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Meet the Staff



Loretta Pequeño-Griffin, M.A.


Loretta Pequeño-Griffin currently serves as the Director of The Leadership Center at UT Arlington. She is a Social Worker who holds a B.A. in Sociology and Women’s Studies from Loyola University of New Orleans, and an M.A. in Administrative Social Work and Public Policy from the University Of Chicago School Of Social Service Administration. Loretta serves as a Field Instructor for the UT Arlington School of Social Work, which requires her to consistently review and challenge students to integrate theory with practice for holistic learning while interning with the Leadership Center. Furthermore, she is a member of the Association of Leadership Educators and has been recognized for her contributions to student leadership development by the Society for Leadership and Success and was awarded the Outstanding Maverick Award by UT Arlington. Loretta spent over 10 years working in the not-for-profit sector in Chicago and 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 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.

Veronica Guzman, M.ED.
Associate director


Veronica Guzman currently serves as the Associate Director of the UT Arlington Leadership Center. She manages the day to day operations of the Center as well serves as the advisor for the UTA HOSTS! Mentor program, and the Freshman Leaders on Campus program. 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 her baby son, Caleb 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 an M.Ed in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, Higher Ed Focus, and a B.S. in Child and Family Services from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.  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.

Rory Szwed, M.Ed.

Amy Nelson


Robert Kalina
Administrative Assistant

Robert is the Graduate Advisor for the Leadership Center. Prior to that, Robert was the Director of the Leadership Honors Program for 2 years while completing his Bachelor’s degree at UTA. Robert holds a Bachelor of Science degree in University Studies (’15, Magna Cum Laude) and a minor in Leadership Studies, and is currently pursuing a Masters in Educational Leadership. He is a two time winner of the UT-Arlington Outstanding Student Leader Award (’14, ’15), and was selected as the Who’s Who among College and Universities for both 2014 and 2015. He was also named Mentor of the Year by the Leadership Center in 2015. One of his favorite quotes is “The greatest mistake we make is living in constant fear that we will make one.” – John Maxwell

Cindy Roman

Cindy Roman

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.