Student Veteran Life

Meet Our Staff

Professional Staff

Dr. Samantha Powers (She/Her) – Director

Sam Powers is the Director of Student Veteran Life at the University of Washington. She provides oversight and management of hiring, development of new programs, and centralization of existing services and resources available to UW student veterans. She provides outreach and collaborates with internal and external constituents.

Sam is a combat veteran of the US Air Force Special Operations, where she served as an Aircraft Maintenance officer on the C-130 Gunship Spectres. Sam served in Kuwait, Afghanistan, and Iraq during Operation Enduring Freedom. She began her post-military career in the field of higher education, working in Facilities/Physical Plant Operations as an administrative manager. She has additional experience in Continuing Education and Customized Training. She went back to school while working full time at UW and earned her Masters in Social Work in June of 2020 at the University of Washington. She is now on her way to becoming a fully licensed therapist and owns a private practice in which she sees patients weekly. She volunteers for several veterans organizations in Washington State as a member and officer and is an adjunct professor at various higher education institutions across the state and nation.

Sam holds a BA in Military History from Virginia Tech, an MA in International Relations from the University of Oklahoma, a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Old Dominion University, and an MSW from the University of Washington.

JGHDr. Jordan Houghton (He/Him) – Assistant Director

Jordan Houghton is the Assistant Director of Student Veteran Life at the University of Washington. He assists SVL through programs, student needs, and day to day operations. Jordan formerly served as the President of Husky United Military Veterans (Now Husky Veterans) that founded the office in 2016.

Jordan is a combat veteran of the US Army, where he served as a Combat Medic with an infantry battalion from Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Jordan served in Kandahar, Afghanistan, during Operation Enduring Freedom, exiting the service in 2013 and continuing to the University of Washington. Jordan serves within The American Legion and is a founder and Adjutant of a local Seattle post named after Marine Sgt. William C. Stacey (Post 206). Jordan received his Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) from Northwest University in Kirkland, WA. His dissertation research focused on the therapeutic alliance between clinicians and veterans, specifically seeking to analyze the benefits of a veteran clinician in place of a non-veteran clinician.

Jordan holds a BA in Psychology from the University of Washington, a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Counseling Psychology from Northwest University, and a Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) in Counseling Psychology from Northwest University.

Ying Ye (He/Him) – Office Manager

Ying is a Navy Veteran, and recently finished his public health undergraduate work at the University of Washington. He transferred from Bellevue College and is looking forward to pursuing a career in nutrition or the medical field. Ying served from 2009-2015 as a nuclear electrician on the USS Cheyenne (SSN 773) out of Pearl Harbor. He has served on two Western Pacific and one Eastern Pacific Deployments. Originally from Miami, Florida, before serving in the United States Navy, Ying and his wife decided to move with their son to Seattle for a change in pace. 

Liz Oaksmith (She/Her) – UW Counseling Center SVL Liaison (Veteran MHP)

Liz Oaksmith is a therapist at the University of Washington Student Counseling Center (UWCC). She assists Student Veteran Life as a liaison who does outreach to the SVL center where she is available for general discussions, provides psychoeducation, answers any questions about mental health services, meets with vets for counseling, and provides support for veteran’s mental health at events.

Liz is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) with over 20 years of experience as a therapist. She has specialized in crisis work and intensive treatment in a variety of settings including inpatient psychiatry, community mental health, an Emergency Department, an outpatient medical clinic, and residential substance abuse treatment. She has experience working with both active duty and veterans.

Liz has a BA in Psychology from Seattle University and a Master of Education (M.Ed) in School Counseling from the University of Washington. She is a Seattle native but has also lived in Tokyo and Massachusetts. She is an avid road cyclist and has a passion for international travel and exploration.

Student Staff

Reginald Asplet (He/Him) – Veteran Peer Mentor

Reginald is a Veteran of the Coast Guard from 2017-2021 at CG Station Seattle conducting search and rescue missions, ferry escorts, and boarding in the Puget Sound. He is a transfer student from North Seattle College and is pursuing a degree in Informatics at the University of Washington.

Some of Reginald’s favorite hobbies are working out, playing basketball, playing video games, snowboarding, and exploring beaches at low tide. In this picture, Reginald is showing a moon snail he found at low tide in Puget Sound.

Raul Clavijo (He/Him) – Veteran Peer Mentor

Raul is originally from Brooklyn, NY and served five years in the Marine Corps working as an avionics technician on harriers. He is currently pursuing his BS in Biology in hopes of applying to the School of Pharmacy by 2024.

Raul spends his free time watching anime, going to the gym, spending time with his loved ones, and being sarcastic.

Errol Funk (He/Him) – Veteran Peer Mentor
Errol is a U.S. Coast Guard veteran, he served at Coast Guard Station Seattle from 2016 – 2020. As a crewman and tactical boarding team member, he assisted with search and rescue and maritime law enforcement throughout the Puget Sound.

After his time in the Coast Guard, he attended North Seattle College where he completed a transfer degree allowing him to further his education at the University of Washington. He is now working on finishing his bachelor’s degree in environmental studies. In his free time, Errol enjoys camping with friends, rock climbing, snowboarding, cooking, and playing basketball with the UW women’s scout team.

Sean Karl (He/Him) – Veteran Peer Mentor & UTAC Representative for SVL

Sean is a US Navy veteran, having served as an Engineering Laboratory Technician from 2014 to 2020. As such, he was stationed in multiple areas, with his passions and virtues leading him to stay in the Pacific Northwest.

In Washington, Sean had begun his studies at Olympic College then transferred to UW to pursue a BS in Civil Engineering.

Sean’s hobbies include playing lacrosse, snowboarding, video games and hiking. In his picture, Sean is holding the Student Veteran Life’s own mascot, Naydean.

Adam Kuehn (He/Him) – Veteran Peer Mentor

Adam is originally from Santa Rosa, California, which is in the Bay Area. He joined the Air Force when he was 20, and served as a Crew Chief on the B-52 for 6 years.

Right before he got out of the Air Force, he was invited to visit Seattle during his leave. He was instantly smitten.

After his enlistment ended, he moved to Seattle to study Environmental Engineering and Hydrology at the University of Washington. Recently he has started his junior year!

Adam’s hobbies include playing D&D, learning to drum, walking through nature, and watching movies.

Ashley Rendon (She/Her) – Veteran Peer Mentor

Ashley is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. She served from 2016 to 2020 in the material management career field at Travis Air Force Base. From 2020 to 2022 she continued her service in the Arizona Air National Guard full time. In April of 2022, Ashley transferred to the Washington National Guard to attend school full-time. She is pursuing a BS in marine biology with the goal to work for NOAA one day.

Ashley spends her free time hiking, traveling, and enjoying the great outdoors. She also enjoys hanging out with her Bernese Mountain Dog named Truckee and photography.

Rosa Tecayehuatl (She/Her) – Veteran Peer Mentor

Rosa is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who served from 2012 to 2017 as an avionics technician for Harrier fighter jets. She was stationed at the Yuma, AZ Air Base before moving back home to Washington.

Rosa has an AA from Highline Community College. She is currently pursuing her BA, majoring in sociology and a minor in disability studies. Rosa’s goal is to apply to the school of occupational therapy at either UW or UPS. Her dream is to become an occupational therapist and work primarily with pediatric patients.

In her free time Rosa enjoys spending time with her fiancé and two young sons, going on family outings and having family movie nights. She also enjoys thrifting, DIY projects, baking/cooking with her oldest son and going to the gym.

Isaac Weaver (He/Him) – Veteran Peer Mentor

Isaac is a US Army veteran, having served as a Public Affairs Mass Communication Specialist from 2018 to 2022. While assigned to the 5th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Isaac fell in love with the Pacific Northwest. Upon completion of his service, he decided to return and pursue a Master’s in Communication in Digital Media at the University of Washington. He currently holds a BA in English from the College of the Ozarks.

In his free time, Isaac is an avid hiker, a developing photographer, and a spin class survivor. He usually places somewhere in the middle at trivia nights and has completely forgotten how to drive stick shift.