Meet the Staff
Loretta Pequeño-Griffin currently serves as the Director of The Leadership Center at UT Arlington. A social worker by training, she holds a B.A. in Sociology and Women’s Studies from Loyola University of New Orleans, and earned an M.A. in Administrative Social Work and Public Policy from the University Of Chicago School Of Social Service Administration. Loretta spent over 10 years working in the not-for-profit sector working with homeless services in Chicago and advocating for policy changes for working families. Before coming to UT Arlington, she was the Volunteer Coordinator at Xavier University of Louisiana. She relocated from New Orleans to the Metroplex during Hurricane Katrina and supervised the disaster case management program at the Salvation Army DFW Metro Area Command. She enjoys working with students as they embark on their leadership journey and supporting them as they encounter both the highs and lows of leadership. Loretta believes that the best leader is one who is self-aware and comes to the table with a strong awareness of both their personal strengths and challenges. She currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Arlington Life Shelter and serves as the Vice President of Board Governance. She resides in Arlington with her husband Brian Griffin and their precocious kitty cat, Cleophus.
Associate director, vacant
Veronica Guzman, M.ED.
Veronica Guzman currently serves as the Assistant Director of the UT Arlington Leadership Center advising the UTA HOSTS! Mentor program, Freshman Leaders on Campus, and the Leadership Learning Community at the UTA Heights on Pecan. During her professional career she has worked with Freshman Orientation, Commuter Student Programs, and Family Programs at the University of Texas Dallas, and taught fourth grade in her hometown of Harlingen, TX. As an undergraduate at UT Arlington, Veronica received the Sophomore Leader of the Year and Junior Leader of the Year awards for her involvement with EXCEL Campus Activities and other organizations. While receiving her M.Ed. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from UT Arlington, Veronica gained Student Affairs experience with the Tarrant County College Career Center, New Maverick Orientation, UTA Student Activities, and the UTA Leadership Center. In recognition of her accomplishments she received the Outstanding Graduate Assistant Award for the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Region III. While working to inspire students and in her own life, Veronica strives to follow the wise words of Dr. Seuss, “Unless someone like you cares a whole lot, nothing is going to get better, it’s not.” Veronica lives with her husband, Joe and their little Maltese, Oliver.
Susan Dequeant currently serves as the Assistant Director of The Leadership Center at UT Arlington as advisor to the UTA Volunteers and Alternative Breaks programs, and is liaison for The Leadership Center’s community outreach. She holds a B.S. in Child and Family Services from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, and will graduate with an M.E. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, Higher Ed Focus in May, 2015. Among her previous jobs, Susan was assistant director/teacher at an Arlington preschool; worked for Alcoa Recycling Company for nearly ten years where, as a marketing specialist, she created recycling awareness, events, and programs with schools, agencies, civic organizations, and businesses across the western half of the U.S., managed statewide recycling campaigns, and made numerous TV, radio, and print appearances; and she was the Copyright & Trademark Specialist for Smith System, a world-wide corporate driver instruction company. Her experience as a Girl Scout leader for over 10 years fueled her love for mentoring young people, for which she received the Girl Scout council’s Leader of the Year award in 2007. Before settling into her present role, Susan worked in UT Arlington’s Center for Community Service Learning office, where she assisted faculty with their service learning courses, and was a liaison between UT Arlington and community agencies. She is a member of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce where she serves as an Ambassador and a member of the Women’s Alliance Steering Committee. At UT Arlington, she is also an advisor for the Sigma Alpha Lambda Honor Society, which focuses on student leadership and volunteerism. Susan owns a custom chocolate business, and resides in Arlington with her husband, Steve; her daughter, Alyssa, also attends UT Arlington.
Julia recently completed her Master of Social Work from UT Arlington and has a Bachelor of Social Work from The University of North Texas. Julia is a member of Delta Gamma Fraternity and served as a Collegiate Development Consultant for the fraternity prior to coming to UT Arlington. She spends her free time advising collegiate Delta Gamma members and traveling. Prior to her current position, Julia was the Graduate Assistant in the Leadership Center. She worked with the UTA Volunteers and Alternative Breaks programs and assisted with technical and administrative duties. Currently, Julia advises Freshman Leaders On Campus (FLOC) and assists in planning major Leadership Center events and programs. Julia’s favorite Leadership Center event is the Fall Leadership Retreat. She is a lifelong resident of Arlington, TX and currently lives with her mom and dog, Kahlua.
Cindy is responsible for daily departmental fiscal management for The Leadership Center, Fraternity & Sorority Life, Campus Activities & Community Programs, University Events, Homecoming and Student Activities departmental accounts within the Division of Student Affairs. She has been with UT Arlington since 2004 and had previously resided in Chicago, Illinois while working as an executive assistant for a vice president in a major steel corporation for ten years. She also serves on the University Parking Appeals committee and the Division of Student Affairs External Funding committee. Cindy enjoys working with our students and her door is always open for anyone who needs guidance or just a safe place to talk. She also enjoys volunteering her time at University programs, events, and community wide when the need arises. She and her family reside in Grand Prairie with their three dogs, Baby, Prince and Gypsy.