Leadership

Rob Shelby, Chief Diversity Officer

Dr. Rob Shelby

Chief Diversity Officer

University Center, Room 261
812-488-5260
rs262@evansville.edu

Dr. Shelby serves as the Chief Diversity Officer at the University of Evansville. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Louisville in applied sociology. As a former assistant professor of sociology, he taught several core courses, including Race and Ethnic Relations and Community Organization. Under his leadership, the Director of the Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion provides intercultural training and cultural events, addresses concerns related to sexual harassment, discrimination, and bias, and fosters spiritual formation and vocational understanding.

Valerie Stein, Professor of Religious Studies / Program Director, Ethics & Social Change / Program Director,  Race & Ethnicity Studies

Dr. Valerie Stein

Professor of Religious Studies / Program Director, Ethics & Social Change / Program Director, Race & Ethnicity Studies

Olmsted Hall, Room 341
812-488-1103
vs9@evansville.edu

Professor of Religious Studies, is the Program Director of the Ethics & Social Change program and Race & Ethnicity Studies. Dr. Stein has been at the University of Evansville since 2002. She teaches a wide range of courses situated at the intersection of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion and social change. Dr. Stein earned her ThD in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament from Harvard University. Her research centers on the use, influence, and impact of religion on issues of gender, sexuality, colonialism, and race.| Stein's book, Anti-cultic Theology in Christian Biblical Interpretation: A Study of Isaiah 66:1-4 and Its Reception grounded the discussion of Christian anti-Jewish interpretation of the Hebrew Bible in the analysis of a particular passage. She shows that the widely held Christian interpretation of Isaiah 66:1-4 as an indictment against the Jerusalem temple and cult - and thereby God's rejection of Judaism - is motivated by a theology of substitution that sees the Church as the new Israel. Stein has also presented and published on how interpretations of biblical women reflect social attitudes and beliefs with respect to gender (see, for example, her articles “Know*Be*Do: Using the Bible to Teach Ethics to Children” and “Gender Components in Dramatic Retellings of Judith”). Her current research (see “Privileging God the Father: The Neoliberal Theology of the Evangelical Orphan Care Movement” in The Politics of Reproduction: Adoption, Abortion, and surrogacy in the Age of Neoliberalism) uses postcolonial and feminist methods of biblical criticism to show how evangelical Christian theology interprets the Bible to align the adoptive parents with God and thus effectively to allow for the dismissal of ethical concerns associated with adoption and foster care. In the case of international adoption, this “Gospel-centered” adoption takes advantage of Western privilege to victimize women in developing nations as a form of Christian neocolonialism. She problematizes the role of transracial adoption in the Evangelical orphan care movement as a visual evangelism.
Erin Lewis, Executive Director for Center for Innovation and Change

Mrs. Erin Lewis

Executive Director for Center for Innovation and Change

Ridgway University Center, Room 273
812-488-5002
el131@evansville.edu

Design Thinking Certifications: Henry Ford Learning Institute, IBM Practitioner

Erin Lewis joined the Center for Innovation & Change in June 2015 as a program director, became interim director in 2019, and was appointed executive director in 2021. Prior to joining the Center, she served as former United States Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's Director of Outreach at iCivics, directing its national field networks, communications and partnerships. She also served as a Research Assistant at the Indiana University Public Policy Institute, Indiana's Director of Civic Education for six years, and is a former United States Marine, having completed Officer Candidate School in Quantico. She obtained her Masters of Public Affairs in Policy Analysis with Honors from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI. While there, she helped create the Center for Civic Literacy, and completed IU's rigorous Oxford University comparative climate change summer program in England. In 2013, she was one of only three graduate students to receive the William M. Plater Civic Engagement Medallion for service to the community. She also serves as advisor to UE's Dance Company and the Alpha Phi Omega co-ed service fraternity, and is a proud UE alumna - having received her B.S. in Political Science and Psychology from the University of Evansville in 2001. In 2018-2019, she was named UE's Administrator of the Year, and is a member of UE's Coronavirus Task Force, which collectively received the President's Distinguished Service Award for excellence in leadership and guidance during the pandemic.

Abagail Catania, Assistant Director of Diversity Recruitment and Programming

Ms. Abagail Catania

Assistant Director of Diversity Recruitment and Programming

812-488-5263
ac532@evansville.edu
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Robert Lopez, ChangeLab Student Executive for the Center for Innovation and Change

Mr. Robert Lopez

ChangeLab Student Executive for the Center for Innovation and Change

University Center, CFIC
rl138@evansville.edu

Robert Lopez (ethics and social change major), came to the University of Evansville by way of Bosse High School, where he competed twice in UE’s High School Changemaker Challenge (placing 3rd and 2nd). His idea – to create a city-block sized wetland education park in downtown Evansville that will filter water and increase economic development – has been the topic of his ChangeLab projects since his first semester as a Freshman at UE. He is the very embodiment of what a UE Changemaker is, and will likely see his idea created before he graduates.