College Student Personnel program

Social Justice Summit - Speakers & Hosts

Sonja Headshot Sonja Ardoin is a learner, educator, facilitator, and author. She originates from "Cajun country" - the small, rural community of Vidrine, LA  - and is proud of her first generation college student to Ph.D. educational journey, with degrees from Louisiana State University, Florida State University, and North Carolina State University. Sonja's career path includes experience in student activities, leadership development, community engagement, fraternity & sorority life, student conduct, and academic advising.  She made the move from full-time practitioner to full-time faculty member in 2015, but continues to view her professional role as that of a scholar-practitioner.  Sonja studies social class identity in higher education; college access and success for first generation college students and students from rural areas; student and women’s leadership; and career preparation and pathways in higher education and student affairs.

Dr. Ardoin stays engaged in the higher education field through presenting, facilitating, and volunteering with national organizations such as ASHE, NASPA, ACPA, LeaderShape, AFLV, and Peer Forward.  She is a contributor to the NASPA Center for First-generation Student Success advocacy group, the NASPA Socioeconomic and Class Issues in Higher Education Knowledge Community and Faculty Council, and the AFLV Board of Directors.  She also serves on the editorial board for the College Student Affairs Journal and as a reviewer for the Journal of College Student Development. Sonja contributes to literature through books, book chapters, journal articles, and blogs and enjoys reading the work of others.  She credits her love of reading to her grandmother, who always brought her to the local library as a child and challenged her to read the maximum number of books each week. Learn more about Sonja at


Kennan C photo Keenan Yul Colquitt, Jr. is an enthusiastic educator with experience in student affairs administration, Gender Studies, assessment, and management. His research interests include gender identity development, masculinity, and gender socialization in college men. In addition, Keenan studies men's violence, factors that motivate men to challenge toxic masculinity, and how discourse informs men's gendered behavior.

Keenan received his B.S. degree in Psychology from Grand Valley State University, his M.S. degree in Human Resource Management from Stony Brook University, and his Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from Bowling Green State University. In addition, Keenan has a Graduate Certificate in Women's Studies from the Department of Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies at Bowling Green State University.                            

Dr. Colquitt currently teaches Student Development Theory, History of Higher Education, and Politics of Higher Education in the Master of Higher Education and Student Affairs program at Northern Michigan University. Keenan remains engaged in professional development through ASHE, NASPA, ACPA, and AMSA. He most recently served as the Vice Chair for Research and Scholarship for the Coalition on Men and Masculinities (CMM) through ACPA and coordinated the 4th  Annual Emerging Scholars Workshop at the National Conference in Boston, MA. You can follow Keenan on Twitter at @doc_kyc.


Tracy Davis Tracy Davis is a Professor of College Student Personnel (CSP) at Western Illinois University. He has worked professionally in the areas of gifted education, student activities, Greek life, and career development. His research interests include social justice education, sexual assault prevention, identity development, men's development, and moral voice/orientation. In 2011, he became the founding Director of the Center for the Study of Masculinities and Men’s Development. Tracy's publications include empirical studies in refereed journals, book chapters, and three books -- Advancing Social Justice: Tools, Pedagogies, and Strategies to Transform Your Campus (2013), Masculinities in Higher Education: Theoretical and Practical Considerations (2011), and Developing Social Justice Allies (2004).

Dr. Davis has served on the Executive Council for the American College Personnel Association (ACPA), the ACPA Commission of Professional Preparation Directorate, and is Past-Chair of the ACPA Standing Committee for Men.  Tracy frequently presents at professional conferences and consults with colleges and universities regarding race, men's development, and social justice.  He was an ACPA Senior Scholar, recipient of The University of Iowa Albert B. Hood Outstanding Alumni Award, Western Illinois University President’s Award for Excellence in Diversity Education, NASPA Men and Masculinities Knowledge Community Newly Published Research Award, ACPA Commission for Assessment of Student Development Outstanding Research Award and many other honors, including dissertation research awards from both NASPA and ACPA.  Most importantly, he is wildy unfinished.


Alex Lange Headshot Alex C. Lange  has an impatient, enduring hope for a just, caring, and thriving world. They are currently a Ph.D. Candidate in the Higher Education and Student Affairs program at the University of Iowa. Alex’s research examines both those on the margins in higher education along lines of sexuality, race, and gender as well as the forces that pushes those people to the margins, including whiteness/white supremacy, heterosexism, and trans-antagonism. They are a co-author on the book Identity-Based Student Activism: Power and Oppression on College Campuses (published by Routledge) and were part of the collective that authored ACPA’s A Bold Vision Forward: A Framework for the Strategic Imperative for Racial Justice and Decolonization. Their collaborative research on queer and trans college students and student activism has been published in outlets such as the Journal of College Student Development, The Review of Higher Education, and the Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice. You can follow Alex on Twitter at @itsAlexCL.


Vern Klobassa Vern Klobassa is the Director of Student Development & Co-Director of First-Year Experience at the University of St. Thomas Minnesota.  He received his B.A. degree from Wartburg College and his M.S. degree from Western Illinois University.  Vern completed his doctoral studies in educational leadership with a concentration in critical pedagogy from the University of St. Thomas.  He is the past chair of the ACPA College Student Educators International Coalition on Men and Masculinities, a group that promotes college men’s development from a feminist and social justice standpoint. Vern teaches in the Leadership in Student Affairs program and the Women’s Studies program at the University of St. Thomas.



Laila McCloud Laila McCloud is an Assistant Professor of College Student Personnel at Western Illinois University. She holds degrees in Sociology and Counseling from DePaul University and a doctorate in Higher Education and Student Affairs from the University of Iowa. Her years of experience as a student affairs practitioner greatly influence her scholarship and teaching.  Laila’s research currently explores the development of perspective-taking among undergraduate students with minoritized identities and professional and scholarly socialization within higher education and student affairs graduate programs. 




Eboni Headshot Eboni M. Zamani-Gallaher is Professor of Higher Education/Community College Leadership and Director of the Office for Community College Research and Leadership (OCCRL). She previously served as Associate Head of the Department of Education Policy, Organization, and Leadership and Associate Dean of the Graduate College at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She serves as the Executive Director of the Council for the Study of Community Colleges (CSCC).

Dr. Zamani-Gallaher is a recipient of the Council for the Study of Community Colleges (CSCC) Senior Scholar Award, is an American College Personnel Association (ACPA) Senior Scholar and ACPA Diamond Honoree, as well as the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) Council on Ethnic Participation (CEP) Founder’s Service Award recipient and the ASHE-CEP Mildred B. Garcia Senior Exemplary Scholarship Awardee. In 2019, Dr. Zamani-Gallaher was recognized by the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) as the recipient of the Community College Research Award and honored by the National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students (NISTS) with the Transfer Catalyst Award. Dr. Zamani-Gallaher served as President of the Council for the Study of Community Colleges (CSCC) an affiliate of the American Association of Community Colleges and was Director for Research and Scholarship for ACPA.

Dr. Zamani-Gallaher’s research has been published in various journals and scholarly texts, including Equity and Excellence in Education, Higher Education Policy, New Directions for Community Colleges and Teachers College Record. She has authored/co-authored and edited/co-edited eight books which include Rethinking LGBTQIA Students and Collegiate Contexts: Identity, Policies, and Campus Climate (Routledge Publishing), Working with Students in Community Colleges: Contemporary Strategies for Bridging Theory, Research, and Practice (ACPA/Stylus Publishing), ASHE Reader Series on Community Colleges, Fourth Edition (Pearson Publications), and The Obama Administration and Educational Reform (Emerald Group Publishing).