Board of Directors

Executive Committee

Danielle Macdonald
University of Tulsa

Danielle Macdonald is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at The University of Tulsa. As an anthropological-archaeologist, she studies the transition from hunting-gathering lifeways to the origins of agriculture and directs archaeological excavations in the Middle East. As a recent Canadian transplant and an avid traveler, she is passionate about teaching students cultural diversity in the past and present. Danielle is strongly committed to social justice issues and is enthusiastic to be able to give back to the TU community as a member of the LBH board.

Whitney Cipolla
Mental Health Association Oklahoma
Whitney Cipolla is a proud graduate of The University of Tulsa with a B.A. in English and Women’s and Gender Studies and a former Blue Houser.  After graduating in 2017, she taught 6th grade English Language Arts at Tulsa Honor Academy through Teach for America.  Whitney recently received her Master’s in Public Administration from OU-Tulsa and serves as an Advocacy Specialist for Mental Health Association Oklahoma.  She is excited for the opportunity to support an organization like the Little Blue House that promotes social justice on TU’s campus and in the larger Tulsa community.

Allison Edwards
Allison N. Edwards is Manager of Rates and Regulatory for ONE Gas, Inc., and joined the board as Treasurer in September 2019.  Prior to working at ONE Gas, she spent seven years in banking.  She has a Master of Science in Accounting and Financial Analysis, a Bachelor of Science in Finance, and is a Certified Public Accountant.  Allison has also served as a director on the board of Oklahoman’s for Equality.


Sara N. Beam
University of Tulsa
Sara was raised in western Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma and, in the 1990s, was a competitive gymnast and then a gymnastics coach at Flame Gymnastics, in Fort Smith, AR. She graduated from Hendrix College in 2002 with a B.A. in English. After that, she moved to Tulsa and completed the TU English Master’s and Doctoral Degree programs in 2010. She is Applied Assistant Professor of English and Writing Program Director at TU. Her academic interests include teaching, written composition, women’s and gender studies, visual rhetoric, and childhood studies. Her scholarly work includes co-editing and writing sections of the 2015 book Children’s and YA Books in the College Classroom: Essays on Instructional Methods. In the Tulsa community, Sara is involved with the St. John’s Center for Spiritual Reformation and is a supporter of the Oklahoma Equality Center and Youth Services of Tulsa.

Andrew Carlson

Amanda Chastang
University of Tulsa
Amanda is the Director of Multicultural Affairs and Office of Diversity and Engagement Associate at The University of Tulsa. Having a passion for social justice and movements, Amanda received her B.A. in Conflict Studies with a focus on Race, Ethnicity and Culture Conflict and Gender Conflict from DePauw University. She then continued her higher education at the University of Tulsa by earning her M.A. in History with a concentration on the intersections of Race, Women and Gender. As a Tulsa native, Amanda is excited to serve on the Little Blue House Board and promote social justice and equality throughout the Tulsa community.

Morgan Holmes
University of Tulsa
Originally from Northern Ontario, Morgan Holmes is a communications specialist at The University of Tulsa. Outside of work, Morgan makes a racket with the Tulsa Metro Pipe Band and, in quieter moments, writes short fiction.

Don James McLaughlin
University of Tulsa
Don James McLaughlin is an assistant professor of 19th-century and early American literature at The University of Tulsa. Specializing in the medical humanities, disability theory, and queer literature, he has published on the importance of disability history to understanding the life and writing of poet Walt Whitman. His book in progress explores the development of phobia as an available social and psychological diagnosis among writers ranging from Cotton Mather to Frederick Douglass. While completing his PhD, he partnered with Women’s History Curator Connie King to create an exhibit on LGBTQ history at the Library Company of Philadelphia titled “That’s So Gay: Outing Early America.” In his free time, Don James enjoys rock climbing, gardening, traveling, and playing fetch with his dog Parker. A dedicated advocate for queer interfaith representation in higher ed, Don James is honored to be joining the Little Blue House community.

Bruce Niemi
Tulsa County Election Board
A product of the Cold War, Bruce Niemi was born in Tulsa during the closing days of the Berlin Airlift. On May 1, 2019, Bruce was sworn in as vice chairman of the Tulsa County Election Board following a long career in education and public affairs. From 1984 to 2014 he taught history and social sciences at Tulsa Community College. He served a term in the House of Representatives for the state of Oklahoma from 1990 to 1992 where he passed legislation mandating training in mental illness as part of the curriculum police certification as a peace officer. In addition to teaching, Niemi was employed as city manager of several municipalities municipalities in the Grand Lake region, and a city planner in Tulsa, Broken Arrow, and Prince George’s County, Maryland. In 2010 he reorganized the town government of Boynton, Oklahoma, when it was shut down by the District Attorney of Muskogee County. In the late 1990s Bruce was a member of the Board of Directors of Morton Comprehensive Health Services during which time the clinic’s board regained status as a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Bureau of Primary Care. Previously as executive director Bruce got the Tulsa Community Action Agency back on its feet after federal regulators threatened to withdraw funding from the local anti-poverty, Head Start organization. In recent years, Niemi became associated with several community and civic organizations as a member the board of trustees for the Coalition for the American Dream Little Blue House, the Urban League of Greater Tulsa, and the United Nations Association of Eastern Oklahoma. He also serves as a lector at Trinity Episcopal Church. Bruce holds the B.A. degree in political science from the University of Oklahoma and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in occupational and adult education from Oklahoma State University. He is enrolled in the education for ministry program of the School of Theology of the University of the South (Sewanee).  Dr. Niemi is married to the Honorable Theresa G. Dreiling, Judge of the Tulsa County Juvenile Court, and is the father of two adult daughters, Meredith and Julie.

Kirsten Robertson
University of Tulsa
Kirsten Robertson is the Crisis and Outreach Coordinator at The University of Tulsa’s Counseling and Psychological Services Center. She moved to Tulsa from Seattle, WA about two years ago and is passionate about supporting issues such as environmental sustainability, gender equality, and LGBTQ+ rights. She is also passionate about supporting people as they discover their own identity no matter what form that takes. In her spare time you can find her in nature, dancing, or trying some new and random experience. She’s an avid foodie, loves personal growth and development, health/nutrition, and various social justice causes. She is honored to be  a part of the Little Blue House and the invaluable resources it brings to the TU campus.

Alex Wade
Oklahomans for Equality
Alex Wade is an Oklahoma native raised in Bartlesville but has lived in Tulsa for the past 6 years. He received his Bachelors in English and Gender Studies from The University of Tulsa, and for the past three years, he has worked for Oklahomans for Equality as an advocate for the LGBTQ community. As a TU alumnus, Alex is honored to be on the Board of Directors and looks forward to supporting the Little Blue House as they continue to enrich the lives of TU students.