At UMSL, there is a collective commitment to develop a deeper understanding, respect, and appreciation for diversity. The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion recognizes the accomplishments and strides we have made here and look forward to continued efforts for many years to come.
Dr. Tanisha Stevens
Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Dr. Tanisha Stevens serves as the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, responsible for overseeing inclusive excellence, one of the five Missouri Compacts for Excellence as outlined in the university's strategic plan. Dr. Stevens is committed to creating an inclusive working and learning environment and in ensuring that all students, faculty, staff and community members have a sense of belonging at the institution. As the Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) and member of the Chancellor's Cabinet, Dr. Stevens brings her expertise and vision to identify opportunities for greater alignment and more unified efforts across campus.
Under her leadership, Dr. Stevens coordinated the campus’ participation and engagement in the Equity Institute (“an 8-week facilitated training program designed to increase organizational effectiveness and build individual competencies” in order to enhance equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts at institutions of higher education”) sponsored by the University of Southern California's Race and Equity Center, developed the first Chancellor’s Inclusive Excellence: Celebrating Diversity Award (which annually recognizes the contributions of individuals who promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in their respective work at the institution) and is credited with organizing UMSL's first Virtual Gathering for Racial Unity in June 2020. Additionally, Dr. Stevens’ has secured the university's continued recognition by Insight into Diversity magazine as a Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) recipient for the last three consecutive years, including being the only institution in Missouri to receive the recognition in 2021.
Dr. Stevens provides institutional representation to a number of community partners including serving as a Co-Champion (Education Workforce) for the St. Louis Citywide Plan for Education/St. Louis Public School District, A Blueprint for Building a New 21st Century Citywide Education Ecosystem for 21st Century Children and Families, the Post-Secondary Equity Network (a collaborative effort of campus/universities committed to examining racial and economic inequities that impact student success) as well as serves as a liaison to corporate partners including the university’s foundational relationship with CORTEX and leadership at St. Louis Public Radio.
Dr. Stevens earned a Bachelor of Arts with Honors in Psychology from the University of Missouri-Columbia, a masters in Counseling from Saint Louis University and her doctorate in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
Dr. Marlo Goldstein Hode
Director of Conflict Resolution & Mediation Services
Marlo (aka Dr. Hode) provides professional development, facilitation, leadership, and guidance to help make UMSL an even more welcoming, inclusive, and excellent institution. She facilitates in-person and online educational opportunities for faculty and staff 0n topics such as constructive communication, conflict resolution and cultural competence. She also helps develop and launch strategic initiatives and partnerships across campus to work collaboratively towards achieving UMSL’s Inclusive Excellence goals. Marlo holds a courtesy and adjunct faculty position in the Department of Communication at the University of Missouri - Columbia. As a scholar, she has several publications in peer-reviewed journals and book chapters on various topics including sexual harassment, neurodiversity, racial issues on campus, and the effectiveness of online professional development courses. She also serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Diversity in Higher Education.
Marlo received her BA in Communication from North Carolina State University, an MA in Intercultural Communication from the University of Maryland Baltimore County, an LLM in Dispute Resolution from the University of Missouri School of Law, and a PhD in Organizational Communication with a minor in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from the University of Missouri.
Jessica Swederske, MPPA
Director, Title IX & Equity Office
Jessica Swederske serves as the university's Title IX Coordinator & Chief Equity Officer. Ms. Swederske is committed to creating an environment that allows all students, faculty, and staff to feel safe.
Ms. Swederske completed her undergraduate degree In Psychology at UMSL, as well as her graduate degree in Public Policy Administration. After completing her course work, Ms. Swederske worked for the state of Missouri, as a Probation and Parole Officer, monitoring individuals convicted of sex offenses. It was this position that allowed Ms. Swederske to view fairness and equity from different perspectives.
Ms. Swederske has a passion for working with people, which ultimately led her back to UMSL in 2015. Ms. Swederske is committed to conducting fair and thorough investigations in order to provide the decision makers with all relevant facts. Furthermore, it is her goal to make sure everyone who comes through her office feels seen and heard.
Myron joined the University of Missouri-St. Louis in the Spring of 2022 and serves as the coordinator for diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. Prior to joining the ODEI staff, Myron worked at Lindenwood University as an instructional designer and chair of their DEI Task Force. While at Lindenwood, Myron was instrumental in developing and leading the university’s first Day of Dialogue – an annual campus-wide event where students, faculty, and staff take the opportunity to examine their individual and institutional role in building a shared community. He is passionate about dialogue and creating space for everyone to participate in the conversation around equity and inclusion. Myron is excited to continue the work and collaborate with others across campus to make UMSL a more equitable and inclusive place to learn, live, and work.
Myron received his BA in Communication from DePauw University and his MA in Higher Education from Lindenwood University.
University of Missouri-St. Louis
152 JcPenney North, One University Blvd.
St. Louis MO 63121-4400
Phone: (314) 516-5695 (currently working remotely)