Meet the Team
Patrick Cardenas, M.A.
Director, Student Involvement and Leadership
Read More About Patrick Cardenas
As the director of Student Involvement and Leadership, Patrick Cardenas leads his team in providing a comprehensive student life experience through involvement in registered student organizations (RSO), leadership development, campus activities, civic & community engagement, spirit & traditions, and mascot programming. His responsibilities also include department strategic planning and assessment, coordination of divisional co-curricular initiatives, university-wide collaborative programming, and represents the Division of Student Affairs on committees and task forces to enhance the quality of the holistic student experience.
Cardenas earned his Bachelor of Science degree in psychology and sociology, and a master’s degree in behavioral science-industrial/organizational psychology from UHCL. He also obtained a master’s degree in higher education administration from Sam Houston State University.
Erica Njoku, M. Ed.
Associate Director, Student Involvement and Leadership
Read More About Erica Njoku
Njoku has worked in the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership at UHCL since January 2021. In her role as the Associate Director, Njoku supports the Campus Activities Board and Student Government, assists with department assessment initiatives, as well as manages the Organizations and Activities area, including program research, development, outreach, budget management and implementation.
Njoku obtained a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh in 2012 and a Master of Education in Higher Education from the University of Houston in 2015.
Dillon Nash, M.A.
Assistant Director, Student Involvement and Leadership
Read More About Dillon Nash
Nash joined the Student Involvement and Leadership team in August 2018. Before becoming the Assistant Director in January 2021, he served the department as the Coordinator of Organizations and Activities. In his role as the Assistant Director, he will lead the Leadership and Community Engagement programming efforts in Student Involvement and Leadership.
Nash obtained his bachelor’s degree in mass communication-strategic communications in 2016 before obtaining a master of arts in higher education-student affairs from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 2018.
Pilar Goyarzu, Ph.D
Program Manager, Student Involvement and Leadership
Read More About Pilar Goyarzu
Dr. Goyarzu has served as the program manager in the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership since November 2020, and has previously served as the Program Coordinator for the Student Conference for Research and Creative Arts for 17 years at UHCL. In her role as program manager, she works to align unit and division goals by developing a comprehensive co-curricular research conference designed to demonstrate connections between coursework and out of the classroom experiences, develops and coordinates programs that connect knowledge gained in academic courses with student involvement programs, and provides general program support for the team.
Dr. Goyarzu attended the University of Houston-Clear Lake where she obtained both her B.S. and M.A. in Behavioral Science before going on to earn her Doctoral Degree in Psychology from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico.
Megan Bearden, M.A.
Department Assistant, Student Involvement and Leadership
Read More About Megan Bearden
Bearden has worked in Student Involvement and Leadership at UHCL since October 2010. Before becoming the program assistant in October 2018, she served the department as a student assistant and staff assistant. In her role as the Department Assistant IV, Bearden handles all the business-related functions for Student Involvement and Leadership and is responsible for all training aspects for student associates.
Bearden obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology in 2010 and a Master of Arts degree in industrial/ organizational psychology in 2012.
Kate Rivardo, MBA
Administrative Assistant, Student Involvement and Leadership
Read More About Kate Rivardo
Rivardo has worked in Student Involvement and Leadership at UHCL since January 2017. Before becoming the Administrative Assistant II, she served the department as a student assistant for organizations and activities, helping student organization leadership navigate their roles as leaders on campus and assisted in the coordination of staple office events. In her role as Administrative Assistant II, she provides administrative support to all areas of the office.
Rivardo obtained a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies in 2019 and is currently pursuing a Masters of Business Administration at UH-Clear Lake.