Center for Student Involvement

Marcella Leung

Director, Center for Student Involvement

As Director of the Center for Student Involvement, Marcella supervises the Center’s staff, provides direction to the Center’s operations, and advises the Student Government Association.

Marcella graduated from the University of Houston with a B. A. in English/Creative Writing and received her M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration from UT. A lifetime Student Affairs professional, Marcella has been in the field for 16 years. She has advised student program boards, fraternities and sororities, multicultural councils, homecoming, funding boards, student judicial boards, mentors, orientation teams, volunteer boards, and student government. Teaching students outside the classroom and seeing students grow and change always motivates her.

Professional Tip: "Participation in a student organization is the best way to open doors for employment after college."

Rommel Abad

Assistant Director for Campus Life
Center for Student Involvement

Originally from San Diego, California, Rommel Abad received his Bachelors of Science in Business Administration with a focus in Information Systems from San Diego State University. He later moved to New York where he pursued a Masters of Science in Higher Education from Syracuse University and worked as a graduate assistant for student activities, student government, and greek life.

Rommel Abad joined the Student Centers in March 2011 as the Assistant Director of the Center for Student Involvement (CSI). His responsibilities include services to registered student organizations, the Student Government Association Elections Commission, and the Activities Funding Board. In every role, Rommel aims to provide students with learning opportunities relevant to their goals and contribute to their overall personal development.

Rommel’s past experience in Student Affairs includes extended orientation camps, student organization services, leadership development, service learning, student condStudent Centert, disability services, student welfare, and health services at Northeastern State University as Assistant Dean in Oklahoma and a Student Development Specialist at Texas A&M University. In his spare time, Rommel enjoys spending time with his wife Kate and his son Ryland, cooking, and collecting vinyl music records.

Daniel Gray

Assistant Director, Center for Student Involvement

Originally from Southern California, Daniel received his B.A. from the University of California at Irvine with a degree in Psychology and Social Behavior. He moved to Houston, Texas two and a half years ago, where he worked as a District Manager of Marketing for an automotive company. He began working at UH as the Commuter Services Program Coordinator. In the Center for Student Involvement he is the advisor for both the Frontier Fiesta Assocation and the Homecoming Board. He completed his Masters in Higher Education at the University of Houston in 2011.

Stephanie Schmidt

Associate Director – Leadership and Civic Engagement
832 - 842 - 6253

Stephanie joined the Center for Student Involvement in July 2012 to oversee the development of leadership and civic engagement programs and serve as advisor for the Metropolitan Volunteer Program.

Originally from Northern Wisconsin Stephanie attended the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire, earning a degree in Organizational Communications. Seeking warmer weather and a new opportunity she attended Texas State University for Graduate School and completed a Masters of Science with an emphasis in Higher Education. While at Texas State she served as the Graduate Assistant for Leadership, launching her career of over 12 years in leadership development.

As a professional Stephanie has worked at the University of New South Wales in Sydney Australia, the University of South Carolina and most recently for eight years at the University of North Carolina- Charlotte as the Assistant Director in the Center for Leadership Development. Stephanie and her husband, a native Texan, were happy to return to Texas and are enjoying exploring the Houston area.

Selby Lo

Activities Advisor I
Center for Student Involvement

Selby coordinates the Event Registration and Risk Management for Registered Student Organizations on campus. He also serves the advisor for Dance On, the newest campus tradition. Originally from Toronto, Canada, Selby received his B.S. from North Carolina State University with degrees in Biological Sciences and Plant Biology and a minor in French. During his undergraduate experience, he was highly involved on campus and decided to pursue a Master’s degree in Higher Education with an emphasis in Student Affairs from the Florida State University.

Shirley Johnson

Secretary I, Center for Student Involvement

Shirley Colbert Johnson, affectionately known as ‘Ms. Shirley’ has been a fixture at the University of Houston for just over 18 years. Ms. Shirley joined the UH family in 1992 in the Housekeeping Department. In 1996, she joined Campus Activities in what is now known as Center for Student Involvement, currently serving as Secretary of the Student Government Association.  Her charming personality, comical catch phrases, and matter-of-fact attitude, is one that has welcomed many students and patrons throughout the years.

Ms. Shirley has 2 daughters, Cynthia and Sheila Johnson. She is the PROUD grandmother of 4 grandchildren: Porsche Anderson, Alex and Alexia Robinson and Carlashe’ Brown, and a PRECIOUS Great grand daughter little Ms. Paris. Ms. Shirley, who is a huge sports fan, loves the Houston Cougars,  Dallas Cowboys Tennessee Titans and the Texans. But her most favorite team is the East Bethel Cowboys, where she served as the President of that organization and attends East Bethel Baptist Church where Rev. Ronald K. Mouton, Sr. serves as her Pastor. When you visit Ms. Shirley, you will not only be greeted by her smile, but also her beautiful collection of live green plants, each having a special significance. A Biblical quote that inspires and motivates Ms. Shirley daily is “The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want” – Psalms 23.Ms. Shirley wishes to thank all of her family and friends for their love and support and a special thanks to Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. for bestowing the honor of a Tribute to a Black Woman on her.

Kristen Ernst

Activities Coordinator

A proud Rhode Island native, Kristen received her B.A. from Boston College with degrees in both English and Film Studies. She remained in Massachusetts two years after graduation, working in the Cultural Care Au Pair division of EF Education as an Account Services Manager. Kristen then moved to Texas to pursue a graduate degree in Higher Education Administration at the University of Houston. She currently works for Daniel Gray assisting with the Council of Ethnic Organizations, the Student Program Board and other Center for Student Involvement programs.

Abbey Hartgrove

GA for Leadership and Civic Engagement

Abbey graduated from Texas A&M University with a B.S. in Sociology and is currently pursuing her M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration and Supervision at the University of Houston. Prior to starting her Master's program Abbey spent a semester volunteering abroad in Guatemala City, Guatemala, which stemmed from her original interest of working in diverse cultures as well as social and individual empowerment. After completing a year at the UH Graduate College of Social Work she landed her current GA position in the Center for Student Involvement. During this time she came to realize her passion and love for working with University students and helping them find their place during their college experiences. She officially switched graduate programs in May 2013. As the GA for Leadership and Civic Engagement she works closely with the Ignite Leadership program, Catalyst Luncheon series and MVP. In her free time Abbey loves spending time exploring the big city and all that it has to offer!

Thasha Mitchell

GA for Student Program Board

Originally from Kansas City, Missouri, Thasha received her B.A. from The University of Missouri-Kansas City in Early Childhood Education. She moved to Houston, TX in 2011 to pursue a Master's Degree in Higher Education Administration & Supervision at the University of Houston. She joined the Center for Student Involvement in January, 2013. As the Graduate Assistant of the Student Program Board, Thasha serves as the co-advisor in partnership with Kristen Ernst. Thasha is passionate about creating educational opportunities for students and enjoys encouraging students to learn through their experiences. In her free time Thasha loves to spend time with her family and friends.