Dr. Dereck Rovaris serves as Chief Diversity Officer for the University and is responsible for the University's diversity initiatives. Rovaris, an education consultant, has been widely published and has served as a featured speaker on the local, national, and international level. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas with majors in human development and family life, psychology and crime and delinquency studies. He has a master’s degree in guidance and counseling from Xavier University of Louisiana and a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Illinois.
Dr. Rovaris serves as the Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) and senior administrator responsible for the oversight of LSU diversity and outreach efforts including administrative oversight of Office of Diversity (OoD) reporting units, provides vision and executive leadership for inclusive excellence at LSU, and represents the university in promoting the diversity leadership agenda locally, regionally and nationally.
Dr. LeNoir Messer has served as an Educator and University Administrator in positions ranging from The Associate Dean of Student Affairs at Columbia University, NY to the Vice President of Student Development and Enrollment Management at Wilberforce University, OH. Prior to LSU, Dr. LeNoir Messer was a senior member of the development team at the University of Pennsylvania, PA., where she led the University’s efforts with parent outreach and development. In addition to her administrative history within Higher Education, she is a published author, researcher and lecturer. She received a bachelor's degree in psychology with a minor in dance from Union College, NY; a master's degree in counseling and student personnel administration from Columbia University, NY; a doctorate of education, from Columbia University, NY and completed research and study in London, England, Athens, Greece and Rome, Italy.
Dr. Messer is responsible for the development and implementation of strategic initiatives including, strategic planning, outreach and communications and central diversity education efforts and reporting with Deans, faculty, staff and students; leads the unit's fundraising and advancement efforts; provides oversight and guidance for the National Diversity Advisory Board; and manages partnerships pertaining to special initiatives with local, national and international constituents.
Leah Walker, a native of New Orleans earned her bachelors in mass communications from the University of New Orleans in 2006. After graduation she relocated to Dallas, Texas where she held multiple positions in Education Administration and local government. In 2014 she earned a master's of education in kinesiology. In her most recent role with the City of Cedar Hill, Texas, she served as program coordinator for neighborhood and community outreach. Leah was honored at the White House in 2015 for implementing, and securing funding for a program to decrease instances of childhood obesity in Southern Dallas County.
Ms. Walker leads the marketing, communications, and branding efforts of the Office of Diversity and also collaborates with the AVP in fundraising and advancement efforts.
Ms. Rankins-Lollis manages the business and administrative operations of the Office of Diversity including managing the Vice Provost & Associate Vice Provosts' schedules as well as overseeing general office management and constituent services. Ms. Rankins-Lollis serves as liaison with offices across campus including, Finance & Administrative Services and the Office of Human Resource Management.
A native of Jackson, Mississippi, Jackson is earning a Master of Mass Communication (MMC) in the Manship School of Mass Communication and received his undergraduate degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Southern Mississippi.
Mr. Jackson reports directly to the Associate Vice Provost, and oversees the implementation of strategic initiatives, as well as, marketing and communications outreach for the Office of Diversity.
Andrea E. Grant, Director