Loyola University Maryland

Office of Undergraduate and Graduate Studies

Contact Us

View of the Chapel with Messina students from the Class of 2020 standing on the steps

General Contact Information

Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
For general inquiries:
odugs@loyola.edu
(P) 410-617-5547
(P) 410-617-2849
(F) 410-617-5623

Our Team

Elissa M. Derrickson, Ph.D.
Dean of Undergraduate and Graduate Studies
Maryland Hall 145
410-617-5547
ederrickson@loyola.edu

Rodney L. Parker, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean of Undergraduate and Graduate Studies
Maryland Hall 145
410-617-2849
rparker1@loyola.edu

Leslie Chiles, M.A.
Program Director for Student Success Initiatives
410-617-2663
lachiles@loyola.edu

Ms. Jan Vohrer
Executive Assistant
410-617-5547
jvohrer@loyola.edu

Ms. Sarah E. Lewis
Program Assistant for the Dean of Undergraduate and Graduate Studies, Messina, National Fellowships, and Pre-Health Programs
410-617-2849
selewis@loyola.edu

Elissa M. Derrickson, Ph.D.

Elissa M Derrickson Ph.D. is an associate professor of biology and dean of undergraduate and graduate studies. She has a bachelor’s degree in biology from Shippensburg University and a doctorate from The University of Pennsylvania. After a postdoctoral appointment at the National Zoo (Smithsonian Institution) and a NATO postdoctoral appointment at the University of Western Ontario, she came to Loyola in 1988. She has served as chair of the Academic Senate for seven years, co-chair of a successful Middle States reaccreditation review, Interim Chair of the Biology Department, co-chair of the Pre-Health Professions Committee, and as a member of many university-wide committees.

She has taught a Messina course on Food, introductory courses in the biology department, and upper-level courses on Evolution, Comparative Physiology, and the Biology of Mammals. Early in her career, she received the Harry W. Rodgers III Distinguished Teacher of the Year Award. Her research has focused on the nexus of mammalian body condition, evolution and life history. Her most recent research has focused on the effect of dietary protein levels on changes in physiology and reproductive potential of species with broad habitat ranges. This research has resulted in several national and international meeting presentations and publications with undergraduate research students.

Rodney L. Parker, Ph.D.

Rodney L. Parker, Ph.D. is the Assistant Dean of Undergraduate and Graduate Studies and an affiliate faculty member of theology. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from North Carolina State University, Master of Divinity and Master of Theology from Duke University, and a Master of Science in Pastoral Counseling and a doctorate in Counselor Education and Supervision from Loyola University Maryland. He joined the Loyola community in 2002 and served for two and a half years as an Assistant Director in the Center for Community Service and Justice, formerly known as the Center for Values and Services. In 2005, he assumed the role of Director of ALANA Services and continued to lead the expansion of this office and role until July 2019 when he assumed the role of Assistant Dean.

Dr. Parker has extensive experience working with first-year students on their acclimation to Loyola University Maryland, leading programs such as the Ignatius Scholars Program (ISP), Multicultural Awareness Program (MAP) and ALANA Mentoring Program (AMP) the during his 14-year tenure in ALANA Services. He has also served as a Messina Mentor to first-year students for five years. As the former chair of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities Conference of Diversity and Equity, Dr. Parker hopes to bring his expertise in diversity and inclusion to his new role as Assistant Dean. Dr. Parker will be responsible for working with first-year students this upcoming academic year, and he will be working with first-year and second-year students in the subsequent years. Dr. Parker stated, “I remember as a first-generation college student that I believed everyone else knew everything that they needed to succeed. I later learned that there were a host of resources and people to help me to succeed! For this reason, I look forward to working with you on your academic journey.”

Leslie Chiles, M.A.

Leslie A. Chiles, M.A., is the Program Director for Student Success Initiatives. She holds a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology from Towson University. She joined the Loyola community in 2006 as an Assistant Director in the Academic Advising and Support Center (AASC). She assumed the role of Associate Director in 2017 and joined the Office of Undergraduate and Graduate Studies in 2019.

Leslie is Loyola’s Learning Disabilities Specialist and manages a caseload of over 200 students with Learning Disabilities and ADHD. She works closely with Disability Support Services to support these students in accessing their accommodations and meeting their needs. Leslie works closely with Loyola students who have been placed on academic probation, managing that process and providing individual and group support to assist students in attaining good academic standing. She is the academic co-coordinator of the Ignatius Scholars Program which provides opportunities to students who identify as first-generation college students, demonstrate significant financial need, or come from diverse backgrounds.

Ms. Jan Vohrer

Jan provides administrative support to the Dean of Undergraduate and Graduate Studies as well as the scheduling and coordination of the Undergraduate Studies Advisory Board. She works closely with the Dean and the Director of the Academic Advising and Support Center on all university leave of absences, withdrawals and academic standards issues. Before coming to the Dean of Undergraduate and Graduate Studies Office, Jan worked for the Sellinger School of Business and Management in the Graduate Business Programs Office as an Office Manager for 14 years.

Ms. Sarah E. Lewis

Sarah Lewis graduated from Winthrop University with a B.A. in Visual Art and a minor in mathematics. Shortly after graduation, she moved to Japan as a participant in the JET Programme, living and working as an English teacher in the port city of Kobe from 2009 to 2014. Sarah currently works within the office of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies, providing support to Messina, National Fellowships, and Pre-Health Programs. She participates in the Loyola Chamber Ensemble, and works with first-year students as a Messina mentor. 

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