicated teacher-scholar, she has taken a specific interest in peer-led and active learning approaches and has used these pedagogical changes, as well as greater inclusion of technology, to foster a more active learning environment and to increase student engagement and retention. Most recently, she has spearheaded the Supplemental Instruction (SI) pilot program on campus by working collaboratively with the professionals at The Study to offer supplemental support to students in introductory chemistry courses.

Email Birgit Albrecht at balbrecht@loyola.edu.

Lisa Oberbroeckling, Ph.D., 2022 Class Dean

Dr. Lisa Oberbroeckling holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Iowa and masters and doctoral degrees in mathematics from the University of Oregon.  She has published several articles on her research in functional and numerical analysis. Having served as president of Loyola’s chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, she was also chair of the Phase II group on the student experience and co-chair of the career outcomes strategic planning working group.  She has served on Board of Discipline appeal hearings and received Title IX training for adjudicating sexual misconduct and assault cases. Dr. Oberbroeckling has been Loyola’s NCAA faculty athletic representative since 2010.  With considerable experience in teaching in Loyola’s first-year programs, she currently teaches Messina.  She is also a co-investigator on the NSF S-STEM grant that provides scholarships and mentoring to students of financial need majoring in computer science, physics, mathematics, and statistics (the CPaMS Scholars Program).

Email Lisa Oberbroeckling at loberbroeckling@loyola.edu.

Jean Lee Cole, Ph.D., Faculty Director of Community-Engaged Learning and Scholarshipjean lee cole

Dr. Jean Lee Cole joined the Department of English in 2001 and was tenured and promoted to associate professor in 2007. She received her B.A. in English from Carleton College, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in English from the University of Texas-Austin. She is the author or editor of several volumes and peer-reviewed articles that explore the works of multiethnic American writers, American periodicals, and American visual culture, including Zora Neale Hurston: Collected Plays (2008) and Freedom's Witness: The Civil War Correspondence of Henry McNeal Turner (2013). She is also an editor of the academic journal American Periodicals and a former president of the Research Society for American Periodicals. She teaches courses in American literature, focusing on the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; in her courses she has incorporated service-learning, research on literary communities in Baltimore—past and present—and public and online exhibit projects. As the Faculty Director of Community-Engaged Learning and Scholarship, Dr. Cole works closely with Academic Affairs and the Center for Community Service and Justice, especially the Assistant Director of Service-Learning, to imagine, encourage, and help faculty enact thoughtful ways to connect community needs with academic endeavors in mutually beneficial partnerships at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Dr. Cole’s appointment comes with residency in the Center for Community Service and Justice and she works with faculty, students, departments, and community partners year-round.

Email Jean Lee Cole at jlcole@loyola.edu.

Lorie Holtgrave, M.P.A., Director of Budgets and Operations

Ms. Holtgrave provides budgetary and data management support to the office of academic affairs. She has a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Wisconsin and prior to her position at Loyola University, she spent eight years in the Georgia Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget. She is the operational liaison with other divisions at Loyola and often represents the division at meetings called by technology services, finance, environmental health and safety, graduate enrollment management and is the first contact for academic furnishings, academic space renovation projects, capital projects, and departmental budgeting assistance.

Email Lorie Holtgrave at laholtgrave@loyola.edu.Kristen Fisher

Kristen Fisher, Director of Academic Events

Ms. Fisher is responsible for the coordination of academic events and ceremonies, such as Commencement and Commencement-related events, Honors Convocation, New Student Convocation, Martin Luther King, Jr. Convocation and faculty development workshops.

Email Kristen Fisher at kfisher1@loyola.edu

Westley Forsythe, Ph.D., Academic Compliance Officer 

Westley Forsythe joined Loyola in January 2015 as the academic compliance officer. He works with the Loyola community to ensure the University's compliance with State and Federal regulations, laws, and requirements, as they affect academic programs. This includes providing support, guidance, and direction on the approval of new programs, modification to existing programs, and ensuring they meet State and Federal government requirements, and Accreditor standards. Forsythe holds a Ph.D. in history from University College Cork, Ireland. Before joining Loyola previously, Dr. Forsythe was the associate director for academic affairs at the Maryland Higher Education Commission. He has also worked for the Irish Universities Association and the University of Sheffield in the development of doctoral education policy and practice at both the national and institutional level.

Email Westley Forsythe at wforsythe@loyola.edu.