Dr. Marvelene Hughes Leadership Conference logo

Dr. Marvalene Hughes Leadership Conference

  • Saturday, February 24, 2024
  • FREE and open to all Stanislaus State students
  • Space is limited

Conference is Feb 24, 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Check-in begins at 8:30 at the Event Center.

Meet Our Presenters

Session: Effective Communication for Your Leadership Style

Veronica Dawson headshot

Dr. Veronica Dawson is an Associate Professor at the Department of Communication Studies. She specializes in organizational communication and teaches courses in her specialty, public relations, health communication, persuasion, leadership, and activism. In addition to her passion for teaching, she enjoys long-distance running, downhill skiing, and listening to books on Audible and Libby on her commute to work. Dr. Dawson is the Internship Program Director for Communication Studies and a co-chair of the Stan State Interdisciplinary Health Alliance. 


Christopher Claus headshot

Dr. Christopher Claus is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication Studies. He specializes in instructional and interpersonal communication, teaching courses in his specialty and training and consulting. Dr. Claus is the Founder and Director of the Speech Capture and Analysis peer-to-peer oral communication competency program on campus. In his spare time, Dr. Claus loves to travel! 


Session: Say Yes to Saying No: Prioritize Your Well-being for Lasting Career Success

Linda Dunn-Jensen headshot

Dr. Linda Dunn-Jensen is an Associate Professor of Management in the College of Business at Cal State, Stanislaus. Dr. Dunn-Jensen specializes in teaching courses on organizational behavior, negotiation, leadership, and principles of management. Dr. Dunn-Jensen holds a Ph.D. degree from New York University, a M.S. degree from Loyola University, and a B.S. degree from Marquette University. Her research and consulting work centers on employee engagement and pro-social behavior within organizations. Dr. Dunn-Jensen has contributed to publications such as the Organization Management JournalJournal of Management Education, and International Journal of Conflict Management. Before pursuing graduate studies, she gained practical experience in Human Resources at Kraft Foods, Quaker Oats, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, and the Chicago Board Options Exchange.

Katherine Ryan headshot

Dr. Katherine C. Ryan is the Director of Communication and Professional Skills and a Senior Lecturer in the Kelley School of Business. She received her PhD in Organizational Behavior/Human Resource Management from Indiana University and her MBA from Kansas State University. Her teaching includes courses in organizational behavior and change, leadership, teamwork, and professional communication in both the undergraduate and graduate programs. Katherine's research and consulting work focus on employee engagement and prosocial behavior in organizations, leadership assessment and development, team dynamics, and interpersonal communication. Her work has appeared in Research in Higher Education, Academy of Management Learning & Education, Personnel Psychology, and the Organizational Management Journal.


Session: Stepping Out as First-Generation Leaders

first generation team photo

The First-Generation Work Group Committee is formed from various campus departments and is dedicated to building a community that helps first generation students and staff thrive!

Evelyn Ramos, Interim Director, Career & Professional Development 

Margarita Zamora Saunders, Librarian

Lissett De La Cruz, Academic Advisor, First-Gen Fridays Program Coordinator, Academic Success Center

Gabriela Morder, EOP Program Coordinator, Academic Success Center 

Aryana O’Brien-Gonzaga, Administrative Support Coordinator, Housing & Residential Life

Elizabeth Zafra, Academic Advisor, STEPS Program Lead, Academic Success Center

Ana Teresita Zarate, College Success Coach, Academic Success Center


Session: Practicing Authenticity With Pride


Leticia Caballero headshot

Leticia Caballero
I have been involved in higher education from my first student leadership role as a housing community council leader in my residential community at CalPoly Humboldt (or Humboldt State when I attended) to my current role as Stockton Campus Basic Needs Lead. Over ten years in Higher Education and I can comfortably say I have found my footing but continue to find my voice. I would like to share what I have learned with student leaders in the hope that they see the strength in their voice.


David Siguenza headshot

David Siguenza
I currently am a Care & Food Security Lead here at Stan State and have been in higher education for the last decade.  I am and very passionate about student success.  As a former student leader and Regional Coordinator for Phi Theta Kappa I have a comprehensive understanding of the barriers that students face as they embrace student leadership opportunities.  I strive to continue being a conduit for students finding their voice as leaders.


Activity: Unlocking Leadership: The Escape Room Challenge

Lisette Sims headshot

Lisette Sims is the Leadership Development Intern for Student Leadership, Engagement, and Belonging here on campus. She proudly graduated from Stan State with her Bachelor of Music degree and Teaching Credential in 2013 and has returned to complete an MA in Interdisciplinary Studies.  Lisette has over 10 years of teaching experience at a variety of academic levels and an extensive background working in the performing arts.


Updated: February 23, 2024