Meet the OIA Team

Intercultural Affairs Office
Loyola Marymount University

One LMU Drive, Xavier Hall 111
Los Angeles, CA  90045
(310) 338-7744 


Meet the OIA Team


Jennifer Abe, Ph.D.
she, her, hers
Vice President for Intercultural Affairs
(310) 338-4586 |

Jennifer Abe is a professor of psychology and leads the Office of Intercultural Affairs in her role as Special Assistant to the President for Intercultural Affairs. She’s had a great time working with the OIA staff and the LMU community this year. One of her favorite projects has been the Cultural Consciousness Conversations, a year-long intergroup dialogue with 27 LMU faculty, staff, and administrators.





Hillary Henderson
she, her, hers
Administrative Specialist
(310) 338-7744 |

Hillary specializes in administrative support and outreach projects for the office, such as OIA’s monthly column in LMU This Week. She loves her work because she gets to support and uplift her colleagues and make meaningful connections with staff, students, and faculty alike. Originally from New York, Hillary is an LMU alumna (SOE ’19) with an M.A. in Counseling. She is also a writer, dancer, and cat enthusiast with a passion for mental health advocacy and social justice through educational empowerment. She values creative expression and enjoys traveling to new places to experience different cultures and ways of life.




Joseph Bernardo, Ph.D.
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Intercultural Affairs Associate
(310) 338-1698 |

Joe joined the Office of Intercultural Affairs in 2015 and currently runs OIA’s leadership development programs: Leading Institutional Units and Programs | Inclusive Excellence and Senior Vice President Fellows.  He also manages LMU’s Implicit Bias Initiative.  Prior to coming to LMU, he worked in several sectors including government, philanthropy, and non-profit.  Joe holds a Ph.D. in History from the University of Washington, an M.A. in Asian American Studies from San Francisco State University, and a B.A. from UC Santa Barbara.  He continues to be active in the Asian/Filipino American community.  In his free time, Joe likes to play basketball, go fishing, and practice Filipino Martial Arts and yoga.




José M. Chávez
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Intercultural Affairs Associate
(310) 338-7774 |

José joined Loyola Marymount University in April 2009 working in various roles in the Center for Catholic Education. He joined the Office of Intercultural Affairs in February 2015, where he works on initiatives to recruit faculty for mission and diversity and professional programs for faculty and staff in the areas of diversity and inclusion. José holds a B.A. in Spanish and a M.A. in Counseling with a specialization in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, both from Loyola Marymount University.





Kimberly Misa
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Intercultural Affairs Research Associate
(310) 338-5343 |

Kim joined Loyola Marymount University in 2010. She completed her B.A. at the University of California at Santa Cruz (Go Banana Slugs!). Her first job was in enrollment management where she discovered her passion for serving students of color in higher education. She moved onto work at a private foundation in southern California, where she became interested in education policy. She received her M.A. in Higher Education and Organizational Change at the University of California at Los Angeles. In her current role as Research Associate, she is responsible for evaluating office initiatives as well as utilizing institutional data on students, staff, and faculty to examine issues and inform decision-making. She also administers the Inclusive Excellence Grants program. When she’s not at work, she enjoys spending time with family and friends.




Steven Neal
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Director, Academic Community of Excellence
(310) 338-5283 |

Steven Neal is the director of the Academic Community of Excellence program at LMU. He develops and oversees educational initiatives and services that support the graduate and professional school aspirations of underrepresented students. As a member of the Office of Intercultural Affairs, he also supports the development and implementation of implicit bias and inclusive excellence initiatives. Some of his greatest rewards include investing in the educational futures of ACE students and celebrating their collegiate and postgraduate achievements. Steven earned an M.S.Ed. in Higher Education and Student Affairs from Indiana University, an M.Div. from The Master’s Seminary, and a B.A. in English from San Diego State University.  





Cassie Burge
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Graduate Assistant, SFTV '20

Growing up in California, Cassie experienced a lot of different cultures growing up, which now influence her daily life. She loves to write and direct projects that have multitudes of cultures and experiences involved, all while remaining authentic. If she's not at work or in class, she is catching up on her television shows. Her dream is to be a show-runner, so she watches a lot of different TV—for studying purposes ("so I tell myself!"). She really enjoys attending political Marches; whether it be the Women's March or The March for Our Lives--being politically active is extremely important to her. To truly relax, she spends her free time near water: "Whether writing at the beach or at my pool, I always feel better near water. I'm a Pisces, what do you expect?" 




Tiana Lockett
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Student Staff, BCLA '23

Tiana specializes in student administrative assistance work in the office. She loves her work because it grants her the opportunity to work alongside office staff to orchestrate cultural awareness across campus. Tiana is originally from Chicago, Illinois. She is an active member of the First to Go Program and The Learning Community (TLC). She is a political science major and bioethics minor with hopes of attending law school after university. She is a lover of writing with an emphasis on poetry and short stories. She uses writing as a means to highlight her cultural identity.


Kennedi Lurry
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Graduate Assistant, SFTV '22 

Kennedi Lurry is new to the Office of Intercultural Affairs, acting as our graduate assistant to The Academic Community of Excellence. This is Kennedi’s first year at LMU. Just last spring, she graduated a year early from Michigan State University earning a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Writing with a minor in Creative Writing. Currently, she is pursuing her M.F.A in Writing for the Screen through the School of Film and Television. In her free time, Kennedi enjoys writing, watching movies and or television, and now, since recently moving to Los Angeles, loves to spend time at the beach as much as possible.