view of Saint Leo University campus from above

President's Staff

Edward Dadez, Ph.D. '02


Dr. Dadez joined Saint Leo University in 2000. He holds undergraduate degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University in psychology and biology, a master's in student personnel administration from Ohio State University, an M.B.A. from Saint Leo University, and a doctorate in College and University Administration from Michigan State University. Dr. Dadez has been in college administration more than 40 years, and has worked at Ohio State University, University of Dayton, Michigan State University, Bucknell University, and Chowan College.

Mary T. Spoto, Ph.D.

Vice President of Academic Affairs 

Dr. Spoto joined Saint Leo in March 1989.  Dr. Spoto is a professor of English and has served in several roles during her 30-year history with Saint Leo.  Before her appointment as vice president, she served as the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and the chair of the Department of Language Studies and the Arts.  Dr. Spoto expanded the fine arts programs at the university and led the development of the university’s general education program, University Explorations, and new academic programs such as the Bridge Program for second-language learners and the master’s programs in creative writing and psychology.  She earned her Master of Arts and doctoral degrees in English from the University of South Florida.

James DeTuccio '07

Vice President of Business Affairs/CFO

DeTuccio joined Saint Leo University in January 2008 as University Controller. Over the years James has been promoted into roles with increasing responsibilities, most recently serving as senior associate vice president of finance. During a period of transition, James served as interim vice president of the Business Affairs division from December 2017 – June 2018. He also led the efforts to secure the university’s first-ever public bond rating and bond placement, which helped to finance part of the Wellness Center.

Prior to Saint Leo, James held many roles in accounting and finance. This included working at Kforce, a national and publicly traded employment agency based in Tampa; St. Joseph’s Hospital, part of Baycare Health System; and public accounting firm Carter, Belcourt & Atkinson. He received his Master of Business Administration degree from Saint Leo University and his bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance from Florida State University. James has been a licensed CPA in the state of Florida since February 2000.

Stacy Gato, MS

Vice President, University Enrollment Management

Stacy Gato joined Saint Leo University in July, 2022. In her role, she is responsible for the oversight of the Division of University Enrollment Management, which consists of University Campus and Worldwide Enrollment, which includes the university’s 16 education centers, online and graduate programs. Stacy has worked in enrollment for more than 25 years and has provided leadership and served in many areas of enrollment management including registrar, student financial services, admissions, and international student programming as a coordinator of branch campuses in Israel. Stacy graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree and double majored in English and communications from Saint Joseph’s College of Maine, and a master’s degree in organizational leadership from Goodwin University.

Mark Gesner, Ph.D.

Vice President of Community Engagement & Innovation

Dr. Gesner joined Saint Leo in August 2021. He most recently served at Cardinal Stritch University where he was the executive director of the Hub for Innovation and Community Engaged Learning, the associate vice president for academic affairs, and the faculty chair of Community Engaged Learning and Leadership. Previously, Dr. Gesner held leadership positions at the University of Wisconsin – Parkside and Hostelling International – USA, an organization dedicated to educational travel and cross-cultural exchange. His teaching and research interests include social enterprise, leadership, and intercultural competence. He holds a bachelor’s degree in communication from the State University of New York at Albany, a master’s degree in education from Harvard University, and a doctoral degree in leadership for the advancement of learning and service in higher education from Cardinal Stritch University.

Fran Reidy '02

Vice President & Director of Athletics

Reidy joined Saint Leo University in 1988 serving in the role of head soccer coach. He was a teacher of special education in Tampa for 10 years prior to joining Saint Leo full-time in 1992. During his tenure at Saint Leo he has held the role of soccer coach, sports information director, assistant athletic director and associate athletic director. He was named the athletic director in March 1999.  He earned a B.S. degree in elementary education and special education from Fitchburg State University and his M.B.A. from Saint Leo University.

Jen Shaw, Ph.D.

Vice President of Student Affairs 

Dr. Shaw joined Saint Leo University in 2019. Jen has worked in Student Affairs for more than 25 years including as a Senior Fellow for NASPA, the Associate Vice President/Dean of Students at the University of Florida (UF), Dean of Student Relations at the University of South Florida, and the Dean of Students and Coordinator for Academic Integrity at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG). Dr. Shaw held Associate Professor rank at UF and UNCG and has taught undergraduate and graduate courses throughout her career. A nationally recognized crisis management expert, she has won numerous awards and has published and presented widely regarding crisis management in higher education. Jen’s Ph.D. degree is from Florida State University.

Staci Rhodes Shelley

General Counsel

Staci comes to Saint Leo University from Walden University where she led Walden’s Legal team supporting academic faculty and staff serving over 52,000 students and offering more than 100 undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs. Prior to that, Staci served in senior legal roles supporting both campus-based and online higher education institutions and hospital systems.

Staci graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in Communications from North Carolina State University and with a J.D. from The Catholic University of America, serving as Associate Editor of the Law Review.


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