Saint Joseph's University Announces New Dean

Loyola University Maryland psychologist and administrator to lead College of Arts and Sciences

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

PHILADELPHIA (January 8, 2014) — Amanda McCombs Thomas, Ph.D., a psychologist and administrator from Loyola University Maryland, a fellow Jesuit institution in Baltimore, has been named dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Saint Joseph’s University. She will assume her new position on July 1, 2014.

Thomas has held a number of administrative positions at Loyola since 1999, including associate chair and chair of the psychology department, and associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. For the last five years, Thomas has served as associate vice president for graduate studies, overseeing more than 40 discipline offerings and more than 120 degrees and certificates across Loyola’s College of Arts and Sciences, School of Education and the Sellinger School of Business and Management.  She began her tenure at Loyola in 1991 as an assistant professor of psychology.

“It is an honor and privilege to join the community of Saint Joseph’s University,” says Thomas. “I am excited to have the opportunity to work together with those in the College of Arts and Sciences and throughout the University on our shared academic goals, steeped in the rich tradition of Jesuit education.” 

A licensed psychologist, Thomas’ research interests lie in family and childhood psychology. She has studied the effects of divorce and parental depression on children, as well as anxiety disorders in children, trichotillomania (hair pulling), and behavioral family treatment. She is a prolific scholar, who has published widely in her discipline.

Thomas holds a bachelor's degree from the College of William and Mary, and a master's and doctoral degree from the University of Georgia.

"Dr. Thomas joins Saint Joseph’s at a critical time for the College of Arts and Sciences, which is poised to meet the changing demands on higher education,” says University Provost Brice Wachterhauser, Ph.D. “I have confidence in her capacity to lead the College, to quickly discern its strengths and challenges, and to encourage growth and programmatic innovation. We’re pleased to welcome a scholar and administrator of Dr. Thomas’ caliber to Saint Joseph’s University.”

Media Contact

Kelly Welsh, Senior Director of Marketing and Communications/College of Arts and Sciences, 610-660-1385,


As Philadelphia's Jesuit, Catholic University, founded by the Society of Jesus in 1851, Saint Joseph's University provides a rigorous, student-centered education rooted in the liberal arts. SJU ranks as a top university in the Northeast, with a Phi Beta Kappa chapter in the College of Arts and Sciences and AACSB accreditation of the  Erivan K. Haub School of Business. The University is also deeply committed to the Jesuit tradition of scholarship and service, earning a place on the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll and the community engagement classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. With courses offered on campus and online, SJU prepares its more than 8,000 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students to lead lives of personal excellence, professional success and engaged citizenship.


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