• LEAP Center Students Learn Governing from Texas Senator Charles Schwertner
    LEAP Center Students Learn Governing from Texas Senator Charles Schwertner.
  • LEAP Center Students Learn Campaigning from Governor Abbott.
    LEAP Center Students Learn Campaigning from Governor Abbott.

Staff and Contact Information

The Center for Law, Engagement, And Politics is run by a small staff, with the assistance of a student advisory board.  To set up an advising session, go to "My Sam," then to My Success Planner (MSP), then to LEAP Center, and then to either Richard Yawn or Jean Loveall.  MSP will provide a confirmation email following the appointment.


Director: Mike Yawn has worked as a consultant for the state legislature, the state executive branch, and numerous political campaigns.  He has taught and advised at SHSU since 2001 and his research has been published in top journals (e.g., Journal of Politics) and books. Professor Yawn has served on half a dozen non-profit boards, numerous city committees and boards, and has written more than 300 newspaper and magazine articles.  He regularly speaks at community forums, including local civic organizations and to professional organizations in need of continuing education opportunities. Professor Yawn was the Carnegie Institute's "Civic Engagement Scholar" in 2008, and he served as the V.G. Young Institute's Fellow for 2015-2016. Professor Yawn can be contacted at or by phone at 936-294-1456.

Program Coordinator: Jean Loveall has a law degree from Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law and a Master's Degree in Public Health.  Ms. Loveall has taught at Lone Star Community College, at SHSU, at Houston Community College and has spent more than two decades engaged in practicing law and in public health and public service fields. Ms. Loveall can be contacted at or by phone at 936-294-4845.

Student Workers: Christina Perez is currently a senior at SHSU with a major in political science and a minor in criminal justice. She has completed several internships through SHSU including ones with Woodforest National Bank, Huntsville Public Library, and with the offices of U.S.Congressman Kevin Brady and Texas Representative Jim Murphy. She has served in multiple capacities as a LEAP Ambassador.

Lauren Konecny, a Terry Scholar recipient, is a freshman at SHSU majoring in kinesiology. 

LEAP Ambassadors:

President: Kaitlyn Tyra

Vice-President (Operations & Finance): Christina Perez

Vice-President (Public Relations): Brian Aldaco

Secretary & Archivist: Bianca Saldierna

Assistant VP of Marketing: Beatriz Martinez

Assistant VP of Operations: Karla Rosales

Member: Victoria McClendon-Leggett

Member: Ryan Knesek

Member: Makayla Mason


Contact Information:

Phone: 936-294-4845
Fax: 936-294-4172