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Division of Student Development

Saint Louis University’s Division of Student Development is driven by the mission to provide you with programs, services and experiences that help you to develop as leaders.

Our goal is to help shape you into a successful graduate who is holistically formed, critically reflective and socially and personally responsible.

Sarah K. Cunningham, Ed.D.

Sarah Cunningham

Since February 15, 2021, Dr. Cunningham has served as SLU's Vice President of Student Development. Most recently, she served as the Assistant Vice Provost for Student Life Strategy and Policy at Johns Hopkins University. In this role, she was responsible for managing and leading university wide initiatives that support student success across the university, specifically student health and well-being, crisis response and student retention.

Sarah has contributed to the field of student affairs for over 15 years. Before arriving at Johns Hopkins, she worked at the University of the Chicago as the Executive Director for Student Leadership, Involvement and Student Life Centers and Assistant Dean of Students in the University. Prior to UChicago, she served also worked at the University of Florida, George Mason University and at Slippery Rock University.

Sarah holds a Bachelor of Arts in Combined Social Studies from Youngstown State University, a Master of Science in College Student Personnel Services from Western Illinois University, and a Doctorate of Education in Higher Education and Organizational Change from Benedictine University. Her dissertation research looked at the lived experiences of student leaders at public universities who held a vote on their institutions board of trustees. Sarah enjoys taking in college sporting events, taking hikes with her rescue dog Bailey, traveling and the theater.

Strategic Direction

Our mission is our primary purpose or "essential intent."
Rooted in the Ignatian tradition of Cura Personalis, our mission is to enhance students' opportunities to develop as whole people - mind, body and spirit - in support of their overall success.

Our vision is expressed as what we desire for our students.
We envision that SLU students become contemplatives in action: self aware, critically reflective, culturally fluent, caring and ethical leaders, who will make a positive difference in their communities.

Our mission and vision are achieved through the KEY Student Development Goals below that all areas within the division will advance through measurable goals/objectives identified in their unit-level plans.

KEY Student Development Goals
K Keeping students and staff engaged in learning and invested in meaningful interpersonal relationships.
E Empowering students and staff to self-author their own experiences and practice reflection in pursuit of living whole and balanced lives.
Y Yielding a culture of inclusion and intercultural fluency that builds community in solidarity with others.

Divisional Statement on Diversity

In support of Saint Louis University's Jesuit mission, the Division of Student Development is committed to maintaining an environment of mutual respect and dignity for people of all backgrounds and cultures. It is our mission to encourage and support a thriving and diverse community among our staff and students .

We honor the differences in our community, whether they be age, ability, race, religion, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation or socio-economic background, and prepare our students to thrive in a multicultural, diverse society. Our efforts are grounded in cultivating awareness, inclusion and engagement through intentional experiences, events and programs that demonstrate our commitment to excellence.