CSULB Campus Leaders Join CSU System-Wide Middle Leadership Academy

Published November 8, 2022

A cross-divisional team of CSULB campus community members are participating in the Middle Leadership Academy throughout the 2022-23 academic year. The Middle Leadership Academy is a year-long professional development opportunity that brings together campus-based teams of CSU faculty, student affairs staff, researchers, and students. A CSU system-wide program, this collaborative and supportive environment aims to solve common issues related to student learning, engagement, progression, and completion. The Office of the Provost will assist with coordinating the group as they conceptualize strategies to enhance student success, particularly for culturally diverse students. 

Through the lens of educational equity, the Academy focuses on developing the skills and relationships of middle leaders so they can make meaningful change on their respective campuses. The team, co-led by Director of Faculty Affairs, Ennette Morton, and University Registrar, Meghan Griffith, will attend various sessions throughout the year to engage in MLA Learning Outcomes:

  • Equity. Consider ways (in)equity manifests on campus.
  • Knowledge. Apply research-based evidence to advance equitable student success efforts on campus.
  • Leadership. Build your sense of agency to lead equity-driven change.
  • Relationships. Build relationships with colleagues at your campus and from across the CSU who are involved in campus-level efforts supporting equitable student success.

Visit the Middle Leadership Academy website for more details on this system-wide effort. A special thank you to our innovative campus leaders for representing The Beach! #BeachPride

Meet Our Cross-Divisional Team:

Headshot_Meghan Griffith

Meghan Griffith (AA) - University Registrar 

Meghan Griffith serves as the University Registrar and leads teams such as Registration & Records; Transfer, Graduation, and Athletics Evaluations; Academic Scheduling; and Student Records Systems within Enrollment Services.  She has been with CSULB almost 16 years and is a proud graduate of CSULB, earning both a History BA and an Education MA (Social and Cultural Analysis of Education) at The Beach.       

Headshot_Ennette Morton
Ennette Morton (AA) - Director, Faculty Affairs  

As the Director of Faculty Affairs for California State University, Long Beach, Dr. Morton supports academic personnel process, policies, and procedures for tenure track, retired, and lecturer faculty on campus. She has 10 years of professional experience in higher education, specifically in faculty administration. Ennette is passionate about working on how universities can provide access to quality education to students in historically underserved communities and support their academic success and well-being. 

Headshot_Lynisha McDuel
Lynisha McDuel (SA) - Interim Director, Veterans Services   

Lynisha McDuel has been a part of California State University, Long Beach family since 2005. Dedicated to supporting all learners, Lynisha has primarily served veterans and other military-affiliated students at CSULB.  As Interim Director of Veterans Services, Lynisha leads a team providing student services including academic support, benefits certification, and advocacy for military-connected campus community members. Having spent over 20 years in higher education, Lynisha has held many positions and served on the boards of several committees dedicated to equitable access to resources and support. Throughout her career Lynisha has worked with a diverse range of organizations to provide resources for active-duty military, veterans and their dependents, foster youth, and pregnant and parenting youth. 

Shabnam Sodagari (AA) - Associate Professor, Computer Engineering & Computer Science    
Dr. Shabnam Sodagari is an Associate Professor of Computer Engineering and Computer Science. She received her Ph.D. from Penn State (The Pennsylvania State University). She is a senior member of IEEE and a founding member of IEEE Women in Engineering Coastal LA. She has been on the Editorial Board of IEEE Vehicular Technology Society Open Journal since 2019 and has several publications at impactful journals and major conferences, besides organizing technical workshops and conferences.  

headshot_Jessica Wood
Jessica Wood (SA) - Associate Director, Bob Murphy Access Center    

Jessica is a two-time CSULB alumna having received her bachelor’s degree in Philosophy with coursework in Cell and Molecular Biology, and a master’s in Secondary Education Curriculum and Instruction, along with a single subject teaching credential in Foundational Science. Jessica currently serves as BMAC’s Associate Director, and previously held the roles of Support Services Coordinator and Alternative Media Specialist within BMAC/AIM Center and served as a middle school science and math teacher in Long Beach Unified School District. She additionally serves on the Division of Student Affairs’ Equity and Inclusion Task Force and is committed to fostering a campus environment and culture that celebrates equitable access, inclusion, and Universal Design for all students. 

Balakrishnasai Yarra - Student Representative