Aquinas Institute Welcomes Seven New Staff Members

Aquinas Institute of Theology is excited to welcome seven new staff members to our team! These talented, accomplished individuals will help bring new energy, expertise and creativity to the Aquinas Way. They are serving as administrative staff in both established and newly created positions, some made possible by the $1 million grant from the Lilly Foundation. We look forward to their contributions as Aquinas grows its reputation and enrollment in the future. Please make sure to introduce yourself if you have not already had the opportunity. Below is a short introduction to the new Aquinas team members.

Fr. Patrick Baikauskas, OP, Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Director of the Center for Community Engagement and Evangelization

Fr. Patrick is an Aquinas alum and joins us from the Washington University Catholic Student Center.  He served for 10 years as Pastor of the St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Center at Purdue University. You might see him scooting around campus on his white Vespa.

(Henry) Walker Carlson, Coordinator of Academic Reporting and Assessment

Walker graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2017 and commissioned as an Aircraft Maintenance Officer in the United States Air Force, and is now a member of the Air Force Reserves. He completed his Masters in Public Affairs from Indiana University. He and his wife Kathryn welcomed their first child, Henry, this April. Walker is also a HUGE baseball fan!

Samantha (Sam) Messier, Assistant Coordinator of Recruitment, Admissions and Financial Aid

Samantha Messier graduated in 2021 from Indiana University with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing. After graduating, she worked as the Student Outreach and Communications Pastoral Intern at St. Paul Catholic Center in Bloomington, Indiana. Samantha is an Air Force brat, and had the opportunity to live in Texas, Alaska and Japan before her family settled down in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Mary Kate McGraugh, Registrar

Mary Kate is a proud SLU graduate with both her bachelors and masters degrees in Social Work. Mary Kate worked as a preschool teacher, foster care case manager and community services liaison, and she has collaborated with many different non-profits in St. Louis. Fun fact about Mary Kate: she is distantly related to George Herbert (Lord Carnarvon), who was primarily responsible for the excavation of King Tutankhamun’s tomb.

Bridget Kostello, Coordinator of Communications and Marketing

A native Northern Illinoisan who calls Chicago her adopted home, Bridget attended Loyola University Chicago before finishing her bachelors in communications at SLU. A devoted mother of two, she is also devoted to her four-footed baby French Bulldog/Pekingese mix, Bailey.

Gail Aquino, Business Operations Assistant

A 24-year Air Force veteran, Gail has traveled to England, Laos, Thailand and Iraq, but now makes her home in Illinois. She formerly worked at the American Embassy in Vientiane, Laos under the Air Force POW/MIA missions as the Operations/Administrative Manager. A native of Hawaii, she is a true foodie and also volunteers teaching English as a second language to immigrants.

(Bryson) Ezra Doyle, Coordinator of Community Engagement (Not pictured)

Originally from Decatur, Illinois, Ezra comes to Aquinas having a bachelors in sociology from St. Xavier University in Chicago and a masters in theology from Villanova University in Philadelphia. He is interested in vegan cooking, craft coffee and modern art and is looking forward to living in St. Louis.