COPE Emerging Leaders

The 2023 cohort of the COPE Emerging Leaders

In the College of Professional Education (COPE) we believe that leadership is a social process that can be learned through training and interaction and applied to every aspect of life. Based on this we developed the COPE Emerging Leaders Fellows program in collaboration with the Jane Nelson Institute for Women’s Leadership.

The program is aimed to develop and strengthen participants’ leadership skills through a series of co-curricular activities (e.g. workshops, seminars, online discussions) that encourage interaction, networking, and teamwork. It also promotes the development of critical thinking and confidence, and the continuation of graduate studies.


  • Free one-year leadership training from transdisciplinary TWU faculty and staff
  • $1000.00 stipend*
  • Leadership books and materials
  • Technology equipment
  • Unique lineup of compelling speakers
  • Networking

*Must qualify and be approved by the TWU Office of Financial Aid

It helped me identify the type of leader that I want to become in the future. We had the opportunity to network with faculty who shared their knowledge of leadership. The whole program was full of engaging activities designed to elevate our leadership skills and it granted us the opportunity to collaborate with our fellow student leaders. Carlos Gaytán Cervantes

Vision and Mission


The vision of the COPE Emerging Leaders Fellows program is to evolve students into ethical and inclusive leaders who, through innovation and social responsibility, will become agents of change in communities and the world.


Emerging Leaders take in a speaker

The mission of the COPE Emerging Leaders program is to develop in students the necessary skills and knowledge in different areas of leadership, through a co-curricular approach, so they can apply them in all aspects of their lives.

The program will:

  • Provide an opportunity of leadership development and expose participants to real life situations.
  • Foster personal growth through reflection and discussion of diverse leadership topics in all areas of life.
  • Promote the study of the intersection between leadership, advocacy, and activism.
  • Encourage participants to become role models and agents of change, to think critically and objectively, and to continue graduate studies.


Participation Requirements

2019-2020 COPE Emerging Leaders Group

Participation in COPE Emerging Leaders is open to 30 active undergraduate students and is free of charge. There are no minimum requirements to apply other than to be a COPE undergraduate student. After application evaluation and admittance to the program, fellows are required to commit for a full academic year and comply with all activities/events to successfully complete the program.

The required activities/events include:

  • Program orientation
  • Fall and Spring leadership bootcamps
  • Completion of online module
  • Final reflection paper
  • Workshops with external speakers

All students must comply with all the required activities to continue and finish the program.

Upon completion of the program fellows receive a leadership certificate, a distinctive pin, a graduation cord, and a digital badge. They are recognized during the COPE awards ceremony and in the COPE Emerging Leaders Banquet.

This program challenged me to consider my strengths and weaknesses and how each helps me become a better leader. I enjoyed opportunities to listen and learn real-life experiences in leadership from TWU faculty and administrators. I learned not only about how to be a better leader, but also about myself and the person I want to become. Maria Rodríguez

Program Training

During the academic year, fellows receive training through three leadership bootcamps, each composed of three 90-minute workshops, seminars and online modules.

swipe to see the full table

Leadership Bootcamp 1
Leadership Bootcamp 2
(Spring 1)
Leadership Bootcamp 3
(Spring 2)
Introduction to Leadership and Styles Ethical Decision Making Conflict Resolution and Problem Solving
Leadership in Community Settings Communication Styles Understanding Microaggressions: What every leader must know
Becoming an Emotionally Intelligent Leader Marketing your Leadership Skills Leadership and Advocacy: From allied to accomplice

Note: Workshops subject to change

Speakers helped me think outside the box and look at leadership from different perspectives. We talked to real educators who want to make more educators. I am able to take something from each session and use in it my future classroom or help fellow teachers with my new knowledge. Opportunities like this are limited. You want this in your tool belt. Candace Crowe

Affiliate Faculty

As a COPE Emerging Leader you will network and learn from a diverse group of educators and staff from varied disciplines throughout the university to demonstrate our transdisciplinary approach to leadership.

Affiliate Faculty

Name Position Email
Amanda Hurlbut, PhD  Assistant Professor, Curriculum and Instruction
Matt Flores  Assistant Vice President, University Communications
Jason Lambert, PhD  Associate Professor, HR and Management
Aimee Myers, PhD  Assistant Professor, Curriculum and Instruction
Azucena Verdin, PhD  Assistant Professor, Child Development/Child Life 
Laura Trujillo-Jenks, PhD  Interim Department Chair, Teacher Education
Emarely Rosa-Dávila, PhD    Assistant Professor, Social Work
Nila Ricks, PhD, LMSW  Department Chair, Social Work 

I learned how to be an effective leader, what makes an effective leader, and why it is important to be a leader. We asked various professors questions about their experiences as leaders. I would recommend this leadership experience to everyone because it is a skill everyone can use in the real world. Employers are always looking for leaders. Celia Carreón

COPE Emerging Leaders meet

Cohort 4 (2022-2023)

  • Maria Alvarado
  • Jacquelyn Anderson
  • Xochitl Aranza-Ramirez
  • Aileen Arias
  • Jacquelyn Bello
  • Anylah Coleman
  • Jenna Crocker
  • Ashlyn Davis
  • Samantha Dixon
  • Catherine Ann Hall
  • Mary Jacqueline Osborne
  • Kathia Sandoval

Cohort 3 (2021-2022)

  • Sofie Alhazma
  • Claire Bellomy
  • Casiana Castillo
  • Nicole Castleberry
  • Bryanna Crayton
  • Maria Garcia
  • Martha Garcia
  • Pooja Giri
  • Dulce Gomez
  • Laura Hinojosa
  • Lauren Leatherman
  • Roxana Quintanilla Velasquez
  • Katelyn Rood
  • Shakeela Williamson

Cohort 2 (2020-2021)

  • Angela Trowbridge

  • Johanna Patricio Bueno

  • Areli Hernández

  • Juliana Gutiérrez

  • Elizabeth Araiza

  • Elizabeth Rodríguez

  • Kayla O’Mara

  • Jacqueline Montes

  • Fabiola Centeno

  • Kari Sanchez

  • Samantha Steelman

  • Terra Taylor

  • Tara Moran

  • Jose Martínez

Inaugural Cohort (2019-2020)

  • Celia Carreón-García
  • Candace Dawson
  • Siclaly Delgadillo
  • Mariana Florán
  • Nadya Gálvez
  • Carlos Gaytán-Cervantes
  • Mackenzie Goff
  • Jessica Hoyos
  • Zoey Kraft
  • Carolyn Lara
  • Karyn Lucier
  • María Rodríguez
  • Renee Villines


Azucena Verdín Peralta, PhD
Assistant Professor - Child Development
Faculty Coordinator - COPE Emerging Leaders
Department of Human Development, Family Studies, & Counseling 
Woodcock Hall 015B

Page last updated 2:36 PM, September 18, 2023