About the Office

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion’s mission is to foster an institutional culture where there is no dichotomy between our values of diversity and inclusion, and our goals of educational quality and excellence. Led by Vice President Natasha Martin, ODI advances the institution’s mission of training leaders for a just and humane world by working collaboratively to build the university’s sustainable capacity to fully integrate diversity, equity and inclusion into the strategic priorities of the institution.

Meet the Team 
Natasha Martin Headshot

Natasha Martin, J.D. (She/Her)
Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion


Appointed in September 2017, Natasha Martin is the inaugural Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion for Seattle University. While continuing to teach in the school of law, she served as Associate Vice President for Institutional Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer for the 2016-2017 academic year, as well as Co-Chair of the university-wide President’s Task Force on Diversity and Inclusive Excellence, 2014-2016. Her leadership experience also includes three years of service as Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development in the School of Law. Vice President Martin recently completed the American Council of Education’s Fellows Program, a premier higher education leadership development program as part of its 2021-2022 cohort.  

Serving for 20 years at SU, Vice President Martin is a tenured faculty member in the School of Law where she has taught Employment Discrimination, Advanced Topics in Employment Discrimination, Professional Responsibility, and Torts. In addition to her teaching and scholarly engagement, Vice President Martin is an active contributor and thought leader in many professional settings. A frequent presenter at national conferences, she is engaged in academic and broader community dialogues on diversity, equity, and inclusion matters. Dedicated to broad notions of inclusivity, Professor Martin was appointed twice to the Washington State Gender and Justice Commission and was named to Lawyers of Color’s 50 Under 50 list of minority law professors making an impact in legal education in the 2014 Law School Diversity Issue.     
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Laura Heider headshotLaura Heider, M.B.A. (She/Her)
Assistant Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion


Laura Heider comes to Seattle University with deep, meaningful experience as a leader in diversity and inclusive efforts, most recently serving as the Assistant Vice President, Diversity & Inclusion at Ochsner Health, where she authored the DEI Strategic Plan, drove diversity and inclusion efforts, and oversaw a diverse team of regional directors throughout Louisiana and Mississippi. Prior to Ochsner, she worked in the UAB School of Medicine Office for Diversity and Inclusion, University of Alabama at Birmingham, where she spearheaded the development of their Diversity Toolkit, The Common Thread.  She is a certified Cook-Ross Implicit Bias trainer, and has numerous other certifications in Diversity & Inclusion work. As part of the dissemination core for the Mid-South Transdisciplinary Collaborative Center for Health Disparities Research, she also has depth of experience in race-based health disparities. Her academic work has appeared in the Journal of General Internal Medicine and Ethnicity & Disease and she has presented at national conferences, including the Group for Diversity & Inclusion, on topics related to professional development in DEI. In her spare time, Laura enjoys yoga, playing the piano, reading, camping, hiking, and running ultramarathons.

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Paige Powers, M.B.A. (She/Her) 
Senior Executive Coordinator


Paige received her bachelor’s degree and MBA from Gonzaga University. She is passionate about diversity and justice and is committed to bringing her expertise and insights to our office and the broader community. Paige brings with her a unique background in diversity and inclusion: in addition to her experience as SU’s HR Partner for DEI, she continued to grow her diversity and inclusion knowledge and skillset during her time at APCO Worldwide where she consulted clients on a variety of DEI-related matters. Outside of work, Paige also sits on the Scholarship Committee for Seattle Education Access, a local nonprofit that provides assistance and guidance to support low-income students in achieving their educational goals.


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AVP for Institutional Equity Elizabeth TraynerElizabeth (Liz) Trayner (She/Her)
Assistant Vice President for Institutional Equity
Title IX Coordinator | ADA/504 Coordinator


Elizabeth (Liz) Trayner comes to Seattle U with strong experience, having most recently served as the Director of Equitable Rights and Responsibilities and Title IX Coordinator at the University of the Pacific. There she developed inaugural policies, including policies regarding pregnant and parenting students, and she coordinated and implemented new campus-wide programs such as the Green Dot bystander intervention program. Before working at the University of the Pacific, she most recently served as the Interim Director of Accessibility Services and Special Consultant for Student Life at Mills College and the Vice President and Dean of Student Affairs & Title IX Coordinator at San Francisco Art Institute. AVP Trayner received her Ed.D. from the University of Southern California and her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at the University of South Dakota. She has published a variety of articles on Title IX and related policies and has presented at conferences nationwide. You can get to the Office for Institutional Equity website here

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Sue Theiss HeadshotSue Theiss (She/Her)


Sue Theiss joined Seattle University as the University Ombudsperson in March 2023. Sue has a depth of experience in ombuds roles. Prior to joining SU, Sue served as the University Ombuds at Oregon State University for eleven years. She served as the Director of the Ombuds Office at the University of Arkansas for almost a decade and co-chaired the Ombudsperson committee while at the University of Arizona. In those positions, Sue provided informal, confidential, impartial, and independent conflict management services to faculty, staff, students, and administrators. She has built collaborative relations with campus stakeholders at each institution and is a member of the International Ombuds Association.

Sue has extensive experience developing and presenting training on conflict management best practices and skills to both employees and her Ombuds peers. She developed and taught a course on conflict and anger management as an instructor at the University of Arkansas and developed and presented a core course for the International Ombuds Association on conflict theory and application for ombuds. Sue earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and a Master of Arts in Communication.

You can reach the Ombudsperson website here