About the Office of Global Engagement
Goals of OGE
To coordinate and encourage unique opportunities for service-learning and volunteerism in the local and global community.
To develop and support all international students and programs with the intent of fostering positive cultural awareness outcomes within our community.
To build and solidify transformational experiences that shape our students into open-minded and compassionate leaders that enhance their communities for their lives beyond college.
Chris Lavan, Director for Global Engagement
Chris Lavan joined the Centenary College staff in the Fall of 2008 as the Director of Service-Learning. Since then he has helped to grow and develop many of Centenary's experiential learning opportunities, including service-learning and community engagement, international education and study abroad as well as supporting diversity and multicultural programming. He is a graduate of Centenary College where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in English and is also an alum of Louisiana State University where he graduated with a Master of Public Administration degree with a concentration in Higher Education Administration. Prior to returning to Centenary, Chris worked as a graduate assistant and programming coordinator for the LSU Student Union and as a Research Associate for the LSU Community University Partnership.
As a member of the Shreveport community, Chris has made service to the community a priority in his personal life. He's served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Northwest Louisiana Interfaith Pharmacy and the Robinson Film Center. In 2009, Chris was honored as one of Shreveport's "40 Under 40", an award recognizing 40 of the top young professionals under the age of 40 by the Shreveport Chamber of Commerce.
Outside of his professional commitments, Chris enjoys spending time at his church, with his fraternity brothers, as well as with family and friends. He also enjoys swimming and playing golf.
LaToya Hemphill, Assistant Director for Community Engagement
LaToya Hemphill joined the Centenary College staff in the Fall of 2010 as the Assistant Director of Community. Since coming to Centenary she has assisted in the offices mission of expanding service-learning opportunities and building community relationships. As a graduate of Louisiana Tech University (Bachelor of Arts in Merchandising & Consumer Affairs, minor in Business Administration), LaToya brings experiences from the professional worlds of Public Relations, Human Resources and Higher Education.
Actively involved in the Shreveport community, LaToya serves on the Executive Board of the Young Professionals Initiative (YPI) as their Community Outreach Chair, and has previously been a member of both the Minority Business Council where she served as Secretary and the Women’s Business Council.
In her spare time, LaToya enjoys spending time with her family and friends, music, movies and cooking.
Nicole Rapagnani, Assistant Director for Intercultural Engagement
Nicole Rapagnani joined the Centenary College staff in the Summer of 2012 as the Assistant Director for Intercultural Engagement. Nicole is passionate about engaging with individuals of diverse backgrounds, especially college students, and encouraging people to be stretched outside of their comfort zone and embrace diversity and differences that make each culture and each individual unique.
After graduating from the University of Notre Dame in May 2005 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a minor in African and African-American Studies, she started working for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) as an Area Representative in Northern Indiana while also working for NBC at Notre Dame home football games and several NFL games. After fives years in Northern Indiana, she relocated with the FCA to Southwest Louisiana, where she served for the last two years.
While attending the University of Notre Dame, Nicole participated in Diversity Education, served as a Resident Assistant, worked in Sports Information and was a member of the Rowing Team her freshmen year.
Nicole enjoys quality time with family and friends, meeting and connecting with people, a good cup of coffee, attending and watching sporting events, especially basketball, working out, going to FCA camps, learning, reading and calligraphy.