New Roles for Redhawk Leaders


Jordie Simpson

Director of the Environmental Studies department, Dr. Tanya Hayes, who was chosen as a Provost Fellow at Seattle University. / Jordie Simpson

The new Seattle University academic year has ushered in a wave of new faculty and staff members across departments. These new faces will influence both the current experiences of students as well as the future trajectory of the university. Danieli Evans and other law faculty can have a substantial impact on the civil rights climate in the local community. Provost fellows such as Tanya Hayes have the unique opportunity to alter the academic trajectory of Seattle U, and Chief Human Resources officer Jerron Lowe holds significant sway over student welfare at the university. For those interested in the future of Seattle U, these new faces are worth learning about. 

Dr. Danieli Evans, a new assistant law professor pictured in her office at Seattle University.

Danieli Evans

This year, the Seattle U School of Law gained four new professors, including Assistant Professor of Law, Danieli Evans. Evans teaches constitutional law, with a focus on discrimination and social inequity. 

“I have always had a sense that the law doesn’t do as good of a job as it could at understanding the various social and behavioral factors that influence people’s behavior,” Evans said. 

Evans’ Ph.D. work at Yale Law School explored the intersection between law, social psychology and sociology, topics that have influenced her career and attitude towards the law. 

“I’m particularly interested in the ways in which interactions between people and government shape people’s sense of belonging and their sense of citizenship and how that influences their behavior in ways that have significant consequences for equal opportunity and people’s wellbeing,” Evans said.

Evans’ research into the effects of social factors on equality and sense of self informs  her research and specialization as a professor. On top of teaching, Evans is working on a paper about intersections between contact with the criminal justice system, a person’s civic identity and likelihood of voting.

“The idea is that we should think about all of the criminal system as a form of political suppression,” Evans said. “Anybody who has come into contact with it is significantly less likely to participate in politics.

Tanya Hayes

Along with a wave of new hires, there were a number of faculty who were selected as Provost Fellows for the current academic year. These faculty members were tasked with assisting in planning and implementing Seattle U’s new Strategic Directions. Thirty-three faculty members were selected to serve a one-year term. One such Provost Fellow is Tanya Hayes, professor and director of both the Environmental Studies program and the Institute of Public Service.

Hayes was selected to work on Strategic Development regarding sustainability and climate change. Her research and work in the field are focused on conservation and international development for poverty alleviation in Latin America. After graduating from college, Hayes traveled to Panama with the Peace Corps, working with farmers on ways to practice more sustainable agriculture.

“I’m interested in understanding how to get individuals and communities to engage collectively in actions that are going to help the conservation of the environment in ways that are going to be economically viable for them and also fit with their own cultural and social relationships with the environment,” Hayes said.

This summer, the Provost Fellows began meeting to discuss how to achieve their goals. For Hayes’ team, this involved research about how other campuses have incorporated sustainability practices. They have also been conceptualizing workshops to incorporate sustainability and climate change awareness might be incorporated into their programs’ curricula. 

“In and of itself [sustainability] is very interdisciplinary,” Hayes said. “It can be small. Just little tweaks.”

Students looking to get involved with sustainability groups on campus are encouraged to visit the Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability (CEJS). The CEJS can provide more information about clubs on campus related to sustainability as well as connect students with internship opportunities. 

Jerron Lowe

Colorado native Jerron Lowe joined the Seattle U faculty this year as Vice President for Human Resources and Chief Human Resources Officer. Lowe’s role in the Human Resources department covers a wide array of responsibilities including talent acquisition and employee relations. 

“I’m in the business of people and trying to ensure that our workforce has the best employee experience and Seattle U is the best place to work,” Lowe said.

Lowe graduated with a degree in business administration from Trinity University in San Antonio where he played football. He went on to graduate with a law degree from the University of Denver. With a background in employment law and employee relations, he began a career in human resources that led him to a position as the Vice Chancellor of Human Resources at the University of Denver.

Image courtesy of Jerron Lowe and Seattle University.

Lowe decided to leave the University of Denver and move to Seattle after hearing about Seattle U’s plan to reignite its Strategic Directions. He connected with the University’s Jesuit mission, and is excited to begin his work on campus.

“This is exactly the kind of work that I wanted to do,” Lowe said “It’s the kind of work that’s needed right now.”

Evans, Hayes, and Lowe have come from different backgrounds and bring unique perspectives to their responsibilities. The future of Seattle U will be shaped by the way they approach their leadership roles, and how they conceptualize an ideal version of the university in the coming years.

This article was previously entitled “Fresh Faculty Faces.” The title was changed for accuracy.