Meet Our Team


Leonard A. Savala III, Ph.D.

    Director - He, Him, His
Phone: 313-577-2311

Leonard (Leo) Savala is the Director of the Office of Multicultural Student Engagement (OMSE) at Wayne State University. He was previously the Director of Undergraduate Diversity in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at Michigan State University (MSU). He studied Dietetics at MSU where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree. Upon completing his degree, he worked with the Detroit Urban League as a nutritional educator before returning to MSU to earn his master's in agricultural and extension education. In 2014, Leonard earned his Ph.D. in higher education from Western Michigan University, his dissertation focused on the experiences of minority executives working in higher education at predominately white institutions. In his free time, spending time with his family especially with is daughter Mireya. He also enjoys giving motivational speeches that focus on persistence. He is also an avid fan of 90's Hip Hop. His vision for OMSE is to have a space where all students feel welcome and to build collaborations across campus and the surrounding community to support student retention and graduation. Leo plans to pursue Law school in the coming years where he plans to focus on Higher Education Law.

Stephanie Hawkes, Ed.D.

Assistant Director - She, Her, Hers

Phone: 313-577-2358

Stephanie Hawkes serves as the Assistant Director for the Office of Multicultural Student Engagement (OMSE) at Wayne State University. She previously worked as the Coordinator for Instructional Support for APEX Scholars at Wayne State. Prior to joining Wayne State, Stephanie worked with Eastern Michigan University's Upward Bound Program and the Purdue Promise scholarship program at Purdue University. She earned her bachelor's degree in Language, Literature, and Writing for Secondary Education, a master's degree in Higher Education Student Affairs from Eastern Michigan University, and a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Wayne State. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, baking, crafting, soapmaking, gardening, and mentoring young women of color. She has served as a mentor for both the EMU Upward Bound program as well as the RISE learning community at WSU. Her vision for OMSE is to become the office that welcomes and supports all students throughout their collegiate journey and to be a benchmark institution for best practices and programming for diversity and inclusion offices. 


Kristin R. Johnston

Academic Advisor - She, Her, Hers 
Phone: 313-577-2357 

Kristin Johnston serves as the Advisor for Student Engagement & Academic Advisor in the Office of Multicultural Student Engagement (OMSE) at Wayne State University. Previously she worked as an Academic Support Specialist in the Student Disability Services office. Kristin studied Educational Interpreting for the Deaf at Kent State University where she earned her bachelor's degree and has a master's degree in Learning and Design Technology from Wayne State University. Kristin serves on multiple committees across campus in efforts to have a positive impact on student retention and campus collaboration.In Kristin's free time she spends time with family and explores Detroit. Her vision for OMSE is an office that supports students and encourages them to reach their goals while becoming their best selves. 



Joseph Bradfield

Student Engagement & Retention Coordinator  - He, Him, His

Phone: 313-577-9003

Joseph Bradfield is the Student Engagement and Retention Coordinator for the Office of Multicultural Student Engagement (OMSE) at Wayne State University. He previously worked for Detroit Public Schools, Central Michigan University's Upward Bound Program and The Academic Success Center here at Wayne State University.  He studied Science and Math Education at University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan and Wayne State University. He is currently pursuing a Doctoral Degree and is in the dissertation phase which will focus on how to best support African American undergraduate students.  In his free time, Joseph enjoys spending time with his family and friends, cooking, golfing, swimming, watching movies and listening to music.  His vision for OMSE is to be an office that supports students holistically and helps them have success in higher education while also accomplishing their dreams.


Candis Harris

Executive Assistant - She, Her, Hers 

Candis Harris serves as the Executive Assistant in the Office of Multicultural Student Engagement (OMSE).  Candis provides high-level administrative support, office and calendar management, and serves as initial contact for the OMSE office. Candis has 13+ years of office management, supervisory, and public relations experience with Wayne State University.  Prior to joining the OMSE team, Candis served as Secretary in the Office of Housing and Residential Life. She uses her exceptional customer service to provide an uplifting, consistent, and efficient customer experience for all. Candis enjoys going to the movies, attending concerts and festivals, urban ballroom dancing, and spending time with family and friends.