DePaul University Staff Council > Get Involved > Staff Council General Election > Vote for 2021 Candidates

Vote for 2021 Candidates

It's Election Time! 

Below is the list of candidates running for Staff Council along with a brief statement. All DePaul University Staff are encouraged to vote for the new Staff Council members.  Voting will open on Wednesday, April 7 and conclude at the end of the day on Wednesday, April 21.    

Please click here to vote!

2021 Candidate Statements

I would like to retain my seat on Staff Council. I entered this journey 2 years ago not knowing what to expect. Even though I have been a part of the DePaul family for over 16 years. I knew I wanted to make a change within the University. Being on Staff Council has allowed me to advocate for staff and bring voice to issues in spaces where they may not be represented. I have learned more about the ins and outs of the University. I have had the great pleasure to network with so many different people within the university. And we learned how resilient and amazing our staff is during this pandemic despite all of the hurdles we have faced. I've enjoyed learning more about the different divisions and sectors. I would love the opportunity to continue on Staff Council. My job is not done. Though we have made progress during my time the work has just begun.

I am both a staff member and an alumna of DePaul. I earned my MEd in Human Services and Counseling in 2009. While I was working toward my degree I began working in the Office of Advancement in late 2006. I currently work in data services for my division. I would like to be re-elected to Staff Council because I think the group plays an important role in advocating for staff members. Connecting with staff members from other areas allows us to discuss the shared concerns and ideas for improvement. I work to be a conduit between my network and Staff Council. Recently Staff Council has increased its support for diversity, equity, and inclusion including creating a Vision and Action Plan for Racial Justice. I want to support this work in my Staff Council committee as well as in my division.

My name is Kumari Christiansen and I have been a part of the DePaul family for over 9 years. I started my journey in the School for New learning before transferring to my current role in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. During my time here, I have volunteered on a few University based committees and organizations including: DePaul’s Women Network, Speech and Expression Advisory Committee and Student Organization External Speaker Review Committee. Each of these has allowed me to engage with members of the DePaul community from across the University. I enjoyed being able to represent and provide support for students and staff alike, while furthering my knowledge of DePaul. I look forward to joining staff council in order to learn more about the University’s inner workings, continue to meet staff members from across the University and focus on issues that concern staff. As a member of Staff Council, I would like to find ways to increase staff involvement with Staff Council and continue to learn expand my knowledge of DePaul.

I have been part of the DePaul community for two and a half years. As the associate director of policy for enrollment services, I work on compliance and policy matters in the financial aid and registrar offices. In addition to providing many opportunities for staff to become involved in the university, from the Council itself to various committees, projects, and working groups, I really appreciate that the Council has facilitated opportunities for staff to have conversations directly with campus leaders. I’d like to serve on the council to serve as a conduit through which staff can share their thoughts and concerns, as well as advocate for staff, whilst keeping the Vincentian question top of mind. Lastly, I've been very interested in and excited by the work that the Council--and the Diversity, Mission, and Inclusion committee in particular--has accomplished and the programming they've offered, and would love to do the work to ensure this sort of enrichment and development continues.

I am running for my second term on staff council. Before I was elected to staff council, I helped draft staff proposals for managing potential workforce reductions in the SCPS restructuring. This required collaboration with SCPS staff, Staff Council representatives, and School leadership. I joined staff council as a way to continue my advocacy for staff concerns. I have had many opportunities to work across units and with various stakeholders in my advocacy, and I foresee many opportunities in broadening this collaboration in the future. In my first year of service on Staff Council, I served on the Fiscal Advisory committee. In my second year, I served on the Membership and Elections committee. I also serve as staff representative for the Quasquicentennial committee, which is making plans for the university’s 125th anniversary. Outside of Staff Council, I have helped SCPS staff organize by spearheading the creation of the SCPS Staff Assembly. I worked with staff members to draft bylaws to govern the Assembly. I then managed the election to ratify these bylaws and the election for the Staff Assembly co-chair. In the last year, I have worked with the SCPS Staff Assembly to create a SCPS Staff Diversity and Inclusion Committee. Recently the D&I Committee ran a first iteration of training about labor rights and advocating for staff peers. Listening to staff and advocating for their needs is a way to strengthen our DePaul community. I hope to continue my efforts in my second term on Staff Council.

While I'm relatively new to higher ed (4 years), I've spend over 25 years in advocacy, nonprofit management, communications, and representative government. At DePaul, I serve as Associate Director for the Research Institute at the Department of Finance and Real Estate in the College of Business. I'm just completing my first term on Staff Council where I have served on both the Fiscal Planning Committee and as Chair of the Effectiveness Committee. While my initial time on Council has been brief, it has been an honor to serve the hundreds of university staff by helping to open the process and giving them a voice in this important deliberative body. As we recover from the pandemic, it is important that staff are vocal and well represented as important decisions are being made that effect how we are able to do our work, as well as how we are recognized and compensated for the vital services we deliver. I am seeking a second term, and I ask you for your vote. Thank you.

I have been a part of the DePaul University community since June of 2014 being hired for the position of academic advisor.  More recently I had the opportunity to be moved into a senior academic advisor role within the Driehaus Undergraduate Programs Office in October 2020.  After reading over the Staff Council website I feel that I would be an asset to this group by representing the needs and concerns of the staff members at DePaul University.  I also feel strongly that there should be a shared governance for staff members in the decision making process as it impacts the ability to perform the functions of our respected offices effectively.  I feel that I can contribute significantly to Staff Council in upholding their duty and mission to champion for the staff members at the university.  I feel that I can objectively listen to diverse groups, understand their concerns, and convey these professionally to members of administration to improve the university as a whole.

My name is Tom Judge. I am a chaplain with DePaul University Division of Mission and Ministry and have worked at DePaul for almost 17 years. Besides being a staff member, I am a current student, completing a graduate degree in counseling with DePaul’s College of Education. I am honored to be running for my second term on Staff Council. I want to continue to serve on Staff Council because I believe in our model of tri-governance. It is important at DePaul that students, staff, and faculty all have active roles in creating the culture and setting the direction of our university. To be part of a Staff Council that zealously serves the community and does so with effectiveness and accountability would be putting our Vincentian ideals of Personalism and Professionalism into action. My goals for the immediate future as a Staff Council member will be to understand and advocate for the unique interests of staff as we continue to navigate the global pandemic and plan for our return to campus. I hope to contribute to effective and equitable stewardship of our resources in ways that do not impose unjust burdens on staff. I want to help with the crucial and challenging work within the areas of diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-racism that is so necessary and has only just begun. Finally, in light of our newly unveiled Mission Statement, I hope to contribute to the synergy between DePaul’s two greatest resources: our mission and our people.

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 nine 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 would work to make your voice heard in decision-making, advocate for professional growth opportunities, and seek recognition for the tireless hours given to ensure the faculty and students can get the best teaching and learning experience. I will use my experience in collaboration and communication to listen to staff, and to report back. 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, and I look forward to working together.

I am delighted to submit my candidacy for Staff Council and appreciate your consideration. While proud of my work in financial and operations management since joining DePaul in January of 2011, I most cherish my experiences and contributions in forwarding its mission. Starting at the CoL’s International Human Rights Law Institute, I supported the promotion of the rule of law and dignity of citizens across the world. At the Driehaus College of Business, I worked with the non-profit Working in the Schools (WITS) to establish a weekly staff volunteer program, in which 3rd graders from Everett Elementary School came to campus to read and review classwork. I later moved to the Lincoln Park campus to work at The Theatre School, during which time I volunteered serving warm breakfasts at the St. Vincent de Paul’s Soup Kitchen. I have been the Director of Business & Administration at the University Library since May 2020 and very much look forward to engaging with and supporting the work of staff on and off campus. As an adjunct of Accounting since 2015 and having worked in several different units, I bring a wide perspective of work life at the university and could help bridge the gap between faculty and staff perspectives which often exists. With two tweens at home, I would also very much like to further the conversations and promotion of a healthy work/life balance, especially as those lines blur with more work being done from our homes. Thank you again for your consideration!

My name is Johnny LaSalle (he/him/his) and I work in the Career Center as the Associate Director for the Alumni Sharing Knowledge program as part of the Career Experiences team. I’ve been with DePaul since April 2007. Past DePaul Experience includes serving as the Associate Director for the Office of Multicultural Student Success, working at the Center for Identity, Inclusion, and Social Change and the Steans Center for Community-based Service Learning. I am also an Adjunct Faculty and have taught a Discover course centering on the Queer Chicago LGBTQIA+ community as well core course Critical Community Engagement in Community Service Studies. I’m excited about the opportunity to better understand and uncover the interworking’s of staff council and be better informed of staff happenings across the University, while also sharing my vast experience working in different divisions across the institution, to implement and ground practices that holds us all accountability to the Vincentian mission in particular, with special attention to underserved and underrepresented communities. My goal while on staff council would be to help staff stay informed of the work and resources of the council, understanding the issues and challenges we face as employees, and strive to create a welcoming, progressive and socially just (ice) space of work that sets an example across the higher education field.

As a current member of Staff Council, I look forward to continuing to be an advocate for staff, especially those who feel underrepresented or in need of support. Since joining in 2019, I have been a member of both the Staff Resources and the Diversity, Mission, and Inclusion (DMI) subcommittees. Currently, as a member of the DMI subcommittee, I am involved with our work focused on challenging policies and structures that perpetuate racism and discourage inclusion. If reelected, I will continue to work toward providing a space for staff to learn about diversity and inclusion, changing policies and structures that perpetuate exclusion, and advocating for DePaul staff. I began working as a student employee in 2009, and since then I have been an instructor in three departments (WRD, ELA, and UIP) and a part-time staff member for the University Center for Writing-based Learning (UCWbL). I am now a full-time staff member in the Career Center, serving as the Assistant Director for Career Curriculum & Early Engagement.

This year marks my fourth year as a staff member of DePaul serving the Board of Trustees and part of the developing team in IS, I’m entering the end of my second year of service for the DePaul Staff Council, and the second year as the elected Chair of Staff Resources. Being a member of the Staff Council, I know what it takes to represent and advocate for the needs of our DePaul community. Also, I intend to bring the leadership of my past, being a key leader and organizer of the Syrian Revolution in 2011, where the Syrian people fought bravely to achieve a democratic system, justice for all, and the ultimate goal of freedom. In my second term, I intend to run on a platform that embodies kindness, inclusivity, and genuine care toward every member of our staff. I pledge amongst my top priorities to listen to the needs of my fellow staff members, to offer a way for our staff to communicate directly with the stakeholders within university administration; and even just to have a friendly face to vent to. I have lived my life fighting for others, in Syria, and since I came to Chicago. I pride myself on how much I genuinely care about the University. Your needs, questions, and concerns are mine; together we will work on meeting each one of them. I am confident in my ability to directly contribute to issues and decisions innovatively and inclusively. I know my unique perspective as someone who comes from a marginalized group makes me a perfect candidate to consider when the topic concerns such groups. Since I began working at DePaul, I have built many valuable and important relationships around the campus and I plan to utilize them all to help our body of staff.

My name is Anthony McGeath and I serve as an administrative assistant with DePaul University Counseling Services, managing operations, technology, and special projects. I have also volunteered with Student Involvement as a staff advisor to several student clubs and staff facilitator for student leadership retreats. I hope to be an advocate on staff council for equity, diversity, open communication, and transparency. I will actively seek input from fellow staff and encourage their active engagement with Staff Council. I am currently finishing my bachelors from SCPS in Computing - Information Systems and also hold an associate of arts in social science and an associate in general studies with a focus on computer technology. I am a native Hoosier by way of Arizona and prior to moving to Chicago and joining DePaul I worked at Arizona State University in student services and academic departments, and served in the United States Air Force working in IT support. I’m a firm believer in community service and have served on the boards of two nonprofits that serve the needs of Chicago’s LGBTQ recovery community. My interests include, photography, stargazing, board games and visiting national parks with my husband Michal. My husband and I live in the northwest burbs with our cats Biscuit & Gravy.

I have been at DePaul for almost six years, and I am just completing my first two-year term on Staff Council.  This was my first year as chair of the Communications committee, and a major goal of mine has been to better inform staff about what is happening at the university and help them take advantage of opportunities.  I built a resource page filled with staff professional development opportunities across the university, communicated important information through our monthly newsletters, and more staff than ever attended this year's monthly meetings to learn from our diverse lineup of guest speakers.  Moving forward, I want to expand these initiatives and develop even more ways to ensure that all staff have the best possible chance to grow, learn, and be engaged during their time at DePaul.  I also want to continue to advocate for issues important to staff and amplify the voices of all staff across the university, even when some of the concerns we address can be an uphill battle.  These past two years, I advocated for additional staff benefits and resources to DePaul leadership, helped build our new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion resource web page, actively represented the concerns of my staff colleagues, and have been committed to helping develop and implement our Staff Council Vision and Action Plan for Racial Justice.  I would like to serve a second term to build on this work and help Staff Council continue to create positive change for DePaul staff.

My name is Damien J. Rodriguez, Department Assistant for Biological Sciences. I've been with DePaul University a little over 3 years but have been working at universities for nearly 20 years (Loyola, UChicago, Northwestern and DePaul). My interest in Staff Council stems from my own experience as a student and staff member at my previous institutions where I felt the university did not always support the best interest of its students and employees. My relevant experience stems from multiple positions at DePaul and other universities, from managing the President's Diversity Council meetings to overseeing the Presidential Library proposal at University of Chicago. In addition, my roles were as expansive as managing Theaster Gates' Rebuild Foundation and Studio to handling communication between Professor James Heckman (Nobel Laureate) and the White House Secretary of Education (Arne Duncan) regard new studies in Early Childhood Education. My goals if elected to Staff Council would be to work to include more staff in decisions regarding the future direction of DePaul University, as university models are changing due to the pandemic, and even prior, I feel that the direction of the university should not be the decided exclusively by the president, VP's and Deans but also by the essential staff that help keep our wonderful institution running.

As a new staff member, joining the DePaul family in November 2020 by way of the University of Kentucky, I am eager to run for Staff Council to bring outside perspectives and experiences to inform the work of the council. I look forward to continuing to meet our staff across all areas of the University and finding new and innovative ways to work together to build an enriched and informed campus community. I currently serve as the Senior Associate Athletic Director for Revenue Generation and Strategic Initiatives for DePaul Athletics. In that role, I work daily to find new and engaging ways to advocate for the advancement of the entire University through the exposure the Athletics Department receives. I believe my role will allow me to bring unique resources and insights to bear to assist Staff Council in a number of initiatives. I want to serve on Staff Council in order to advocate for staff interests and provide a proactive voice on issues that have a significant impact on our University in order to create a better place for us all to work. DePaul has already had a tremendous impact on me personally, and I hope to have the opportunity to give back to continue deepen our University’s commitment to our Catholic, Vincentian and urban mission.

To become part of a collective voice of staff, particularly, during these times, would influence my already voice of advocacy to “go the extra mile”. Nothing is easy to the unwilling. To be especially assiduous in one's attempt to achieve something, would also insure (along with other voices) that DPU staff voice is heard and maximized in the decisions that impacts staff. I believe if you pass up any opportunity to become involved in the various decisions that affect your life (home, work or play), you not only failed yourself, but those around you as well. I served as a Staff Council member in 2003-2005.  Then and now, Staff Council is a great conduit to positively serve as an influencer on many levels at DePaul. Collectively, we can contribute to the conversations and solutions regarding short-term goals, as well as the long-term of the University and communities, branching outwardly towards one’s own personal goals.