Dr. Tina Powellson


As the director for the Center for Student Involvement, Dr. Powellson will provide leadership, strategic vision, organization and administrative oversight of campus-wide programs and services partnering with departments and student organizations in the following areas: direction, advising and management for major campus events and student-led programming initiatives; support and guidance of an effective approach to Registered Student Organizations (RSO); and campus-wide programs and education in the leadership development and civic engagement opportunities.

Stephanie Schmidt

Associate Director for Leadership and Civic Engagement

Stephanie joined the University of Houston in July 2012 as the Associate Director for Leadership and Civic Engagement. In this role she has founded the Ignite Leadership Program, Days of Service and the spring break Community Action Break program. Stephanie also serves as the advisor for the Metropolitan Volunteer Program (MVP).  She earned her BA from the University of Wisconsin –Eau Claire in Organizational Communications and her MS in Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis in Student Affairs from Texas State University where she served as the Graduate Assistant for Leadership programs. With more than twelve years of experience working in leadership development, Stephanie most recently came from the University of North Carolina – Charlotte.

Kristen Ernst

Assistant Director

Kristen hails from Narragansett, Rhode Island and received degrees in English and Film Studies from Boston College.  She currently serves as an Assistant Director for the Center for Student Involvement, supervising both the Frontier Fiesta Association and Homecoming Board.  She is also the interim advisor to the Student Program Board and the Council of Ethnic Organizations.

Donielle Miller

Assistant Director

Donielle joined the Center for Student Involvement in July 2014 as an Assistant Director.  She is currently responsible for programs and services that support Registered Student Organizations and their student leaders.  Donielle received both her BBA in Management and Marketing and MA in Higher Education Administration from Sam Houston State University.  She has a wealth of experience in student organization management, campus programming, leadership programs, special events and multicultural affairs. Donielle is excited about the opportunity to positively impact the University of Houston campus community.  In her spare time she likes to teach herself graphic design.

Whitley Denson

Activities Coordinator

Whitley joined the University of Houston in June 2014 as an Activities Coordinator, and primarily provides programs and services for Registered Student Organizations.  She earned her Bachelors of Arts in Psychology and a minor in Business Administration from Texas A&M University…Gig ‘Em, Ags!  After working in psychiatric healthcare and administration for a few years, Whitley earned a Master’s of Science degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education from Missouri State University.  During her undergraduate and graduate careers, she gained an affinity for student programming, cultural competence, and student development. In Whitley’s leisure time, she enjoys watching Aggie Football, working out, and spending time with family and friends.  If you ever want to make her smile, bring Whitley cookies!


Activities Coordinator

Vanessa Roche

Office Coordinator

Vanessa hails from Queens, New York.  In addition to providing support for the Center for Student Involvement, she is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in English and a minor in Film Studies.  Upon graduation, Vanessa plans to pursue a career in Higher Education Administration.  When she is not busy studying, Vanessa enjoys long walks with her two guard dog Chihuahuas at Hermann Park, watching Netflix and Hulu marathons on the couch, and exploring all the good restaurants Houston has to offer!

Nneka Ayozie

Graduate Assistant

A native of Jackson, Mississippi, Nneka Ayozie serves as the Graduate Assistant for Campus Traditions, which includes the Homecoming Board and the Frontier Fiesta Association. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication from Jackson State University. When she is not working or being studious, Nneka enjoys cooking, crafting, fishing, and exploring Houston. Currently, Nneka is pursuing a master’s degree in Higher Education with hopes of one day becoming a university president.

Allynn Delaney

Graduate Assistant

Allynn Delaney serves as the Graduate Assistant for Civic Engagement in the Center for Student Involvement at the University of Houston.  She is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma – Boomer Sooner!  Allynn is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Higher Education Administration at UH. Her Top 5 StrengthsFinder traits are Adaptability, Communication, Restorative, Activator, and Positivity.  One of Allynn’s favorite quotes is “Treat the earth well.  It was not given to you by your parents; it was lent to you by your children.”

Ian Todd

Graduate Assistant

Ian Todd is the Graduate Assistant for Leadership Programs at the Center for Student Involvement. Ian was born in Oklahoma, but calls Texas his home since he went high school in Dallas and served in the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood. Ian loves Houston and has spent the past few years rebuilding the municipal animal shelter, where he highly recommends you find your next furry companion. He received a B.A. in Philosophy from Rhodes College and is now pursuing an M.Ed in Higher Ed Administration & Supervision at the University of Houston. Ian enjoys mentoring students, with plans to build and direct university service-learning communities.