Skip to main content
Menu Search & Directory
Close

People

Interested in contacting Saint Louis University's  Division for Diversity and Innovative Community Engagement? Learn about the DICE's leadership and staff.  

Amber Johnson, Ph.D.
Amber Johnson
 

Interim Vice President for Diversity and Innovative Community Engagement

amber.johnson@slu.edu
314-977-4586
Dubourg 201
CV

As a scholar, artist, and activist, Dr. Amber Johnson’s research and activism focus on narratives of identity, resistance, and social justice in digital media, popular media, and everyday lived experiences. Dr. Amber Johnson is Founding Director of the Justice Fleet, a mobile social justice museum that fosters healing through art dialogue and play and co-founder of The Institute for Healing Justice and Equity, where they specialize in humanizing equity and exploring the relationship between healing justice and equity. Dr. Johnson is also Interim Vice President in the Office of Diversity and Community Engagement and an award-winning Professor of Communication and Social Justice at Saint Louis University. Notable awards include the Golden Anniversary Monograph Award, the Norm White Award for Engaged Scholarship and Service, the Dr. Terry Leet Researcher Award from Generate Health for scholarship that centers social justice, the Faculty Excellence Award for Diversity and Social Justice, a Presidential citation for social justice work within and beyond the Communication discipline, and several article of the year and top paper awards. 

Job Description

The Vice President for Diversity and Innovative Community Engagement develops innovative and transformational work that centers those who have historically been marginalized and ensures that instruction, research, and services advance justice and equity for people of all races, genders, abilities, countries of origin, incomes, and other identities and backgrounds. The Vice President creates and maintains coordinated, equitable systems for the university’s community engagement efforts in the St. Louis region by prioritizing healing and repairing past harms perpetuated by its staff, faculty, and students in the city’s most vulnerable neighborhood. The Vice President brings an innovative spirit to the work of structural transformation by employing strategies that introduce new ideas, methods, and practices required to move forward with transformative change, specifically for internal and external stakeholders.  

Areas of Work

  • Healing Justice
  • Humanizing Equity
  • Radical Inclusion
  • Universal Accessibility 
  • Community Engagement Ethics

Fun Facts

Dr. Johnson is an athlete and avid water lover. From kayaking, to paddle boarding, to American Ninja Warrior and triathlons, Dr. Johnson lives an active lifestyle in nature. Dr. Johnson is also a karaoke enthusiast with a mean Tracy Chapman impression! 

Regina Walton
Regina Walton
 

Executive Assistant, Division of Diversity and Innovative Community Engagement

regina.walton@slu.edu
314-977-4585
Dubourg 102

CV

Regina Walton serves as the executive assistant in the Division of Diversity and Innovative Community Engagement. Often referred to as the “Heart” of SLU, Regina  is a staple in our community. Her presence is felt in the dynamic details of her events, her warm smile, and the way she shows up and shows out for our SLU family.  

Areas of Work and Expertise

  • Programming
  • MLK Memorial Tribute
  • Sister Strut Breast Cancer Walk
  • Community Engagement, and
  • Building Relationships 

Fun Fact

Regina loves dogs and currently has a dachshund named “Tibby,” who she adores.

Richard B. Marks, Jr., Ed.D
Richard Marks
 

Executive Director of the Cross-Cultural Center for Global Citizenship

richard.marks@slu.edu
314-977-2567
Center for Global Citizenship, 124M

Richard B. Marks, Jr., Ed.D, (he/him) is the executive director of the Cross-Cultural Center for Global Citizenship at Saint Louis University. He is a graduate of Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, with both a Bachelors in African American Studies/Sociology and a Masters in Higher Education Administration in Student Affairs. He earned his doctorate in Educational Leadership from Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California. Richard's dissertation "As the World Turns: Being Black and Gay on Campus in the 21st Century" explores factors contributing to the Black gay men at a predominately White institution (PWI) in southern California using the intersection of race, sexual identity, and social capital-institutional agents. The themes emerged: self-identity, coming-out, racial & cultural dissonance, (toxic) masculinity, religion/spirituality, institutional support, and family affairs. 

Richard has worked in higher education for over 20 years. He has worked in housing and residence life, student activities, Greek life, student conduct, and diversity education. He has facilitated and presented several topics, including race in higher education, LGBTQ, toxic masculinity, gender roles and expressions, Greek life, various diversity training, team building, leadership, intersectionality, and identity. In addition, he has been the keynote speaker for some events. More recently, Chapman University's Black Graduation (2015), Youngstown State University Men of Color Conference (2020), and Midwest Association of Colleges and Universities Residence Halls (2019).

Richard is a past chair of the Pan African Network in Association of College Personnel Association [ACPA], an active member of 100 Black Men of Metropolitan of Saint Louis, board member of YMCA – Monsanto in Saint Louis, past Vice President/charter member of National Panhellenic Council of Orange County, and a Lifetime member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. He is also the president of a diversity consulting company called RBM Diversity Consulting, LLC. 

Job Description

As the executive director of the Cross-Cultural Center for Global Citizenship, Richard works closely in a highly collaborative and creative environment. He facilitates training and workshops throughout the institution among faculty, staff, students and the community at large around diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

Areas of Work and Expertise

  • DEI Trainings and workshops
  • Black male persistence,
  • LGBTQAI+
  • Black male college students and mental health

Fun Facts

Richard is a reality TV junkie, loves to cook, enjoys traveling, and is vocally talented. Family is very important to him.  He enjoys spending time with his family and friends.

Bryan Sokol, Ph.D.
Bryan Sokol
 

Director of the Center for Social Action

bryan.sokol@slu.edu
314-977-3929
Wuller Hall, Suite 204

Dr. Bryan Sokol is an associate professor of psychology and the director of the Center for Social Action at Saint Louis University. He was trained as a developmental scientist at the University of British Columbia in Canada where he focused on the psychological and social factors that promote positive youth development. He has been a faculty member at SLU since 2007. His current research is directed toward applied contexts that enhance young persons’ sense of agency, empathy, purpose and spirituality.

Job Description

Bryan leads the CSCE team and help to forge stronger, more effective learning partnerships and service opportunities with the surrounding community.

Areas of Work

  • Community Based Research and Teaching
  • Impact Assessment and Evaluation
  • Readers 2 Leaders Program
  • Service-Immersion Programs

Areas of Expertise

  • Rich knowledge of the Catholic, Jesuit mission
  • Scholar-practitioner with training in developmental psychology
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity-and-inclusion, faith-and-justice, and the spiritual-emotional wellbeing of young people

Fun Fact

Bryan is a dual citizen of Canada and the USA; his favorite color is orange.

Leah Sweetman, Ph.D.
Leah Sweetman
 

Director of Community Engaged Learning, Center for Social Action

leah.sweetman@slu.edu
314-977-4214
Wuller Hall, Suite 204

Leah Sweetman, Ph.D., serves as the director of community engaged learning for the Saint Louis University Center for Social Action.  She has over 20  years of experience in community engagement and higher education.  

Leah has a research interest in how universities prepare students to serve in new and diverse settings and is working on ways to integrate those best practices into SLU’s community engagement programs.  She has presented at numerous community engagement conferences and has co-authored articles on service learning, voter engagement, and social justice education. Leah regularly teaches courses in public policy analysis and the policymaking process. She is the Co-Chair of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) Community Engaged Learning Professionals Conference and has served on a number of community development boards and committees in St. Louis.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Marquette University, a Master of Science in Urban Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and a Ph.D. in Public Policy Analysis and Administration from Saint Louis University. 

Job Description

Through her work, Leah assists faculty with creating new community-engaged learning courses or redesigning existing courses to integrate meaningful community service and reflection experiences into the curriculum. She also chairs the voter engagement committee at Saint Louis University and is passionate about helping students make connections between their service commitments and their civic lives. 

Areas of Work and Expertise

  • Community Engaged Scholarship
  • Student Voter Engagement
  • Public Policy and Social Change

Fun Facts

Leah is a big fan of snow cones. To date, the best ones are sold in California on the Santa Monica Pier.  She also enjoys spending time with her family exploring the great neighborhoods, parks and art spaces in St. Louis.

Bobby Wassel, Ph.D.
Bobby Wassel
 

Director of Operations, Center for Social Action

bobby.wassel@slu.edu
314-977-2041
Wuller Hall, Suite 204

Bobby Wassel, Ph.D., serves as the director of operations for the Saint Louis University Center for Social Action. He has over 17 years of experience connecting students to service and community engagement opportunities, and helping students reflect on how these experiences shape their values and purpose in life. Before joining SLU in 2006, Bobby spent a few years as a campus minister at the Catholic Newman Center at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and also spent a year volunteering in Appalachia, working with the rural poor, at an intentional living community based upon Catholic social teaching.  

He holds a bachelor's degree in psychology and sociology from Indiana University, and both master's and doctoral degrees in higher education administration from Saint Louis University.  Bobby has presented at numerous regional, national and international conferences on such topics as social change and action methods, assessment of faith and service engagement, and organizing high-quality service experiences for college students. He currently resides in Kirkwood, MO with his wife Kelly and two children (Daphne and Keenan).

Job Description

Bobby works to connect SLU students, faculty and staff to community engagement opportunities, as well as maintaining relationships with the over 500 community organizations that partner with the University.  He also oversees such programming as the 1818 Community Engagement Grant Program, Community Service Federal Work Study Program, and Year of Service initiatives.  Bobby facilitates the operations of the Center for Social Action, including finance and budget, database management, and assessment.

Areas of Work and Expertise

Bobby’s areas of interest and expertise include the following:

  • Organizing high quality community engagement opportunities for students
  • Assessing motivations, personal development and impact of community engagement experiences on college students
  • Vocational discernment processes for college students
  • Social change methods; equipping students with the knowledge and skills to engage in advocacy
  • Historical analyses of social change movements
  • Catholic Social Teaching as a foundational platform for social change

Fun Facts

Bobby is an avid runner and hiker – he got engaged to his wife Kelly towards the end of the New York City Marathon. Bobby enjoys science fiction/fantasy books and movies.

Luella D. Loseille, M.Ed.
Luella D. Loseille
 

Assistant Director for Diversity and Inclusion, Cross Cultural Center for Global Citizenship

She | Her

luella.loseille@slu.edu 
314-977-3576
Center for Global Citizenship, 124G

Luella Loseille is the assistant director for diversity and inclusion in the Cross Cultural Center for Global Citizenship and the Atlas Program Coordinator. Born and raised in St. Louis, MO from a Haitian family background, Luella attended Saint Louis University for both her undergraduate degree (Anthropology, 2017) and graduate degree (Student Personnel Administration, 2019). While a student at SLU, Luella was engaged in a myriad of leadership positions (including being inducted into the SLU Student Hall of Fame Class of 2017)  and draws from these experiences to better enrich the student experience at Saint Louis University within her role as Assistant Director for Diversity and Inclusion.

After graduating with her bachelors in 2017, Luella served as an Americorp VISTA for one year where she strengthened community partnerships between SLU and community organizations with a social justice focus on race equity. She also assisted in the creation and implementation of programming relating to anti-bias and anti-racism initiatives including the Stand Against Racism campaign done in partnership with YWCA Metro St. Louis. After completing her service year with AmeriCorp, Luella worked as the Atlas Program Coordinator within the Cross Cultural Center until she became Assistant Director in 2020.  With a strong passion in equity and social justice work, Luella fervently works to cultivate and maintain an environment in which every member of the SLU Community may be their truest and most authentic self.  Luella is also an instructor for Cura Personalis 1 and the adviser to student organization OASIS. 

Job Description

The assistant director for diversity and inclusion plans and leads diversity, equity and inclusion programs for students, faculty, and staff, and assists in the development and implementation of programming initiatives for the campus community that contributes to the recruitment and retention of underrepresented, minoritized, and/or marginalized populations. Additionally, the assistant director for diversity and inclusion actively participates in the coordination of related awareness, training, and educational programs in conjunction with student organizations, other university departments, and community partners while assisting in the overall daily operations of the Cross Cultural Center for Global Citizenship.

Areas of Work 

  • Atlas Week
  • International Education Week
  • Diversity Movie Series
  • Cultural Heritage/Awareness Months
  • Multiple Cultural Fluency
  • Audre Lorde Scholars
  • Safe Zone 

Area of Expertise

  • Multiple Cultural Fluency
  • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice
  • Intergroup Dialogue
  • Global Diversity Education
  • Student Personnel Administration and Support

Fun Fact

Luella is an avid anime, manga, video game, and K-Pop fan and enjoys reading fantasy books. She also loves a good K-Drama! 

Michael Hankins, Ph.D.
Micheal Hankins
 

Special Assistant to the Vice President for Recruitment in STEM

michael.hankins@slu.edu
314-977-2808
CV

Dr. Michael Hankins is an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and a special assistant to the vice president for recruitment in STEM at Saint Louis University. As a SLU alumnus (B.S. Chemistry 2009, Ph.D. Integrated and Applied Sciences 2017), Dr. Hankins is excited to be at SLU in these roles. He hopes to use his teaching experience and work in diversity, equity, and inclusion to carry out SLU’s Jesuit mission of creating a robust academic environment that is welcoming to all.

Job Description

The Special Assistant to the Vice President for Recruitment in STEM creates, implements, supports, and assesses programming efforts to recruit STEM students to the university with emphasis on those students from marginalized and under-represented communities in the Division of Diversity and Innovative Community Engagement.  

Areas of Work and Expertise

  • Chemistry faculty (Assistant Professor, NTT)
  • Recruitment (first-time full-time freshmen, transfer students, non-traditional students)
  • Community Engagement (creating partnerships to support recruiting pipelines)

Fun Facts

Michael is a former SLU student who enjoys playing video games, watching sports and anime.

Michael Jackson, M.A. 
Micheal Jackson
 

Special Assistant to the Vice President

michael.jackson@slu.edu
314-977-4595
515-229-3898 (cell)

Michael Jackson serves as special assistant to the VP of DICE for retention and leadership development. He is completing his doctoral degree in higher education/administration at Iowa State University. He completed his Bachelor of Art degree from Missouri State University in criminology, and has a Master of Arts degree in political science from Iowa State University. Recently, he was selected to share a part of his research, “Exploring Leadership Capacities and Experiences of African American Male College Presidents,” at the 21st Annual International Leadership Conference in Ottawa, Canada. Jackson received invaluable support and feedback from global leaders that he will reflect on as he continues to implement various leadership components in higher education.  

Before transitioning to academia, Jackson effectively held several leadership positions in the business sector, and successfully led a Fortune 500 company, while overseeing approximately 2600 associates. His hobbies include reading, running (full/half marathons), traveling, and horseback riding. Two noteworthy quotes that he often reflects on and guide his work are:

  • "Treat a man as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he can and should be and he will become as he can and should be."
  • "Start by doing what’s necessary, then do what’s possible and suddenly you are doing the impossible."
Jessica Trout, M.S.W.
Jessica Trout
 

Advocacy Program Coordinator

jessica.trout@slu.edu
314-977-4587

Jessica began working in higher education in 2014 at McKendree University as the inaugural staff member in the Center for Community Service. She moved to Saint Louis University in 2017 into a new position in the Center for Social Action focused on advocacy and social change.  Prior to her work in higher education, Jessica graduated from Saint Louis University as a first generation college student with a bachelor's degree in social work and international studies. After graduating, she moved to the Federated States of Micronesia to teach high school for two years. In 2013, she completed her Master of Social Work degree at Columbia University in New York City with an emphasis in social policy. During her studies in New York, she worked with Voices of Women Organizing Project, a community organizing nonprofit working with survivors of domestic violence.  After six months in Central America during college, and various trips back to the region, as well as time along the US-Mexico border, Jessica has a passion for immigration policy.  

Job Description

The advocacy program coordinator maintains relationships with regional and national advocacy groups as well as advises student organizations focused on community service and social justice activities. The program coordinator leads and supports integrative educational opportunities that promote leadership and spiritual formation, advocacy skills, and political engagement among students and the broader campus community. Examples of programming include Policy Pods, Social Justice and Advocacy Training, and the Kino Border Initiative Spring Break Immersion. 

Areas of Work and Expertise

  • Policy Pods
  • Social Justice and Advocacy Training
  • Student Advising and Support
  • Coalitions
  • Neighborhood Associations
  • Immigration and Border Immersion

Areas of Expertise

  • Immigration
  • Student Leadership Training
  • Coalition Building
  • Social Justice Education
  • Community Partnerships

Fun Fact

Jessica's dog's name, Tiko, comes from a Micronesian word, Fitikoco, meaning chaos, and he lives up to it, especially in his greetings! 

Melissa Apprill, J.D.
Melissa Apprill
 

Campus Kitchen Coordinator

melissa.apprill@slu.edu
314-977-3881
3711 West Pine Blvd, Wuller Hall 204

Campus Kitchen SLU
303 S. Grand Blvd, Reinert Hall 132A

Melissa Apprill joined Saint Louis University in 2018, as the program coordinator for Campus Kitchen SLU.  She received a B.A. in political science from SLU in 1991 and before returning home to the University, she earned a J.D. from Temple University in 1997 and spent 15 years working in the legal profession in the United States and Canada. Regardless of her profession, Melissa’s vocational calling has always been community facing, whether serving at Annunciation House in El Paso, working in the City of Philadelphia’s civil rights unit, or volunteering in her church, children’s schools, or with organizations such as Sts. Peter and Paul Community Services and Fr. Dempsey’s.

As the Campus Kitchen coordinator, she manages hundreds of volunteers, maintains partnerships with a dozen community organizations, and provides thousands of meals and companionship to St. Louis residents, especially those living in and around SLU’s neighborhood.  From working in the community to embracing her role as a student mentor, she epitomizes the “Good Neighbor” Initiative she will lead in the Division of Diversity and Innovative Community Engagement.

Fun Fact

Melissa is a terrible speller, but she loves playing Skrabbell (did she spell that correctly?). And nothing beats a family picnic at the beach! 

Aubra Ladd
Aubra Ladd
 

Program Coordinator

(she/her/hers)

aubra.ladd@slu.edu
314-977-5790
Dubourg 201

CV

Aubra Ladd joined Saint Louis University in 2021, as the Program Coordinator for the Division of Diversity and Innovative Community Engagement. Born and raised in Chicago, IL, Aubra moved to Saint Louis to attend Saint Louis University for both her Bachelor’s degree in Communication (Class of 2021) and is currently working on her Master’s degree in Communication.  While a student at SLU, Aubra served as a leader in several positions such as a Resident Advisor and the President of Lambda Pi Eta Honor Society. She hopes to draw from her experience as a student and working with others to coordinate programming for DICE. As a student on SLU’s campus, Aubra hopes to use her experience to identify undergraduate and graduate needs and work within the Jesuit Mission of creating a sense of community that facilitates the development of all.

Job Description

The Program Coordinator in the Division of Diversity and Innovative Community Engagement works to coordinate volunteers for community events and organizations such as the Justice Fleet. On the DICE team, Aubra specializes in helping to coordinate university-wide programming, workshops and training. 

Areas of Work and Expertise

  • Community Building 
  • Event Planning
  • Communication
  • Copywriting and editing 

Fun Fact

Aubra is obsessed with pop-culture vampires (she's looking at you, David!) and is a Scooby-Doo mega fan. And yes, she thinks Scooby-Doo Mystery Incorporated! is the best.

Sofia Hingorani
Sofia Hingorani
 

Graduate Student

(she/her/hers)
CV

Sofia is a second-year graduate student in the department of communication. She is from Omaha, Nebraska and attended SLU for her undergraduate and graduate degree. She is a research assistant and specializes in qualitative cultural analysis. In her spare time, she teaches spin classes and tries out new TikTok recipes. On the DICE team, she helps with logistical assistance and event marketing.