Meet Our Staff


ELLERY LEA, AmeriCorps VIP Fellow


Ellery Lea is the Center for Leadership’s AmeriCorps VIP Fellow for 2020 - 2021. Throughout her service term, she will focus on supporting our alumni mentoring program. She can be reached at


Ellery is originally from Pleasanton, CA. She earned her B.A. in French & Francophone Studies from William & Mary in 2018. While at William & Mary, she was involved in service organizations, theatre, and a sorority. Her undergraduate experiences taught her the value of mentorship both in and out of the classroom. She looks forward to developing the Center for Leadership’s mentorship program so students and alumni can connect and learn from one another.


In her free time, Ellery enjoys going for walks, cooking and baking, gardening, and reading. 

"Find your name, find your voice by speaking yourself." - Kim Namjoon

“Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.” - J.R.R. Tolkien


AMEERA MCQUEEN, Graduate Assistant


Ameera McQueen is one of our graduate assistants in the Center for Leadership.  Ameera was born In New York City, spending half of her life on the East Coast, and the other half on the West Coast in the state of Arizona. Although she grew up in the city Ameera finds herself split between having a small town soul at heart while enjoying the hustle and bustle of the city for vacations.  She received her B.S. in Hotel and Restaurant Management with a minor in Anthropology at Northern Arizona University. During her time at NAU Ameera participated in the TRIO Programs including STAR, and SSS, and she soon become a Mentor for out of state first year students as well as for students aging out of foster care.


During the summers of her undergraduate experience she worked as a camp cook for Lion Camp Tatiyee, a camp that serves individuals with special needs.  It was her participation amongst these organizations that completely shifted her view on the type of impact she wanted to make on the world and within her community. Ameera is a firm believer that people show leadership in various ways, whether that person holds a position of leadership or not, and that everyone is a leader. It is her mission to help students strengthen the leader within themselves to make an impact in their personal lives and community.


Ameera is currently a candidate for the Higher Education Counseling and Student Affairs program here at Cal Poly.  She has opened up her professional scope to the possibilities amongst student affairs and looks forward to what is to come. During her free time she enjoys trying new recipes, spending quality time with her loved ones, watching movies, camping, painting, listening to music, singing, watching mukbang youtube videos, and going on drives. Ameera loves baking and cooking for others and has aspirations to open a bakery by day and brewery by night establishment in smaller city when she retires.


JEVON EDWARDS, Practicum Graduate Student


Jevon Edwards is a practicum graduate student of the Center for Leadership. She was born at Edwards Air Force Base in California and grew up in Santa Maria, California. Jevon resided in Georgia for some time before returning to the Central Coast. While in Georgia, Jevon pursued an associate degree at Chattahoochee Technical College and later completed the degree at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria. Jevon received her bachelor’s degree in psychology at San Jose State University and is currently a master’s candidate for the Higher Education Counseling and Student Affairs program at Cal Poly.


Jevon has worked for Cal Poly since 2017 as an Administrative Coordinator for the Facilities department and has also served as a club advisor for the Black Student Union and an academic advisor for the First-Year Success Program at Cal Poly. Jevon is passionate about uplifting, empowering, and supporting students throughout their college years. She believes that every student has the potential to become successful leaders by supporting and guiding others regardless of their official title or position.


Jevon enjoys going to the movies, exploring eateries, and travelling. She is an avid fitness and nutrition enthusiast and hopes to become a certified personal trainer; ultimately helping others practice and enjoy healthy and active lifestyles!

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” - Maya Angelou

"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.


Vacant, Lead Coordinator






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




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.

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