Loyola University Chicago

Office of the Provost

Transitions in the Office of the Provost


September 21, 2020

Dear Loyola Community,

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Robyn K. Mallett as associate provost for academic programs and planning. The appointment became effective September 1.

As associate provost, Robyn will help to lead the development, planning, and evaluation of academic programs. As such, she will provide leadership for developing and facilitating curriculum planning and strategic initiatives. Robyn will also collaborate with divisions across the University to analyze and develop recommendations in response to emerging issues. In addition, she will continue to lead the Anti-Racism Initiative in an interim capacity as we undertake the search for a permanent director.

Robyn has been at Loyola University Chicago since 2007 and is currently an associate professor of psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences. She has published extensively on the psychology of prejudice and intergroup relations, investigating how people understand and control the world around them through individual and collective action. She is interested in how people identify and respond to bias. Robyn also has published significant research on teaching and pedagogical practices. She has received numerous awards for teaching, including the Transformative Education Award in 2014 and the Sujack Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2015.

She completed her BA at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Later, Robyn did an MA in psychology and PhD in social psychology at The Pennsylvania State University, and a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Virginia.

Robyn succeeds JoBeth D’Agostino, who is officially retiring October 1. It is hard to overstate JoBeth’s considerable contributions to scholarship, teaching, and to the Loyola community in her more than 30 years at the University. Her research publications and service accomplishments are significant. Since joining the Office of the Provost in 2012, JoBeth has provided leadership in curriculum development, pedagogy, and faculty development. She is well loved for her firm yet good-spirited work organizing our annual commencement ceremonies. We have been extremely fortunate to have JoBeth’s experience and leadership to draw upon in her role as academic continuity section leader during our COVID-19 response.

With a PhD in biology from the University of Houston and two post-docs, JoBeth began teaching at Loyola in 1989 as an instructor of natural science. She became a visiting assistant professor in 1990 and assistant professor in 1996. In 2001, she became an associate professor, later becoming a member of the inaugural faculty in the Institute of Environmental Sustainability. For much of her career JoBeth conducted research in developmental endocrinology. Her publications have appeared in numerous academic journals including the American Journal of Physiology, Endocrinology, and Science.

During her time at Loyola, JoBeth’s research shifted to science education. She was the co-principal investigator on two grants spanning more than 15 years. They were SCIENCE 2001 (funded by Illinois State Board of Education) and the Chicago GEAR UP Alliance (funded by the U.S. Department of Education). Her work and that of her team have strengthened Loyola's community partnerships and measurably improved science education in many Chicago-area schools. Thanks to her grace and her dedication to Loyola, JoBeth delayed her planned retirement to see us through the summer and into the fall semester. This delay assured a smooth transition during this intense and unprecedented period.

I am grateful to Robyn and JoBeth for their work in roles so critical to our University. Please join me in extending all best wishes to both of our colleagues as they begin their new endeavors.

Together in Loyola,

Norberto Grzywacz, PhD
Provost and Chief Academic Officer