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Dr. Dana Emerson


Dr. Dana Emerson was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She received an Associates of Arts degree from El Camino College, and a Bachelors of Arts and Masters of Arts from California State University at Northridge. She earned a PhD in Adult and Higher Education with a focus in Leadership from Oregon State University. Her area of research is Student Success focusing on African-American males in community college resulting in disrupting the definition of student success used in higher education.

Dana also holds several certifications in conflict resolution, facilitation, and family law dispute resolution. In 1999, Dana started Neutral Ground Mediation and Consulting. Expanding her experience as a mediator and facilitator, Dana has been invited by many private and non-profit organizations and educational institutions to aid in the resolution of internal organizational conflicts as well as those occurring in the community addressing cultural, justice and communication issues. She has also been called to train individuals and groups in gaining conflict resolution and management strategies utilizing effective communication to address diversity, equity and inclusion awareness.

In 2005, Dana moved to Oregon and began teaching Communication at Linn-Benton Community College (LBCC) where she held the positions of Department Chair, Chair of Academic Affairs, Chair of the Diversity and Civic Engagement Council, Chair of the Faculty Senate and President Elect of the Faculty Association. Prior to teaching in Oregon, Dana taught at El Camino College and guest taught at various universities and institutions in California. In the Pacific-Northwest, Dana continued to work with institutions of higher education to facilitate conflict management and resolution strategies. Diversity, equity and inclusion work continued as a consultant to the Human Relations Commission and as one of the founders and educators of the Visioning Organizations as Inclusive Communities and Equitable Spaces (VOICES) project at Portland Community College and facilitating Sustained Dialogues on Race Relations and Gender Communication.

Dana is an effective and successful communicator with exceptional abilities in facilitation, instruction, program development, consultation, evaluation, training, and problem – solving. Some of her most notable working relationships and clients are Oregon State University, the Oregon Department of Education, the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, the Housing Authority of Los Angeles County, and Tyra Bank’s TZONE project. Most recently she has collaborated with the Circle of Leadership, the American Association of Women in Community Colleges and the California State Umoja Community. She is a highly competent professional, who has been the recipient of numerous prestigious awards such as the William C. Hobbs Award for outstanding adult mediator of the year in Los Angeles County, the California State Assembly Certificate of Recognition for Interpersonal Communication and Family Mediation skills and services, and was named an Instructor of Great Influence at El Camino College for Speech Communication. She has also been recognized multiple years as Education Manager of the Year.

Dana has published three textbooks for Linn-Benton Community College and other community colleges in Oregon. In the spirit of giving back, she created a textbook grant from the royalties of the textbooks and endowed a scholarship for LatinX students (The Emerson-Fuentes Scholarship). She has been recognized and honored by the NAACP for her commitment to diversity and student engagement in higher education.

In 2015, Dana returned to California to lead a college campus in the Coast Community College District. She continues to facilitate, consult and coach community and higher education organizations in communication competency, leadership, diversity, equity and inclusion work as well as goal attainment. As a Communication Professor, Consultant, Facilitator, Relationship and Communication Coach, Family Mediator, text- book author and business owner, Dana has over 25 years of experience in the fields of education, facilitation, consultation, diversity-equity-inclusion and conflict management-resolution. She has worked with individuals, families, organizations and colleges in California, Illinois, Mississippi, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington providing instruction and discussion addressing strategies to improve communication, effective decision-making and planning skills and strategies. Her style of delivery is fun and energetic, making concepts and ideas easy for everyone to use and understand. Her style is demonstrated in the anthology Becoming the Doctors, where she is the author of the chapter “Deficiencies and Determination: My Journey in Grad-School” to be published in spring 2021. Dana’s core belief is that we all need someone in our corner, on our team that will help and support us to be the most successful people we can be. This is why her tagline is “98% of Success is Support…I’ve got your back!”™

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