Keynote Speakers


2020 Featured Keynote Speaker

Dr. Jenelle S. Pitt

a photo headshot of Dr. Jenelle Pitt

Dr. Jenelle S. Pitt is a professor in the Master of Science in Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling program and serves as chair of the Department of Counselor Education and Rehabilitation at California State University (CSU), Fresno. Dr. Pitt was born in Toronto, Canada and grew up in Los Angeles, California. Dr. Pitt closely identifies with Caribbean culture as her parents are from Trinidad and Tobago. Dr. Pitt holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of California (UC), Riverside, a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling from Michigan State University, and a doctoral degree in rehabilitation counselor education from Michigan State University. Dr. Pitt is a licensed counseling professional, Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, and National Certified Counselor. Dr. Pitt has 21 years of experience working with individuals with disabilities and other diverse communities in a variety of settings including state government, schools, and non-profit agencies. Dr. Pitt has 11 years of leadership experience in higher education and is an alumna of the President’s Leadership Academy at CSU, Fresno, Executive Leadership Academy at UC Berkeley, and HERS Leadership Institute at Colorado School of Mines.

Dr. Pitt’s research interests include (a) intersectionality of identity; (b) cultural diversity and multiculturalism; (c) counselor training and preparation; and (d) positive organizational scholarship to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion in work settings. Dr. Pitt has 17 publications and more than 45 national, state, local, and invited presentations. Dr. Pitt has received national recognition for her work in multicultural advocacy and civic engagement.

Dr. Pitt currently serves on the City of Fresno Disability Advisory Commission and the African American Academic Acceleration Task Force in Fresno Unified School District. In 2014, the National Council on Rehabilitation Education named her Rehabilitation Educator of the Year. In 2015, Dr. Pitt received the Outstanding Faculty Leadership Award from the Fresno State Women’s Association, the Sylvia Walker Multicultural Education Award from the National Association of Multicultural Rehabilitation Concerns, and the Sylvia Walker National Multicultural Award from the National Rehabilitation Association. In 2020, Dr. Pitt was honored with the Things That Matter Award from the Central California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Fresno Metro Black Chamber of Commerce. Dr. Pitt’s teaching, research, and service commitments are rooted in a passion for diversity, equity, and inclusion whereby the pursuit of social change is maximized through shared accountability and responsibility to the community.