Meet Our Staff



Monica Gamez, Graduate Assistant




"In our work and in our living, we must recognize that difference is a reason for celebration and growth, rather than a reason for destruction.” - Audre Lorde




Elizabeth Thomas is a Coordinator in the Center for Leadership. She is originally from Austin, TX where she developed a love for tex-mex, karaoke, and water sports. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre from DePaul University in 2013. During her undergraduate career, she served as an Orientation Leader and Welcome Week Coordinator. These experiences sparked her interests in mentorship, leadership, and student affairs in general. After graduation, Elizabeth worked in the Chicago real estate business for two years before obtaining her Masters in Higher Education from Loyola University Chicago.


During her time in graduate school, she gained experience in campus activities and residence life, and was introduced to Cal Poly’s campus as a NODA intern for New Student & Transition Programs during the summer of 2016. Elizabeth’s passion for leadership became more prevalent while teaching a course on leadership and service for first year students during the second year of her master’s program.


In her work, Elizabeth strives to integrate social justice and leadership and show how these subjects contribute to the holistic development of students. She believes that leaders are made, not born, and that the most important facet of leadership is cultivating a passion for learning from and with others. In her spare time, she loves to explore the outdoors, hike, kayak, and delve into her creative side through singing and playing guitar. She also values time with family and enjoys spoiling her niece and nephew every chance she gets.




Jason Mockford is the Director of Leadership & Service in the Dean of Students office at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California. He is originally from Auburn, California and holds a B.S. in Graphic Communication and an M.A. in Counseling & Guidance, Higher Education, both from California Polytechnic State University.


Jason has been involved in a leadership role with NODA, the Association for Orientation, Transition and Retention in Higher Education as a Transfer Services Network Chair from 2011-2014 and as a member of the Annual Conference Advisory Committee in 2014. For six years he has been responsible for advising Cal Poly’s orientation board, Open House committee, and developing the nationally recognized orientation leader training program. He has served in leadership roles both on the Cal Poly campus and in national organizations. On top of all of these roles he is also a mediator with Creative Mediation in San Luis Obispo and serves on their Program Advisory Board.


He believes leadership is about leveraging social influence to motivate others to action towards a shared vision or common purpose. When asked what he is passionate about he explained that he likes to play where science and art meet.

Jason Mockford

"Not all those who wander are lost.” - J.R.R. Tolkien

Related Content