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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.


AAP Coordinator

Vacant Position 

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 4 grandchildren. My life overflows, and my career is very important to me. 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.

TRIO SSS Academic Advisor

Vacant Position

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!


Victor Sanchez, TRIO SSS, Tutor Liaison/ Assistant. Victor Sanchez, TRIO SSS Tutor Liaison/ Assistant

I was born in Mexico but raised in Yakima Washington, and graduated from Davis High school in Yakima. I am the last one in my family to graduate from college. My two brothers and sister attended and graduated from Central. I am going into my third year at Central pursuing a degree in Construction Management. Something I enjoy doing is playing soccer and listening to music.  One day I hope to have my own Construction Company and have the privilege of traveling around the world with my family.

Brooklyn Isaacs, TRIO SSS, Student Office Assistant. Brooklyn Isaacs, TRIO SSS Student Office Assistant

Hello! I am from a small town called Buckley, WA. I am a Public Relations major with a minor in IT Web Design Management. I plan to move to Idaho after graduation to kick start my life. In my free time you can find me golfing, watching baseball, or target shooting. I have worked in the TRIO office as a student worker for almost two years and I love it!

My favorite color is green.
My favorite food is Mexican.

Lexi Veatch, TRIO SSS Student Office Assistant

My name is Lexi Veatch and I am from Vancouver Washington. I am the first in my family to attend college and I could not be more happier with my choice. I am pursing a Family and Consumer Science Education degree to one day become a High school teacher. I have been apart of TRIO SSS since my freshmen year and I am happy to be able to work for such an amazing team. I enjoy playing soccer, dancing and eating Chinese food.

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.

Tierra Willoughby, TRIO SSS, Student Office Assistant

I was born in Seattle WA and am a proud Alumnus of Federal Way High School. Go Eagles! I am currently pursuing a degree in Family and Child Life here at Central. I have been a TRIO student for almost three years and have greatly appreciated the support, resources, and positive environment the program has provided.
In my spare time I enjoy eating, traveling, shopping, and listening to music. I have a twin sister named Tiffani (see above) and I am the proud aunt of three nephews and a niece. Feel free to say hi whenever I’m in the office! I am very sociable.



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