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Women's Leadership Symposium

Spring 2022 Women's Leadership Symposium Banner 

The Women’s Leadership Symposium is a forum for participants within California State University San Marcos community to connect, explore and engage in topics pertaining to women’s leadership and empowerment. This year's theme is focused on "Leading with the Power of the Feminine". 

Rooted in the philosophies of intersectional feminism, we recognize that while all women experience oppression, we also all experience oppression in varying forms based on race, age, class, gender, sexuality, dis/ability, etc. With that in mind, we want everyone at the Women's Leadership Symposium to feel supported, included, and represented.  

We are intentionally inclusive of transgender, nonbinary, intersex, gender non-conforming and male-identified individuals.

We will seek to provide participants the opportunity to learn more about their individual identities and the unique influences they have on their leadership style.

Networking and teambuilding activities will allow for students to build a positive and supportive network of diverse women who vary across professional disciplines and life experiences. With these new experiences and community, student participants will have the knowledge to challenge the limitations placed on women and will have the confidence and strength to empower others.

WHEN: March 2023


RSVP: Registration is FREE and open to all currently enrolled CSUSM community members with a special focus on students. Only students can receive our swag items being that our funding is supported with student fees.

Note, the registration form is connected to Tukwut Trax (Presence) and will require you to log-in with your CSUSM credentials. All registered CSUSM students are encouraged to participate.  CSUSM does not consider sex, gender, or any other protected status as part of the registration process.  Providing one's pronouns is OPTIONAL and is not required or considered as part of the registration process for one's attendance at the symposium. 


Event Flyer

Planning Committee Members

  • Co-Chair: Alycia McGeever
    Spring Women's Leadership Symposium  2021 Committee Staff Rep

    Chair: Alycia McGeever is the Interim Director of the Gender Equity Center. She has served the GEC for the past two years as she completes SDSU’s Postsecondary Education and Student Affairs Master's program. She received a BA in her Sociology & Education Sciences from UC Irvine. Before working at CSUSM, she worked for Girl Scouts and Girls Incorporated empowering young women to believe in themselves  

  • Co-Chair: Dr. Shannon Nolan-Arañez
    Spring Women's Leadership Symposium  2021 Committee Chair

    Co-Chair: Dr. Shannon Nolan-Arañez (Chair), coordinates the Tukwut Leadership Circle (TLC) program and serves as a lecturer in First-Year Programs. She is a proud CSUSM alumni, earning her BS in Business Administration: Management & Marketing from CSUSM in 2004. Also holding an MA in Educational Leadership from SDSU (2010) and her doctorate in Educational Leadership (2016) her research focuses on how leadership activities influence students’ sense of spirituality. She loves spending time with her family and watching her 3.5-year-old discover the world. She also enjoys gardening, reading and listening to podcasts – especially “Unlocking Us” with Dr. Brené Brown!

  • Dr. Pam Redela
    Spring Women's Leadership Symposium  2021 Committee Faculty Rep

    Dr. Pam Redela is a life-long feminist who is dedicated to furthering goals of gender equity through education and leading by example.   She holds a B.A., M.A., and PhD in Spanish Language, Literature and Culture and teaches in the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department at CSUSM. Her research focuses gender roles and feminist activism, Ecofeminism, and intersectional literary analysis.  Her education and teaching experiences have afforded her the opportunity to interact with various sectors of society while her working-class upbringing keeps her committed to grassroots effort.  Her passion is educating and empowering her students to be agents of social change. 

  • Dr. Rajnandini "Raj" Pillai
    Spring Women's Leadership Symposium  2021 Committee Faculty Rep

    Dr. Rajnandini ”Raj Pillai is a Professor of Management at CSUSM. She received her doctorate from the State University of New York at Buffalo in Organizational Behavior. Her areas of teaching and research interest are leadership and cross-cultural management, and she teaches in our undergraduate and graduate programs.  Dr. Pillai has her MBA from the University of Bombay, India and has held management positions in the banking industry in India.  She has published several research articles on charismatic and transformational leadership and cross-cultural management in the leading journals in the field.  She was also chief editor of a volume entitled, Teaching Leadership: Innovative Approaches for the 21st Century, in the Leadership Horizon series, and co-author (with Martin Gannon) of several editions of Understanding Global Cultures.  She has received multiple awards for excellence in teaching and research including the Harry E. Brakebill Distinguished Professor Award.  She has offered leadership workshops for organizations such as the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce. Dr. Pillai is also Executive Director and founding member of the Center for Leadership Innovation and Mentorship Building (CLIMB) at CSUSM which hosts the popular “In the Executive’s Chair” class. 

  • Alexa Diaz
    Spring Women's Leadership Symposium  2021 Committee Staff Rep

    Alexa Diaz is the Coordinator of the Academic Success Center (ASC), one of three learning centers housed in the Office of Undergraduate Studies. She is a recent CSUSM alumna, earning her BA in Human Development and Spanish (2019). Outside of her ASC role, Alexa is part of the UndocuAlly Training team for the Dreamers Resource Office. She also serves as a mentor to young females through Project Hero - a program within COMPACT that provides a second chance opportunity for young offenders to reintegrate to school or the workforce. On her free time, she enjoys spending time outdoors and traveling to tropical places! 

  • Faith Garcia - Community Member
     Women's Leadership Symposium Committee Member Faith Garcia

    Faith Garcia recently graduated from California State University San Marcos with a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science and a double minor in Women's Studies and Sociology. Faith centered on civic engagement, inclusive excellence, diversity, equity, social justice, survivors, and immigration throughout her academic career. She is currently the San Diego Fellow for IGNITE National. She believes in the power of community and is excited to help create an empowering space for young women to discover their voice and place in areas they aspire to be, including in elected office and leading movements. Faith is a first-generation graduate Latina, Indigenous, Queer, Woman who is system impacted. 

  • Lauren Mojarro - Student Rep
     WLS Committee Member Lauren Mojarro
    Lauren Mojarro is a third-year Criminology major and Spanish minor. She currently works as a Peer Educator for the Gender Equity Center as well as a Student Assistant for the Student Leadership and Involvement Center. Lauren is also a part of the Panhellenic sorority Alpha Xi Delta and holds a position of Vice President of Membership and Recruitment on the Panhellenic Council. After graduation she hopes to attend law school and eventually become an attorney.

  • 2022 Event Agenda

    10:00 AM


    11 AM -1 PM


    1. Leading with Mindfulness
    2. Negotiation 
    3. Compassionate Activism 
    4. Leadership & Community Engagement

    1 PM 


    2 PM


  • 2022 Presenters & Panelists


    Coming Soon!