serves as the 8th Chancellor of the University of Missouri–St. Louis. With nearly 16,000 students, UMSL is the premier public research university in eastern Missouri and one of the nation’s leading anchor institutions promoting student success, innovation and thriving communities.
Sobolik was recruited to UMSL in 2017 to serve as its Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and after a nationwide search was appointed Chancellor in 2020. As the chief academic and executive officer, Sobolik has enhanced the university’s research and fundraising efforts – resulting in a 57 percent increase in research expenditures over the past five years and a 21 percent increase in private philanthropy.
Additionally, Sobolik has elevated the stature of UMSL’s inclusion, research and community engagement efforts by appointing first-ever vice chancellors for diversity, equity and inclusion and research and economic/community engagement, aligning the support structure of the university with goals of its strategic plan.
Sobolik began her academic career at the University of Maine, quickly distinguishing herself as a teacher, scholar and administrator in the Department of Anthropology, world-renowned Climate Change Institute and the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, where she ultimately served as Associate Dean for Research and External Affairs.
Sobolik earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Iowa and master’s and Ph.D. degrees in anthropology at Texas A&M University. She is an interdisciplinary scholar who has helped develop the fields of archaeobiology and paleonutrition, with more than 100 publications, books and presentations on the topic. She and her husband, Dr. Scott D. Peterson, reside in St. Louis and have four children.