Fernando Octavio Gonzalez, Administrative Coordinator, serves as the primary point of contact for the Simpson Center. His duties include managing the front desk, receiving guests, administering the Simpson Center calendar and contacts database, as well as managing and maintaining the Simpson Center space. By serving as a sort of administrative nexus, Fernando ensures proper communication between the Simpson Center staff, the UW community, and external organizations using Simpson Center space.
The Simpson Center allows Fernando to apply a rich and diverse background. He worked for Apple as a Mac Genius for five years, during which he helped open two new Apple Stores including the flagship retail location on Fifth Avenue in New York City. In 2006, Fernando was deployed to Iraq where he conducted convoy operations and led six Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) reconnaissance and containment operations. Shortly after his return, he took advantage of the Post-9/11 GI Bill to go back to school full-time.
Fernando received a dual Bachelor of Arts degree in both History and Political Studies, with particular emphasis on Asian Studies. His senior project focused on early Chinese immigration to California in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. He has studied Japanese at an intermediate level, including one semester abroad at Kansai Gaidai University in Osaka, Japan. After graduating in May 2012, Fernando spent the summer in Saint Petersburg, Florida, providing technical support to a variety of local area businesses before relocating to Seattle.
Fernando aspires to merge his academic background in the humanities with his military training and personal interests in technology. He is especially interested in integrating technology into administrative processes at the university as well as its role in furthering research in the humanities. The Simpson Center has proven to be an excellent place to nurture his interests and Fernando takes great pleasure in working with and learning from the university’s diverse faculty and staff.