Lori S. White, PhD
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Lori S. White was appointed the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at Washington University in St. Louis in July 2015. Dr. White has spent over 30 years working in higher education. Prior to her arrival at Washington University she served as the Vice President for Student Affairs and clinical professor of education at Southern Methodist University, and has also worked at the University of Southern California, Stanford, Georgetown and San Diego State Universities, and University of California, Irvine.
At Washington University, Dr. White and her colleagues are responsible for a range of student life programs including residence halls, student activities, student leadership programs, student conduct, the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, the First Year Student Center, health and wellness programs, career services, student academic support programs, international students and scholars, scholarship programs, the Danforth University Center, and Washington University athletics and recreational programs.
Dr. White was born and raised in San Francisco, California. She earned an undergraduate degree in psychology and English from the University of California, Berkeley and a Ph.D. from Stanford University in education administration and policy analysis with emphasis in higher education. She also participated in Harvard University’s Management and Leadership in Education Program.
Executive Assistant to the Vice Chancellor
Karen Levin Coburn
Interim Associate Vice Chancellor
Karen Levin Coburn is the interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Students. One of the country’s leading experts on the college experience, she is the co-author of three books: including Letting Go: A Parents’ Guide to Understanding the College Years with more than a half million copies in print. A sixth edition, revised and updated, was published in June, 2016, and a Chinese edition was published in Beijing.
Karen is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Skidmore College. She earned graduate degrees from Harvard University and Washington University. A licensed Psychologist and Professional Counselor originally from the New York metropolitan area, Coburn has been an educator for more than thirty years in Boston and St. Louis. She has written numerous professional articles, has written and directed educational training films and CDs, and has produced educational materials for teachers and counselors.
During her long career at Washington University, Coburn has been a faculty member, counselor, four year advisor, and administrator committed to supporting and enhancing the experience of undergraduates. She has held a broad range of leadership positions, including Director of the Career Center, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Students and Associate Dean for the Freshman Transition, and most recently Senior consultant in Residence.
Emelyn dela Peña, EdD
Associate Vice Chancellor & Dean for the Center for Diversity & Inclusion
Emelyn dela Peña, EdD, recently joined Washington University in St. Louis as the new Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Dean of the Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI). In her new role, dela Peña will lead the work of the CDI, which provides support and advocacy for students from traditionally underrepresented or marginalized populations and creates collaborative partnerships with campus and community members to promote dialogue and social change.
An experienced leader in higher education, Dr. dela Peña has spent more than two decades as an administrator and teacher. She served as Assistant Dean of Student Life for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at Harvard College.
Emelyn dela Peña graduated from the University of California – San Diego with a bachelor’s degree in ethnic studies, earned her master’s degree in education from San Diego State University and her doctor of education through a joint program of UC San Diego, San Diego State and California State University – San Marcos. She was honored last year with the Harvard University Faculty of Arts & Sciences Dean’s Distinction Award, and was recognized by UC San Diego three times – in 2001, 2006 and 2010 – with its Diversity Champion Award.
Associate Vice Chancellor & Dean for Scholar Programs
Robyn S. Hadley serves as Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Dean of the Office of Scholar Programs overseeing the Danforth and Rodriguez Programs and directing the Ervin Scholars Program. Her area of focus within Student Affairs is “Student Success” where she oversees Cornerstone: The Learning Center which includes the Academic Mentoring Program, Disability Resources, and the TRIO Program. She leads a roundtable of senior administrators tasked with creating and aligning Student Success initiatives across the academic divisions and student affairs. During her time at WashU Robyn has worked closely with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and Student Financial Services, in particular, as part of a team focused on addressing socioeconomic diversity initiatives.
Prior to her appointment at Washington University, Robyn spent ten years as the Founding Director of the “What’s After High School?” Program, a K-12 college access program, in the Alamance-Burlington School System (ABSS) in North Carolina. At ABSS, Robyn served as the school system’s: federal GEAR UP grant administrator, AVID Director and administrator for the U.S. Department of Education FAFSA Completion Pilot Project. She is an author, entrepreneur and has been recognized by The White House as a “Champion of Change” for her work assisting students in getting to and through college.
Robyn is an alumna of UNC-Chapel Hill where she was a John Motley Morehead Scholar, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Policy Analysis and played Varsity Basketball. She pursued graduate studies in Political Science at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar.
Mark Smith, JD
Associate Vice Chancellor & Dean for Career Services
Mark was named Associate Vice Chancellor and Director of the Career Center at Washington University in St. Louis in 2005. Mark is a native St. Louisan and a first-generation college student. Before joining the Career Center, Mark spent 14 years as Associate Dean of Student Affairs at Washington University School of Law. He currently teaches a course for first-year students, Freshman Seminar in Law and Society. He also does academic and pre-law advising and supervises the Office of International Students and Scholars. Mark works with Student Life, the campus newspaper, and the College Advising Corps.
Mark graduated cum laude from Harvard University in 1982. He received his J.D. from Washington University School of Law in 1986.
Rob Wild, PhD
Associate Vice Chancellor & Dean for Student Transition and Engagement
Rob is an Associate Vice Chancellor for Students and Dean of the First Year Center. In this role, he oversees the Office of Residential Life, Cornerstone, the First Year Center, and the Office of Student Conduct. Rob serves on numerous university-wide committees, and initiatives, including the Community of Concern Team, the International Travel Oversight Committee, and the Student Entrepreneurial Program. Rob has significant previous experience in Residential Life at both Washington University and the University of Wisconsin, and prior to his current role, he served as the Assistant to Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton.
Rob holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biology and African & African American Studies from Washington University, a Master of Science Degree in Educational Administration from the University of Wisconsin, and a Doctorate in Education from the University of Missouri – St. Louis.
Business Manager for Student Affairs & Shared Business Services Manager
Christie supports the Vice Chancellor through coordination of the budgets and other financial analysis for the Division of Student Affairs. She oversees financial and payroll-related functions for the Division and supervises the staff of the Shared Business Services Hub, a function of Office of the Vice Chancellor for Finance. A native of the metropolitan St. Louis area, Christie graduated from University of Missouri-St. Louis in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting.
Chief of Staff & Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives
James serves as the Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives for the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at Washington University in St. Louis. In this role, he is helping to develop and implement the Division of Student Affairs new strategic plan. Along with managing the divisional strategic plan, James also develops and leads other divisional strategic initiatives on behalf of the Vice Chancellor. James also serves as the divisional lead in collaborating with the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences and the Professional Schools at Washington University in supporting graduate and professional students.
A St. Louis area native, James earned his bachelor’s degree in history and political science from Southwest Baptist University and his Masters in Higher Education Administration from the University of Kansas. James moved back to St. Louis in the spring of 2015 after spending 20 years as a student affairs professional working in the areas of residential life, leadership development, first year experience, graduate admissions and graduate student support services across the country.