Loyola University Chicago

Office of the Dean of Students

Division of Student Development

Meet our DOS Team

DOS Team Photo

The Office of the Dean of Students team is here to help! From left to right Will Rodriguez, Sam Maher Sheahan, Jo Anne Walsh, Amber Miller, Astrid Beltran and Julie Penn.

 

OFFICE OF THE DEAN OF STUDENTS
Will Rodriguez, Ph.D.  Dean of Students & Assistant Vice President, Student Life & Engagement
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Dean of Students and Assistant Vice President Will Rodriguez, Ph.D. (he/him/his), joined Loyola in November of 2017. Will received his Ph.D. in Higher Education from Loyola, an M.S.Ed. from Northern Illinois University, and a B.A. from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Prior to joining us at Loyola, Will worked as the Associate Dean of Students and Ombudsperson at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Will brings with him years of experience in student success, crisis management, diversity, and student advocacy.

Will credits much of his leadership style and approach toward serving students to the values he learned from the sisters at a two-year college known at the time as Felician College. It was there that Will, as a first-generation college student, was exposed to an educational mission that focused on social justice and a deep sense of caring for others — ideals that not only mirror the Catholic, Jesuit mission of Loyola but also resonate with Will personally and professionally.

When Will is not working, he enjoys spending time with his family, engaging in community service, mixing music, and riding his bike all around Chicago. Will has also been known to provide guided bicycle tours of the city to family, friends, and even students!

Samantha Maher Sheahan  Associate Dean of Students & Deputy Title IX Coordinator & Student Equity Case Manager 

Associate Dean of Students Samantha Maher Sheahan, M.Ed., (she/her/hers) returned to Loyola in January of 2021. Samantha is a proud two-time alum, having received both her Bachelors in Psychology and Masters in Education from Loyola.  In addition, she began her professional career in higher education as the Student Activity Fund (SAF) Manager in the Department of Student Life where she served in various roles for six years.

For the past twenty years, Samantha has worked in numerous roles, serving most recently as the Associate Dean of Students and Title IX Coordinator at Saint Xavier University. Guided by the values instilled in her as a student and employee at Loyola, Samantha has a deep commitment to working with and for students to ensure that all students have the support and resources they need to achieve their personal and academic goals.

Samantha and her husband Matt, a fellow Rambler, live in Darien, Illinois with their three children Jackson, Austin and Charlotte.

Amber Miller, M.Ed., L.C.P.C.  Assistant Dean of Students, BCT Case Manager 

Assistant Dean Amber Miller, M.Ed., L.C.P.C. (she/her/hers), is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in the state of Illinois and a Loyola University Chicago graduate. She obtained her M.Ed. in Community Counseling from Loyola University Chicago in 2005 and worked as a psychotherapist in the nonprofit sector for over five years. In 2010, Amber transitioned into higher education at Columbia College Chicago as the Assistant Director of Student Relations. There, she assisted students in crisis and collaborated with campus partners to ensure student success.

In 2014, Amber returned to her alma mater to join the Student Life and Engagement team as the Behavioral Concerns Team Case Manager. Amber is also a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia and a former Mizzou Golden Girl. In addition to helping Loyola students, Amber provides individual, family, and couples counseling in her private practice in Old Town.

Astrid Beltran  Assistant Dean of Students, CARE Case Manager
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Assistant Dean Astrid Beltrán (she/her/hers) joined Loyola in August 2014.  Astrid received her B.A. from Western Illinois University and her M.S.Ed. in Higher Education Administration from University of Kansas.  She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Higher Education from Loyola. Before joining the Office of the Dean of Students, Astrid was the Director for Graduate, Professional & Adult Student Life and Coordinator for Sorority & Fraternity Life at Loyola.  Astrid has also worked at Baylor University in Waco, TX within Greek Life. 

Within her many roles, Astrid has had a student centered approach.  She is passionate about promoting and creating holistic development for students, empowering students, and transformative education.

In her free time you can find Astrid exploring the city, creating adventures, navigating the lake, volunteering, and spending quality time with family and friends.  She also enjoys traveling the world and meeting new folks and cultures along the way. 

Julie Penn  Assistant Dean of Students, CARE Case Manager
 

Assistant Dean Julie Penn, Ed.M. (she/her/hers), earned her B.A. from the University of Chicago and her Ed.M. from Harvard University. Julie has worked as a caseworker with Catholic Charities and trained and supervised volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA). In 2007 Julie returned to the University of Chicago as a college academic adviser and the Senior Adviser for Student Support before moving to the Office of College Community Standards as an Assistant Director. 

Julie is a member of the Acoma Pueblo Native American Tribe in New Mexico. In her free time, she enjoys reading about Native American history and culture and when given the choice, she’ll choose green chili over red.

 

 
Jo Anne Walsh  Administrative Assistant
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Fresh from the University of Iowa, Administrative Assistant Jo Anne Walsh (she/her/hers) joined advertising giant Young & Rubicam where she sharpened her advertising skills until joining Scholastic Inc. as Midwest Marketing Director. Jo Anne worked with the likes of Hallmark and SC Johnson developing and implementing quality “in-classroom” marketing programs. Ten years later, Jo Anne was wooed into joining the family business centered in real estate, and became an administrator and real estate agent.

Exposure to quality education models via her children’s schools led Jo Anne to leave the real estate business in 2012 and find a position in education at Loyola's Division of Student Development. As she rides into the sunset of her career, Jo Anne enjoys being in a position where she can assist the quality work being done with and for all our students.