Meet the Multicultural Outreach & Recruitment Team!

The R&O team of the Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity is dedicated to compassionate student service, community outreach and quality student programs that will prepare students for the rigorous UW applications process. Learn more about each team member by clicking their picture!

Stephanie Y. Miller

Assistant Vice President for Recruitment, Outreach and Pre-College Programs

Hometown: Seattle, WA

Attended: Garfield High School (The James A. Garfield!)

Major: BA in Anthropology, Western Washington University

Graduate Studies: Policy Studies, UW Bothell

About Stephanie: Stephanie has a wide range of experience in Enrollment services and Administration at the University of Washington. She has helped coach and mentor some of the most influential leaders in the UW community both on and off campus which is a particular point of pride and passion for her.

What I'm reading right now: "Island Beneath the Sea" by Isabel Allende

What I love about UW: Everything about UW is constantly evolving and presents new opportunities for growth!

Merissa Tatum

Assistant Director, Recruitment and Outreach

Hometown: Olympia, WA


Attended: Northwest Christian High School

Major: BA in Sociology

Graduate Degree: M.Ed in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

About Merissa: I am so blessed to be in the profession that I'm in, because I get to live out my passion each day! I love to help people figure out their short and long term goals, and develop the necessary steps to achieving them.

In my spare time, I enjoy music of all kinds, I'm a tv show junkie and I enjoy the company of good people.

Two interesting facts about me - my faith and love for Jesus Christ is the most important thing to me, and I'm absolutely obsessed with the color pink!

What I'm reading right now: "The New Jim Crow" by Michelle Alexander

What I love about UW: I love helping students pursue their dreams of going to college! Regardless of their race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status, or if they’re first generation: all students should have access to higher education. Seeing them go from high school through the application process, to having them join us on campus the following fall… makes my job worthwhile! I have an obligation to give back to my community, paving the way for the next generation to come!

Carlos D. Gonzalez

Assistant Director, Pre-College Programs

Hometown: Mabton, WA

Attended: Mabton High School

Major: BA in Sociology

About Carlos: In my spare time I enjoy reading and watching documentaries on historical events and people. I prefer college sports over the pros.

What I'm reading right now: "1493" by Charles Mann

What I love about UW: I love the large size of this institution. To me it means it has so much to offer!

Jim C. La Roche

Admissions Counselor, Multicultural Outreach & Recruitment

Hometowns: Unalakleet AK, Presho SD, Tonawanda NY


Attended: University of Washington

Major: BA in Anthropology

Minor: American Indian Studies

About Jim: I was born at the Alaska Native Medical Center and my first home was Unalakleet AK where my parents taught High School. Since then my dad later returned to the military and I grew up all over the US and world. After graduating from UW I joined the military was deployed for a year to Africa as a Civil Affairs Medic. Seattle is now my home but I love to travel to every part of Washington state to let students know that the University of Washington can be for them. I am a member of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe. I love road trips and I-90 to Rapid City is one of my favorite. In separate trips I have driven the length of North America from Alaska to Mexico City. The best place for apple pie was the Trapper Shack in Fairbanks (Alaska always has the best pie, after Mom).

What I love about UW: Options! So many fascinating things to discover. I graduated wishing I could have done more. There is always an interesting class, a guest speaker or performer to learn from. My second favorite thing is the opportunities to be involved in research. For a summer I was an intern on the Copper River in Alaska working on salmon subsistence research. It was an amazing experience. My ultimate favorite was the people I met. My best friends are from my time at UW. I met so many people who enriched my life and deepened my understanding of the world. The diversity at the University of Washington exposed me to worlds I had only read about before.

Helen P. Enguerra

Admissions Counselor, Multicultural Outreach and Recruitment

Hometown: Tafuna, American Samoa


High School Attended: Foster High School

College Attended: University of Washington

Major: BA in American Ethnic Studies

Minor: Diversity

About Helen: I have a great passion for Pacific Islander forms of knowledge, especially knowledge that is expressed through song and dance. I also have a passion for giving back to my community, and I am fortunate to be in a position where I can be a positive role model to students.

What I love about UW: I love that the UW offers numerous resources and opportunities for students to succeed and to create their own community.

Jaime A. Soto

Admissions Counselor, Multicultural Outreach and Recruitment

Hometown: Toppenish, WA


High School Attended: Toppenish High School

College Attended: University of Washington

Major: BA in Sociology

Minor: Education, Learning and Society

Graduate Studies: Masters in Education - Organizational Leadership, Heritage University

About Jaime: I've experienced first hand the critical role someone in this position has during the overall admissions process and I want to continue to create access to higher education to underrepresented students especially in the Latino/Hispanic community by using my personal experiences and knowledge and being a liaison between the students and the university.

Patrick Okocha

Admissions Counselor, Multicultural Outreach and Recruitment

Hometown: Seattle, WA


High School Attended: Sheldon High School; Sacramento, CA & Laguna Creek High School; Elk Grove, CA

College Attended: University of Washington

Major: BA in Communications & English Literature

About Patrick: I was born and raised in Seattle but I spent my high school years in the Sacramento, CA area. I wanted to become an Admissions Counselor at UW because not only did I have the greatest experience as an undergrad student, but I also remember all of the opportunities that I had for personal growth. I understand the importance of having people in your corner who are there to not only motivate you, but also lift your spirits when you are not feeling your best. I know the trails and tribulations that prospective students face when preparing for higher education. I want to continue to motivate students to take advantage of the opportunities that are available for them and support those who don’t believe they have what it takes to succeed.

Muhamed Manhsour

Admissions Counselor, Multicultural Outreach and Recruitment

Hometown: Seattle, WA

High School Attended: Franklin High School

College Attended: University of Washington

Major: BA in Communications

Minors: Diversity and Entrepreneurship

What I love about UW: I love that no matter how big the campus, you definitely can find your own community. We have so many opportunities for students to grow and find themselves.

Christopher F. Wells

Director for Community Engagement & Strategic Initiatives

Hometown: Seattle, WA

High School Attended: O'Dea High School

College Attended: University of Washington

Graduate Studies: M.Ed., Educational Leadership & Policy Studies

What I love about UW: The University of Washington’s Medical Center. I know that’s an odd response, but if you think about it, the UW Medical Center heals patients, saves lives and comforts families every day. There truly is amazing research and technological advances happening at the UW Medical Center!

About Christopher: I’m excited for the opportunity to build upon local community partnerships with organizations (including nonprofit) and government agencies for the betterment of postsecondary awareness and access for underserved populations. I also moonlight as a Ph.D. student in the University of Washington’s College of Education, Educational Leadership & Policy Studies program (researching postsecondary community engagement models)