Click on each individual’s name to learn more!

Paula Boggs, Founder, Boggs Media, LLC, Tedx©Speaker, Writer, Lawyer, Army Veteran, and Musician

Paula Boggs is the founder of Boggs Media, LLC, a business that manages her music, speaking, and other creative business activities. She is a Tedx©Speaker, Writer, Lawyer, Army Veteran, and Musician. She is also a Board Member of numerous organizations.

Paula Boggs served as Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary at Starbucks Corporation from 2002 to 2012. In 2009, NASDAQ©️ named her its top general counsel. Her prior professional experience includes serving as Vice President Legal at Dell Computer Corporation, and as a partner at the law firm of Preston Gates & Ellis, LLP. She also had a 14-year career in public service, including as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, and in various capacities as an attorney for the U.S. Army, the Department of Defense and the White House Office of Legal Counsel. She served eight years as a Regular Officer in the United States Army, earned Army Airborne wings and a Congressional appointment to the US Naval Academy – among America’s first women to do so.

Paula Boggs is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley School of Law and earned a bachelor’s degree in International Studies from Johns Hopkins University. She was also an adjunct professor at the University of Washington School of Law.

Since leaving Starbucks, Paula Boggs gives speeches across the United States and beyond, writes essays and music, co-produces albums for, and tours extensively with, Paula Boggs Band. In 2013, President Obama appointed her to the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, in 2018 she received the Seattle Mayor’s Arts Award and in 2021 Southwestern University (Georgetown, TX) conferred an honorary Doctor of Laws.

Paula Boggs owns several U.S. Copyrights and is a Voting Member and Board Governor of The Recording Academy, Pacific Northwest Chapter.

Her current civic and professional activities include:
Current Boards: Avid Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ, 2015-Present); Seattle Symphony (2017-Present); American Bar Foundation; member, Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University National Advisory Board; YMCA of Greater Seattle, Life Board; Recording Academy, Governor to the Pacific Northwest Chapter Board.

Donor and Creator, The Boggs Fellowship, 1998-Present (given to HBCU graduates or underrepresented persons of color who pursue graduate studies in the physical, biological or engineering sciences at Johns Hopkins University)

Shantay N. Bolton, Executive Vice Chancellor for Administration and Chief Administrative Officer at Washington University

As Washington University in St. Louis’ Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Administrative Officer, Dr. Shantay N. Bolton provides strategic counsel to university leadership and serves as the key point person for university operations. Dr. Bolton is responsible for spearheading effective strategies in administration, including the areas of information technology, human resources, public safety, procurement, supplier diversity and Danforth Campus operations and facilities.

Dr. Bolton’s primary academic and professional expertise is focused on the impact of social change strategies in organizations that improve recruitment, retention and the advancement of multigenerational leaders.

Prior to WashU, Dr. Bolton was the Vice President and Deputy Chief Operating Officer at Tulane University in New Orleans. Her professional experience also includes positions at multi-national corporate and government organizations, notably BASF; National Guard Health Affairs in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and TMR Consultants LLC. 

Dr. Bolton serves as a board member for the American Association of Blacks in Higher Education, and holds memberships with the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychologists, Professional and Organization Network in Higher Education and the National Association for African-Americans in Human Resources. She is a Certified MBTI Practitioner, Executive Coach, Business Coach, Organizational Development Certified Professional Lean Six Sigma Professional and de Bono 6-Thinking Hats/Parallel Thinking Trainer.

A valedictorian graduate of Vashon High School, Dr. Bolton grew up in St. Louis and left after high school to attend Alabama A&M University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and her master’s degree in counseling psychology. She went on to earn her doctorate in organizational psychology with a concentration in industrial psychology from Walden University and a master of business administration degree in corporate business from Florida International University. 

Kia Caldwell, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs and Diversity, Professor, African & African American Studies, at Washington University

Dr. Kia Lilly Caldwell is the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs and Diversity, Professor of African and African American Studies, and Dean’s Distinguished Professorial Scholar in Arts and Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis.  Trained as a socio-cultural anthropologist, her research has focused on race, gender, black feminism, health policy, and HIV/AIDS in Brazil and the U.S. 

Dr. Caldwell is the author of Negras in Brazil: Re-envisioning Black Women, Citizenship, and the Politics of Identity (Rutgers University Press, 2007) and Health Equity in Brazil:  Intersections of Gender, Race, and Policy (University of Illinois Press, 2017).  She is also the co-editor of two anthologies, Gendered Citizenships: Transnational Perspectives on Knowledge Production, Political Activism, and Culture (Palgrave, 2009) and Engaging the African Diaspora in K-12 Education (Peter Lang, 2020).  Dr. Caldwell’s articles and essays have been published in numerous U.S. and Brazilian publications.  Her interviews and publications on the coronavirus pandemic have been featured on the Real News Network, as well as in the Conversation, the Black Perspectives blog, and published in Brazil.  She is currently co-editing an anthology titled, Black Feminisms beyond Borders:  Cultivating Knowledge, Solidarity, and Liberation.  She has received grants and fellowships from the Mellon Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Ford Foundation and the American Psychological Association.

Website: https://kiacaldwell.com

Twitter: @kialcaldwell

Merriah Croston, Olin Fellow, Doctoral Student, Public Health Sciences, Brown School, Washington University

Merriah Croston is a doctoral student in the Public Health Sciences program. Merriah was born and raised in Ohio and is a graduate of Georgetown University and Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health. She has theoretical and applied research interests in health information and health behavior diffusion with an emphasis on social media contexts. Her current research uses social network analysis to explore the ways in which COVID-19 misinformation spreads on Twitter and how this differs from other information types. In addition to her scholarly interests, Croston is devoted to promoting gender and racial diversity in science.

Michelle DeLair, Director of Curricular Innovation
College of Arts & Sciences, Washington University

Dr. Michelle DeLair is the Director of Curricular Innovation in the College of Arts & Sciences at Washington University. With expertise in faculty development, career development, and pedagogy, she directs the implementation of the new Literacies for Life and Career strategic initiative. She previously worked on campus WashU as Assistant Director of Academic Services in the Teaching Center, supporting faculty and graduate students in developing engaging and inclusive teaching practices. Most recently, Dr. DeLair served as Assistant Director of Graduate Career Development in the Career Center, working closely with students, departments, and faculty to guide graduate students in connecting their academic training to post-graduate careers. Dr. DeLair also teaches courses for the American Culture Studies program, including the Ampersand: Exploring America series and a range of courses on the history of American consumer culture and the built environment.  Dr. DeLair earned her PhD. in History and American Culture Studies from Washington University and is a proud alumna of the Olin Fellowship Program and the first Olin Fellow to be awarded the Robert R. Anschuetz Memorial Olin Fellowship in American Cultural Studies.

Amy Eyler, Professor of Public Health, Brown School, Chair, Faculty Senate Council, Gender Equity and Faculty Development Fellow, Office of the Provost

Dr. Amy Eyler conducts research to advance the study of policies related to physical activity and obesity, as well as broader policy issues in public health. In addition to serving as deputy director of the Prevention Research Center in St. Louis, she is the lead evaluator for a multi-disciplinary project to increase enrollment in evidence-based disease prevention programs for low-income populations in St. Louis.

Dr. Eyler’s work has been featured in the American Journal of Public Health, American Journal of Preventive Medicine, and the Journal of Public Health Practice and Management. She is the lead editor of the 2016 book, “Prevention, Policy, and Public Health.”  Her leadership extends from academia to the community. Dr. Eyler is a past-president of the Association for Women Faculty, a Provost-sponsored Faculty Fellow for Gender Equity, and Chair of the Faculty Senate Council. She is also a Board Member for Girls on the Run St. Louis.

Ali Hogan, Rung, Founder and Chairwoman

Ali Hogan is the visionary behind Rung for Women, a new organization that will empower women to achieve sustained independence through co-located and coordinated educational, professional, and financial resources. Rung’s goal is to empower women to go beyond surviving to thriving, creating a more robust middle-class for women and their families.

The granddaughter of the late Enterprise Holdings founder Jack Taylor, Ali applies the same spirit of entrepreneurship he exemplified, as well as the same civic commitment.


After running the successful nonprofit resale store, Rung Boutique, for seven years, Ali was inspired by the women she met from organizations like Lydia’s House and St. Louis
Internship Program to create space where women could get all of the resources they need in one place to achieve their vision for their career and for their life.

In 2017, Ali and her team closed the store to focus on the next chapter of their story. Now located in the Historic Fox Park neighborhood in St. Louis, Rung for Women welcomed its first cohort of members in March of 2021.

At the new iteration of Rung, members gain access to coaching, career services, financial education, childcare, mental health services, and health and wellness opportunities, along with a community of like-minded women who are determined to succeed. Rung has brought together several organizations in one location, in a collocated and coordinated model, including Family Care Health Center, Prosperity Connection, Provident Behavioral Health, Safe Connections, Urban Harvest STL, Dragonfly Fitness and The Collective STL.

Beyond her work for women, Ali is a long-time volunteer and Board Member for The Humane Society of St. Louis. She has assisted the organization in its development, animal rescue, public relations, and education efforts and is a member of the Friends Council. She also serves as a Board Member for the school attended by her two daughters, Kylie and Kenzie.

Brittany Hogan, Manager of the Center for Human Service Leadership, Delmar DivINe

Brittany Hogan is an award winning public educator, national equity speaker, and a St. Louis City Board of Education Member. Currently, she is the Manager for the Center of Human Service Leadership at the Delmar Divine. In this role Brittany helps to create a vibrant, innovative, and collaborative community that enhances the value of co-location for tenants and the larger community at the Delmar Divine. Prior to her current role, Brittany was the Director of Educational Equity & Diversity for the Rockwood School District where she led the Voluntary Interdistrict Choice Corporation program, social workers, and created the district’s equity plan. Brittanyearned her Master of Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis, and a Bachelor of Art in Psychology from Hampton University.

Kendra Key, Olin Fellow, Dance MFA Student, Arts & Sciences, Washington University

Kendra Key, originally from St. Louis, is an MFA candidate in the Department of Dance. She received her BS in dance from Missouri State University in 2019, as well as a minor in Diversity Studies. Key has used her journey in movement education to explore the need and accessibility of arts programs in disadvantaged communities. This process led her to develop creative movement curricula for children grades K–12. These teachings are now used throughout the Springfield community in spaces like the Boys and Girls Club and Springfield Public Schools. Key used both her programs (Dance and Diversity) to research how they can be used to apply an intersectional perspective to art making—using dance as a vehicle for social change. She has gleaned several nationally recognized accolades for her versatile work in choreography and movement film making. Key hopes to continue to meld together different dance aesthetics to create work that is both meaningful and innovative.

Shanti Parikh, Chair and Professor, African and African American Studies; Professor, Anthropology, School of Arts & Sciences

Bio to come!

Jen Smith, Vice Provost for Educational Initiatives
Professor, Earth and Planetary Sciences, Washington University

Bio to come!