Meet Our Staff
Byron Martin, Director of Multicultural Programs
Office Phone: (219)-464-6769
Byron is originally from Mesquite, TX which is on the East side of Dallas. He came to VU from Abilene, TX where he was working for Abilene Christian University (ACU). ACU is a University very similar to VU in many ways, but also very different. While at ACU, Byron has been working on topics involving Multicultural, Racial Reconciliation, and Social Justice Efforts for several years and it has made up much of his life’s work. To say the least, Byron is passionate about being a voice to the voiceless, embracing the outsider and fighting for fairness on every level whether popular or not.
Monique Nunes, Associate Director for Office of Multicultural Programs
Office Phone: (219)-464-6413
Monique is a joy-filled educator and Spirit-filled vocalist. She brings zest to Valparaiso University, where she serves as Associate Director of Multicultural Programs. She presents widely and is highly regarded for her workshops. She speaks and sings in the U.S.A. and abroad on topics related to women, children and faith. She has a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Development and is a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. She has served as a teacher, principal and Dean of Students (Director of Student Development). Her hobbies include working out, and some say she’s a bit fanatical about Boot Camp and Zumba, striving to stay fit in body, mind and spirit for peak performance in accomplishing her mission. Monique places her faith in the promises of Jesus Christ. Her favorite Bible verse is Jeremiah 29:11, “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.’” Her best friend and life coach is also her husband, Dr. John Nunes. They are blessed with six grown children, the youngest of whom, John, Jr, is a sophomore at Valparaiso University.
Samuel Payan, Assistant Director for Office of Multicultural Programs
Office Phone: (219)-464-5255
Samuel is originally from Melrose Park, Illinois. He had attended Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois and received a double major in Psychology and Sociology. He later completed his graduate degree here at VU and received a Master’s in Education with an emphasis in Psychological foundations. Before coming to VU, Samuel spent his time working for a not-for-profit advocacy organization called, “Casa Guanajuato”, where he helped and advocate for the rights of immigrants. “I learned a lot from that experience and it was eye opening”, says Samuel, “It was during this experience I knew that my calling was within the ‘helping’ profession.” Samuel is very passionate about race relations as a whole and sociology, Samuel also finds the time to do research and readings that relates to his passion. Outside of his work, Samuel enjoys playing basketball with students, going out to Mexican concerts, dance, playing music, and spending time with his family.
Joanne Bowker, Administrative Assistant for Office of Multicultural Programs
Office Phone: (219)-464-6769
Joanne was born and raised in Gary, Indiana. She has received her Bachelor’s Degree in Home Economics - Child Development from Valparaiso University along with teaching certification. Her first teaching position out of college was at Princeton University Child Development Center in Princeton, NJ. She also taught in various schools and 10 years at Immanuel Lutheran School in Valparaiso. In 2002, Joanne switched gears and took a newly created position as Visit Program Coordinator in Admissions at Valparaiso University. In 2010, she started in her present position as Administrative Assistant in OMP. Joanne loves VU basketball and VU’s students! Outside of work, she enjoys weekend road trips with her husband, cooking, entertaining, and getting together with her family. She also likes to refinish and paint furniture. Additionally, she likes to stay home and garden, and make things look pretty! Joanne will soon be a first time Grandparent and is so excited!
Gandhi-King Center for Diversity and Global Engagement, Harre Union, Suite 203Phone: (219)-464-6769Fax: (219)-464-6868