First-Generation Faculty and Staff

Did you know that some of Western’s professors, instructors and staff were first-generation college students? Below you can find faculty and staff on campus who support first-generation students and SOS’s mission.

Katherine Anderson

Katherine Anderson

  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences – English
  • Office: HU 361
  • Email: ander735@wwu.edu
  • Hometown: Wausau, Wisconsin
  • Education: Associates in Arts & Sciences (University of Wisconsin- Marathon County), B.A. in English and Women’s Studies (University of Wisconsin-Madison), M.A. in English and Gender Studies (Indiana University), Ph.D. in English (Indiana University)
  • Research/Teaching Interests: British literature, empire and postcolonial studies, terrorism, moral philosophy, monsters
  • Hobbies/Interests: Hanging out with my pets, exploring outdoors, reading and watching TV, travel
Carissa Bane

Carissa Bane

  • Co-Coordinator – Academic Advising Center
  • Office: OM 380
  • Email: banec@wwu.edu
  • Hometown: Des Moines, Iowa
  • Education: B.A. in Exercise Science – Health Promotion (Central College), M.Ed. in Counseling and Career Development (Colorado State University)
  • Hobbies/Interests: Being active outside (tennis, biking, running, skiing, camping), spending time with and learning about people, being active/volunteering in the community, traveling
Regina Barber DeGraff

Regina Barber DeGraff

  • College of Science & Engineering – Physics & Astronomy
  • Office: CF 355
  • Email: barberr@wwu.edu
  • Hometown: Lynden, Washington
  • Education: B.S. in Physics (WWU), M.S. in Physics (San Diego State University), Ph.D. in Physics (Washington State University)
  • Hobbies/Interests: Pop culture, hanging out with daughter while watching TV, movies and musicals
  • Quote: “My goal in life is to disrupt the scientist stereotype. We don’t all look, talk or behave the same way. I ultimately want to take away the intimidation that comes to mind when people think “science and math” and create a culture in science where one can feel they belong.”
Rebecca Beardsall

Rebecca Beardsall

  • Senior Director of Marketing, Publishing & Conferences – Outreach and Continuing Education
  • Office: CH 303
  • Email: beardsr2@wwu.edu
  • Hometown: Quakertown, Pennsylvania
  • Education: B.A. in English (DeSales University), M.A. in English (Lehigh University), M.F.A. in Creative Writing (Western Washington University)
  • Hobbies/Interests: Reading, writing, walking, cooking, gardening
Jenny Bettis

Jenny Bettis

  • Administrative Services Manager – Journalism, College of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Office: CF 255
  • Email: bettisj2@wwu.edu
  • Hometown: Chico, California
  • Education: B.A. in Social Science (California State University, Chico), M.A. in Political Science (California State University, Chico)
  • Hobbies/Interests: The outdoors, yoga, hand-embroidery, reading too many books, eating good food, and spending time with my family
  • Quote: “The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty.” – James Madison
Heather Christianson

Heather Christianson

  • Program Support Supervisor – Registrar’s Office
  • Office: OM 230
  • Email: chris54@wwu.edu
  • Hometown: Ferndale, Washington
  • Education: B.A. in Anthropology (Western Washington University)
  • Hobbies/Interests: Cats, chickens, hiking, landscaping, music, photography, politics, reading, soccer, social justice, stand-up comedy, travel, volunteering
Robert Clark

Robert Clark

  • Manager – ATUS Video Services
  • Office: HH 113
  • Email: clarkr21@wwu.edu
  • Hometown: Inglewood, California
  • Education: B.A. in Telecommunication and Film (University of Oregon), M.S. in Geographic Video (University of Oregon)
  • Hobbies/Interests: Photography, writing, videography, traveling, railroading
  • Quote: “Obtaining an education is like gaining a super power. Through education, you can fly, design, create, and more for the rest of your life.”
Jennifer Cook

Jennifer Cook

  • Club Activities Coordinator – Associated Students
  • Office: VU 431
  • Email: cookj22@wwu.edu
  • Hometown: Londonderry, New Hampshire
  • Education: B.S. in Marine Biology (Roger Williams University – Rhode Island), M.S. in College Student Personnel (Western Illinois University)
  • Hobbies/Interests: Puzzles, travel, biking, all things paranormal
  • Quote: “Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.” – Judy Garland
Karen Deysher

Karen Deysher

  • Coordinator for Student Advocacy & Identity Resource Centers – Viking Union
  • Office: VU 756
  • Email: deyshek@wwu.edu
  • Hometown: Reading, Pennsylvania
  • Education: B.S. in Social Work (Kutztown University of Pennsylvania – with a brief stop at Reading Area Community College), Master of Social Work (Kutztown University of Pennsylvania), Master of Public Administration (Kutztown University of Pennsylvania)
  • Quote: “Without community, there is no liberation.” – Audre Lorde
Effie Eisses

Effie Eisses

  • Director – Career Services
  • Office: OM 280
  • Email: eissese@wwu.edu
  • Hometown: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • Education: Bachelor of Commerce (University of British Columbia), Master of Education (Western Washington University)
  • Hobbies/Interests: Family/friend fun time, cooking, reading, traveling
  • Quote: “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Nick Galati

Nick Galati

  • College of Science and Engineering – Biology
  • Office: BI 331
  • Email: galatid@wwu.edu
  • Hometown: Warrington, Pennsylvania
  • Education: B.S. in Biology (Millersville University of Pennsylvania – with a brief stop at Bucks County Community College), Ph.D. in Cell Biology (University of Colorado-Boulder)
  • Research/Teaching Interests: Cell biology and microscopy (imaging small things at high resolution)
  • Hobbies/Interests: Spending time with my family, riding my bike, being an inept wood-worker
Megan Galley

Megan Galley

  • Employee & Labor Relations Consultant – Human Resources
  • Office: HU 217
  • Email: galleym2@wwu.edu
  • Hometown: Bellingham, Washington
  • Education: B.A. in Spanish, Minor in Sociology (Western Washington University)
  • Hobbies/Interests: Running, improvising, inspiring laughter and joy in others, exploring and adventuring, dancing, video editing, cartwheeling, listening to people talk about podcasts they like, conversations with my elders
  • Quote: “I got that sunshine in my pocket, got that good soul in my feet!” – Justin Timberlake
Steven Garfinkle

Steven Garfinkle

  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences – History
  • Office: BH 334
  • Email: garfins@wwu.edu
  • Hometown: Franklin Lakes, New Jersey
  • Education: B.A. History & Archaeology (Tufts University); M.A. Archaeology (University College London); Ph.D. Ancient Near Eastern Studies (Columbia University)
  • Research/Teaching Interests: ancient Mesopotamia, the ancient economy, early state formation, commerce and violence in the ancient world
  • Hobbies/Interests: Family, pets, travel, reading, movies, poker
  • Quote: “Just because you can’t figure out how ancient civilizations built stuff, doesn’t mean they got help from aliens.” – Neil deGrasse Tyson
Mary Hall

Mary Hall

  • Advisor and Outreach Specialist – Computer Science Department, College of Science & Engineering
  • Office: CF 459
  • Email: hallm22@wwu.edu
  • Hometown: Olympia, Washington
  • Education: B.A. in English – Secondary Education (Western Washington University)
  • Hobbies/Interests: Pilates, mindfulness, game nights, sea glass hunting
  • Quote: “To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate the beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded!” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Teri Hall

Teri Hall

  • Student Success Specialist – College of Business and Economics
  • Office: PH 45A
  • Email: hallt21@wwu.edu
  • Hobbies/Interests: I write novels.
  • Quote: “Ask for help. And then learn, from the people who answer your call, how to help yourself. You can DO this.”
Deborah (Debi) Hanuscin

Deborah (Debi) Hanuscin

  • Woodring College of Education – Elementary Education / College of Science & Engineering – Science, Math & Technology
  • Office: MH 315B or the SMATE Learning Resource Center
  • Email: hanuscd@wwu.edu
  • Hometown: Charleston, South Carolina
  • Education: B.S. in Elementary Education (Florida State University), M.Ed. in Science & Environmental Education (Indiana University), Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction (Indiana University)
  • Research/Teaching Interests: Elementary science, teacher education, equitable science teaching, teacher learning of science, partnering with informal science organizations
  • Hobbies/Interests: Documentary film, Sashiko Japanese embroidery, reading nonacademic literature, baking, traveling with my husband, hiking with my dog
  • Quote: “Non scholae sed vitae discimus.” (“We do not learn just for school, but for life.”) – Seneca
Nini Hayes

Nini Hayes, they/them/theirs

  • Huxley College of the Environment – Environmental Education Program
  • Office: AH 203
  • Email: hayesn@wwu.edu
  • Hometown: Covington, Washington
  • Education: B.A. in Environmental Education (Western Washington University), Masters in Teaching (Seattle University), Educational Specialist degree in Social Justice Education and Doctorate in Teacher Education and School Improvement (University of Massachusetts – Amherst)
  • Research/Teaching Interests: Equity and social justice in teaching and learning, critical race theory, critical teacher education and critical environmental education
  • Hobbies/Interests: Hanging out with family and friends, playing with my cats, watching shows, listening to podcasts, and enjoying the outdoors
  • Quote: “If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But, if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.” – Attributed to a collective endeavor of Aboriginal rights activists, Queensland, Australia – 1970’s
Sara Helms

Sara Helms

  • Manager – Department of Linguistics
  • Office: BH 418F
  • Email: helmss@wwu.edu
  • Hometown: Sedro-Woolley, Washington
  • Education: A.A. (Skagit Valley College), B.A. in Communication Studies (Western Washington University)
  • Hobbies/Interests: Spending time with my family and friends, yoga, Zumba, belly dancing, podcasts, jigsaw puzzles
  • Quote: “Fake it ’til you become it.” – Amy Cuddy
Richard Henderson

Richard Henderson

  • Assistant Director for Residence Life
  • Office: EA 113
  • Email: henderr5@wwu.edu
  • Hometown: Dundee, Scotland
  • Education: B.S. in Physical Education (McKendree University), M.A. in Educational Leadership (University of Nevada)
  • Hobbies/Interests: Coaching and playing soccer, parenting, running, biking, hiking, wine tasting, and eating at my favorite restaurants
  • Quote: “Nobilitas unica virtus”
Ira Hyman

Ira Hyman

  • Woodring College of Education – Health and Community Studies
  • Office: AI 582
  • Email: hyman@wwu.edu
Valerie Kimble

Valerie Kimble

  • International Student Advisor – International Student & Scholar Services
  • Office: MH 212
  • Email: kimblev@wwu.edu
  • Hometown: Madrid, Spain
  • Education: B.S. in Marine Science (U.S. Coast Guard Academy), Masters in Teaching (Seattle University)
  • Hobbies/Interests: Hiking, trail running, spending time with family and friends, reading, cooking
John Korsmo

John Korsmo

  • Woodring College of Education – Human Services & Rehabilitation
  • Office: MH 317D
  • Email: korsmoj@wwu.edu
  • Hometown: Bounced all over, but high school years were in Banks, Oregon
  • Education: Associates in Psychology (Portland Community College), B.A. in Social studies (Portland State University), Masters in Educational Psychology with focus on Multicultural Community Counseling, and Ph.D. in Urban Education (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)
  • Hobbies/Interests: Primarily time with family, and outdoor recreation – about anything in the woods, mountains or water
  • Quote: “Keep love in the center.”
Ellen Kuhlmann

Ellen Kuhlmann

  • Space Analyst – Space Administration and Management, President/Provost’s Office
  • Office: OM 476
  • Email: kuhlmae@wwu.edu
  • Hometown: Des Plaines, Illinois
  • Education: B.A. in Biology (Augustana College), M.S. in Biology (Western Washington University)
  • Hobbies/Interests: All things botanical, writing, knitting, Tai Chi, books
  • Quote: “Wherever you go, there you are.”
Ryan Larsen

Ryan Larsen

  • Director of Education Abroad and Associate Executive Director of the Institute for Global Engagement
  • Office: MH 204-E
  • Email: larsenr4@wwu.edu
  • Hometown: Gardnerville, Nevada
  • Education: B.A. in International Affairs and Spanish Language and Literature (University of Nevada, Reno), academic year abroad (Universidad Nacional, Costa Rica), Master of Public Administration (University of Nevada, Las Vegas), and Ph.D. in Public Affairs (University of Nevada, Las Vegas)
  • Research Interests: Public diplomacy, international education policy, public policy
  • Hobbies/Interests: Baking, Star Wars, reading (fantasy genre), sewing, cats, and traveling
  • Quote: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” – Mary Oliver
Scott Linneman

Scott Linneman

  • Director of University Honors College
  • Office: OM 330
  • Email: linnems@wwu.edu
  • Hometown: Kankakee, Illinois
  • Education: B.A. in Geology (Carleton College), Ph.D. in Geology (University of Wyoming)
  • Research/Teaching Interests: Geomorphology, landslides, human perceptions of time
  • Hobbies/Interests: Hiking with my dogs, traveling with my wife by bike or our homemade camper van, reading thought-provoking fiction
Manuel David Montano

Manual David Montano

  • Huxley College of the Environment – Environmental Sciences
  • Office: AH 458
  • Email: montanm2@wwu.edu
  • Hometown: Idaho Springs, Colorado
  • Education: B.S. in Chemistry (Colorado School of Mines), Ph.D. in Applied Chemistry (Colorado School of Mines)
  • Research/Teaching Interests: Analytical Environmental Chemistry, natural and engineered nanoparticles in the environment, emerging contaminants
  • Hobbies/Interests: Hiking, poetry, reading
Hannah Nevitt

Hannah Nevitt

  • Study Abroad Advisor – Education Abroad
  • Office: MH 208
  • Calendly: Hannah Nevitt
  • Email: nevitth@wwu.edu
  • Hometown: Conway, Washington
  • Education: B.S. in Psychology (Washington State University), M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration – Student Affairs (Washington State University)
  • Hobbies/Interests: Traveling, exploring, metalsmithing (jewelry making), hanging out with my family, and watching women’s college softball with my twin sister!
  • Quote: “To make living itself an art, that is the goal.” – Henry Miller
Carolyn Nielsen

Carolyn Nielsen

  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences – Journalism
  • Office: CF 261
  • Email: cenielse@wwu.edu
  • Hometown: San Luis Obispo, California
  • Education: B.S. in Journalism (California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo), M.S. in Journalism (Northwestern University), Ph.D. in Communications (University of Washington)
  • Research/Teaching Interests: Reporting, mass media and diversity, research on news narratives of immigration, race, intersectionality and how technology has the power to amplify voices that might otherwise not be heard
  • Hobbies/Interests: Cooking, traveling, playing tennis, watching soccer, spending time with my family
  • Quote: “There is no shame in not knowing, the shame lies in not finding out.” – Russian proverb
Kendra Norton

Kendra Norton

  • Administrative Assistant – Residence Life
  • Office: Edens 113
  • Email: nortonk@wwu.edu
  • Hometown: Sedro-Woolley, Washington
  • Education: B.A. in Human Services (Western Washington University)
  • Hobbies/Interests: Hanging out with my four kids, painting (watercolor, acrylic), gardening, connecting with people, learning
  • Quote: “We think that the point is to pass the test or overcome the problem, but the truth is things really don’t get solved. They come together and fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.” – Pema Chodron
Brady Olson

Brady Olson

  • College of Science and Engineering – Biology
  • Office: BI 366
  • Email: olsonm@wwu.edu
  • Hometown: Clarkston, Washington
  • Education: A.A. (Walla Walla Community College, Clarkston branch), B.S. in Earth Science (University of Idaho), M.S. in Environmental Science, Marine and Estuarine Science (Western Washington University), Ph.D. in Biological Oceanography (University of Washington)
  • Research/Teaching Interests: Marine science, biological oceanography, phytoplankton ecology, macroalgae, planktonic food webs
  • Hobbies/Interests: Spending time with my family, being on the water, foraging for wild foods
Melissa Osborne

Melissa Osborne

  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences – Sociology
  • Email: osbornm7@wwu.edu
  • Hometown: Roseburg, Oregon
  • Education: A.A. (Umpqua Community College), B.A. in Sociology (Reed College), M.A. in Sociology (University of Chicago), Ph.D. in Sociology (University of Chicago)
  • Research/Teaching Interests: Social mobility, inequality and stratification, education, culture, organizations, social theory, qualitative methods
  • Hobbies/Interests: Adventuring outside, making hot sauce, tabletop games and RPGs
Ashia Radke

Ashia Radke

  • Program Specialist – University Advancement
  • Office: OM 430
  • Email: radkea@wwu.edu
  • Hometown: Oak Harbor, Washington
  • Education: B.A. English Literature, French minor (Western Washington University)
  • Hobbies/Interests: Yoga, partner acrobatics, climbing, travel, vegetarianism, language, cycling, environmentalism, human connection, the color blue
  • Quote: “To laugh is to live profoundly. The sound of laughter is like the vaulted dome of a temple of happiness…” – Milan Kundera
Chris Roselli

Chris Roselli

  • Director of Community Relations
  • Office: OM 490
  • Email: rosellc@wwu.edu
  • Hometown: Vancouver, Washington
  • Education: B.A. in Communication Studies (Western Washington University)
  • Hobbies/Interests: Doing anything active, biking, gardening, all sports, and spending as much time as I can with my wife and two daughters
  • How can I help? I’ve worked in Admissions and the Alumni Association here at Western too! I’ve been at Western for more than 20 years, so I understand the university’s departments and systems and can be a great resource in getting connected with people, both on and off campus.
Debra Salazar

Debra Salazar

  • College of Humanities & Social Sciences – Political Science
  • Office: AH 401
  • Email: salazard@wwu.edu
  • Hometown: San Jose, California
  • Education: Ph.D. in Forest Resources (University of Washington)
  • Research/Teaching Interests: Place, justice, democracy, modernity, insanity, death
  • Hobbies/Interests: Reading, writing, running, cycling, competing in agility with my dog
Bryce Sasaki

Bryce Sasaki

  • Academic Support Coordinator – Student Outreach Services
  • Office: OM 387
  • Email: sasakib@wwu.edu
  • Hometown: Ferndale, Washington
  • Education: B.A. in East Asian Studies (WWU), M.Ed. in Continuing and College Education (WWU)
  • Hobbies/Interests: Being a dad, running, playing the drums, bass, guitar, and sanshin (Okinawan musical instrument), bird watching and just about any outdoor activity
  • Quote: “Without new experiences, something inside of us sleeps. The sleeper must awaken.” – Frank Herbert
Debby Short

Debby Short

  • Fiscal Analyst – Office of the Vice President, Enrollment & Student Services
  • Office: OM 445
  • Email: dms@wwu.edu
  • Hometown: Monrovia, California
  • Education: A.A. (Citrus Community College), B.A. in Art History (University of California, Irvine)
  • Hobbies/Interests: Gardening, cooking, reading, spending time with family and friends
  • Quote: “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
Froylan Sifuentes

Froylan Sifuentes

  • Huxley College of the Environment – Institute for Energy Studies
  • Office: AH 454
  • Email: sifuenf@wwu.edu
  • Hometown: Huejutla, Hidalgo, Mexico
  • Education: B.S. in Chemical Engineering (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), M.S./Ph.D. in Energy and Resources (University of California, Berkeley)
  • Research/Teaching Interests: Decarbonization pathways for electricity grids, smart buildings, electric vehicle grid-integration
  • Hobbies/Interests: Bikes, board games, learning languages, philosophy, politics
Michael Sledge

Michael Sledge

  • Executive Director for Student Life
  • Office: OM 240
  • Email:  msledge@wwu.edu
  • Hometown: Des Moines, Iowa
  • Education: B.A. in English and M.A. in Higher Education Administration (University of Iowa)
  • Hobbies/Interests: Whatever activities my children are involved in, reading, following politics and baseball/basketball
Karen Stout

Karen Stout

  • Director of the Institute for Leadership / College of Humanities and Social Sciences – Communication Studies
  • Office: AH 301
  • Email: stoutk@wwu.edu
  • Hometown: Kent, Washington
  • Education: B.A. in Communication Studies (University of Puget Sound), M.A. in Communication Studies (University of Montana), Ph.D. in Communication Studies (University of Utah)
  • Research/Teaching Interests: Organizational communications and leadership – specifically, marginalization and exclusion in the workplace, challenges in recruiting and retaining underrepresented faculty in higher education, and (most recently) women leaders in Mongolia
  • Hobbies/Interests: Spending time with family (especially watching movies and playing video games), reading and writing, crafting (especially making off the hook birthday cakes with my kiddos, quilting and sewing for Days for Girls)
  • Quote: “When we cast our bread upon the waters, we can presume that someone downstream whose face we may never see will benefit from our action, even as we enjoy the gifts sent to us from a donor upstream.” – Maya Angelou
Angela Strecker

Angela Strecker

  • Huxley College of the Environment – Institute for Watershed Studies
  • Office: ES 604
  • Email: strecka2@wwu.edu
  • Hometown: Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
  • Education: B.S. Honours in Biology (University of Regina), Ph.D. in Biology (Queen’s University)
  • Research/Teaching Interests: Aquatic ecology, freshwater, climate change, invasive species
  • Hobbies/Interests: Swimming, biking, reading, yoga
Andrea Swanson

Andrea Swanson

  • Administrative Services Manager – Psychology Department, College of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Office: AI 599
  • Email: swansoa4@wwu.edu
  • Hometown: Anacortes, Washington
  • Education: B.S. in Biology (Western Washington University)
  • Hobbies/Interests: Hiking, gardening, DIY projects
  • Quote: “Seek discomfort and do what you think you can’t.”
Kathy Thompson

Kathy Thompson

  • Assistant Director, Benefits & Operations – Human Resources
  • Office: HU 209
  • Email: thomp214@wwu.edu
  • Hometown: Clover, South Carolina
  • Education: B.S. in Business Administration, Finance, Insurance and Economic Security (University of South Carolina, Darla Moore School of Business)
  • Hobbies/Interests: Reading, traveling, and spending time with my family
  • Quote: “I exist as I am, that is enough.” – Walt Whitman
Maria Timmons Flores

Maria Timmons Flores

  • Woodring College of Education – ELL/Bilingual Education
  • Office: MH 302E
  • Email: timmonm@wwu.edu
  • Hometown: Juanita, Washington
  • Education: B.A. in Psychology (Western Washington University), M.Ed. in Environmental Education (Western Washington University), Ph.D. in Bilingual/Multicultural Foundations of Education (University of Colorado – Boulder)
  • Research/Teaching Interests: Bilingual/Multicultural education, cultural sustainability, pathways to teaching for bilingual teachers – teaching for social and environmental justice; supporting students from immigrant/migrant backgrounds
  • Hobbies/Interests: Hiking, kayaking, reading, spending time with family, friends and dog
  • Quote: “There’s no turning back…We will win. We are winning because ours is a revolution of mind and heart.” – Cesar Chavez
Jane Wong

Jane Wong

  • College of Humanities & Social Sciences – English
  • Office: HU 267
  • Email: wongj9@wwu.edu
  • Hometown: Tinton Falls, New Jersey
  • Education: B.A. in English (Bard College), M.F.A. in Poetry (University of Iowa), Ph.D. in English (University of Washington)
  • Research Interests: Creative Writing (Poetry, Hybrid Texts, Creative Nonfiction), Asian American Studies, Digital Humanities, Transnational Literature
  • More Interests: Social justice and decolonizing the academy, eating (I grew up in a restaurant), karaoke, wandering around bookstores and libraries
  • Website: janewongwriter.com