The Honors Program Staff

Contact Information

For general inquiries or to be directed to an appropriate staff member, please contact the Honors Program front desk at uwhonors@uw.edu or by phone at (206) 543-7444.


Vicky Lawson

Vicky Lawson


Here in Honors I... am Director and I also teach in Honors. My classes focus on poverty, inequality and feminist care ethics.  I am a Professor of Geography and I have worked across South and North America on informal economies, women's work and poverty.

I spent lots of time thinking about... all the great work that Honors students, staff and faculty are doing together. I am also co-director of the Relational Poverty Network, which is a global research network that aims to expand thinking about the causes of poverty in both rich and poor countries. We have over 300 members from every continent and you can see their projects by searching Relational Poverty Network.

My first week in college... I met some amazing women who have become life-long friends.

Julie Villegas

Julie Villegas

Associate Director

Here in Honors I... coordinate the curriculum & recruit faculty from across campus and within the local and international communities. I am also lead in coordinating & managing international programs in Honors, so I develop (and teach!) study abroad programs. I also teach Honors 496, and am affiliate faculty in the English Department.

I like thinking about & studying... comparative global critical mixed race and border studies research related to immigration and migration. I think about international education and the importance of learning about other cultures as we learn about our own culture, and how one informs the other. I also enjoy writing both poetry and prose.

My first week in college... was at the University of New Mexico and, being a first-generation student, I was afraid I'd say the wrong thing and expose my ignorance. I remained very quiet the first semester - but second semester I took my first English class. I found my voice in that American Literature course.

Aley Mills Willis

Aley Mills Willis

Director of Academic Services

Here in Honors I... oversee our Academic Services for students. This includes leading our advising program, meeting with students, brainstorming and implementing ideas for student leadership development & experiential learning programs, and working across the UW to help Honors students develop their education & connect with their community in meaningful ways.

I like thinking about & studying... I studied English Literature as an undergrad and Education as a grad student. It's no surprise I really like stories. I like reading stories. I like hearing stories that students have to tell. And I like helping students develop their story through education. I am also especially interested in the intersections of arts, culture & the natural world and do a lot of thinking and direct action in those areas.

My first week in college... was really exciting! I was excited to have moved to a new part of the country. I was nervous because I didn't know a single person. I was in awe of the size and scope of UW. I was already deeply in love with the Pacific Northwest. I also drank A LOT of coffee.

Brook Kelly

Brook Kelly

Assistant Director of Academic Services

Here in Honors I... wear a lot of hats! I work on everything from advising our students to admissions, the Bonderman Fellowship to experiential learning. I've worked for the Honors Program for over a decade, and was a student employee before that - so I've done just about everything possible at one time or another!

I like thinking about & studying... international conflict, colonial histories and rebellions, gardening, gender issues, human rights, ethnography, travel, maternal health (I'm a birth doula in my spare time), and how to get young people (you!) to care about wild places, among other things. Personally, I'm interested in tramping the high country; trying to be an engaged member of my communities; zymurgy; global & local politics; traveling to remote places; growing my own food; cooking & canning that food; reading (good fiction & outdoor adventure stories are my favorites); and working on my house.

My first week in college... I managed to sit through an entire hour of the wrong class because I was too embarrassed to get up & leave when the instructor said "Anyone who isn't here for Poli Sci 200 should leave now." Turns out I was in the right place - just an hour early!

Laura Harrington

Laura Harrington

Lead Academic Adviser

Here in Honors I... advise students! I also teach Honors 100 and our related Peer Educator seminars, and work with staff and students to think about and develop leadership opportunities. And sometimes I get to go hiking with students. That's a pretty great part of this job!

I like thinking about & studying... gender and why we think about it the way we think about it. Place, space, and the idea of home. Climbing mountains and why the heck we do that. How people do things in other parts of the world - and how I can visit more of those places.

My first week in college... I attended my first Honors class, with Prof Clare Bright, and realized there was a whole discipline, language and community that gave voice to how I understood and conceptualized the world. Thanks, Women Studies! I've never looked back.

Ryan Luk

Ryan Luk

Database & Web Computing Specialist

Here in Honors I... keep databases talking to each other, websites up and running, and make sure our staff can focus on serving students as individuals - instead of numbers on spreadsheets.

I like thinking about & studying... well, I studied electrical engineering at Arizona State University, switched to architecture, graduated with a degree in urban planning, then went back to my roots in computer programming at ASU's Mars Space Flight Facility. Nowadays, I spend more of my free time tinkering with bikes and guitars rather than computers, and am finally getting around to reading all the sci-fi classics I meant to read in high school.

My first week in college... I set up a public webserver on the residence hall network with a $20 laptop I found on eBay with my brand-new credit card. That's frowned on nowadays, but this was back when Napster was still big, every Linux user compiled their own kernel, and cats hadn't yet taken over the internet.

Allison Stephens

Allison Stephens

Counseling Services Coordinator

Here in Honors I... I have a variety of different roles but I'm mainly the person answering phone calls and emails sent to uwhonors@uw.edu, meeting with prospective students, and being the first smiling face you see when you come into the office!

I like thinking about... the influence of interpersonal communication on relationships and health - I studied Communications & Psychology here at the UW (Go Dawgs!).

My first week in college... I discovered the value of not being afraid to look like a first year student after being 20 minutes late to my first class because I refused to look at a map. Having still been welcomed to class, I also learned professors are very nice!

Carey Christie

Carey Christie

Alumni Relations & Communications Specialist

Here in Honors I... build community by noticing ways faculty, staff, students & alumni can collaborate with each other and build lasting relationships. Then I try to share those stories in a way that will benefit others at UW and in the general public. 

I like thinking about... helping talented, passionate individuals find their place in the world, gain momentum together, and drive positive change. Mostly I do this by connecting them to resources and other big thinkers, but sometimes I do it just by asking the right questions at the right time.

My first week in college... I cut my hand using an unfamiliar power tool at my new job in Denison's theater design department. I'll never forget the true penalty for rushing with power tools: application of iodine (AKA "the sting-y stuff).

Frances Mccue (Photo credit: Hayley Young / seattlemag.com)
Photo Credit:
Hayley Young/seattlemag.com

Frances McCue


Frances McCue is a Senior Lecturer in the English Department and the Writer in Residence in the Honors Program at the University of Washington. She earned her doctorate from Columbia University and an MFA from the University of Washington. In 1996, she co-founded the Richard Hugo House in Seattle. She is the author of THE CAR THAT BROUGHT YOU HERE STILL RUNS, THE BLED and THE STENOGRAPHER'S BREAKFAST and the forthcoming MARY RANDLETT PORTRAITS.

She teaches a variety of courses in the Honors Program with the aim of bringing writing into the classroom and the community.