Register now for the 45th Annual National Leadership Conference on Student Government!

November 3-5, 2023

Seating is limited to 200 participants, so save your spot today!

Meet your 2023 presenters!

Pat J. Bosco

The Center for Leadership Development Inc., sponsor of this annual event, offers unique affordable programs for today’s leaders. Pat J. Bosco, Ph.D., founder of the Center has more than 50 years of experience in higher education. As Vice President for Student Life/Dean of Students, his responsibilities included: undergraduate admissions, new student services; student financial assistance, including scholarships; career services, academic coaching; housing and dining services; LGBT Resource Center; the Student Union; K-State Childcare; recreational services; the student health center; student organization; registrar; parent and family programming; university counseling center; the campus food pantry; diversity programming; student crises services; and student life fundraising. He has touched every aspect of student life at Kansas State University through other roles – Associate Vice President for Institutional Advancement/Dean of Students, Assistant Vice President for Educational and Student Services, Assistant Dean of Students, and Director of Student Activities. 

Dr. Bosco is a 1969 graduate of Onondaga Community College in Syracuse, New York, where he championed the voter 18 movement and was elected president of a statewide student association representing 32 community colleges and 200,000 New York State community college students. He received a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Kansas State University in 1971; a Master of Science in Educational Administration from K-State in 1973; and his doctorate in Higher Education from the University of Nebraska in 1982. As an undergraduate, he was elected student body president and was the first student member of the faculty senate at K-State. He was a member of the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity and an Army ROTC distinguished military graduate commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant.

During Dr. Bosco’s tenure at K-State, enrollment grew from 17,000 to nearly 25,000 and the university broke records for freshmen retention, graduation rates, job placement, and diversity. The university became the number one choice among Kansas high school seniors and remains so today. He is the only person in school history to serve on five presidents’ cabinets, and as Dean of Students, he has the longest tenure at any Big 12 University. He has served as an advisor to student organizations including the Student Governing Association and the Blue Key National Honor Society.

Dr. Bosco created one of the nation’s first Centers for First Generation, and the K-State Parent and Family Association. He was one of three founders of the university’s leadership studies program, which has become one of the largest and most distinguished programs of its kind in the nation. Each year, the Stanley School of Leadership Studies and Programs recognizes a graduating senior as the Pat J. Bosco Outstanding Student Leader. Additionally, each year, the K-State women’s basketball team presents the Pat J. Bosco outstanding student-athlete award, and the university’s Parent and Family Association have established a scholarship in his honor.

Among his other honors is being named a National Residence Hall Honorary member. He received the Acacia Frank Carlson Award; the Sigma Lambda Beta Exemplary Role Model Award; the Robert S. Krause ATΩ Outstanding Campus Leader Award; the 2000 Excellence in Dedication Award from the Kansas City Alumni Club for his quarter-century of administrative service to the university; and was inducted into the Kansas State University ROTC Hall of Fame. He was named one of Manhattan, Kansas’, Most Admired People in 2004 by Ingram’s Magazine. Dr. Bosco was recognized as the American Fraternity Advisors Outstanding University Administrator in 2016, and in 2017; was the recipient of the Kansas State University football team’s Outstanding Appreciation Award; the university’s “Service to Students” Award; and two national Alumni Distinguished Service Awards from his fraternity, Delta Sigma Phi. The 2019 K-State Marching Band’s Lifetime Legacy award and the Blue key National Honor Society’s Distinguished Service Award. Most recently he was awarded the 2020 Kansas Farm Bureau Friend of Agriculture Award given to individuals who have made significant contributions to KFB and/or agriculture.

Dr. Bosco recently retired as one of the most recognized student life administrator in the nation. His demonstrated commitment in all areas of student life is expressed in the many keynotes, workshops, conferences and consulting opportunities he engages in each year. His book, Boscology 101: The Art of Authentic Leadership encapsulates the half-century of practical lessons and perspective he has shared with students. The original format came in the form of a podcast called Boscology 101 in 2019. The book is available on print and audio through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Rakuten Kobo and the K-State Campus Store.

In 2022, the KSU Foundation established the K-State Family Scholarship Program in Bosco’s honor, raising significant funds to support merit and need-based student scholarships. Bosco has served on the Via Christi hospital board, with the United Way, and has held local and national leadership positions with his fraternity, Delta Sigma Phi. For more than three decades, Bosco has coached traveling, competitive youth baseball and softball teams, winning multiple state and regional championships and qualifying for national tournaments all over the nation. His family currently conducts summer softball clinics for Kansas City area youth

During the Annual National Leadership Conference on Student Government, Dr. Bosco is joined by successful student leaders, faculty members and administrators from across the country. We encourage you to learn about them from the list below.

Bernard Franklin, Ph.D.

Fellow, Harvard University Advanced Leadership Program; Former President, Penn Valley Community College

Areas of Interest and Expertise

  • Student affairs
  • Students of color and First-Generation student success
  • Extensive experience in developing initiatives that support underrepresented students success
  • Raising millions of private funding for diversity, inclusion and equity efforts

Franklin is considered a national thought leader in the emerging work of cultivating and sustaining a culture of calm and excellence in high-pressured youth learning environments. Franklin has consulted on a wide range of topics including leadership, diversity, urban education, and urban father and family issues on a local, national, and international level. He is regarded as a leader in articulating the issues of urban men, youth, and families. Franklin’s main desire is to be a loving father of a daughter and three sons as well as empower people to act and to change the world…one person at a time! He has championed student success, diversity and advocacy for this school longer than almost anyone. He has served selflessly, often leading us and other times supporting and advocating for our students and families in his dynamic, thoughtful and brilliant ways.

About Bernard

At a very young age, Dr. Bernard Franklin demonstrated exceptional leadership skills and strong ambition. As an undergraduate at Kansas State University, he became the first black student ever elected President of the Student Government Association. At the age of 24, Franklin made Kansas history by becoming the youngest person ever appointed to the Kansas State Board of Regents and the youngest Chair of the Board at age 28. Demonstrating his energy and work ethic, Franklin founded and serves as president of the Center for Imagineering Leadership, where he applies and integrates through a trauma-informed lens, resilience and the growing research of neuroscience to personal counseling, leadership development/coaching, organizational strategy, strategic planning and consulting. Franklin currently is the Vice President of Student Life at Mount Saint Mary’s University.

Terri “Ms. H” Houston

Director, Student Success, HelloCollege; former Senior Director of Diversity, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

Areas of Interest and Expertise

  • 30+ years of higher education
  • Chief Diversity Officer (Equity, Inclusion, LGBTQ, 1st generation, ethnic/racial, disability services, Title IX)
  • Asst. Dean of students (Student funds, Crisis response, Residential education)
  • International Education (Semester at Sea)
  • Director (Student activities and Leadership, Women’s programming, faculty/staff programming)
  • Counselor (Admissions, Personal and College)
  • SGA Advisor (leadership transitioning, programming, recruitment, working with faculty and administration)
  • Student Clubs and Organization Advisor (BSU, Latinx, LGBTQ, Sorority, Honors Fraternity and Multicultural)

Personal Leadership Philosophy

Leadership is a combination of visionary transitioning, compassionate decision-making and inclusive positioning. I believe Leaders are born and made and that every person, by nature, is diverse. My career in higher education mirrors this philosophy where as a leader and advocate, I have produced successful campaigns promoting communications and connections, cultural fluency and institutional equity. I am committed to supporting the ideas and identities of students, advisors and staff for the purpose of personal development and professional advancement. What makes the conference unique is its commitment to building students, advisors and professional staff from within, while preparing all with skills and exposure to be leaders beyond. Our personal strategic touch creates a safe and supportive learning environment that encourages and challenges. Creating community is what we model to ensure each SGA member takes back to their campus community the necessary training, skills, exposure, awareness and sensitivities to be better leaders.

About Terri

I love teaching, training and learning, so if you love to LAUGH, believe you have a unique PURPOSE, If you trust there is GOOD in all, and that LEADERS are born and made, then hang with me. And even if you don’t believe these values, let’s connect anyway, so our positive energies can UNITE…Let’s grow together!

Adrian Rodriguez

Vice President for Student Engagement and Success, Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi, TX

Areas of Interest and Expertise

  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Intercultural Learning
  • Student Affairs
  • Student Activities
  • Student Leadership
  • Behavioral Intervention
  • Counseling and Educational Psychology
  • Crisis Management

Personal Leadership Philosophy

Adrian has had the great opportunity of moving through his professional career and education with his arms wide open. He has served as a Vice President, Dean of Students, Registrar, Director of Student Activities, Director of Residence Life, Director of Intramurals, and one of his personal favorites — College Fastpitch Softball Coach for 6 years. His educational experience has been equally diverse as he earned his B.S. degree (1997) in environmental design from the College of Architecture at Texas A&M University, and then his M.Ed. degree (2004) in educational administration from Texas A&M University – Kingsville. He is currently working on his Ph.D. degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education, Counseling and Educational Psychology, from Kansas State University.

About Adrian

Adrian Rodriguez prides himself first on being a good father and husband to his two beautiful daughters, Alexandria and Ayden, and wife, Christy. He and his wife seldom sit still—their mantra is work hard, play hard! Either they are busy with the kid’s activities—soccer, swim, dance, music, tee-ball, and more soccer and swim, or they are traveling to be with family. They love spending time in San Antonio and Amarillo, and summer excursions at the family cabin in Colorado.

Trum Simmons

Emeritus Professor of English and Journalism,
Harrisburg Area Community College

Areas of Interest and Expertise

  • English and journalism
  • Student media
  • SGA advisor
  • Student LGBTQ organization Allies advisor
  • Board member to Central PA LGBT Center

Personal Leadership Philosophy

Student leadership is just that-STUDENT leadership. Advisors and other professionals are there to advise and never to manipulate. Good leaders help others reach their potential by example.

Student leadership is vital to any college or university. Student governments, student media and other student organizations help administrators and faculty keep their promises to put students first. This means real and active participation in college governance.

In my many years teaching classes and advising student groups I emphasized that what goes on in the classroom and what students do in their “extra-curricular” activities are equally important.

Henry Nugent

Retired Executive, NCR Corporation

“Great leaders reward great results”

Personal Leadership Philosophy

The best leaders can, and do, utilize different styles to meet the demands of a particular situation. They must not be limited in their style or approach to problem solving.

Areas of Interest and Expertise

  • 45 years in corporate America
  • NCR Corp for 45 years
  • Hiring manager and decision maker for 38 years
  • Retired Director – Global Outbound Distribution supporting three domestic and five international manufacturing facilities
  • Presentations on Interviewing Skills

Paul J. Mintner

Consultant, Learning & Organizational Development, University of Missouri System

Areas of Interest and Expertise

  • Leadership Development
  • Service Learning
  • Developing Leadership Competency
  • Leadership Style
  • Communication Style
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Building Strong Teams
  • Shared Governance

Personal Leadership Philosophy

I believe that leadership is something that is developed over time. The best leaders learn about their community so that the decisions they make have their intended impact. This conference is a perfect place for students, advisors, and staff to learn from one another and from experts in supporting student governments from around the country. The experience you receive by attending this conference can help you build a stronger SGA on your campus for years to come!

It’s clear what we are seeing on all of our campuses: Important decisions affecting students are being made every day. SGA has to be in the room and part of the conversation to ensure the interests of students are considered. The conference can help you be prepared to be in the room and advocate for students on your campus effectively!

Michelle Simmons

Editor, Publications, Dickinson College (PA )

Chris Bosco

Vice President of Digital, SMG

Areas of Interest and Expertise

  • Emotional intelligence and student leadership
  • Essentialism: Are you stretched too thin?
  • Critical conversations
  • Project planning for student leaders

About Chris

Chris has worked with Accenture for more than 22 years. His passion is understanding how to enable the new interconnected world to participate in business and deliver what it takes to win the hearts and minds of customers. As a global technology executive, he focuses on achieving customer experience outcomes in today’s digital enabled world. Bosco is a think-on-his-feet individual who thrives on rapidly paced environments driving through obstacles while maintaining logic, clarity and focus on the real outcomes. Additionally, he is a fanatical people developer, strategic advisor, digital evangelist, and leader of high-performing teams who are equally driven to reimagine business and produce bottom-line results.

Levi Esses, EdD

Vice President of Student Life and Dean of Students, Mount St. Mary’s University (MD)

About Levi

Dr. Esses is a Dean of Students with 18 years of experience working in education, 15 of those in higher education. Dr. Esses has experience in small private, large public, and branch campuses, and is responsible for student government, student activities, residence life, campus recreation, student clubs and organizations, and student conduct. Dr. Esses impacts others with his knowledge of CliftonStrengths and uses his positive attitude and tireless energy to encourage students in their development and success. He is inspired daily by his wife Rachel and their son. He would love to connect with you on Twitter and/or LinkedIn.

Personal Leadership Philosophy

Education is an active process. That is, we get out what we put into it. That is why co-curricular experiences are key to the growth and development of the student. Involvement can teach us so much and open so many more doors. I feel everyone should be a part of SGA in some way, whether that is voting in an election, being a senator, or running for an office. It teaches students about our democratic process and how to identify a problem, discuss it, and come up with solutions to make our campuses better. This is by far the best conference I have been to. This conference will provide confidence in your SGA members, give them the knowledge and skills to be successful, and motivate your members to make positive changes back on your campuses. Also, the conference presenters are always willing to help after the conference. We are a phone call or email away. We truly care about the success of all of our participants and their SGAs.

Madaí Rivera

Associate Director, Center for Leadership Development

Areas of Interest and Expertise

  • Higher education (4-year public university)
  • Student involvement
  • Multicultural student representation
  • Advising multicultural student organizations
  • Undocumented & DACA-mented student support
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Intercultural Learning
  • Recruitment and retention

Personal Leadership Philosophy

We need one another to develop as leaders. During this development process, acceptance and appreciation of differences and commonalities is crucial. Intercultural learning is key. A leader does not shape the leadership style and convictions of others; rather, s/he provides the tools that allows others to develop their own. The conference provides a safe space to express your thoughts and ask the questions that you may not have asked before. It allows you to open your mind and feel free. Presenters often incorporate new materials, topics and change their approach during the conference to ensure that participants’ needs are met and receive a one-of-a-kind experience.

About Madaí

Madaí Rivera earned her bachelor’s and master’s degree at Kansas State University (K-State). She has served as the primary contact for many undocumented students and families for several years. Her efforts to help all students have been recognized with the Commerce Bank Presidential Faculty and Staff Award for Distinguished Service to Historically UnderRepresented Students; Division of Student Life Putting Students First Award; and Dawley-Scholer Award for Faculty Excellence in Student Development.

Madaí currently serves on Kansas Governor Laura Kelly’s Education Councils and “Advantage Kansas: Future Focused, Future Ready” Coalition. Additionally, she is a member of the LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens) National Board in her role as state director for Kansas, as well as other similar interest committees. She is from Juárez, Chihuahua, México, and a graduate of Dodge City High School, KS.

“I am the first (but not the last) person in my immediate immigrant family to graduate from college. I exercise my vote because as a US Citizen, I can be the voice of others who do not have that right. While I appreciate differences, I like exploring the things we have in common when I meet someone.”

Mary Heinrich

Director, Philanthropic Strategy and Communication, Children’s Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, MO

About Mary

Mary Heinrich is the Director of Strategy and Communications at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City. She is an experienced marketing executive with a master’s degree in public health and nearly 20 years of diverse achievements in the corporate, non-profit, and government settings. She has worked with large-scale corporate clients and small state-wide nonprofits on building media, digital and mobile strategy, grassroots mobilization and stakeholder engagement. She held many campus leadership positions during her time at Kansas State University, including Student Senate Vice Chair, and still leverages the skills gained in these experiences in her work and personal life on a daily basis.

Rachel Esses

Associate Director, Center for Leadership Development

Rachel has a decade’s worth of experience in higher education, working in many capacities with students, faculty, and staff, and most recently as the Assistant Director of Outreach and Communication for the Office of Student Financial Assistance at Kansas State University. Rachel and her husband Levi, a rockstar presenter at this conference, recently moved to Maryland, where she now works as a communications and events professional.

Emily Lehning, Ph.D.

Co-Founder, Roots & Legacies Consulting, Inc.

Emily Lehning is a Co-founder for Roots & Legacies Consulting, Inc. A Gallup-certified Strengths coach, Emily helps people and teams develop to meet challenges and advance toward their goals. She serves a diverse set of clients across the agriculture, education, financial, and non-profit sectors. She worked for nearly 20 years at a four-year, public university as an instructor, advisor, student life professional, and in academic administration. She was an active advisor to student organizations during her time in higher education.

We welcome guest presenters at this year’s conference. Advisors or student leaders who have a program or topic proposal may contact Dr. Bosco at