James Lyda 2019
James Lyda, Ph.D., 
Dean of Students

James Lyda, Ph.D. is the Dean of Students for Minerva Schools and oversees the Student Life team, which is responsible for the safety, growth, and development of students outside of class, and facilitates opportunities for integrated learning. He has worked in higher education his entire career, specializing in student affairs, mental health, and wellness.

Prior to being appointed Minerva’s first Dean of Students, he served as the Director of Global Mental Health Services. A licensed psychologist, he earned a BA in psychology from Northwestern University and his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Oregon, where he was awarded the prestigious American Psychological Association (APA) Minority Fellowship. He went on to a Post-Doctoral Fellowship and clinical staff position at the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to Minerva, he worked at the University of California, San Francisco, serving as a coordinator of a California-statewide Student Mental Health Initiative grant. He has been with Minerva since 2015, fostering a culture of community support, openness to help seeking, adoption of a growth mindset, and educating students on the importance of wellness in optimizing learning and their potential.