Wooden Huts

Student Services

Student Services Annual Conference 2023

Awaken to Endless Possibilities: Cultivate Self Empowerment, Achieve Greatness

Mountain View Community Center: Redwood Hall

201 S Rengstorff Ave. Mountain View, CA 94040

Thursday, April 27, 2023 • 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Conference Objectives

  • To create an inspirational, activity-based experience that inspires attendees to focus on self care and mental wellness as a means to provide improved services to students.

  • To educate employees on how our self worth and belief system affects our daily life and work.

  • To learn how by harnessing traditional culture and spirituality from indigenous cultures can advance mental health services and well-being for communities of color.

  • To promote the “growth mindset” concept among employees and how our own mindset affects the students we serve. 

Music by DJ Sara Rivas

DJ Sara Rivas from the Beat Junkies Institute of Sound will provide music and an opportunity to interact with her throughout the event.

Introducing DJ Sara without an H, the master of beatssara rivas and sounds!With over 8 years of experience under her belt, DJ Sara has become a seasoned pro in the music industry. Born and raised in the heart of the music scene, she developed a passion for music at an early age and started her career as a DJ at local parties. Quickly becoming known for her ability to keep the crowd engaged and moving all night long with her seamless mixes, she created a unique sound that left audiences wanting more.

After years of perfecting her craft, DJ Sara decided to take her skills to the next level and enrolled in the Beat Junkie Institute of Sound in Los Angeles. There, she honed in on scratch turntablism and mixing vinyl records, mastering the art of DJing and taking her sets to new heights.

In addition to her skills as a DJ, DJ Sara has a musical background in being a vocalist and also a career in Workforce Development and Employer Engagement. Her diverse experiences have given her a unique perspective on the music industry, and she uses this to craft sets that not only entertain but also inspire. Her sets are designed to take the audience on a journey, incorporating different genres and eras that showcase the best of what music has to offer.

DJ Sara's diverse musical taste spans across various genres including hip-hop, funk, soul, house, Latin grooves, instrumentals, and beyond. Her talent lies in seamlessly blending different eras and genres together to create a unique sound that captivates audiences and keeps them coming back for more. With a gift for engaging the crowd and fostering a sense of belonging, DJ Sara has become a crowd favorite at a variety of events and venues, from backyard boogies to professional development conferences. Come experience the magic of DJ Sara without an H and get into the groove!

Conference Program

9 a.m. Introductory Remarks

Welcome & Conference Overview with Dr. Laurie Scolari, Vice President Student Services

Grounding Activity with Rio Holaday, Visual Artist and Public Health Practitioner

9:30 a.m. Breakout Rooms: A Time to Heal

A Time to Heal

Select the room of your choice. A new segment will start every 25 minutes. You may optionally move to a different room at that time or stay where you are. See workshops descriptions below.

Session 1 | 9:30 a.m. - 9:55 a.m.

Session 2 | 10:00 a.m. - 10:25 a.m.

Session 3 | 10:30 a.m. - 10:55 a.m.

Healing through dance by Lisa Mancalisa manca bio headshot
Licensed professional clinical counselor and board-certified dance & movement therapist (Cedar Room)

Lisa Manca is a licensed professional clinical counselor and board certified dance/movement therapist working virtually and in-person in San Francisco, CA.  She helps anxious, supersmart professionals who feel numb after pain and tragedy reconnect to their bodies so that they can release their pain and feel good again. Lisa helps those experiencing anxiety and depression through both talk therapy and dance therapy and also is working on certification in Dynamic Attachment Repatterning.

Healing through art by Rio Holaday (Elm Room)rio holaday

Visual artist and public health practitioner


Rio uses visuals to make you feel seen, heard, and grounded in our collective journey towards justice. She has a public health background and became a visual practitioner inorder to make information accessible, gatherings engaging, and the journey more joyful. Rio is a Culture of Health Leader with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Rio was formerly the Director of HOPE Collaborative, which organizes black and brown communities in Oakland around equitable health policies, and a Senior Policy Analyst at ChangeLab Solutions, which uses policy and planning tools to create healthier communities. She co-founded Rebel Ventures, a social enterprise that works with high school students to make healthy snacks to sell in corner stores and schools, and conducted research on food access in Philadelphia. Rio is a former Fulbright Scholar and worked in refugee resettlement in Vermont. She received her MPH from the University of Pennsylvania, MA in Forced Migration from the University of the Witwatersrand (VIT-vahters-rand), and BA from Wesleyan University.

Healing in nature by Olivia Nunez (Meet at entrance

olivia nunez

 of hall)
Open Space Health Planning Specialist Santa ClaraCounty

Olivia Nuñez has been practicing meditation for over 20 years and has been leading meditation workshops since 2008. She has a strong passion in teaching others, especially the Latino community, about the life changing benefits of meditation. She teaches with a playful, dynamic, and heartfelt approach.

Healing through sound by [iChakras] (Maple Room)ichakras logo
A Sound Bath is a deeply-immersive, full-body listening experience that intentionally uses sound to invite gentle yet powerful therapeutic and restorative processes to NURTURE YOUR MIND AND BODY. 
Just as a typical bath involves a person immersing themselves in water, a sound bath attempts to immerse a person in sound, so they feel enveloped in it. The bath involves singing bowls, which are bell-like instruments made of quartz that create a resonant tone.
Sound Baths help with various concerns, such as stress, processing emotions, or unblocking chakras. Chakras are centers of spiritual energy or power

11 a.m. Coffee & Snack Break

Sponsored by EDvance College

11:15 p.m. Keynote Address

Rethinking American Indian Community-Based Mental Health Services by Harnessing Indigenous Cultural and Spiritual Traditions

Joseph P. Gone Ph. D. is an international expert in thejoseph p gone psychology and mental health of American Indians and other Indigenous peoples. A professor at Harvard University, Dr. Gone has collaborated with tribal communities for over 25 years to critique conventional mental health services and harness traditional culture and spirituality for advancing Indigenous well-being. He has published over 100 scientific articles and chapters, and received recognition in his fields through several fellowships and career awards, including a year-long residency at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. A graduate of Harvard College and the University of Illinois, Dr. Gone also trained at Dartmouth College and McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School. He is currently a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, and of seven divisions of the American Psychological Association (APA). An enrolled member of the Aaniiih-Gros Ventre Tribal Nation of Montana, he also served briefly as the Chief Administrative Officer for the Fort Belknap Indian reservation. In 2014, Gone was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. In 2021 he received the APA Award for Distinguished Professional Contributions to Applied Research and was elected to the National Academy of Medicine.

12:15 p.m. Lunch & Rap Performance by Jeremy aka Oneself DaVinci

Lunch: Taco Bar

Entertainment by Oneself DaVinci Jeremy Peters

Jeremy Peters, also known as Oneself DaVinci, is anJeremy Peters artist, science communicator, and information professional from San Jose, California. After earning a Bachelor’s degree in geology from UC Santa Cruz, Jeremy enrolled in the Master’s program for library and information science at San Jose State University, which he is scheduled to complete in 2023. In the meantime, you can find him working in the library at Foothill College, where he passionately connects students with the resources they need at as low a cost as possible.

As an artist, Oneself has over 25 years of experience rapping up and down the west coast, combining his in-the-pocket flow, vivid storytelling, and precise wordplay with uniquely conceptual lyrics that are meant to engage listeners mentally and musically. As he himself states, “Take notes like there’s gonna be a test when I’m on the mic”. In a time where everything is supposed to be easy, get familiar with this lyricist that’s determined to make his listeners work for it. 100% guaranteed fresh, you will not be disappointed.

1 p.m. Closing Speaker

The power of self-care, self-empowerment and the limitless possibilities.

Lauren Sedbonlauren sedbon
Founder & Lead Transformation Coach, Thinkmanifest Inc

Lauren is a dynamic author and captivating speaker who serves as the
founder and Lead Transformation Specialist at Thinkmanifest Inc.
This cutting-edge personal development firm is dedicated to empowering
individuals and organizations to shatter limiting beliefs and unleash
their ultimate potential.
Through her expert guidance, Lauren inspires change and cultivates
transformative growth that helps clients manifest a brighter and more
successful future.

1:30 p.m. Growth Mindset Activity and Closing Remarks

DJ Sara Rivas, Lauren Sedbon & Dr. Laurie Scolari

2 p.m. Closing Remarks

 Dr. Laurie Scolari

Keynote & Workshop Descriptions

Keynote: Rethinking American Indian Community-Based Mental Health Services by Harnessing Indigenous Cultural and Spiritual Traditions

The Indigenous peoples of North America are heirs to the shattering legacy of European colonization. These brutal histories of land dispossession, military conquest, forced settlement, religious repression, and coercive assimilation have robbed American Indian communities of their economies, lifeways, and sources of meaning and significance in the world. The predictable consequence has been an epidemic of “mental health” problems such as demoralization, substance abuse, violence, and suicide within these communities. One apparent solution would seem to be the initiation or expansion of mental health services to better reach American Indian clients. And yet, conventional mental health services such as counseling and psychotherapy depend on assumptions and aspirations that may not fit well with Indigenous cultural sensibilities. For example, counseling practices draw on the presumed value for clients of introspective and expressive “self talk,” while tribal community norms may emphasize communicative caution outside of interactions with intimate kin, leading to marked reticence rather than candid disclosure. Moreover, given the sensitive history of colonization, such differences have the potential to further alienate Indigenous community members from the very services and providers designated to help them. This presentation will review the implicit logics that structure mental health service delivery as well as key commitments of many American Indian cultural psychologies in an effort to re-imagine counseling services in a manner that truly centers Indigenous perspectives.

Healing through Dance

Presenter: Lisa Manca


Dance has been used as a form of expression and therapy for centuries. In this workshop, we will explore the healing power of dance and movement. This experiential workshop is designed to help participants connect with their emotions, release tension and trauma stored in the body, and promote overall well-being.

Participants will be led through a variety of dance exercises, including free-form movement, guided meditation, and group dance activities. We will use a variety of music styles and rhythms to create an environment that supports the exploration of emotions and inner experiences. We will also incorporate mindfulness practices to help participants stay present in the moment and deepen their connection with their body.

No previous dance experience is necessary to participate in this workshop. All ages and abilities are welcome. This workshop is suitable for anyone who wants to explore dance as a means of self-expression and healing.

Benefits of attending this workshop:

  • Explore the healing power of dance and movement

  • Connect with your emotions and release tension and trauma stored in the body

  • Promote overall well-being through mindful movement practices

  • Experience the joy of dancing and creative expression

Join us for this empowering and transformative workshop, and discover how dance can support your healing journey.

Healing through Art

Presenters: Rio Holaday


Art has the power to heal, transform and provide a means for self-expression. This workshop aims to help individuals explore their emotions and experiences through the creative process of art-making. By engaging in this workshop, participants will be able to express their innermost thoughts, emotions and feelings in a supportive and non-judgmental environment.

Participants will be guided through a range of art-making activities, including painting, drawing, and collage, among others. They will be encouraged to use the art-making process to explore their experiences, develop self-awareness and create meaningful connections with others in the workshop.

The workshop will be facilitated by experienced art therapists who will provide guidance and support throughout the art-making process. The facilitators will create a safe and inclusive space for participants to explore and express themselves through the creative process.

Overall, this workshop is designed to help individuals find a sense of healing and well-being through the therapeutic power of art-making.

Healing through Sound

Presenter: iChakras, Los Altos


The Healing Through Sound workshop is a transformative experience that allows you to release stress, anxiety, and tension through the soothing sounds of crystal bowls, chimes, and other healing instruments. This workshop is designed to promote deep relaxation, enhance mental clarity, and provide a sense of peace and inner harmony.

In this workshop, participants will be guided through a series of gentle movements and breathing exercises to help release physical and emotional tension from the body. You will then be invited to lay down on a comfortable mat, surrounded by the healing sounds of crystal bowls, chimes, and other instruments. The vibrations and frequencies produced by these instruments will help to balance and restore your body's natural energy flow, promoting healing and relaxation.

Participants do not need any prior experience or special skills to participate in this workshop. It is suitable for anyone who wishes to experience deep relaxation, reduce stress and anxiety, and promote overall health and well-being.

Healing in Nature

Presenter: Olivia Nunez


Healing through Nature is a workshop designed to help individuals connect with nature and use it as a tool for healing and self-care. Participants will learn how to harness the healing power of nature by taking guided walks through local natural environments, such as parks, forests, and beaches.

During these walks, participants will engage in mindfulness practices and sensory exercises, designed to enhance their connection with the natural world. These practices will help participants to be fully present in the moment, connect with their senses, and experience the healing power of nature.

The workshop will also include discussions on the benefits of nature-based therapies, such as ecotherapy and horticulture therapy. Participants will learn how these therapies can be used to treat a range of mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, and stress.

By the end of this workshop, participants will have a deeper understanding of the healing power of nature and how to incorporate nature walks into their self-care routine. Participants will leave feeling refreshed, relaxed, and equipped with the knowledge and skills to continue their healing journey through nature.

This workshop is suitable for anyone interested in improving their mental health and well-being through nature-based therapies.

Past Conferences