Meet Mona Hicks, the new Dean of Students who’s baffled by the Billiken

Mona Hicks didn't start eating chocolate until age 29

Mona Hicks didn't start eating chocolate until age 29

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Like most new additions to Saint Louis University, Mona Hicks, the new Dean of Students, is baffled by the concept of the B

Mona Hicks didn't start eating chocolate until 2009.


“I don’t know what a Billiken is, but so far I’ve heard a lot of different stories,” said Hicks, “And I know some are true and some are not. I’ve heard it’s like a some kind of Alaskan- indigenous, god of fortune thing.”

The Texas native officially began her new job at SLU on January 11th, though being a college administrator has not always been her ideal job. Hicks attended St. Edwards University in Austin as a pre-med biology major with the hopes of becoming a physician.

“It’s something I miss,” Hicks said, “but it helps me think more of a pattern, systemic inquiry type of way.”

Hicks first heard about the position from Vice President of Student Development, Kent Porterfield. While she was intrigued by the position, it was what she learned about SLU students and the school’s Jesuit mission that really drew her to the job.

“I did what everyone does: I went to the website,” Hicks said. “Hearing students talk about what it means to be a Billiken was really compelling and felt sincere. I feel like I have been perusing truth for “The Greater Glory of God” my whole life, so this was like hitting the professional jackpot.”

Since starting at SLU, Hicks said she has been impressed with how kind and polite everyone has been. She said the experience has been exciting, but also extremely humbling.

“I’m not a morning person,” Hicks said. “I’m a grouchy-saurus in the mornings, but I feel like being at SLU might change that. I don’t know, maybe the Billiken is a morning person.”

Hicks said she is most looking forward to meeting students, both as the dean and on a personal level. She regrets that, so far, she has been too busy learning about her new job to really get out and meeting the SLU population.

In her free time, Hicks enjoys cooking. She hasn’t found a place to live in St. Louis yet, and she said she misses cooking things that don’t just require pushing buttons on a microwave.

Hicks is also an avid sports fan. She played soccer for 28 years, but loves all sports.

“I check Sports Center every morning and I have it on my phone,” Hicks said. “It’s a little ridiculous. I promise, I’m going to be an avid Billiken fan.”

Hicks is also interested in the theater and the arts and is looking forward to seeing activities and events that SLU has to offer.

A recent love of Hicks’ is not exactly a hobby or a sport, but is chocolate. Due to a childhood allergy, she spent the majority of her life avoiding it.

“I just started eating chocolate in 2009,” Hicks said. “ I had some other food issues and the doctor just told me to start eating everything again so we could figure out the cause. So, now chocolate is back on the table.”

Since rediscovering chocolate, Hicks said she has created what she believes is the most excellent brownie recipe ever.

“It’s a brownie that’s cakey and a bit dense, but while it’s still warm, you cut it in half and spread peanut butter on it. It’s great.”

As Hicks gets settled into her new role, she said she continues to be impressed by the sincerity and kindness of SLU students.

“When you transition, regardless of what experience you have, it’s exciting but extremely humbling. Its nice to know people sincerely care or do their part to say hello and good morning,” Hicks said.