Conference Programming Information

student leader presenting a workshop

Conference Programming Overview

The purpose of any conference is to create space for individuals with common interests to come together and share knowledge. The Student Leadership Conference serves as an opportunity for students of all collegiate levels to come together to learn about and discuss issues, ideas, and work that focus on a relevant topic/theme to the USF community. 

Each year, we encourage students to consider submitting a "program" that creates space for conference attendees to explore an area of interest and/or expertise by sharing knowledge, offering a best practice, facilitating a discussion, and so forth. You do not need to have prior experience with presenting a program at a conference, in fact most don't! This conference is a great first step for any student who is interested in learning the ropes of presenting at a conference. 

2021 Conference Programming Focus

This year's conference focus is all about our theme, "Click Refresh! Reconnect With Your Server. Our categories this year fall into the following three areas: Unplug, Power On, Reconnect 


Unplugging refers to disconnecting yourself from things that drain you. In order to recharge the power drained from our everyday obstacles, we should first learn to disconnect and free ourselves from barriers that keep our energy from flowing. How will you make yourself a priority? What steps will you take to manage your well-being? What does doing this successfully look like?

Power On

Powering on is all about finding where you get your ‘charge’ from. Powering on goes in tandem with action items and putting our energy towards the things we care about, like our hobbies, passions, and leadership development. Where does your power come from and what motivates you? Where will you focus your power? 


To reconnect means to welcome back into your life the things that we may have left behind pre-pandemic. In the ultimate goal of reconnecting, we are utilizing the energy from our sources to rebuild relationships that stimulate a consciousness of service and leadership, producing an environment of unity and advocacy! What have you been keeping on hold? What have you learned about yourself throughout this process?


Introducing our 2021 Conference Programs


SESSION 1 • 2:00PM - 2:45PM PT

Exercise is a great way to get energized- it stimulates your brain and has many benefits to your physical wellbeing. Join us to learn about the science behind working out, and how to most effectively achieve your personal fitness goals.

Presenters: Anna Mathews and Thompson Yang
Program Category: Power On
Access the recording there

Anna Mathews is a freshman Politics major and Legal Studies minor. They are a Getty Scholar at USF, and is involved in InterVarsity, rock climbing club, liturgical choir, and Model UN. Upon graduation, Anna hopes to use their skills to help mitigate inequalities in the U.S. criminal justice system. Some of their hobbies include hiking, playing guitar, roller skating, bullet journaling, and singing!

Thompson Yang is a first-year student majoring in accounting at USF. They immigrated to the U.S. 4 years ago from China. They are very interested in business. In their last year of high school, they started a tutoring company called Vertex Preparation with their peers. In their free time, Thompson enjoys running, working out, playing spikeball, and traveling.

Is the team or group you are part of dysfunctional? Join me to learn more about the 5 Dysfunctions of a Team! Learn strategies to identify and resolve the 5 key challenges that prevent teams from living their BEST life. 

Presenter: Bob Just
Program Category: Reconnect

Bob Just currently serves as the Assistant Director for Leadership Development in Student Leadership and Engagement. Originally from Vermont, Bob moved to California in 2013 after completing his master's degree in College Student Personnel at Western Illinois University. Throughout his career, Bob has advised many executive teams through conflict management, interpersonal dynamics, and working effectively together. In his free time he is passionate about traveling, taking care of his puppy, and spending time with his fiancé and friends. 

This workshop will focus on challenging societal values of productivity and resilience. We will navigate through the importance of rest, especially in BIPOC communities. 

Presenters: Frances Capupus and Krystel Salvador
Category: Unplug
Access the recording here

Frances Capupus (she/her) is a current Senior Nursing major, minoring in Gerontology. She spends her time serving her community through the Culturally-Focused Clubs Council, as their Vice President of Marketing and Communications. She also works with the Northern California Pilipinx American Student Association as one of their Pilipinx Cultural Night Chairperson. You may also see Frances participating at Mabuhay Health Center, as their Fundraising Chair.

In this session, student leaders, advisors, and staff will work to identify and name their core community values to further build an organizational environment grounded in respect and support. This session will be led by Trina Garry, Deputy Title IX Coordinator, a new member to USF this year, and brought to you from the inaugural REPS (Resources, Education, Prevention and Support) team, a new initiative out of the Title IX office on campus. Join this workshop to take 45 minutes to actively analyze your own team’s bylaws, constitution and the formal and informal ways norms are set in your community. By taking a closer look at what are the values underpinning our communities, we can create a collective effort: it’s on all of us to prevent and disrupt disrespect.

Presenters: Katrina "Trina" Garry & REPS Committee
Category: Reconnect

Katrina "Trina" Garry joined the Title IX team and USF in April 2021. Trina comes to USF after three years at Yale University working in the Yale College Dean's Office as a Student Affairs Associate. At Yale, her work was based in the Office of Gender and Campus Culture and the Alcohol and Other Drugs Harm Reduction Initiative. Trina helped manage the Communication and Consent Educator program, a group of students working to foster a more positive social and sexual climate on campus through workshops, interventions, and peer support. At USF, Trina Chairs the rebranded Sexual Violence Prevention and Education Committee - the REPS (Resources Education Prevention and Support) committee and leads sexual violence prevention and education efforts on campus. This year Trina has led almost 30 60-90 minutes workshops reaching over 2,500 students at USF. Additionally, Trina supports Jess Varga, Title IX Coordinator, with the gender discrimination policy and response on campus.

Tired of walking around with a grey cloud of anxiety hanging over your head when it comes to your financial situation? Want to learn a tried and true budgeting and saving method that will fatten up your wallet and make you feel better about your finances? Free yourself from toxic spending patterns and join this session to learn more!

Presenter: Maileny Guillen
Category: Unplug

Maileny was born and raised on the East coast in New York City on the island of Manhattan. They are a Resident Director and currently oversees the Hayes Healy Residence Hall. They went to undergrad at the University of Farmington Maine where they received their BFA in Creative Writing, and attended graduate school at Seattle University where they received their M.Ed in Student Development Administration. They are passionate about educating underprivileged populations about finances and building generational wealth. Their hobbies include reading, writing, watching movies, eating food, and hanging out with friends. Also, they are obsessed with the Fast and Furious movies.

Who is your community or who is someone that inspires you? We all have a sweet tooth when it comes to effective leadership so “zoom” right through! This will serve as an open space to recognize and reflect on our experiences around leadership.

Presenters: Carmen Gonzalez
Category: Unplug

Carmen Gonzalez is currently serving as an Assistant Residence Director here at the University of San Francisco.

SESSION 2 • 3:00PM - 3:25PM PT

Be impeccable with your word. Don’t take anything personally. Don’t make assumptions. Always do your best. Don Miguel Ruiz’s Four Agreements provide us with a framework through which we can commit to being effective, self-aware leaders. During this session, we will learn about the four agreements, identify how they relate to our lived experience, and create a plan for incorporating them into our daily lives moving forward.

Presenter: César Delgadillo
Category: Reconnect

César Delgadillo currently serves as Associate Director of Student Leadership and Engagement. César has been working in higher education for over 7 years, supporting students in various capacities through their college journeys. César is from Hayward, California, and owns a bunch of plants, and read books every now and then.

What started as a group project has metamorphosed into a hopeful movement. Reformative Activism is an organization created by and for USF students with the intent of making online activism as effective as possible, and to inspire our generation to reflect on how the success of past activism can be replicated today. After acknowledging the issue that is performance activism and noting how triggering, overwhelming, overstimulating, and unapproachable activism is online via a short animation we created, we will spend time discussing solutions and highlighting why it’s important to edit online activism.

Presenters: Lindsay Blaser
Category: Unplug & Reconnect

Lindsey Blaser (she/her/hers), is a sophomore studying Critical Diversity Studies & French. At USF, she is involved as a research assistant for Brandi Lawless doing research on intercultural communication, and is hoping to become a member of the Culturally Focused Club Council and Sikh Student Association on campus. Outside of school, Lindsey volunteers for Planned Parenthood and is a barista at Souvenir Coffee! Lindsey's bonafide passion for social justice courses through her in all that she does just as much as all the oat milk lattes her stomach has endured. 

You’re passionate about the things you support. How do you get others to take notice and take action? Get some tips on reaching potential supporters and connecting them to your cause. Whether it’s joining your organization, volunteering time, or donating money, your Call to Action can bring people together to make meaningful change!

Presenters: Marci Nuñez
Category: Power On

Marci (she/her/hers) is Director of Student Leadership and Engagement and a “double Don” alum of USF with degrees in Hospitality Management and Nonprofit Administration. Prior to her current role at USF, she worked with several San Francisco grassroots nonprofits focused on youth empowerment, racial equity, political organizing, children and women’s health, creative arts, and education.

What is universal design? Accessibility? This workshop will explore the meaning of inclusive and accessible learning spaces to better understand how we can support students with disabilities navigating higher education.

Presenter: Ramón Ayala
Category: Reconnect

Ramón Ayala (he/him) is a second-year graduate in the School of Education studying Higher Education and Student Affairs. At USF, he is the current Graduate Intern for Campus Activities where he co-advises the Campus Activities Board and the Marketing Team. He is passionate about education, social justice, and is interested in exploring how students with disabilities navigate higher education. Outside of school and work, he enjoys spending time with his dog Duke, and enjoys long runs.

A big part of where you are as a leader is reflecting on where you've come from and where you want to go. As we recover from the year we have had, it is important to reconnect to what led us here. In this quick program, we will be able to reflect on our experiences and where they might lead us. 

Presenters: Adrian Carrillo
Category: Reconnect

Adrian was born and raised in Southern California prior to moving to the Bay Area to pursue a degree in higher education. Adrian recently graduated from CSU East Bay in 2021 and is now pursuing a master's degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs here at the University of San Francisco. Adrian currently serves as the Graduate Intern for Leadership Programs in Student Leadership and Engagement and is excited to be part of the USF community. 

Session 3 • 3:30PM - 4:15PM PT

The past year has been transformative for many people and has changed the way we interact in the workplace and beyond. As we transition back to working and learning in person, it is important to establish boundaries. In this program, we will discuss how to reconnect with your coworkers, fellow classmates, and yourself through identifying your needs and setting boundaries to accommodate them.

Presenters: Andrea Alejandra Capella-Castro, Jacob linde, and Alina Reyes
Category: Reconnect

Andrea was born in National City and raised in Mexico. She grew up moving back and forth from Tijuana, BC, and Cd. Juárez, Chih. When she finished high school in Tijuana, she made the decision to move to San Diego to study college. After two years she transferred to USF and moved to her dream city, San Francisco. Andrea is now a senior Politics major and Latin American Studies minor at USF. She got involved on campus by joining TransferNation club, which later encouraged her to become a Transfer Student Representative at ASUSF Senate. Now, she works at SLE as a Student Organization Consultant. She loves exploring the city, museums, and most of all escape rooms.

Raised in San Francisco, Jacob transferred back to his hometown after attending school in Vancouver, BC. Jacob is a senior majoring in environmental studies. Although his entire first year at USF was spent learning online, Jacob has gotten involved in the community by serving as the president of BIPOC Students for the Environment and now working for SLE as a Student Organization Consultant. In his free time, Jacob likes exploring the bay area with his camera, finding new places to eat, and spending time with friends.

Born in Southern California and raised in the Bay Area, Alina is a California native through and through. She is currently in her fourth and final year at USF, majoring in Politics and International Studies with minors in Philippine Studies and Public Service/Community Engagement. On campus, Alina previously served on leadership for Kasamahan at USF and USFtv, and worked for University Ministry and SHaRE. Her involvement and passion for her communities has led her to her current role, where she serves as a Student Organization Consultant for SLE. She enjoys live music, good food, and spending time with friends and family.

With DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) being almost 10 years old, how have universities grown to support undocumented students? This workshop will reconnect participants with the current landscape of support for undocumented students, how to be a proactive undocually and how to be in community with undocumented students. Join Gladys and Dulce to discuss the need to support undocumented students and how to cultivate a more equitable community on your own campus!

Presenters: Gladys Perez and Dulce Martinez
Category: Power On & Reconnect

Gladys Perez is the daughter of Indigenous immigrant parents from Oaxaca, Mexico, a proud Bay Area resident, and a first-generation college graduate. At USF, she works for the Office of Diversity Engagement and Community Outreach where she supports various diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives such as the Working Group to Support Undocumented Students, the Bias Education and Resource Team (BERT), and the Womxn of Color Leadership Conference. Outside USF, Gladys likes to care for her 25+ plants and learn to cook her mom’s vague recipes.

Born in Mexico, Dulce Martinez grew up in the Bay Area where she attended the College of San Mateo then soon after transferred to UC Riverside allowing her to get a B.A. in 2018. Being a first-generation undocumented Latina has influenced Dulce and motivated her to pursue a degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs Master’s program at USF. As Dulce takes on her second year in the HESA program, she is currently working in the Cultural Centers as a graduate student intern, is part of the Working Group to Support Undocumented Students, as well as part of a graduate student organization, Dismantling Walls. When Dulce is not busy, she enjoys going on walks and binging on the latest shows and movies.

This pandemic has shown us the need for new/creative solutions, a true peek at the importance of innovation. Are you curious about the relationship between innovation and leadership? You’ve come to the right place! Join us as we dive into Dr. Linda Hill’s research of collective creativity to learn how to lead for innovation.

Presenters: Jessica Gutierrez
Category: Power On & Reconnect

Jessica Gutierrez is originally from the state of Colorado. They attended Colorado State University where they received their Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with a minor in Interdisciplinary Leadership Studies. Jessica is currently working as an Assistant Residence Director for USF. Leadership development played a large role in their undergraduate experience and they are always looking for ways to pass that knowledge forward. Jessica is passionate about creating a leadership development curriculum through the lens of social equity.

The University of San Francisco is ranked as one of the most racially diverse universities in the United States. When we talk about diversity and inclusion, however, we often neglect to mention our spiritual backgrounds and faith traditions. As a Jesuit institution, how can we be more inclusive and ensure our students, faculty, and staff feel religiously and/or spiritually welcomed on campus? Join us in this interactive seminar to learn more about University Ministry’s plans for Interfaith dialogue, programming, and engagement on campus, and why it’s important. Come prepared to share a little bit about your own faith background and/or spiritual journey as well! We invite you to bring a sacred object from your religious/spiritual/cultural tradition, or else a "heartifact," something that you draw upon for inspiration and purpose, so we can share with the group.

Presenters: Dr. Angélica Nohemi Quiñónez and Kayla Schneider-Smith
Category: Reconnect

Dr. Angélica serves as the Interim Director of University Ministry. She is a San Francisco native and first generation college graduate. She is a graduate of St. Ignatius College Preparatory, Santa Clara University, a proud double Masters Don from USF, and recently earned her doctorate from the University of Southern California. Her dissertation focused on the sense of belonging and inclusion of non-Christian students at Jesuit universities.

Kayla is a graduate student in the Masters of Fine Arts in Writing Program at USF, focusing on poetry. They are also a Resident Minister on campus, where they help organize Interfaith Prayer Services and Interfaith Student Community lunches, and support students in the dorms with their academic, emotional, and spiritual questions/concerns. Raised as a Reform Jew to an ex-ultra-orthodox (Haredi) Jewish mother and Presbyterian father, Kayla is passionate about bringing people together in community from diverse faith and non-faith backgrounds to better understand their similarities and differences and enhance their faith journeys. They love writing, reading, playing piano and guitar, and exploring personality typing theories.

How can art help us connect to ourselves, our communities, and the world? This workshop explores how art making in all forms - murals, movies, books, dance, etc. - can be a healing process. We will take a look at how well-known and local artists have experie nced art as healing in their own lives. But, art is not only reserved for artists in studios or directors behind cameras. The workshop will conclude with participants doing their own art practice and sharing the process with each other.

Presenters: Louise de Oliveira
Category: Reconnect

Louise was born and raised in San Jose, California and is attending USF not only to pursue their academic passions, but to work in social advocacy on campus, in SF, and beyond. Thus far, Louise has worked internships with two local nonprofit agencies: CALPIRG and San Francisco Rising. On campus, they have been a part of Martín Baró Scholars, Magis Emerging Leadership Program, and Ester Madriz Diversity Scholars, and is an active member and RA for the Saint Ignatius Institute. Furthermore, they are a McCarthy Fellow and will be working with San Francisco’s Youth Commission, as well as serving as Layout Editor for USF’s student newspaper, the Foghorn. Louise hopes to use their experiences to help build a brighter future for everyone.

How do we continue in the pursuit of our dreams in the midst of grief, loss, and change on a global scale? Join Crystal Vega in a candid conversation about finding new meaning in their career and coming into their gender identity in the midst of a pandemic. This workshop explores finding the motivation to try (and fail) to do new things.

Presenters: Crystal Vega
Category: Reconnect

Crystal Vega (they/them) is a nonbinary, Mexican American professional who graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies and Critical Diversity Studies from the University of San Francisco in 2018. Crystal lives in Bellflower, CA with their partner, Austin, and six furry friends (i.e., two bunnies, two guinea pigs, one dog, and one crested gecko lizard). They hope to continue creating workplace cultures where everyone can show up as their most authentic self. Crystal is committed to LGBTQ+ advocacy, racial justice, and youth civic engagement with the goal of running for local office in the future.