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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!

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Tara Segal, Director, University Ministry

tsegal@dom.edu (708) 524-6685

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.

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Andrew Mercado, Associate Director, University Ministry

amercado3@dom.edu

Andrew Mercado is passionate about holistic student formation and mission integration in Catholic Higher Education. Helping students explore the enduring questions of life in the pursuit of living a meaningful and purposeful life through the lens of faith and social justice is at the heart of Andrew’s passion for student formation. He seeks to cultivate experiences and opportunities that holistically integrates the spiritual, intellectual and social development of students. Andrew is dedicated to exploring the intersections of spirituality, justice and vocation within the college student experience, while finding new ways of expressing the mission of Catholic higher education in light of the evolving social realities and needs of our world. As a first-generation student, Andrew is focused on promoting access and equity in Catholic higher education to ensure that every student has the resources and support to thrive during the formative years of their college experience  Andrew holds a Masters of Arts in Higher Education Administration with a concentration in Catholic higher education, spirituality, faith and formation from Boston College and a Bachelors of Arts in Sociology and Health Care Management from the College of Our Lady of the Elms. Andrew has served in Vocation Ministry, chaplaincy with ALANA and first-generation students, and most recently as an assistant director of campus ministry. Andrew’s cultural roots are Colombian and Puerto Rican. His experience of growing up in a vibrant Catholic Hispanic community nourishes Andrew’s passion to serve and minister within the Church in a way that reflects and integrates the diversity of the people of God.   Andrew enjoys spending time in nature and loves listening to music, especially Salsa.

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Akua Kankam, University Minister, Beloved Community

akankam@dom.edu, 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.

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Baruch Zinsou, Catholic Theological Union Practicum Student

Baruch Zinsou was born and raised in a practicing Catholic family in Benin. He is currently pursuing a Master of Divinity as well as a Master in Spirituality degree at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, Illinois. He is also working towards obtaining a Clinical Pastoral Education. Baruch holds a Bachelor of Arts in Geography from the University of Abomey-Calavi Benin Republic, a Bachelor of Art in Philosophy from ISPSH Don Bosco in Lome Togolese Republic, and an Associate of Arts degree in Intercultural Studies from Divine Word College in Epworth, Iowa. He is also a member of the Society of the Divine Word (SVD).

Baruch taught middle school and high school geography and history prior to coming to the United States in 2016.

He is joining University Ministry as the Catholic Theological Union Practicum Student for the 2022-2023 academic year and is excited to learn from everyone and to serve all.