University Ministry Staff
I am a native San Franciscan and passionate about Ignatian spirituality since my high school days at St. Ignatius College Preparatory. Prior to joining the USF University Ministry team, I spent nearly six years at Mercy High School San Francisco as Associate Head of School, Religious Studies Department Chair, and a teacher in the Religious Studies and English Departments. I also have a background in corporate public relations.
I am a proud Don having earned two Master's degrees (Theology and Catholic School Teaching) at USF. I hold a BA in English from Santa Clara University and a doctorate in education in organizational change and leadership from the University of Southern California.
In my spare time, I like to read, spend time with friends and family, watch musicals, travel, cook, write, and collect fountain pens!
I am a doctoral student in Catholic Educational Leadership at the University of San Francisco School of Education. My research interests include: Faith Formation with Lay leaders, Non-Catholic students' Faith Formation, LGBTQ+ Catholic Educators' identity/experiences, Spiritual Leadership and various dialogues in Catholic Education.
My professional experience stems from over 16 years in Catholic education. I was a Parish Catechist, Theology teacher, Department Chair, Accreditation Commissioner, Superintendent, and Resident Minister. I now serve as Assistant Director of Retreats and Ignatian Student Formation. I have travelled to over 60 countries asking the question: why do people pray?
Dissertation: Spiritual Leadership in Crisis: The perception of Catholic school administrators as servant leaders in Catholic schools in Guam.
... where there is doubt, faith..." -Prayer of Peace, St. Francis of Assisi
I am the first rabbi-in-residence for Jewish life and multi-faith LGBTQIA+ spiritual life on campus thanks to the Swig program in Jewish Studies and Social Justice.
I teach two core courses: Queering Religion in the Theology and Religious Studies department and the CEL class Honoring Our LGBTQIA+ Elders. Students who've taken these course are helping me create a co-curricula component within campus ministry and student life, including our weekly Breaking Bread and the Binary Thursday lunches and our annual Spectrum retreat.
I earned my Bachelor's degree in Philosophy from UCLA, my Master's Degree in Hebrew Letters and Education from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, as well as my Ordination from HUC-JIR. Last spring I received an honorary doctorate of divinity, for 25 years of service as a Reform rabbi.
I've written widely on creative liturgy, Judaism and LGBTQ issues. My work has been published in the Journal of Psychology and Judaism, CCAR Press, Walt Disney/Ideal Books, and other Jewish and women’s magazines, as well as academic journals and books. My favorite contribution in this regard is a prayerbook, that even includes prayers for non-believers, Siddur Sha'ar Zahav.
I began my rabbinate as Assistant Rabbi at Congregation Rodeph Sholom on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. From 2000-2015, I served as the spiritual leader of San Francisco’s Congregation Sha’ar Zahav. Before coming to USF, I taught eighth grade at our local San Francisco Jewish Day School.
I'm blessed to be a parent, an ima - ("mother" in Hebrew) and a beloved partner. I love reading poetry, kayaking, and hanging out with my dogs and my family.
Everyone needs a rabbi - let me be yours!
As the Associate Director for immersions, I am in charge of developing and supporting all University-sponsored immersion experiences (globally and domestically) for students, faculty, staff and alumni including both for-credit and non-credit programs. I serve as the University’s representative and host when interacting with international groups or institutions and when the Vice Provost requests it. As Associate Director, I collaborate with colleagues to create a supportive University community, that encourages student learning and development in the Jesuit Catholic tradition; recognize and celebrate the rich diversity of faith and culture on campus; and provide experiences that challenge students to develop the academic, cultural, spiritual and other skills needed to fashion a more humane and just world.
I earned a bachelor’s degree in education from the Pontifical Catholic University in Lima, Peru, a MA in Religious Studies and Theology, and a Ed.D. in Organization and Leadership from the University of San Francisco. Before coming to the University of San Francisco, I worked in human rights organizations.
Laura Diaz-Flaviani is Campus Minister for Liturgy and Music here at USF. She is a professional vocalist and vocal coach and holds a Bachelor of Arts Music Degree and and a Reading and Literacy Certificate. Laura directs the USF Liturgical Choir that shares their talents at the USF student liturgies, USF events, and performs at other events outside the USF school community.
With a strong background in liturgical music, Laura is currently a parish music director and performs for various liturgical events and major celebrations. In 1987 she was the orchestra manager for the Mass celebrated by the late Pope John Paul II. She has also performed for the late Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
Laura is a music teacher, liturgical music director, and show choir director at both a grammar school and high school here in San Francisco. She is involved in numerous music projects, and she is an advocate to keep music strong in the grammar schools.
Laura, along with her husband, are co-owners and recording engineers for Flaviani Recording, a full-service audio recording studio located in San Francisco. She has worked on collaborative projects with David Byrne’s Luaka Bop record label.
I run Ignatian spirituality programs for faculty and staff. These include book clubs, the spiritual exercises of Ignatius in daily life, retreats, the Faculty Lecture, and the Ignatian Faculty Forum. I was born in Liverpool, England. I was educated at Stonyhurst College and at University College, Cork. I’m a member of the Irish Bar, and an Irish Jesuit priest of the Society of Jesus. I hold degrees in philosophy from the Milltown Institute of Dublin, a Master’s in theology from Regis College at the University of Toronto, a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, and a Doctorate in Ministry from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, CA.
I am the author of the book, Gays and Grays: The Story of the Gay Community at Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church (Lexington, 2007).
I am a Bay Area native, born and raised in Daly City. Before coming to the University of San Francisco, I worked as the Operations and Finance Manager at St. Paul of the Shipwreck Catholic Church. Previously, I was the Director of Campus Ministry and Christian Service at Mercy High School in San Francisco, working with and developing student leaders passionate about liturgy, servant leadership, and spiritual growth. I also served as the Assistant Admissions Director.
I am a proud Don, having graduated from the University of San Francisco with a Bachelor's Degree in Theology and Religious Studies and a Minor in Catholic Studies. I earned a Master of Arts Degree in Theology and Leadership at Gonzaga University, and I am now am enrolled in the Doctorate of Ministry program at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago.
In my spare time, I enjoy listening to music, traveling with friends, and exploring food.
I’m an ordained Baptist minister, speaker, meditation teacher and California’s Mother of the Year® 2021. My areas of passion and expertise collide at the intersection of mental health and the Black church experience. I studied at Howard University, earned a BA in Sociology at California State University East Bay, a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry at McCormick Theological Seminary in African American Centered Religious Thought and Practice. I am a meditation teacher and contributor to the Healthy Minds Innovations app which The New York Times named one of the three best meditation apps on the market. In 2021 I was a featured meditation teacher for the Science and Wisdom of Emotions Summit with The Dalai Lama. One of the overarching themes for my life and work can be summed up in a quote from Maya Angelou:
My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor and some style.
Hello friends! I’m Liz and I’m originally from the Los Ángeles area! I am currently in my last semester studying Sociology where I have focused on gender and racial equality. I love to do anything outdoors (love a good reflective moment) along with reading or really engaging with my community! You’ll often find me telling people to hug a tree… so hug a tree!
Favorite in the office!