Sean Spinks named Danforth Scholars director

Sean Spinks

Sean Spinks, former director of academic success at Harris-Stowe State University, has been appointed director of the Danforth Scholars program at Washington University in St. Louis, according to Anna Gonzalez, vice chancellor for student affairs. Spinks, who began Feb. 1, is the program’s first full-time director. The program has been led since 2015 by Jeffery Matthews, professor of practice in drama​ and coordinator of the Acting & Directing Program in Arts & Science.

“We are delighted to welcome Sean to the Danforth Campus,” said Gonzalez. “Sean embodies the characteristics of the Danforth family by demonstrating a deep care for both our WashU community and students. Sean has unique ties to the St. Louis region and we look forward to watching him build relationships with our students and community members.”

The Danforth Scholars program is one of the university’s signature undergraduate scholarship programs and supports students who have demonstrated leadership in service and a strong commitment to community. The program recently received a $6 million commitment from George and Carol Bauer to support a full-time director and to establish the George and Carol Bauer Leaders Academy for Danforth scholars.

“I am thrilled to welcome Sean to our team,” stated associate dean for the Office of Scholar Programs, Julia Macias. “Sean’s enthusiasm, strong rapport with students, and deep abiding commitment to serving all students and making education equitable and accessible makes him an outstanding appointment for the director position.”

At Harris-Stowe, Spinks worked to improve and expand student advising, removed barriers that prevented student success, and worked diligently to assist students in individual goal setting. He is completing his doctoral studies in educational leadership from University of Missouri and has partnered with many community-based nonprofit organizations.

“It is an honor and privilege to be associated with the Danforth Scholars community. I am truly excited to join the Office of Scholars Programs, and I am looking forward to utilizing my skills and knowledge to compliment the legacy of William H. and Elizabeth Gray Danforth. Most of all, I am eager to meet and assist the current and future Danforth Scholars with their educational journeys.”