Gephardt News

Celebrating New Staff and Roles

We are delighted to introduce three new staff members and a new role at the Gephardt Institute. These highly talented and civic-minded leaders increase the institute’s capacity for engagement of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and partners to foster a robust university-wide civic culture and community impact. 

Theresa Kouo started in July and serves as the Assistant Director for Civic Engagement Education. With responsibilities for the management and strategic development of the Civic Scholars and Urban Fellows programs, she fosters student civic mindedness, engagement, and leadership in civic life, most often as educator, facilitator, leadership trainer, advisor, and consultant. Theresa is originally from the Metro Detroit area and brings nine years of professional community leadership experience. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in Psychology and minor in Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies, as well as a Master of Social Work with specialization in community organization and a focus on children, youth, and families.  Theresa is available to work with campus partners to offering training and facilitated discussions on civic engagement, civic dialogue, and civic reflection.

Dr. Jillian A. Martin, PhD, joined the team in July as the Assistant Director for Strategy and Evaluation. Jillian leads the evaluation, assessment, strategic development, and organizational learning activities for the institute. To support this work, Jillian supervises Master’s Research Fellows in conducting literature reviews, evaluation-assessment instrument development, data analysis, data tracking, and reporting. Jillian is from Newnan, Georgia and has experience as a social services case manager and in higher education working as a student affairs practitioner in diversity initiatives, student activities, and residence life. She completed her PhD in Counseling and Student Personnel Services and Masters in College Student Affairs Administration at the University of Georgia. She received her undergraduate degree in Biopsychology from Oglethorpe University.

Ashlee Grech is the temporary K-12 and Youth Initiatives Coordinator. Ashlee joined the university in August and is focused on supporting the planning, recruitment, and launch of the institute’s Each One Teach One partnerships with College Bound and KIPP: Victory Academy, Hawthorn InvestiGirls, and K-12 Connections. Ashlee completed her B.A. in Letters at the University of Oklahoma before moving to New York City. There, she completed her M.S. in Education while participating in Teach For America. She has continued working in urban education for the past nine years, both as a teacher and in nonprofit program management.


Tim Dugan has been with the Gephardt Institute for four years and is now serving as Community Engagement Manager. In this role, he oversees student-facing initiatives that support experiential learning and immersion in the St. Louis community. With a vision of supporting students’ identification as St. Louis citizens, Tim partners with community organizations to develop and offer community engagement programming that is reciprocal, responsive, sustainable, and responsible. Tim coordinates Meet St. Louis and the Goldman Fellows Program, and supports students who are planning domestic and international service trips. Tim is available to work with student-facing departments and student groups seeking to coordinate community engagement programming for their student populations.