Loyola Marymount University announced that Prof. Jennifer Abe will be the university’s next vice president for intercultural affairs. She has served as interim special assistant to the president since January 2019.
In this position, Abe will facilitate collaboration between university administrators and faculty and staff leaders to develop and implement programs, policies and procedures that create and sustain an institutional culture and climate characterized by diversity, inclusion, and equity across the campus community.
“Vice President Abe’s commitment to inclusive excellence and equity-mindedness exemplifies our mission,” said President Timothy Law Snyder, Ph.D. “Her creativity, research, and abundance of academic expertise will embolden our efforts as we seek to create the world we want to live in.”
Abe has served in various leadership capacities at LMU, including terms as associate dean of the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts and acting chair of Psychology. Across these roles, Abe has consistently worked to foster an inclusive institutional climate in which all members of the campus community may thrive, with a particular focus on faculty of color and women faculty at LMU.
“I am honored and excited to take on this role, and to continue my work ensuring that LMU’s institutional focus on inclusive excellence remains strong and is expressed in all that we do,” Abe said. “Our campus community is rightly proud of its dedication to service and social justice. I’m thrilled for this opportunity to contribute my leadership to ensure that the work of diversity, equity and inclusion is woven into all our collective efforts, manifested as part of our institutional core values and commitment to mission.”
Abe was selected after a nationwide search to replace Abbie Robinson-Armstrong, who was the first person to hold the position of vice president for intercultural affairs at LMU. Robinson-Armstrong retired in 2019.
Abe earned her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from UCLA, where she trained with the National Research Center on Asian American Mental Health. Abe’s research addresses disparities in mental health service delivery to ethnically diverse populations.
Her teaching includes a course on Liberation Psychologies, based on the work of Fr. Ignacio Martin-Baró, S.J., one of the Jesuits killed in El Salvador in 1989. In her teaching and scholarship, Abe has worked to connect student learning to lived community realities outside the classroom, a reflection of the Ignatian ideal of a “well-educated solidarity.”