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Foster Liaisons

The following is a list of campus members who serve as Foster Liaisons:


Melissa Bergeland

Assistant Director of Programs, Campus Recreation

Health & Wellness Center HWC 108

bergelandm@mail.wou.edu; 503.838.8860

I’m interested in being a resource and learning about this program to see if I would be a good fit/liaison.


Lori BullisLori Bullis

Resource Sharing Coordinator, Hamersly Library

Hamersly Library HL 117G

bullisl@mail.wou.edu; 503.838.8884

Having had a family member experience foster care, subsequent adoption and who will be graduating high school and attending college in little over a year in addition to having employed a student who grew up in foster care I see the unique challenges that foster students face in higher education. I would like to connect with students who have experienced foster care to provide an additional layer of support, mentorship to help them navigate the university system if, for no other reason, then so they do not feel alone.


Adry ClarkAdry Clark

Director, Service Learning & Career Development

Werner University Center WUC 119

clarka@mail.wou.edu; office: 503.838.8648; cell: 541.908.3705

Interested in assisting students with a variety of barriers with support and resources.


Shelly ClarkShelly Clark 

Associate Director, University Housing

1st floor of Ackerman Hall in the University Housing Office

clarksa@wou.edu; 503-838-9474

I am connected to the foster care system through the incredible students that I have worked with in the past that have been in/out/around/through the foster care system.  I want to help students to succeed by ensuring that they have made friends, created partnerships, are knowledgeable of the resources available, and are empowered to utilize their resources and connections.  I was a first generation college student.  I wouldn’t have known all of the questions to ask or how to get connected and involved if someone hadn’t have helped me.  It is both my honor and my responsibility to help others the way that I have been helped in the past.


Natalie DeWittNatalie DeWitt

Professor, Health & Exercise Science

New Physical Education building NPE 207B

dewittn@mail.wou.edu; 503.838.8216



Deborah DiehmDeborah Diehm

Asst. to the Vice Pres. for Student Affairs/NSE Program Coordinator

Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, WUC 203

diehmd@wou.edu; 503.838.8423

I come to this opportunity with the hope that I will be a valuable connection to students at WOU for support and guidance.  In my time at WOU I have unofficially mentored a student that was a foster-student and enjoyed the interactions, assistance, and growth the connection provided to both of us.


Letitia ErckenbrackLeticia Erckenbrack

Educational Advisor, TRIO Student Support Services

Student Enrichment Program (SEP)

Academic Programs & Support Center APSC 201

erckenbl@mail.wou.edu; 503.838.8032


Affie EyoAffie Eyo

MSSP Advisor, Multicultural Student Services and Programs

Werner University Center WUC 212C

eyoa@mail.wou.edu; 503.838.8834; cell: 660.853.1509

My passion in life is to serve and help others wherever possible. For some time I have considered volunteering with youth in the capacity of a mentor/role model and this experience just came at the right time. So I want to take advantage of the opportunity.


Crystal Granger RossCrystal Granger Ross

Receptionist, Student Health & Counseling Center

rossc@mail.wou.edu; 503.838.8396




Jennifer GroverJennifer Grover

Receptionist, Student Health & Counseling Center

groverj@mail.wou.edu; 503.838.8313; direct: 503.838.8850




Marshall GuthrieMarshall Guthrie

Director, Student Enrichment Program (TRIO-SSS)

Academic Programs & Support Center APSC 201

guthriem@wou.edu, 503.838.8550

Dedicated to better serving our students.


Karen Haberman and BurtKaren Haberman

Professor of Biology

Natural Science NS 001

habermk@mail.wou.edu; 503.838.8478

One of my non-traditional students was a former foster child who became a foster parent.  She and her husband provided a loving and stable home for their foster children, something she had lacked in her own childhood.  From her, I learned a great deal about the realities of the foster care system and gained a deeper respect for the foster students who make it to college.  I would like to support them on their pathways of academic and personal achievement.


Rachel HarringtonRachel A Harrington

Associate Professor of Mathematics Education

Teacher Education Division

Education building ED 235

harringr@mail.wou.edu; 503.838.8831

I have always wanted to be a foster parent, but I am not able to commit to that right now. It seems like this is a way that I could help.


photo-on-11-23-15-at-1-11-pmMark Henkels

Professor, Public Policy and Administration

HSS 231


In the past I was faculty advisor to Wolves Fostering Hope.



Christine Harvey Horning

Adjunct Assistant Professor of English

Criminal Justice Department, Maaske Hall MA 226

harveyc@mail.wou.edu; 503.838.9712

As a writing instructor for over 20 years, I have read many stories of the various obstacles students have faced in their efforts to make a college education possible. Research shows how important good mentoring is to students’ success, and I would like to be another resource to students whose path to WOU has been through the foster care system.


Shaun HustonShaun Huston

Professor, Geography

Bellamy Hall HSS 217

hustons@mail.wou.edu; 503.838.8296

We adopted our daughter from the Oregon state foster system and I have an interest in helping kids from the system make lives where they have choices. I know that our daughter carries a number of burdens that are hard to see or that she hides and that inhibit her from embracing her talents and intelligence. This seemed evident from other children we considered during our adoption process as well. My experience with my daughter leads to want to bring that experience to help other kids from the system succeed in ways that will work for them.


David JanoviakDavid Janoviak

Professor of Theatre/Division Chair

Rice Auditorium 101B

janovid@wou.edu; 503.559.1551

Many families helped my sister and I when we were young and our family fell apart. I would like to offer my services, my support and perhaps just my attention to students who wish to connect and succeed. I want to be of use in any way I can.


Pattie JohnsonPattie Johnson

Data Analyst

TODD 248

johnsop@wou.edu; 503.838.8779; Cell: 503.420.9066

I served the same 4 kids from youth through transition out of the foster care system as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (18 years). This taught me about the challenges kids face in the unpredictable situations that come with foster care. I was the only consistent person in their lives. I would love to help other foster kids navigate a path to success at Western.


Debbie KenyonDebbie Kenyon

Early Learning Project Specialist, Center on Early Learning/TRI

The Research Institute

TODD 225

kenyond@mail.wou.edu; 503.838.8293; Cell: 503.999.2899


I volunteered because I have college age kids and I know how difficult it can be to navigate through the system and deal with things like financial aid, registration, etc. My own kids turned to me when they needed help and I can’t imagine how difficult it would be for students who don’t have a parent who can help them figure these things out. Foster kids have been through a lot and I’d just like to try to help so maybe college doesn’t seem so overwhelming and they will have a greater chance of being successful – in school and life.


Kristin MauroKristin Mauro

Strategic Partnerships Manager, Center for Academic Innovation

Instructional Technology Center ITC 204C

maurok@mail.wou.edu; 503.838.8157

As a long time student affairs professional who studied first­-year transition and retention in my doctoral program, I have seen students struggle first hand. I was also a guardian ad­litem in Texas and worked directly with children in the foster care system. I want to help students continue building the resilience and confidence they will need once they graduate from WOU. I want to be your cheerleader and let you know you can be whatever you want to be, regardless of the adversity you have encountered and survived. The old Verizon commercial comes to mind, I want to be in your network so I can help you learn the skills needed to be successful at WOU and beyond.


Rosario Peralta

English Writing Specialist, Writing Center

Academic Programs & Support Center APSC 301

cortezm@mail.wou.edu; 503.838.8640


Emily PlecEmily Plec

Professor of Communication Studies

Bellamy Hall HSS 114

plece@mail.wou.edu; 503.838.8819

I have been inspired by the stories of students I’ve met over the years who have experienced foster care, for better and for worse, and come through the experience resilient and inspired to enact social change. I want to connect with foster students at WOU to make sure they are getting the support they need to succeed and have the chance to forge the relationships they want for their future.


Tracy PowellTracy Powell

NTT Assistant Professor of Behavioral Studies

TODD 339

powellt@mail.wou.edu; 503.838.8299

I have been an active Citizen Review Board member for the past 2 years and more recently, an Advisory Board Member with the Oregon Foster Care system. I am committed to the purpose and goal of helping these children and youth find forever families and thrive in their own self­ development. As many youth age out of the system we lose track of their whereabouts and hear low statistics of secondary school success. I would like to help change those statistics so that these young people can follow their dreams and aspirations to the fullest.


Jaime SilvaJaime Silva

Director, Student Health & Counseling Center

silvaj@mail.wou.edu; 503.838.8845

I want to make sure that students who have been in foster care receive the caring support they need to succeed at WOU. There are many issues that lead a child into the foster care system and also issues that can make it difficult to be in foster care. Our team of medical and counseling professionals are experienced in helping our students with these issues. My wife and I were foster parents to a young lady and the experience was both sad and rewarding. Thank you for this opportunity to help make WOU a supportive environment for all our our students.


Hannah Simonetti

Student Success Specialist

Academic Advising and Learning Center

Academic Programs & Support Center APSC 104

simonettih@wou.edu; 503.838.8501

I want to be a resource for students from historically underrepresented groups.


Scott Simonetti

Assistant Registrar

Registrar’s Office

Administration building AD 106

simonettis@mail.wou.edu; 503.838.8189


Sheree SolarioSheree Solario

Educational Advisor, Student Enrichment Program

Academic Programs & Support Center APSC 201

solarios@mail.wou.edu; 503.838.8031

I have been blessed to work with students who continually impress and inspire me with their resiliency. I have the pleasure of working with students who sometimes feel that the deck is stacked against them, and I get to be a resource for them as they find their path and maneuver through the maze of higher education.


Chehalis StrappChehalis Strapp

Professor & Division Chair, Behavioral Sciences

TODD 309

strappc@mail.wou.edu; 503.838.8316



dscn09071-e1445013494553Karen Sullivan-Vance

Director, Academic Advising and Learning Center

APSC 401

sullivak@mail.wou.edu; 503.838.8389

My passion is working with students and helping them not only access but move through higher education to graduation.  I became interested in foster youth in my doctoral program and my dissertation is on foster alumni transition through higher education.  I am here to help foster youth learn about resources, navigate the university system and support foster youth as they work towards their educational and life goals. 


Jennifer TaylorJennifer Taylor

Assistant Professor of Exercise Science

Room 233 Woodcock Education Building


I am volunteering because before I came to higher education my work was primarily with at risk youth which included foster youth. I have witnessed first hand the difficulties that many foster youth face and have also been able to see what a positive impact someone taking the time to help can make on their lives. I would love the opportunity to help in any way that I can.


Kimber TownsendKimber Townsend

Administrative Program Assistant, College of Education

Education building ED 202H

townsenk@mail.wou.edu; 503.838.8082



Kara Westervelt ParkerKara Westervelt Parker

Assistant Director, Financial Aid

Financial Aid Office, Administration building AD 310

westerveltparkerk@mail.wou.edu; 503.838.8686

I volunteered to be a liaison because I’ve been in higher education for 8 years and I have seen the impact that just a little extra specialized help has on students who need it.


Kelli WhisenhuntKelli Whisenhunt

Accounting Tech, Physical Plant

Physical Plant PP 119

whisenhk@mail.wou.edu; 503.838.8086

I have wanted to be involved in the foster care system in some way for awhile now and I have a heart for college students so when this came around I knew I wanted to check it out. I would love to assist foster students at WOU any way I can. I don’t have any experience (yet)! But I see this as a starting point. I look forward to the training and am really excited!