2022 NCSL Presenters

Every keynote is research-based educational content delivered in a culturally relevant way. The NCSL speakers and workshop leaders deliver cutting-edge presentations that do more than just motivate students. They give students tangible skills to lead on campus and beyond.

“My favorite part of the conference was how engaged the morning keynote was. It was an icebreaker that brought us closer by making us talk to each other throughout the conference.”

— NCSL attendee

Speakers Who Get You

Our speakers move beyond theory into practical application because they’ve been right where you are. They are business owners, advocates, advisors, teachers, professors, entrepreneurs, poets, and artists. They are first-generation college grads, children of immigrants, and people busting the status quo on a regular basis.

They get you. And they want to relate with you during the conference. 

“My favorite part of the conference was interacting with the presenters and speakers, whether it was during keynotes, workshops, or just meeting them outside of the rooms.”

— NCSL attendee

Jonathan Cabrera

At age 27, this Dominican/Ecuadorian Latino from the NY/NJ area has worked in the field of criminal justice, government and nonprofit management for a total of five years. That experience includes working in halfway houses, the NYC Department of Corrections, and programs for community organizations that seek to assist adolescent with schooling and employment. In 2014, Jonathan earned his degree in criminal justice from New Jersey City University and in 2018 earned his master’s degree in public administration at New York University. Jonathan is now a professor of Criminal Justice at CUNY. Additionally, he is founder and CEO of his own platform, Abstract Lifestyle, a motivational platform that encourages students to pursue higher education and entrepreneurship through presentation, musical content and blogs. Jonathan is also a hip-hop artist and releases music that addresses social ills while also still being fun and creative.

Cybel Betancourt

Educator, speaker, and leader developer Cybel Betancourt is a spicy Latinx from the beautiful island of Puerto Rico. She is the CEO of Buenas Cosas, a platform that focuses on helping people gain the tools they need to conquer what she calls their “personal jungle.” Cybel uses everyday situations in a fun and energetic way to empower others to become the best versions of themselves. Her self-reflection exercises, cunning questions, and creativity make people grow exponentially on a personal and professional level. Cybel is the author of the book Yo Valgo 18 Quilates and podcast producer of Los Influencers by Buenas Cosas. Her mission to empower young adults to influence the world and disrupt society’s norms.

Kyla Cofer

Kyla Cofer is a leadership coach, podcaster, and keynote speaker. After experiencing burnout as a nonprofit board member, and again as a new parent, she decided something had to change. Pulling together her decades of training in social work, nonprofits and life coaching, she found a way to give without giving up. Kyla engages audiences in her creative and friendly style, guaranteeing that you not only remember what you heard, but that you walk away feeling motivated and inspired. She is a Life Purpose Institute certified Life Coach with a BS in Human Services and Psychology from John Brown University and lives with her family in Nashville, Tenn. You can download free leadership resources on her website at KylaCofer.com/freestuff.

Jermaine Davis

Before receiving the prestigious College Instructor of the Year Award, Dr. Jermaine Davis worked in corporate America for IBM, Keebler cookies, and Frito-Lay in sales and management. Now he’s an award-winning professor of communication studies at Century College and organizational leadership at St. Kate’s University in Minnesota. Dr. Jermaine has authored 10 books, including Get Up off Your Butt & Do It NOW, Leading with Greatness, and Leading and Working with an Inclusive Lens. Dr. Jermaine specializes in helping colleges and universities develop healthy and inclusive environments so all students and employees can thrive and flourish. He teaches individuals and institutions how to cultivate trust using his “three Cs” approach: communication, cooperation, and collaboration. Dr. Jermaine is an international speaker and leadership and communication coach who engages audiences with a style of speaking and facilitating known as edutainment—a fun combination of education and entertainment. Prestigious organizations such as 3M, Best Buy, the University of Minnesota, Sam’s Club, the University of Wisconsin, Wells Fargo, West Point Military Academy, and Yale University regularly seek out Dr. Jermaine’s expertise in the areas of leading inclusively, communicating courageously, and overcoming burnout in life, school, and work.

Sarah Edwards

Sarah Edwards, PhD is a student affairs professional with over 15 years of experience focusing on student success, student organization advising, and student involvement. Sarah currently serves as the director of Student Involvement and Leadership Programs at New Mexico State University where she oversees areas including fraternity and sorority life, student media, student government, leadership engagement & traditions, campus and community programs, and student organization training and development. She earned her PhD in higher education at Azusa Pacific University.

Chantelle Fitzgerald

Chantelle Fitzgerald is the founder of Mindset Strategies, a Black- and woman-owned leadership development firm that focuses on mindfulness and emotional intelligence through experiential learning, training, and workshops. Chantelle also serves as a coach and has launched two successful cohorts of her Leadership Institute For Black women which supports Black women leaders in obtaining higher-level leadership positions across the nonprofit and for-profit sectors. Chantelle specializes in helping leaders better understand their own mindset and blindspots to lead more effective teams and organizations. She is a certified mindfulness and emotional intelligence trainer and serves as an advisor, consultant, and coach to Fortune 500 companies. Additionally, Chantelle is an adjunct professor for Doane University teaching teachers, principals, and administrators on how to build a mindful classroom through the practice of mindfulness and emotional intelligence. Chantelle holds a masters degree in Nonprofit/NGO Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania and BA in French with Secondary Certification from Muhlenberg College. Chantelle serves on the advisory board of PHL Diversity and board of Studio Incamminati.

Pamela Gurley

Pamela Gurley is the founder/CEO of Clark and Hill Enterprise. Her 25-year career includes working for the United States Federal Government across the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Department of the Army, Department of Defense, Department of State, and the Merit Systems Protection Board. Gurley’s budget and management experience extend both domestically and internationally (i.e., Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Johannesburg, South Africa; Brussels, Belgium; Manila, Philippines; Singapore, Singapore, and London, United Kingdom). A civil servant for the Federal Government for over 14 years, she resigned on November 7, 2020, to become a full-time entrepreneur. She is a retired United States Army Veteran and holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology, a master’s in health service administration, and a doctorate in management with a concentration in organizational development and change.

Ben Jeppsen

Ben Jeppsen is a counseling psychologist and associate professor at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, SD. He currently teaches introductory psychology courses and upper-level courses in counseling and clinical psychology. Prior to teaching in academia, Ben has worked as a psychologist and counselor in student counseling centers at three different universities, in private practice, and with active-duty serviceman at Fort Knox Army Base. Ben loves to use pop-culture references to make the science of mental health accessible and is writing a book entitled Applied Psychology of the Batman—aimed at helping emerging adults’ transition to adulthood and develop psychological skills for success.

Jonathan Kroll

Jonathan serves as a lecturer in the Professional Leadership Studies program at the University of Rhode Island. He is also the executive director and a lead trainer of the Leadership Trainer Certification Program—an immersive, intentional 60-hour hands-on train-the-trainer experience that infuses leadership theory, leadership practices, and facilitation skills to prepare individuals effectively train others in leadership. Jonathan has facilitated over 250 leadership development workshops and training program. He has earned a PhD in leadership from Fielding Graduate University.

Daymyen Layne

Daymyen Tyler Layne, with over 20 years of experience in business and higher education, is the Founder and CEO of The Layne Group (TLG), consulting firm. TLG’s focus is on Organizational and Executive Leadership Development from a lens of emotional intelligence. Through a motto of “Changing Minds to Make Change”, The Layne Group seeks to use the social science and research behind human connection to make sure our work and our passion collide. Additionally, Daymyen serves as the director for multicultural education and training at Quinnipiac University.

Ja’Bette Lozupone

Ja’Bette Lozupone is an educator, writer, speaker, and creative junkie who has helped countless people transform their personal and professional lives with her mentorship, coaching, programs, and speaking engagements. After transforming her own life from a teen mother vagabond on government assistance to a successful college administrator and business owner, her accomplishments are a testament to the ability within us all to channel our innate power and unique gifts to realize our full potential. After building successful programs and becoming sought after for her expertise in personal and professional development, Dr. Lozupone has become valued for her knack for building optimal teams, proficiency in executing personal and organizational visions, and compassionately leading individuals, teams, and organizations toward their goals.

Dar Mayweather

Dar Mayweather is a leadership studies faculty member at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and has more than a decade of diversity and inclusion teaching, consulting, and training experience. His professional journey began in corporate, then mental health, before ending up in higher education. He holds a BS in criminal justice, a MS in education and is currently pursuing a doctorate in educational leadership at Eastern Michigan University. He received Eastern Michigan University’s Student Success and Engagement Award and the State of Michigan’s King Chavez Parks Future Faculty Fellow Award. Mayweather’s work focuses on Black student activism, inclusive leadership development, and equity in higher education. He credits a lot of his professional growth to the Social Justice Training Institute and the Intergroup Relations Department at the University of Michigan.

Andrea Mosby

Andrea Mosby’s life changed dramatically at the age of sixteen when she discovered she was pregnant. The challenges she faced as a teen mother, the “adult” decisions she was forced to make and the strength she discovered within herself during these times changed her life outlook forever. Andrea began speaking to students, businesses, and community organizations over 30 years ago about her life experiences and how they related to her personal development and success. With the right approach, Andrea believes that challenges become opportunities to build character. Andrea has gone on to receive her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Denver and a master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Colorado.

Ashley Owens

Ashley Owens is the first and only Networking Concierge that helps you to create the ideal networking situation for you, perhaps even more importantly, gets you out of the wrong one! As a networking concierge, Ashley works as your strategic partner during networking events and conferences. She trains, coaches, and speaks on becoming an authority at generating revenue by networking with intention.

Stan Pearson

Stan Pearson II, MBA is a bilingual former governor staffer and former capitol hill staffer for a U.S Senator and has been speaking professionally for 15 years. As a celebrity media and mindset coach, Stan consults with professional athletes, celebrities, students, and professionals on how to build their personal brand while teaching mindset, public speaking, and social-emotional learning skills. He’s spent time with billionaire mogul Martha Stewart, NBA hall of fame center Shaquille O'Neal, and Ben & Jerry’s co-founder Jerry Greenfield to name a few.
Stan has traveled the globe speaking to audiences about building mindset and tapping into the best part of themselves. Professional accomplishments include alumni of the decade, legacy award winner, speaker of the year, and performer of the year. He is the founder of the National Association of Masterminds and Co-curricular Advancement (NAMCA) to help professionals build their professional and personal footprints in the world. While the next stat may be biased, it's still true: Stan is also probably one of the best husbands on the planet and working on being the #1 ranked Dad in the world.

Brittany Richmond

Brittany Richmond is an energetic, charismatic communicator and a mental health expert of 10+ years. In high school and college, Brittany was diagnosed with mental illnesses which led her into the field of counseling and psychology. From there, she has made it her mission to not only end the stigma, but "hug as many young people hurting" as she can with her words and her voice. Brittany is a sought after student influencer and is a popular youth mental health speaker. She has given presentations across the country at conferences, conventions, school assemblies, and other student events.

Jodi Schumacher

Jodi Schumacher has been a faculty member at Eastern Michigan University since 1997. She developed an Athletic Training Student Organization in the state of Michigan within the Michigan Athletic Trainers Society, mentored future allied healthcare professionals, and assisted with community service programs. She has presented to students on a variety of topics such as suicide, professional development, and athletic injuries. She has a passion for connecting with students and developing future professionals.

Matthew R. Shupp

Matthew R. Shupp is an associate professor in the Department of Counselor Education at Shippensburg University. Shupp is an author and former student affairs professional where he worked with student leaders in a variety of departments including housing and residence life, new student orientation, and student activities. A first-generation college student, Shupp understands the importance of student engagement as a means of solidifying a professional identity. As such, he creates inclusive and interactive spaces for students to reach their full leadership potential.

Sharod Tomlinson

Sharod Tomlinson is one of America’s emerging personal achievement and performance experts. Whether keynote speaking or facilitating mastermind groups and workshops or coaching clients, audience members report that Tomlinson’s high energy, refreshing, and original presentations exceed their expectations. It has also mentioned that their quality of life improved because Tomlinson coached them to breakthrough barriers that had been holding them back from achieving their goals and realizing their truest potential. Tomlinson is a certified Strengths Coach with Gallup. Within this work, Tomlinson works with organizations to help individuals, managers, and teams reach peak performance. Through hands-on exercises, participants integrate “Breakthrough” leadership skills in all aspects of their lives. Tomlinson currently serves as associate dean of student success / engagement at St. John’s University, Queens, N.Y. Tomlinson has completed his doctoral degree in administration and instructional leadership at St. John’s University. He has earned his master’s degree at New School University majoring in non-profit management and a Bachelor of Arts degree in public administration at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan.

Jennifer Valtos

Jennifer Valtos is an enthusiastic facilitator of learning and a career higher education professional. Jennifer has facilitated programs, learning, and development opportunities for students, student leaders, staff, and faculty across campus for over two decades. Throughout her career, Jennifer has been a strong advocate for students finding their voices, communicating with respect, treating all individuals with dignity, and recognizing our shared humanity. Jennifer is the proud mom of two girls who keep her on her toes.

Khalyn Williams

Khalyn Williams is a fresh, go-getting spirit who found her purpose early. Wanting to create the utmost experience, she stepped out of her comfort zone, went on a self-discovery tour, and blossomed. She realized she had the power to create her own fingerprint in this world. What happened next? She traveled abroad to six European countries and won more than five scholarships. She featured and monetized her sorority’s brand through influencer work in commercial productions and brand content. She was recognized as Rookie & All-Star of the Year at her campus rec by solving problems through fitness professional development. And she met her mentor Odell Bizzell II at NCSL 2019, which led to The Student Success Network. Khalyn’s ultimate legacy is to inspire, impact, and influence.

Liska Wilson

Liska Wilson is a well-known leader and sought-after speaker in Upstate New York’s Capital Region area. She has built a career on entrepreneurship, leadership development, and creating opportunities for young professionals. Through her not-for-profit organization (She’s a Boss), Liska produces leadership development and training programs for women of color. Her latest venture, MNT Development, expands her passion for personal professional development from a focus on women to all genders.

Rebecca Koch

Rebecca Koch holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in positive psychology. She is director of the Office of Service Initiatives at Life University. The foundational value at Life U is lasting purpose, which asks us to give, do, love, and serve from an inner-directed sense of our own ability to learn and grow while also being focused on the needs of others. Rebecca’s work at Life U has led her to learn and share practices that support lasting purpose, such as personality inventories, communications strategies, and philosophies of health and wellbeing that encourage and support personal responsibility. Rebecca is certified in the facilitation of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator personality inventory. She also is certified to facilitate compassionate integrity training courses (Level 1) as well as in training facilitators (Level 2). She regularly uses and works with resources such as non-violent communication, the community resilience model, the VIA strengths model, the ACT matrix, and other systems designed to promote better communication, greater empathy, more productive conflict, and to promote professional and personal development that is in keeping with supporting people in being the best version of themselves.