Supporting our SLU students is a team effort, encompassing a wide range of skills, services and interpersonal relationships. Our division leadership represents the best of us, and their guidance steers the work we do every day in service to the campus community.
Vice President of Student Development
Sarah Cunningham, Ed.D.
Since Feb. 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 managed and led university-wide initiatives that support student success, specifically student health and well-being, crisis response, and student retention.
Dr. Cunningham has contributed to the field of student affairs for over 15 years. Before arriving at Johns Hopkins, she worked at the University of Chicago as the executive director for student leadership, involvement and student life centers, and assistant dean of students. Before UChicago, she also worked at the University of Florida, George Mason University and 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' boards of trustees. Sarah enjoys taking in college sporting events, taking hikes with her rescue dog Bailey, traveling and the theater.
Senior Leadership Team
Assistant VP for Student Well-being
Eric Anderson coordinates and expands SLU student wellness services across the Division
of Student Development and the University. His portfolio includes the Student Health
Center, University Counseling Center and Campus Recreation and Wellness.
Andrew Erdmann, Ph.D.
Interim Dean of Students
As interim dean of students, Dr. Erdmann oversees the Dean of Students Office, Academic
Support, and the Center for Accessibility and Disability Resources. Dr. Erdmann is
a three-time Wisconsin Badger, where he earned a B.A. in Political Science and an
M.S. and Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis. In his free time, Andrew
likes spending time with his family, traveling, reading and woodworking.
Assistant Vice President, Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
As assistant vice president for public safety, Chief Melinda Heikkinen is responsible for operational leadership and personnel management. She oversees the physical security of the campus, emergency preparedness, Clery compliance, investigations, campus-wide security technology, program assessments and departmental audits.
Donna Bess Myers
Senior Advisor to the Division
Donna Bess Myers serves as senior advisor for the division, creating space for mission-critical work, including division-wide staff development and onboarding initiatives, acting as a liaison for critical campus partners and helping to create a landing point for graduate students seeking services on campus.
Ben Perlman, Ph.D.
Assistant VP for Student Engagement
As AVP of student engagement, Dr. Perlman is responsible for strategic planning, operations management, and effective daily supervision of all organizational components of the Busch Student Center, Housing and Residential Life, the Student Involvement Center and related services on behalf of the Division of Student Development.
Director, Shared Business Services
Evelyn Shields has been with Saint Louis University for 10 years. She oversees the budgeting, business and finance, and human resources functions across the Student Development division. She coordinates procurement, contracting and IT and technology services for all Student Development departments.