University Ministry staff are available to answer questions, lend pastoral support or spiritual direction, and help students discern involvement in any number of ways. You can contact a staff person to set-up a time to meet, or just drop by!


John DeCostanza, Director, University Ministry  (708) 524-6685

John DeCostanza holds the Doctorate in Ministry from Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, Illinois with a concentration in Hispanic Theology and Ministry where he was named a Joseph Cardinal Bernardin Scholar. John received his BA in English and was a Phi Beta Kappa keyholder at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, Pennnsylvania. After serving as a Jesuit Volunteer in San Diego, California and an international volunteer with the Congregation of Christian Brothers in Chimbote, Perú, John embarked on a career as a social worker and educator in Chicago. Earning master’s degrees in social work and divinity from Loyola University Chicago, John’s vocations were cultivated at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School and as clinician in a community-based mental health setting on Chicago’s west side. John’s research and ministerial interests include Latinx theologies, critical pedagogies and LatCrit theories, Catholic higher education and contextual theologies. John has consulted with and served on the board of a number of justice organizations. He is a founding board member and president of the Board of Directors of the Coalition for Spiritual and Public Leadership, a grassroots organization that works to change racial, economic, social, and environmental structures by developing leaders rooted in and inspired by the Catholic social and spiritual traditions. John lives in Chicago with his partner in life and faith, Susan, and their three children.

Tara Segal, Assistant Director, University Ministry (708) 524-6684

Tara Segal is currently pursuing a Doctor of Ministry degree with a focus in Intercultural Studies and Ministry as a Joseph Cardinal Bernardin Scholar at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, Illinois. She holds a Master of Arts in Theology from Catholic Theological Union and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish Language and Literature from the Catholic University of America. Tara served as the Director of Campus Ministry at Bishop Blanchet High School in Seattle, Washington from 2013–2017, and as Director of Campus Ministry and Mission Integration at Trinity High School in River Forest, Illinois, a Sinsinawa Dominican institution, from 2008–2013. Growing up in an interfaith home instilled in Tara a passion for interreligious dialogue. Her study and ministry have focused on accompanying others as they delve more deeply into their relationships with God and learning from others through retreats, prayer, service, and the experiences of daily life. She is particularly interested in environmental justice. Tara finds joy in reading and all things animal-related.

Krista Chinchilla-Patzke, University Minister, Ministry en lo Cotidiano, (708) 524-6521

Krista Chinchilla-Patzke is originally from Guatemala City and was raised in Southern California, two places that have significantly shaped her understanding of community. Previous to her appointment at Dominican, she served as the Campus Minister for Catholic Social Concerns and Service at Marian University in Indianapolis, Indiana. In this role, she oversaw service and immersion opportunities for undergraduate students. She earned a Master of Arts in Theology and Ministry from the School of Theology and Ministry at Boston College and a Bachelor of Arts in Theology and Psychology from Loyola Marymount University. Krista is passionate about environmental justice, Latin American liberation theology, and coffee. She is grateful for her partner and her family, who have taught her the importance of welcoming all to a table where bread is to be broken in unity.

Akua Kankam, University Minister, Beloved Community, 708-524-6204

Akua Kankam has over 15 years of experience working in higher education where she spent over 8 of those years in ministry on the parish, archdiocesan, and university levels. She is a first generation Ghanaian-American from Chicago, Illinois and serves as a University Minister, Beloved Community for Dominican University where she ministers to students, staff and faculty. She is passionate about helping students to take onus of their faith and their place within the church and is responsible for helping all members of the Stritch community to engage in their faith and spirituality. Additionally, Akua serves as a resource to all Dominican community members regardless of faith tradition. In the past, she worked to revamp the Alternative Spring Break trip experiences at other institutions by helping students to make deep connections to faith, social justice, and action. Akua presently oversees the Beloved Community program which is designed to help students understand the intersections of faith, social justice, service, calling, and academics. Her goal is to help students create a more faith filled and holistic experiences during their matriculation.

Akua is also very passionate about the intersections of Catholicism and racism. She is currently a part of a USCCB group called "Brothers and Sisters to Us," that connects campus ministers of color and campus ministers serving students of color through professional development, fellowship, and networking. Akua is also currently working with colleagues in Mission and Ministry to engage the campus community in the difficult but necessary conversations around faith, race, and action.

Amirah Orozco, University Minister, Ministry en lo Cotidiano, (708) 524-6686

Amirah Orozco, University Minister, Ministry en lo Cotidiano, is originally from the border between El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua. She recently defended her thesis in the Master of Theological Studies program at Boston College School of Theology and Ministry with a focus on systematic theology, especially ecclesiology and Hispanic theology. Prior to her appointment at Dominican, Amirah worked in Hispanic ministry training programs at Formación Continua at the STM. She has worked in Boston College’s Campus Ministry and Women’s Centers, been engaged in organizing work for political campaigns and environmental justice in the state of Massachusetts, and edited the graduate theological journal, Lumen et Vita. She is also the current Sacred Writes Fellow with Commonweal Magazine where she publishes work having to do with research on la Iglesia Latina. Amirah is extremely proud of her roots at the border and always looks forward to going back home to Chihuahua. She also enjoys talking with and spending time with her family, watching movies, and listening to music (Natalia Lafourcade, Taylor Swift, Alabama Shakes, Juanes, Juan Gabriel, Santa Cecilia, are a few of her favorites!)

Conor Quinn, Practicum Student

Conor Quinn C.P is a Passionist Seminarian Studying a Master of Divinity at Catholic Theological Union in Hyde Park, Chicago.  Conor is working with the Liturgy Team this year and assists the Waters Liturgy Interns with preparation and assistance with our weekly Sunday Masses in Rosary Chapel. Before working at Dominican Conor completed a Clinical Pastoral Education Program at Baptist Health Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky as part of his formation program with the Passionists.  Conor is from Northern Ireland and is currently working towards perpetual vows in the Passionists with eventual ordination to the priesthood to follow.