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Meet The Team




Natissia Small, Ed.D.
Assistant Provost for Access and Academic Support
Academic Affairs

As Assistant Provost, Natissia Small provides direct oversight and leadership for the offices of Precollegiate Student Services (Bridge Program), Multicultural Student Services, Student Enrichment and Achievement, and the University Tutoring Center. Natissia joined the University in 1995 and currently works directly with diverse student populations, first-generation students, middle and high school students, parents, and school administrators within the St. Louis community. She has led the Bridge Program to state and national recognition, Bridge continues to serve more than 4,000 students and families in the St. Louis community annually.

Natissia’s responsibilities include oversight for college access initiatives and programming, retention services, academic support, parental engagement, leadership development, and cultural enrichment programming. She earned her undergraduate degree in Mass Communication from Southeast Missouri State University, and dual Master degrees in Secondary Education with an emphasis in Adult Education; and Counseling from the University of Missouri – St. Louis, and her Doctorate of Education in Educational Policy and Leadership at the University of Missouri - Saint Louis.


Freeman, Derrick Spring 2020

Derrick Freeman

Derrick serves as the Director and coordinates the Men’s Empowerment Network (M.E.N.).  He previously served as an MSS Academic Coach and has been a team member for over seven years with a focus on providing comprehensive academic coaching.  Prior to joining the office, he worked in Human Resources and the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity and has been affiliated with the campus for more than twenty-five years.  He is an alumnus of the University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Management and Organizational Behavior.  Derrick is passionate about student success with a strong desire to support student achievement through academic, personal, and professional growth.



Megan Gregory, M.Ed.
Assistant Director

Megan serves as the Assistant Director and coordinator for the Inspire Program, previously serving as an Academic Coach with MSS. Prior to joining the Multicultural Student Services team, she worked as a recruiter for an Education Technology Company and taught at the University level. She earned her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Truman State University and obtained a Master of Education in Research and Evaluation Methodology from University of Florida. Megan is passionate about educating students about the University’s resources in order to guide them along their path to success. 


Gaglio, Rachel Spring 2020

Rachel Gaglio, M.Ed.
Academic Coach

Rachel Gaglio is an Academic Coach and coordinator of the Women’s Empowerment Network (W.E.N.) at Multicultural Student Services. She earned a Bachelor of Journalism with an emphasis in Strategic Communication from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a Master of Education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Rachel is dedicated to supporting and empowering students as they achieve academic accomplishment and reach their collegiate aspirations.



Natalia Mata
Academic Coach

Natalia serves as an Academic Coach for the Office of Multicultural Student Services. Natalia has prior experience working as an Academic Skills Consultant. As an Academic Skills Consultant, she guided students to campus resources and coached them in areas such as Time Management, Study Skills, etc. Natalia holds a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Washington University in St. Louis. We are excited to have Natalia join our team and Natalia is excited to continue empowering students as they reach their goals and aspirations.  


Theard, Renelle Spring 2020

Renelle Spinks
Academic Coach

Renelle Spinks serves as an Academic Coach and Coordinator for the “iMentor” Peer Mentor Group for the Office of Multicultural Student Services. Prior to joining the MSS team, she served for two years with the Missouri College Advising Corps as a College Adviser at a high school in southeast Missouri. As a College Adviser, she assisted high school students with navigating the college-going process by providing guidance and resources necessary for a successful transition to their post-secondary goals. She is a proud graduate of Southeast Missouri State University with a bachelor’s degree in Communication Disorders and a Master of Public Administration degree. Renelle is excited to empower students toward attaining academic success and reaching their full potential.


Taylor, Brandon Spring 2020

Brandon Taylor, M.A.
Academic Coach

Brandon Taylor serves as an Academic Coach for the Office of Multicultural Student Services. Brandon has prior experience as an Adjunct Instructor at Harris-Stowe State University and 18 months as an Educational Advisor for TRIO Educational Opportunity Center through the Higher Education Consortium for Metropolitan Saint Louis. Brandon holds a Bachelors of Arts in History from Mississippi Valley University and a Masters of Arts in History from Jackson State University. Brandon is dedicated toward assisting students reach their full potential.


Wawrzyniak, karen_2020

Karen Wawrzyniak
Office Support

Karen joined the Multicultural Student Services team in December 2012 as the Office Support Staff III.  She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1988.  Before joining the department, Karen has more than sixteen years of administrative experience.