DePaul University Staff Council > Get Involved > Staff Council General Election > Vote for 2023 Candidates

2023 Election Results!

Thanks to everyone who voted in our recent Staff Council election. Congratulations to the following staff members who have been elected to Staff Council for two-year terms:


  • Dani Blackwell, Office of New Student and Family and Engagement
  • Christina Bowman, Advancement & External Relations
  • Kumari Christiansen, The Theatre School
  • Aesha Engeldinger, Office of Financial Aid
  • Tom Judge, Division of Mission and Ministry
  • Matthew Krause, University Library
  • Scott Ozaroski, Study Abroad
  • Damien Rodriguez, Occupational Therapy Program
  • Laura Swierzbin, School of Music


  • Scott Gabbert, School of Continuing and Professional Studies
  • Cathy Gill, Driehaus College of Business Undergraduate Programs Office

2023 Candidate Statements

Hi All. My name is Dani Blackwell and I use She/Her pronouns. I am pleased to announce that I am running for Staff Council again. I joined Staff Council in 2018 looking for an opportunity to get more involved on campus. I started off as the Chair of DEI and after 1 year became the Vice President and have served as VP for the last 3 years. In that time I have been able to meet so many more staff members here at DePaul. I have worked very closely with my fellow council members to advocate for us during what has been the most difficult of my almost 19 years here at DePaul. I believe that I am not done advocating for us and I will continue to speak up for us in spaces where our voices sometimes fall silent. I have worked hard to cultivate relationships with leadership, faculty and staff so that we can create a stronger DePaul. So I ask that you vote for me so that I may continue this journey.

My name is Christina Bowman. I am a database report writer in the Division of Advancement & External Relations, supporting the data needs of our fundraisers, alumni relations officers, and other advancement services teams. I joined the Advancement team at DePaul in 2006. During my tenure at DePaul, I became a DePaul alumna, earning a degree from the College of Education in 2009.

I joined Staff Council in 2019 as a way to stay informed about the decisions made at the leadership-level of the university and their impact. I have found the work as a council member rewarding and educational and I am interested in continuing to serve in this role. As changes at the university continue to occur, it is imperative that staff have a voice in developing the future of DePaul. I am proud of Staff Council’s work ensuring we are represented at the table and want to remain persistent our efforts. I also want to maintain the focus on transparency in decision-making and the dissemination of information to the staff. I have met staff members from across the university while on Staff Council and we have been able to exchange perspectives and concerns. It is important that we remain engaged in dialogue with colleagues in other units as we strive to find new and creative ways to use our resources while we help DePaul evolve without losing sight of our staff and our mission.

Hi there, my name is Kumari Christiansen. Serving as your Staff Council representative for the past two years has been an honor and privilege. My goal, should I be re-elected, would be to continue advocating for Staff interests, empower colleagues, and provide support to continue DePaul’s legacy! Currently, I chair the Membership and Elections Committee and have previously served on the Staff Resources committee. I have also represented staff on many university committees and served as a Staff pro with Chicago Quarter for 4 years. I value the mission and work of Staff Council and its impact on the University at large. I have been apart of the DePaul community for over a decade, serving in many capacities. This experience allows me to  understand the pressures facing staff from a variety of perspectives as we seek to traverse these new complex realities. I humbly ask for your support to be re-elected into Staff Council for a second term. Many thanks for your consideration.

My time on Staff Council has been incredibly fulfilling. We are lucky that staff at DePaul have an active and integral role in university governance. I'm honored to be a part of that, and would be proud to continue that tradition if elected.

In my two years on Staff Council I have chaired both the Diversity, Mission, and Inclusion committee and the Effectiveness Committee, of which I am the current chair. I have been privileged to work with staff and faculty throughout the university in various capacities and it's helped me understand and appreciate a complex organization like DePaul in a new way. I feel fortunate to share with my department and other staff contacts what's happening on Staff Council, and to be able to support and encourage them in endeavors I may not have been familiar with if not for my involvement with the Council.

DePaul is a special place, and though we have some stormy weather ahead there are many opportunities for growth and change. It’s a pleasure to be able to be a sounding board for staff questions and feedback. My goal as a Staff Council member is to ensure staff are informed, empowered, and to provide voice to their concerns. It is in that spirit that I wish to continue my work with the Council, and I ask for your support in order to do so. Thank you for your consideration.

I respectfully request your 2023 vote for DePaul University’s Staff Council!  I have been part of the DePaul family in the School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCPS) for 13 years and have worked in higher education for 24 years.
DePaul is at a significant point in its history as we all realize post-pandemic that the combined stressors of the “demographic cliff” and ongoing budgetary shortfalls challenge this University like no time in the past.   DePaul is not alone in the higher education community in facing these challenges, but DePaul has an opportunity to effectively manage these challenges by staying true to the question St. Vincent asked 400 years ago: “What Must be Done”?  

1) The consequences of ongoing budgetary shortfalls cannot continually fall on the backs of staff and is simply not a sustainable model. What Must Be Done to redirect this challenge? 
2) A quality staff pool cannot be maintained long-term with the constant threat of job elimination while simultaneously experiencing salary and benefit increases that fall far short of the inflated cost of living.  What Must Be Done to ensure that outstanding staff are recognized and retained long-term?
3) Investment in staff is an investment in the future health of the University.  What Must Be Done to educate DePaul constituents that healthy staff = healthy University?

I am confident that I can advocate effectively for staff as a part of Staff Council and look forward to the opportunity to represent you.  I thank you for your consideration!

Hello I am Cathy Gill the Director of Student Records and Academic Advising in the Driehaus College of Business.  I have been at DePaul for 20 years starting as an academic advisor and now co-manage our team of seven advisors, three support staff and student workers. We serve 3700-4000 students. I believe in the DePaul mission. Vincentian Personalisim is my own guidepost in my work with students and colleagues.

I am running for Staff Council to listen and be a voice for all staff.  I believe my time at DePaul has given me unique knowledge and insight about the university and student experience that will allow me to be an effective staff representative. Staff must have strong representation in our University’s governance. We bring a practical perspective that is important for leadership to hear.  

I know how important staff are to the success of our students and the University. Whether students are in front of you daily or not, ALL staff are working in service of our students! We are here to help our students become thriving DePaul alumni!  I will listen intently to staff and work for staff in every meeting.

Please consider voting for me and helping me be your voice to leadership and continue to support the great work of Staff Council.  We are in another challenging season; our voices matter!

I've been on staff with DePaul and part of the wonderful team in the College of Business for the past 5+ years, and I am running for DePaul Staff Council to be an advocate for my co-workers. As staff, too often we’ve felt like an afterthought. For too long, when given a seat at the table, we’ve felt we’ve been seated at the kid’s table. I strongly believe many in the University now recognize this and I believe there is a real desire to change this perception and the systemic gears and levers that perpetuate it. I think we’re close and I'm proud of those who have worked the move that needle this far. I believe there can and will be true shared governance, and I want to be a leading voice for staff to keep this change moving forward.

If given the chance to serve, I will advocate for changes that result in a higher level of staff satisfaction. I will work tirelessly, in whatever capacity available, to be a voice protecting staff and seeking to expand staff recognition and increased internal advancement opportunities. We are facing difficult times and Staff Council requires strong seasoned voices. With a long career in nonprofit and academic management, organizational assessment and redesign, HR, and issue and community advocacy—I can stand up for us all. I hope I can earn your vote.

I am Tom Judge and I have been a chaplain at DePaul University for the last 18 years. Serving on Staff Council these past 4 years has been one of the most challenging and meaningful experiences I have had during my time at the university and I would be honored to continue to serve as a representative. On Staff Council, I have thoroughly enjoyed learning about, forming relationships with and working alongside diverse colleagues, from around DePaul, as we have endeavored to make our community a more hospitable, equitable and nurturing place to work, study and grow. As a representative and advocate, I have tried to listen and learn about the hopes and concerns of our entire staff community and then bring these to Staff Council and our university leadership. I am committed to trying to integrate our Vincentian Mission, one of DePaul’s greatest gifts, into all aspects of the work of Staff Council and our larger community. During these challenging times, my goals on Staff Council will be to work with colleagues to insure that decisions, particularly concerning the budget, are guided by equity and human dignity, that communication will be open and transparent and that Staff Council will continue to be valued as an integral part of DePaul’s shared governance. Thank you very much.

My name is Erin Kasprzak, and I am a Senior Instructional Designer in the Center for Teaching & Learning. I also serve as the Assistant Director for Instructional Technology & Program Development for SCPS (formerly SNL). Over the last eleven and a half years, I’ve worked closely with faculty and staff across the University to support our students through development of online and hybrid courses, innovative instructional methods, and effective use of educational technology. I have seen the dedication and effort staff put in to support the Vincentian mission. As a member of Staff Council, I have worked to make your voice heard in decision-making, advocated for professional growth opportunities, and sought recognition for the tireless hours given to ensure the faculty and students can get the best teaching and learning experience. I believe Staff Council members are most effective when they’re serving as a two-way avenue for information between staff and administrators. Thank you for the opportunity to represent you over the past two years. I'd be honored to serve another term and I look forward to continuing our work together.

I am grateful for this opportunity to run again for Staff Council, having served for the last two years. I initially joined Council because my work over 10 years at DePaul allowed me to interact with many people across departments and I wanted to continue this outside my main role. What I didn't expect was the extent to which this group is able to support and advocate for staff in their work and wellbeing - and the willingness to spend considerable time and energy toward that end. The passion of Council members is inspiring.

During 2021-22, I served as interim chair of the Membership Committee, and was excited to have offered a series of in-person and virtual social gatherings as we emerged from lock-down and staff looked for connection. Since Fall 2022, I have been very proud to represent staff with Victoria during the 40 meetings of SRAC (and counting), in which faculty, students and leadership have been discussing ways to address persistent budget challenges. Starting in April, SRAC begins work toward a 5-year strategic proposal for the president and board, and I believe my financial experience and perspective could be of benefit when providing a staff voice at that table.

Thank you for your time!

My name is Kim Livingstone and I have happily served in higher education for over 15 years; with the last three and a half lovely years at DePaul. As the Executive Assistant and Budget Manager in the Office of University Marketing and Communications, I have worked with some amazing colleagues; supporting their efforts and goals to advance the mission of the University. In my brief time as a DePaul staff member, I have proudly served our community by participating in Chicago Quarter as a Staff Professional and volunteering whenever called upon for events such as DePaul University Academic Convocation, Christmas at DePaul, Welcome Back Celebration, the Presidential Inauguration and Commencement. I continued to reach out to all colleagues across the university to build working relationships and provided my assistance where most needed.

My unique career path has led me to DePaul, and I am extremely grateful to not only live our university’s Catholic, Vincentian, and Urban Mission but share this commitment with others. My decision to run for Staff Council stems from two driving forces; my desire to contribute my time, talent, and treasure to advance our existing valuable priorities and goals already in action by our hardworking staff council and; my eagerness to work towards building a stronger community, supporting our diverse and unified voice, and providing inclusion opportunities for new and exciting connections between staff, faculty, alum and students of every background that will foster a positive community culture where all are valued and appreciated. I humbly and respectfully request your support and vote and thank you for the opportunity and consideration to carry your voice forward.

I have been employed as a Part-time Web Support Specialist at the DePaul University Library since July 5, 2022. I work on the Digital Services team which is part of the newly named Collections and Discovery Services Department. I am responsible for posting and maintaining digital content (text and images) for the public-facing DePaul Library website. My main focus is on up-to-date library staffing (staff bios, directories, and organization charts), the ever-changing library Business/Service Desk Hours (both on our website and on Google), and maintaining online resources for students’ reference. In addition to Microsoft Office applications, the tools I use are Sharepoint, LibApps, Adobe Suite and BePress. My previous employment was as a full-time Business Analyst in a busy IT department for a not-for-profit leading healthcare accreditation organization. During my time there, I earned my M.A. degree in New Media Studies from DePaul's College of LAS, Writing, Rhetoric and Discourse Department. My graduate studies have been invaluable in my work and personal lives, and I think they will serve well in my participation on Staff Council. I view this opportunity as a way to broaden my appreciation for all University staff. I am committed to assist in improving cooperation and communication among our various and diverse work groups. Additionally, as a part-time staffer, I will advocate for those of us who are not full-time employees and I will work to affect positive change where I can.

With 12 years of experience at DePaul, I am eager and excited to submit my candidacy for staff council. In my role, I serve as the Assistant Director of Facilities and Technology for Housing and Residence Life where I work closely with vendors, staff, and students to ensure our residents have comfortable, safe living and learning environments in the halls. This work requires a great deal of creative problem solving, time and task management, and collaborative communications. I would bring my skills and experiences in these areas to my work with Staff Council, ensuring that I am representing the best interests of my fellow staff colleagues across my department, division, and the University. In addition to my work on campus, I previously served as president of a professional association, the Great Lakes Association of College and University Housing Officers (GLACUHO), where I gained a great deal of experience and perspective working with elected leaders to advance the goals and priorities of the association for the benefit of our members. I see many parallels and similarities in the experiences and skills required to be successful in this type of role and the Staff Council role. As staff, we are critical to the operations of the University.  One of my goals with Staff Council would be to bring my knowledge and experience to work through complex issues and advocate for creative solutions that support and enhance the critical work done by staff as we are being asked to do more with less.

I have been at DePaul for almost eight years, and I started serving on Staff Council four years ago.  As chair of the Staff Council Communications committee, a major goal of mine has been to better inform staff about what is happening at the university, and I have worked hard with our team to develop monthly newsletters and other e-mail communications that are informative and tailored to DePaul staff.  I have also pushed to increase participation in our monthly Staff Council meetings, and the new format of our meetings with Zoom has enabled so many more staff from across the university to feel informed and engaged in the work we’re doing.  I want to continue in my role on Staff Council to keep building this connection to all the staff at the university, making sure everyone knows the most important information and feels connected to Staff Council and our advocacy efforts.  This is even more critical as we navigate the current financial issues and go through the process of determining what DePaul will look like in the years ahead.  Each staff member’s voice is of value, and Staff Council’s advocacy on behalf of all university staff is crucial.  I want to continue to represent and amplify staff voices and help provide as much information and transparency as possible to staff across the university.  I hope to remain on Staff Council and work toward these goals in the next two years.

Hello! My name is Shiloh and I am the Department Assistant for Chemistry and Biochemistry in the College of Science and Health.

While I only started working at DePaul a little under a year and a half ago, I have had the privilege of being involved with multiple aspects of the university for most of my life. My mother has been a professor here since 1996 so I grew up on campus and feel as though it’s my second home. In my previous job I managed the physical therapy clinic in the Ray Meyer Center where I got to interact with numerous DePaul staff, faculty, students, and community members. Now in my current role, I get to expand upon those relationships and the experiences I had.

I am running for Staff Council because I’ve been inspired by the dedication and efforts of those who have served before me. I have been attending Staff Council meetings as a guest since I started at DePaul in December 2022. I am well aware of the many issues with which Staff Council has been dealing, and my attendance at the Designing DePaul sessions has shown just how much we need to amplify the voices of staff to make our concerns heard. This is a historical time for DePaul as we go through some major changes, and I want to do my part in helping advocate for staff so we can ultimately continue to do the wonderful work this university is known for.

My name is Damien J. Rodriguez, and I am the Program Assistant for Occupational Therapy Program. I've been with DePaul University a little over 5 years, but I have worked in a university setting for 20 plus years (Loyola, UChicago, Northwestern and DePaul). My interest in Staff Council stems from my own experiences as a staff member at DePaul and previous institutions where I felt the university did not always support the best interest of its staff. My relevant experience stems from serving on DePaul’s staff council the last two years, specifically chairing the Diversity, Mission, and Inclusion committee and co-chairing the Staff Vetting committee for the Presidential Search. In addition, my previous staff roles were as expansive as overseeing the Obama Presidential Library proposal at University of Chicago, to managing communication between Professor James Heckman (Nobel Laureate) and the previous White House Secretary of Education (Arne Duncan) regarding new studies in Early Childhood Education. My goals if reelected to Staff Council would be to work to include more staff in decisions regarding the future direction of DePaul University, as university models continue to change due to the pandemic and resizing at DePaul, I feel that the direction of the university should not be decided exclusively by the President, VP's and Deans but also by the essential staff that help keep our wonderful institution running.

I initially ran for Staff Council in 2020 because of the pandemic’s immediate effects. My colleagues and I had to intentionally stay connected and help our community improve our morale. What started as a way to build connections across schools and departments and advocate for staff benefits turned into a 3-year journey through leadership change, cumulative effects of the pandemic, and now a major turning point in our 125-year existence.

Serving as your Staff Council secretary for the past 2 years has been an extreme privilege and a reaffirming experience of our collective dedication to our Vincentian mission, especially when serving our students. I have learned so much by synthesizing your feedback about returning to campus, vaccination requirements, and concerns about budgetary adjustments. I continue to be inspired by how much you care about our community and how hard you continue to work, despite increasing demands and decreasing resources.

If re-elected to Staff Council, I intend to run for secretary for another term. I am grateful for the opportunity to give back to our staff community, whether by drafting resolutions or sharing notes of important conversations with leadership. I would be honored to continue using my organizational skills to help us effectively and efficiently advocate for your needs. Proven by our high guest attendance year, including almost 400 staff guests at our recent budget meeting with President Rob, we have good momentum. With our strong team of committee chairs, officers, and members we continue to amplify and advocate for staff needs. While I look forward to passing the torch when the times comes, my work here on Council is not done yet.