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Richard A. Chaifetz School of Business Expert in Residence Named a Business Journal 40 Under 40 for 2022

by Maggie Rotermund
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Maggie Rotermund
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Tamika Mitchell (Finance ’05, MBA/MHA ’08), the inaugural Expert in Residence (XIR) in the Richard A. Chaifetz School of Business, was named a St. Louis Business Journal 40 Under 40 for 2022.

Tamika Mitchell

Tamika Mitchell is the inaugural Richard A. Chaifetz School of Business Expert in Residence. Photo by Christopher Polley.

The XIR program launched in November 2021. Mitchell, 39, who is focusing on diversity, equity, and inclusion during her residency at SLU, is a risk assurance and advisory manager and DEI strategist at the accounting and consulting firm Armanino LLP.

“Tamika serves as a mentor to students through the Chaifetz School of Business Expert in Residence program, bringing workplace readiness to complement our student experience,” said Barnali Gupta, Ph.D., Edward Jones Dean of the Chaifetz School of Business. “She is also leading the development of a digital badge in DEI through the Emerson Leadership Institute.” 

The DEI digital badge is a co-curricular experience for students to build foundational skills and knowledge on DEI. It is slated to begin in January. Mitchell said that participants will work to evaluate and seek awareness of embedded norms.

“We are going to pause and evaluate so that we can become more aware of how feelings and thoughts become embedded,” Mitchell said. “We will then connect those experiences and how we got to those places before we get together to reflect on how to move forward. This is a way to form the leaders we want to see.”

Tricia Bagsby, Ph.D., Medart Clinical Professor of Family Business and Director of the Emerson Leadership Institute, said that a constantly changing world requires that the Chaifetz School remain focused and nimble to address students’ needs.

“When we created the XIR program, we wanted to bring in alumni who had a passion for sharing their knowledge with students in a way that allowed more meaningful and consistent interactions,” she said. “Tamika has become a part of our team in the Emerson Leadership Institute and has expanded our thoughts on how to meet students’ current needs and connect them to DEI in the workplace.”

Bagsby added that she appreciates alumni and experts who come in and inspire students.

“The XIR program expands that interaction and makes it possible for students, faculty, and staff to develop a closer connection,” she said. “We are so fortunate to have her as a colleague.”

Mitchell, who grew up knowing she wanted to work in finance, said her work evolved into the DEI space. She said she was used to being the only person of color in the room but looking at assisting in the recruitment of a more diverse class of interns caused her to focus on helping others find opportunities.

“I’m a problem-solver,” she said. “It is innate within me to want to tackle an issue. We had a really robust internship program at Brown Smith Wallace, but we were having a difficult time recruiting people of color. So I partnered with the recruiting team and employed new approaches, that’s when I had the aha moment and put it all together.”

Mitchell’s work experience with young people seeking internships and jobs combined with her time as a Billiken make her an asset to students as the XIR.

“I went to SLU on scholarship,” she said. “I know what it is like to address all the hurdles to higher education. I’m also on the ground in the classroom and I’m out in the real world working. I get to share what I know and what I see in the community to bring all the pieces together.”

Mitchell is married with two children.

Gupta noted in the first year, the XIR program has already provided  a significant benefit for alumni and student engagement.

“We are so thrilled to see Tamika being recognized with the 40 under 40 award by St Louis Business Journal,” she said.

The Business Journal celebrated the 40 Under 40 honorees at a reception on Nov. 1.

Founded in 1910, the Richard A. Chaifetz School of Business at Saint Louis University has shaped the future of industry for more than a century. As one of the oldest business schools west of the Mississippi, the Chaifetz School has built a reputation as a leader in business education with eight undergraduate and graduate programs nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report.