Dr. Mari Ann Graham, an associate professor of social work and a member of the University of St. Thomas faculty since 1993, has been appointed the university’s director of diversity, it was announced by Dr. Susan Alexander, executive adviser to the president and the St. Thomas affirmative-action officer.

Dr. Mari Ann Graham

Dr. Mari Ann Graham

The appointment to the one-third-time position is effective immediately. Graham will continue to teach in School of Social Work’s master’s program. She also will have office hours three afternoons per week at the Office of Institutional Diversity, 104 Aquinas Hall.

“The roles that Dr. Graham fulfills are an essential part of advancing the common good in our midst,” said Father John Malone, vice president for mission. “The Office for Mission at St. Thomas will be deeply enriched by her talents and enthusiasm. I am personally grateful for her contributions to the mission of the university.”

In her role as director of diversity, Graham will:

  • Coordinate diversity actions at the university.
  • Foster climate improvement for underserved populations.
  • Work with external constituencies.
  • Lead the University Diversity Action Committee.
  • Serve on the Affirmative Action Committee.
  • Propose activities and evaluate needs across the organization.

Graham holds a Ph.D. from the Mandel School of Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University. She received her bachelor’s and master’s in social work from the University of Nebraska and is a licensed  social worker.

She served six years as director of the St. Thomas-St. Catherine Master of Social Work Program and is co-director of the School of Social Work’s Spirituality Institute.

Graham has also served on the boards or as an adviser to many community organizations, including the United Way, the Hamm clinic, Family Alternatives Inc., Catholic Charities and the Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches. She is a consociate of the Sisters of St. Joseph and has served on the order’s working groups dealing with heterosexism, homophobia and racism. 

Before coming to St. Thomas 18 years ago, Graham taught at Augustana College, Case Western Reserve and the University of Iowa.