About the Dean

Kristin Sobolik
Dean, College of Liberal Arts

Kristin Sobolik is the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts where she collaborates with faculty and staff to advance students’ aspirations and prepare them to meet the real world challenges of the 21st century.  At Wright State University she has helped bring to fruition the $30M modernization and expansion of the Creative Arts Center that includes the Robert and Elaine Stein Art Galleries, new School of Music studios, and the Tom Hanks Center for Motion Pictures.  She guided the development of an area of excellence in Policy with the re-envisioned Applied Policy Research Institute (APRI) and the merger of the departments of Political Science and Urban Affairs & Geography into the School of Public and Internation Affairs (SPIA).  Kristin is excited to now see the results of the implementation of the New Media Incubator as shared think tank space between communication and motion pictures, and continued development and success of the Center for Liberal Arts Student Success (CLASS) that focuses on student retention and workforce development. 

Kristin collaborates with Advancement and CoLA’s major gift officers as a strong partner in Rise. Shine. The Campaign for Wright State University, attending many of the campaign mini-launches and alumni engagement activities throughout the nation, and helps attain and maintain CoLA’s $20M in donor gifts for scholarships, capital improvements, and programing.  Kristin helped lead Wright State’s successful reaccreditation by the Higher Learning Commission as a member of the Executive Committee and co-author of Criterion Three - Teaching and Learning: Quality, Resources, and Support.  She led the collaborative development of a college-wide strategic plan Empower: CoLA Strategic Plan 2014-2019 that aligns with the university strategic plan and guides resource allocation and programmatic development within the college.  Kristin was a negotiation team member of the Collective Bargaining Agreement 2014-17, helped attain Wright State’s Carnegie Community Engagement Classification, and is a member of the Athletics Council and Research Council.

As an interdisciplinary scholar, Kristin is a leader in and helped develop the fields of archaeobiology and paleonutrition with over 100 publications, books, and presentations.  She earned a bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Iowa and a masters and doctorate in Anthropology from Texas A&M University.  Prior to coming to Wright State, Kristin was Professor of Anthropology and Climate Change at the University of Maine where she served as Associate Dean for Research and External Affairs in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, as well as Chair of the Department of Anthropology and Associate Director of the university’s world-renowned Climate Change Institute.  She initiated and helped develop the B.A in Human Dimensions of Climate Change and the Ph.D. in Anthropology and Environmental Policy, obtaining student support as co-PI through a National Science Foundation IGERT grant on Adaptation to Abrupt Climate Change (A2C2).  Kristin initiated, developed, and implemented the Maine Heritage Initiative that evolved into the University of Maine Humanities Initiative and ultimately the University of Maine Humanities Center to support humanities-based units, programming, and scholarship.

Kristin was honoured as a Woman of Distinction by the Girl Scouts of Western Ohio for making significant contributions in STEAM fields and giving hope and inspiration to girls through achievements and passion for our community.  She is pleased to serve the Dayton community as a member of the Board of Trustees of Culture Works, the Steering and Implementation committees for Culture Connects 20/20: One Region, One Vision strategic cultural plan for the Dayton region, 100+ Women Who Care, and the League of Women Voters of the Greater Dayton Area.


Ph.D. in Anthropology, Texas A&M University, 1991
M.A. in Anthropology, Texas A&M University, 1988
B.S. in Biology, The University of Iowa, 1986

Summary of Positions

Wright State University, Jan. 2013–present

  • Dean, College of Liberal Arts
  • Professor of Anthropology

University of Maine,  Aug. 1992–Dec. 2012

  • Associate Dean for Research and External Affairs, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Sept. 2010–Dec. 2012
  • Chair, Department of Anthropology, July 2006–Aug. 2011
  • Associate Director, The Climate Change Institute, Aug. 2005–Aug. 2010
  • Graduate Coordinator, The Climate Change Institute, Aug. 1993–Aug. 2007
  • Professor of Anthropology and Climate Change
    • Faculty Associate, 2013–present
    • Professor, 2006–2012
    • Associate Professor, 1998–2006
    • Assistant Professor, 1992–1998

Leadership Development

ACE National Women’s Leadership Forum: Advancing Women’s Leadership, Dec. 2–4, 2015

  • Selected to attend ACE Leadership Workshop for senior-level women administrators in higher education, Washington DC

Harvard Institute for Management and Leadership in Education, June 14–27, 2015

  • Selected to attend Harvard Institute for Higher Education on leading change, planning and strategy development, inclusive excellence, financial sustainability, future trends in higher education

CASE, Council for Advancement and Support of Education,  June 4–5, 2013

  • Summer Institute in Advancement Services

HERS Institute, Higher Education Research Services, Bryn Mawr, June 17–30, 2012

  • Selected to attend Higher Education Administration Institute on leading change, finance and budgeting, higher education law, diversity, information technology, advancement, accreditation and communication

Diversity Leadership Institute, University of Maine, Throughout 2012

  • Selected to attend Intensive diversity discussions and training

Select Publications

Sutton, Mark Q., Kristin D. Sobolik, and Jill Gardner  
   2010 Paleonutrition. University of Arizona Press, Tucson, AZ, 369 p.

Sobolik, Kristin D.
   2003  Archaeobiology, Altamira Press, Lanham, MD. 

Poinar, Hendrik N., Melanie Kuch, Kristin D. Sobolik, Ian Barnes, Artur B. Stankiewicz, Tomasz Kuder, W. Geofferey Spaulding, Vaughn M. Bryant, Alan Cooper, and Svante Pääbo
   2001  A molecular analysis of dietary diversity for three archaic Native Americans. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 98(8): 4317-4322.

Tito, Raul Y., Dan Kights, Jessica Metcalf, Alexandra J. Obregon-Tito, Lauren Cleeland, Fares Najar, Bruce Roe, Karl Reinhard, Kristin Sobolik, Samuel Belknap, Morris Foster, Paul Spicer, Rob Knight, Cecil M. Lewis, Jr.
   2012 Insights from Characterizing Extinct Human Gut Microbiomes. PLOS ONE 7(12):e51146.

Tito, Raul Y., Samuel L. Belknap III, Kristin D. Sobolik, Robert C. Ingraham, Lauren M. Cleeland, and Cecil M. Lewis, Jr.
   2011 DNA from early Holocene American dog. American Journal of Physical Anthropology  145(4):653-657.

Sobolik, Kristin D.
   1996  Direct Evidence for Prehistoric Sex Differences. Cutting Edge Column, American Anthropological Association Newsletter, 37(9):7-8.

Sobolik, Kristin D. 
   1996  Lithic Organic Residue Analysis: An Example from the Southwestern Archaic. Journal of Field Archaeology 23:461-469.

Sobolik, Kristin D., Kristen J. Gremillion, Patricia Whitten, Patty Jo Watson
  1996  Sex Determination of Prehistoric Human Paleofeces. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 101(2):283-290.

Robert C. Ingraham, Brian S. Robinson, Kristin D. Sobolik, and A. Sky Heller
   2016  “Left for the Tide to Take Back”: Specialized Processing of Seals on Machias Bay, Maine. Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology 11(1):89-106.

Mead, Jim I., Arthur E. Spiess, and Kristin D. Sobolik
   2000  Skeleton of Extinct North American Sea Mink (Mustela macrodon). Quaternary Research 53:247-262.

Gremillion, Kristen J. and Kristin D. Sobolik
   1996  Dietary Variability Among Prehistoric Forager-Farmers of Eastern North America. Current Anthropology 37(3):529-539.

Sobolik, Kristin D. (ed.)
   1994 Paleonutrition: The Diet and Health of Prehistoric Americans, Center for Archaeological Investigations Occasional Paper Series 22, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.

Link to Publications in Core Scholar

Core Scholar