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Academic Achievement


Debra Lewis, AAP Director

Favorite Quote
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”
      - Harriet Tubman (1820-1913)





Greetings! I was born in Denver, Colorado and grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas. I have had the privilege to direct three TRIO projects: the Upward Bound and Talent Search programs at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio and Student Support Services at Philander Smith College in Arkansas. I obtained my Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Philander Smith College and a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology from Tennessee State University. I am currently a doctoral candidate in Psychology and my research centers around personal and contextual factors that influence eating patterns and food selections in overweight African American women. My siblings and I were TRIO Upward Bound participants and I see myself when I work with first-generation students. As a former TRIO participant, my goal is to make sure all students are given the opportunity to not only attend college but to graduate and change their community. The greatest joy in my life are my children and in my free time, I enjoy reading and watching movies.

Gina Gilbert, AAP Office Assistant 3

Favorite Quote
"You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think."
      - Christopher Robin, Winnie the Pooh




I am the OA3 for Academic Achievement Programs.  I was born and raised in Kittitas County. I have 3 children and 7 grandchildren. My life overflows, and my career is very important to me. I completed my Bachelor's degree in ITAM, and am starting my Master's program this fall. I have always sought employment that is rewarding and where I can help people. AAP is the perfect department for me. I love the diversity and the needs of our students makes you feel like you are doing something important and good.

Heidi Anderson, TRIO SSS Academic Advisor

Advising Philosophy
My advising philosophy is based on developmental advising theory. I believe it is key to assess a student’s academic need in the beginning, work with the student to develop the necessary skills they need to be successful. First and foremost, to establish an ongoing and open dialogue with students, where the student can openly discuss issues connected with their academics. I believe also the importance of actively listening to a student will help drive the direction to develop their skills as they move forward in their degree program. And lastly, providing an environment of support and resource that they can turn to in time of need or celebration of achievements.







I received my Bachelors of Arts Degree in Science in Biology from Central Washington University in 2011, and a Master of Science in Biology in 2014.  I was a former TRIO scholar and attribute my academic success, impart, to the TRIO Program. I am the first in my family to receive a college degree, and I have inspired my own children to pursue higher education. I believe it is important to continue to challenge yourself and learn new things. Recently my family and I have started a lavender farm here in the valley with close to 2000 plants. Come this spring we will have a sea of purple to gaze out upon.

Racheal Croucher, TRIO SSS Academic Advisor

I'm so excited to be working for TRiO!  As a former first-gen student myself, I'm committed to seeing you succeed.  I've experienced the frustration of filing FASFA for the first time with no assistance, and the struggle of finding my niche on campus; I hope you can find a sense of community within TRiO and the resources needed for your success.

I received my BA in Psychology form Western Oregon University in 2012, and my MS in Human Development and Family Sciences from Oregon State University in 2017.  At OSU I was highly involved in the First-Gen club and the Native American Student Association which were both key in my understanding that I belong in higher eduation.  I know you belong here too!

While I'm not from Washington, I have a PNW heart through and through!  I enjoy anything outdoors, creative arts, photography, and adventure.  I also love to travel and experience cultures and places different from my home.  Come see me, say hello, and let me know a little about yourself and your experiences here at Central.  

Madison Hatfield, TRIO SSS, Graduate Assistant

Hi! I studied psychology at the University of Washington and am now pursuing a degree is School Psychology here at Central.  I am from Darrington, Washington, a small town on the west side of the Cascades, where I was employed for six seasons on a backcountry trail crew.  I enjoy fishing and going to the river with my little spaniel named Portia.  I am excited to be working with TRiO and offering academic support to my fellow students!






Tiffani Willoughby, TRIO SSS, Student Office Assistant

I was born in Seattle, WA and received majority of my education in Federal Way, WA. I graduated from Federal Way High School in 2016 (Go Eagles!) where I was an AVID student, and one of four Senior Class Representatives. I began my college academic career here at Central Washington University in the fall of 2016. I am currently majoring in Communications (Public Relations) with a minor in American Sign Language. The TRIO program has helped me navigate my college education and the beginning of my adult life and I thoroughly enjoy being a part of this group of staff who always puts their students first.
I am the youngest of four children and the proud aunt to three nephews and one niece. In my free time, I enjoy reading, listening to music, and traveling. I have had the pleasure of being a junior counselor at Mt. Baker Leadership Camp for the past two years and am currently preparing for my third and final year as a part of the junior counselor staff.



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