Amy R. Wolfson, associate dean of the faculty and professor of psychology at the College of the Holy Cross, will become vice president for academic affairs at Loyola University Maryland. The announcement was made today by Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J., president.
A member of the Holy Cross Community since 1992, Wolfson is also chair of the College’s Diversity Leadership Team and a nationally recognized authority in the rapidly growing field of sleep research.
“While we will miss Amy immensely on the Holy Cross campus, we wish her well in her new position, and recognize that this is a well-deserved opportunity at a sister Jesuit institution,” said Margaret N. Freije, interim vice president for academic affairs and dean of the College. “Her various contributions to our Holy Cross community over the past two decades have had an extraordinary impact on students, faculty and staff. Amy’s talent as a scholar, teacher, mentor and leader, along with her commitment to the mission of Jesuit education, will undoubtedly contribute to her success at Loyola.”
Wolfson grew up in Connecticut and completed her B.A. in psychology from Harvard University in 1982. She went on to complete her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Washington University, St. Louis, in 1987, and was a post-doctoral researcher in the psychology department at Stanford University from 1988-1990. Since arriving at Holy Cross in 1992, she has taught courses on mental health, health psychology, women's studies, and sleep and circadian rhythms. She chaired the psychology department and has served on many major College committees and councils, including for the last two years, chair of the Diversity Leadership Team.
Her ground-breaking sleep research focuses on older children and adolescents, and she has become a voice in the national debate about school start times. She has provided expert commentary to numerous national media outlets on the subject, including The New York Times, USA Today, NPR, NBC’s “Today” Show, and the Boston Globe. Wolfson received a $1.1 million grant from the National Institute of Child Health & Human Development for a six-year study of middle school students in Worcester. It is the largest research grant awarded to an individual in the College’s history. Results from her study demonstrated that the timing and consistency of school-night sleep were associated with demographic and behavioral aspects of socioeconomic status. Moreover, the Sleep-Smart intervention significantly improved the middle school students’ sleep hygiene and other behavioral outcomes.
Wolfson and her students organized the Worcester chapter of Sweet Dreamzzz, Inc., which teaches local children how to prepare for a good night’s sleep through healthy eating, activities and bedtime routines. The program was the first pilot program outside of the Michigan-based non-profit, which was a means to actively link academic research at Holy Cross to benefit children of the local community.
Wolfson and her husband, Andrew Futterman, professor of psychology and health professions advisor at Holy Cross, have lived in Worcester for the last 24 years, and have been active in the Worcester Jewish community. The couple’s son Noah Futterman is a senior at Union College.
She will assume her new role at Loyola on July 1, 2014.
What others are saying about Amy Wolfson:
- “It is difficult as an administrator to maintain a vital program of research. Yet, even while chairing the psychology department and then as associate dean for faculty, she maintained a very active research laboratory in which she included many students as research assistants. They presented papers and published together. Amy received the largest research grant in the College's history, a $1.1 million award from the National Institutes of Health.” – Charles Weiss, director of the Office of Strategic Initiatives & Corporate & Foundation Relations
- "Amy Wolfson is a wonderful colleague and I am grateful to her for her many contributions in support of the Jesuit mission at Holy Cross. Loyola University Maryland is fortunate to have as its new Vice President for Academic Affairs someone with her vision and scholarly background." – Rev. Paul Harman, S.J., vice president for mission
- “Amy has earned this position. She is a very accomplished scholar and teacher and has developed superb management skills that will serve her colleagues at Loyola well. Many Holy Cross faculty members share my sentiment that we are proud to have counted her among us and sad to see her leave, but we also see her as a fine role model for women in leadership positions.” - Karen Turner, professor of history
- “As the chair of the Diversity Leadership Team, she has been the driving force behind the College's efforts to increase diversity and inclusion throughout the institution. She has laid the foundation for the important work that lies ahead. I am incredibly grateful for her leadership, mentorship, and commitment to diversity and inclusion while at Holy Cross.” - Greta Kenney, Diversity Leadership Team Coordinator
- “As a teacher/scholar in psychology, as chair of the department, and as Associate dean of the faculty, Amy has been a treasured member of the Holy Cross community for more than two decades. She's also a friend, whose warmth, generosity, and care have been important to many of us. We'll certainly miss her. For now, though, we just want to wish her the very best as she moves into this exciting new role.” - Mark Freeman, professor and chair of the psychology department
- “Ever since I met Amy during my campus interview, she has exhibited a depth of knowledge about community-based learning that is rare for someone who has not been a full-time practitioner in the field. I have since seen that Amy's ability to quickly comprehend complex topics with such sophistication knows no boundaries. This has enabled Amy to ask challenging questions about my work that have pushed me to grow and produce a better final product. Not only have I benefited from Amy's intelligence, but I also greatly appreciate her consistent advocacy of community-based learning, social justice, and diversity issues. The absence of her voice at the table will be a huge loss for Holy Cross, but will be Loyola Maryland's gain.” - Michelle Sterk Barrett, director of community based learning
- “A wonderful part of working for Amy is that she clearly understands that leadership is a means and not an end. She is tireless and responsive, and knows how to follow through and convert decisions into actions.” – Matthew Koss, professor of chemistry and director of the Center for Teaching