Marking the culmination of an intentional hiring process conducted over the course last year, the Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement announces the completion of its new leadership team.
“Our new leadership team represents an important milestone for the Gephardt Institute as we conclude our 18th year and build for the future,” said Stephanie Kurtzman, Peter G. Sortino Executive Director. “We selected our leaders through comprehensive hiring processes that involved students, campus partners, and community partners. Sonia, Alannah, and Sam are each talented, visionary, and strategic leaders to advance the Gephardt Institute’s mission and shepherd the university’s goals to inspire lifelong civic engagement and leadership in our students.”
Sonia Sequeira ’10 MSW, MPH ’13, who serves as director of Programs and Operations for the Gephardt Institute, oversees the successful administration of all Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement programs and initiatives, with special focus on advancing the institute’s mission, values, and strategic plan.
After receiving her Bachelor of Arts from Washington University, Sequeira—who grew up in Colorado—completed her Master of Public Health and Master of Social Work from the Brown School in 2013. Her career took her to Atlanta, Ga., where Sequeira’s roles with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta City Studio, and the City of Atlanta grew her passion for community engagement.
Sequeira first joined the Gephardt Institute in January 2022 as associate director for Community Engagement, a role in which she excelled and roundly demonstrated her talent for creating new programming, fostering student learning, and building partnerships on campus and in the St. Louis community. In August last year, she took on the role of director of Programs and Operations.
“Sonia stepped into her associate director role and quickly demonstrated the depth of her skill and passion for engaging students, working with the community, and executing the institute’s goals,” Kurtzman said. “In the process of envisioning our newly created director role, it was clear that Sonia is the ideal fit.”
Dr. Alannah Glickman ’12 joined the Gephardt team in March 2022 as associate director for Civic Engagement to lead the institute’s civic engagement vision, strategy, and impact to advance the goals of educating all students for lifelong engaged citizenship and infusing civic engagement throughout the Washington University student experience.
Glickman, originally from Toronto, Canada, earned her Ph.D. in Public Policy Management from the Glenn College of Public Affairs at the Ohio State University, after receiving her master’s degree in Agriculture, Food and Environment at Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.
Her role at the Gephardt Institute represents a return to St. Louis, after Glickman earned bachelor’s degrees in International and Area Studies and Economics from WashU in 2012.
“Alannah hit the ground running and successfully led the institute through key programming for our first Civic Action Week, our voter turnout effort for the 2022 Midterm Election, launched two weekly civic dialogue events (Civic Café and Food for Thought), and continued innovations within the Civic Scholars Program,” said Kurtzman. “Her talents have been invaluable as we expand our Engage Democracy initiative and design new strategies for engaging students in civic learning and participation.”
Sam Babb joined the Gephardt Institute in December as associate director for Community Engagement. Originally from the St. Louis area, she earned her Master of Education from Clemson University in 2016, after earning her Bachelor of Science from Bradley University in 2014.
In her new role, Babb leads the Gephardt Institute’s vision and strategy for fostering robust, impactful, and mutually beneficial community engagement in the St. Louis region. She brings experience with curriculum design and implementation, cross-sector stakeholder engagement, and student support.
Before her career brought her to WashU, Babb was director of the St. Louis Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs at University of Missouri-St. Louis, where she developed curricula to teach community engagement and worked with more than 60 community partners to create internship opportunities for fellows. Prior to that role, she worked in residence life at Duke University.
“Sam’s combination of community engagement skills and her experience working with students made her a great match to lead our community engagement efforts,” Kurtzman said. “I’m impressed with the way she has already built a solid understanding of the associate director role and our opportunities for the future, and I’m excited to see the evolution of our programs and services under her leadership.”