I help leaders grow as individuals so they can sustain in the positions to which they aspire.

Dr. Sobers is a scholar practitioner interested in the resilience of women in leadership and creating pathways for aspiring leaders (and those that support them) to get to senior leadership positions. Her research is an extension of her mission to help others realize and maximize their talents and potential.


Ever wondered why there are so few women (and women of color) represented in senior/executive leadership, how to avoid burn out before reaching senior/executive leadership, or how to empower a staff member whom you believe has potential? Below is a link to my ~12 minute Student Affairs (SA) Speaks presentation (TED Talk style) at the 100th NASPA Annual Conference at the Philadelphia Convention Center. The talk provides an overview of the Resilience Tree model (roots, branches, leaves, and environment) based on my qualitative research and lived experience.
#leadership #empower #resiliency #resiliencetree #qualitativeresearch #persistence #women  #CanIGetAWitness

“Whether you identify as a Black woman or you work with, supervise, mentor, or care about one this [research] will benefit you and hopefully our entire profession not only creating a pipeline singularly but multiple pathways to women in senior/executive leadership…” ~Dr. Sobers




  • Resilience Tree: Growing Pathways to Senior Leadership (2018)
    NASPA Region III Summer Symposium, New Orleans, LA
    SA Speaks Presenter: NASPA’s 100th Annual Conference, Philadelphia, PA
  • Common Theme in Stories from Women of Color: Resiliency and Self-Care (2017)
    Co-presented with Dr. Hemlata Jhaveri, Dr. LaToya Hill Smith, and Dr. Marilyn Tyus
    NASPA Annual Conference, San Antonio, TX
  • Research in Student Affairs Panel (2015)
    Co-presented with Dr. Carol Lundberg, Dr. Avery Olson, and Dr. Marissa Vasquez Urias
    Western Regional Careers in Student Affairs Day, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles, CA
  • The Resilience of Four Black Women Senior Student Affairs Administrators at PWIs (2015)
    12th Annual Afrikan Black Coalition Conference, University of California, Irvine (UCI), Los Angeles, CA
  • Mentors Role in the Advancement of Women in & to Senior Administrator Positions (2014)
    7th Annual Mentoring Conference, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
  • Experiences of Black Women SSAOs at PWIs (2014)
    Featured Presenter: ACPA’s Pan African Network Webinar
  • Can I Get a Witness? The Perspective of 4 Black Women SSAOs at PWIs (2013)
    NASPA’s Western Regional Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Women in Student Affairs Panel (2012)
    Co-presented with Dr. Joy Hoffman, Dr. Lea Jarnagin, Dr. Julian Nessa, and Cecy Santiago
    Western Regional Careers in Student Affairs Day, California State Polytechnic University, CA
  • The Mentoring Matrix: Developing More Meaningful Mentoring Relationships (2011)
    Co-presented with Dr. John Hoffman, Dr. Lea Jarnagin, and Katherine Saunders
    NASPA’s Western Regional Conference, San Diego, CA
  • WHY Leadership (2011)
    Keynote Speaker: Residential Life Conference
    State University of New York (SUNY), Cortland
  • Preparing for Your Student Affairs Journey: Reflections from an Alumnus (2011)
    Keynote Speaker: Student Affairs Professional Development Day
    Azusa Pacific University, CA
  • Exploring Women’s Leadership in Student Life: A Pacific Perspective (2010)
    Co-presented with former NASPA Presidents Dr. Elizabeth Griego (2010-2011) & Judith Chambers (1986-1987)
    NASPA’s Annual Conference, Chicago, IL


“The research on Black women who are Senior Student Affairs Officers as predominantly white institutions of higher education (PWIs) offers insight into the personal and professional experiences of these executive-level leaders. The findings from the study highlight the need to continue supporting the development of leaders of color and to continue combating micro-aggressions in the workplace. Although some characterize the early 21st century as “post-racial” the narratives of this study’s participants remind us that race is still a salient factor in the ways that others view them. A major finding from the study is that “traditional” ways of mentoring may not work for women of color who are often in a double-bind: They’re judged more harshly than their peers and when they reach out for help, this may be seen as a sign of weakness rather than strength. In addition, mentors who reach out to aspiring leaders of color need to focus first on developing a relationship of mutual trust then on professional development. This study reminds educators that conversations about race need to continue in order to combat oppression and inequality.”
~Dr. Delores McNair, Associate Professor, University of the Pacific, Stockton, CA

Dr. Shauna Sobers is a graduate of the Benerd School of Education’s doctoral program. She was a strong and serious student and is an outstanding researcher. More to the point, though, Dr. Sobers is a fine person, a committed and ethical leader, and fine colleagues, mentor (and mentee) and friend. I recommend her without reservation.
~Dr. Lynn Beck Brallier, Retired Dean, Benerd School of Education, University of the Pacific, Stockton, CA

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