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!
Tara Segal, Director, University Ministry
firstname.lastname@example.org (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.
Andrew Mercado, Associate Director, University Ministry
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.
Fr. Javier Reyes, CMF, University Chaplain
Fr. Francisco Javier was born in Zacatecas, Mex. He went to a Diocesan seminary, completed High school, a degree in philosophy, and a M.Div. in Theology. Fr. Javier came to the United States in 2010 and joined the Claretian Missionaries. In 2011, he studied ESL at DePaul University in Chicago, and went to CTU and received an MA in Intercultural ministry and spirituality. He has been given the opportunity to minister in different areas, especially serving and working among the Latino community in Chicago, IL; Fresno, CA; and Prescott, AZ. Fr. Javier has worked in Campus Ministry since 2014, serving 2 years at Dominican University and then transferring to Springfield, MO in 2016. He was the director of the O’Reilly Catholic Student Center from 2017 to 2021. In addition to his role as University Chaplain, Fr. Javier is currently serving as the assistant prefect of formation for the Claretian Missionaries of the USA-Canada province.
Nora Zaki Mantas, University Chaplain, Interfaith Relationship
Nora grew up with an American mother who was raised Catholic but converted to Islam before Nora was even born and an Arab Muslim father. Thus, she has been exposed to an interfaith (Muslim and Christian) extended family from a young age. Additionally, her parents were actively involved in interfaith groups and Nora has memories as a young girl going to different religious places of worship. This inspired her love of religious diversity and her commitment to ensuring that religious and spiritual needs of people are met.
Nora received a Master's of Divinity (MDiv) from the University of Chicago and holds a BA from the University of Florida in Arabic, Religion and Political Science. Nora brings to this role as the University Chaplain, Interfaith Relationship at Dominican University experience as a college chaplain and program manager for various non-profit organizations. She worked as the Muslim chaplain at Vassar and Bard Colleges. Additionally, she has experience with several non-profit organizations including the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom, Rural Women's Health Project and United Voices for America. Nora interned at Dominican University and American Islamic College as a student chaplain while pursuing her Master of Divinity. She has traveled extensively throughout the Middle East and is fluent in Arabic. She is learning Turkish, loves watching foreign films in addition to discovering and tasting global cuisine. Nora is pursuing a second Master's in Islamic Education from Bayan Graduate School housed within Chicago Theological Seminary. Nora is also the founder of MyMuslimChaplain (www.mymuslimchaplain.com), which offers extensive chaplaincy workshops, services and other consultation.
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.