Office of the Provost Announces New Academic Leaders

ACADEMICS | The letter below was sent on Friday, May 4:

Dear Colleagues:

I am pleased to announce the appointment of three academic leaders who will be joining the Provost’s Office. These positions will advance the support of our students, faculty, and strategic academic initiatives. I am grateful for the participation of dozens of LMU faculty who this semester met with nominees and applicants, the valuable feedback received from the executive committee of the Faculty Senate and the President’s Cabinet, and the counsel provided by Dr. Abbie Robinson-Armstrong, vice president for intercultural affairs, as well as the Deans. Your insights and perspectives informed and shaped these decisions, and I am confident that we selected forward-thinking, creative, and ambitious leaders who reflect our values and will help us realize our vision.

Early this summer, the Provost’s Office will welcome these three individuals:

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Roberta Espinoza, vice provost for global-local initiatives
  • Roberta Espinoza, vice provost for global-local initiatives: Dr. Espinoza will join LMU from Pitzer College, where she currently serves as interim associate dean for global and local programs, as well as professor of sociology. In her prior roles, she developed numerous initiatives and programs that involved faculty and students in global/local themes and topics in curriculum, research, and community engagement. For example, Dr. Espinoza supervised the Global Local Mentorship Program, which introduces first-year students to immersive study abroad and local community engagement via mentors and advisers, and also supervised the Office of Fellowships and Scholarships, which supported 14 students who received Fulbright Fellowships in the 2016-2017 academic year. Dr. Espinoza earned her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley, and is the author of several books and articles on diversity, inclusion, and access including Pivotal Moments: How Educators Can Put All Students on the Path to College (Harvard Education Press, 2011) and Working-Class Minority Students’ Routes to Higher Education (Routledge, 2012). In 2016, Dr. Espinoza received the inaugural Claremont Colleges Diversity Teaching Award. In addition to teaching courses in sociology, Dr. Espinoza has also taught courses in Chicanx Studies at three universities. As vice provost, Dr. Espinoza will serve as LMU’s senior international officer (SIO) and have broad oversight for a variety of institutional priorities including study abroad, global partnerships, and national and international fellowships. This new position gives greater attention to President Snyder’s vision to make LMU a center for global imagination and its impacts.
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José I. Badenes, S.J., associate provost for undergraduate education
  • José I. Badenes, S.J., associate provost for undergraduate education: Father Badenes has been a professor in LMU’s Department of Modern Languages and Literatures since 1996 and was promoted to full professor in 2017. His administrative experience includes serving as chair of his department, interim director of the Honors Program, and founding director of the Catholic Studies Program. For six years, Father Badenes also served as a member of the Board of Trustees at Loyola University Maryland. He is a passionate and effective teacher with deep belief in holistic undergraduate education in the Jesuit tradition. Committed to the teacher-scholar model, Father Badenes has an interdisciplinary research agenda combining linguistic, literary, theatrical, artistic, theological and philosophical perspectives that animates his classroom teaching. He has served on numerous committees and task forces for BCLA and the university related to curricular initiatives, strategic planning, and policy issues. Father Badenes earned his Ph.D. in Hispanic Languages and Literatures from the University of California, Santa Barbara. His current research focuses on the poet and playwright Federico Garcia Lorca, and his book Performing the Dandy: Manuel Machado and the Anxiety of Masculinity was published in 2003. During his most-recent sabbatical, Father Badenes served as the Saint Ignatius Loyola Chair at Fordham University. His administrative training includes the AJCU summer leadership institute and LMU’s Leading Institutional Units and Programs. As associate provost for undergraduate education, Father Badenes will oversee initiatives that support and enhance the undergraduate student experience, such as first-year programs, the Academic Resource Center, and Disability Support Services, and provide vision and leadership for the Core, the Honors Program, and a variety of retention and graduation initiatives.
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Kathleen “Kat” Weaver, associate provost for research and professional development
  • Kathleen “Kat” Weaver, associate provost for research and professional development: Dr. Weaver will join LMU from the University of La Verne, where she currently serves as associate dean of learning, innovation, and teaching, as well as professor of biology. As associate dean, her work has centered on faculty development; she supervised five programs, including the Center for Advancement of Faculty Excellence. For four years, she also served as director of the La Verne Experience, a signature program that integrates high-impact practices across the curriculum. In support of faculty colleagues, Dr. Weaver created faculty learning communities, helped faculty navigate the IRB process, and provided mentorship in grant writing. Dr. Weaver’s grant and fundraising accomplishments include $19.7 million to fund her own research as well as institutional support for faculty innovation. In 2016, she received the Excellence in Extramural Grant Funding award. Dr. Weaver earned her Ph.D. in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Dr. Weaver’s research on land snails and freshwater fish has been published in a variety of journal articles, technical reports, and the book, An Introduction to Statistical Analysis in Research, published in 2017. She also publishes and presents frequently about STEM education, with a focus on gender equity. As associate provost at LMU, Dr. Weaver will provide institutional leadership for our external grant and contract funding opportunities and processes, as well as leadership and support for tenure and promotion procedures, student-faculty research initiatives, and events and programs related to faculty development and recognition.

Please join me in welcoming Roberta, José, and Kat to their new positions. They are eager to learn the many qualities that make LMU a remarkable university, and their expertise and experience will help us forge new paths.


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Thomas Poon, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President and Provost