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School of Graduate Studies and Research

About Us

School of Graduate Studies & Research Staff


Gail Mackin, Ph.D.
Interim Dean, School of Graduate Studies and Research

Phone: (509) 963-1404

Rodrigo Renteria-Valencia, Ph.D.
Interim Associate Dean, School of Graduate Studies and Research
Phone: (509) 963-3100

Rodrigo is an environmental anthropologist with over twenty years of experience conducting ethnographic, multidisciplinary research in Mexico and the United States. In 2016, Rodrigo joined CWU as an assistant professor in the Anthropology and Museum Studies Department, serving since as instructor of record for Cultural Anthropology and the Cultural and Environmental Resource Management programs.
"As in international scholar'", Rodrigo states; "I am particularly aware of the transformative value of graduate school - and the crucial role it can play at a regional comprehensive university like Central. In this context, I am looking forward to continue serving CWU's mission in my new capacity as Interim Associate Dean of Graduate Studies."


Christina (Christy) Gilchrist, Ph.D.
Director, Research and Sponsored Programs 
Phone: (509) 963-3111

Christy joined the School of Graduate Studies and Research in the fall of 2022. She brings with her a wealth of experience and knowledege in research design, grant and contract writing, interpretation, and administration. Her experiences and expertise make her a great asset to all current and aspiring researchers at CWU in securing funding and conducting research to advance knowledge and enhance the student learning experience.


Kelley Quirk
Grants and Contracts Coordinator
Phone: (509) 963-2118

Kelley joined the School of Graduate Studies and Research in January 2022 as Grants and Contracts Coordinator. She most recently worked as the Program Manager for Central Washington University Gear Up.


Dawn Anderson
Program Support Supervisor 2
Phone: (509) 963-3108

Dawn serves as the admissions and post admissions program support supervisor in the Graduate School. She assists master's students with the policies and procedures, required forms, graduation, posting degrees and thesis processing. She also handles the graduate faculty recommendation process and assists the Graduate Council committee.


Victoria Clapper
Office Assistant 3
Phone: 509-963-3104

Victoria manages and processes admission applications and supports the degree check out process for our students. She administers the continuous enrollment program and helps with student, faculty and staff admission requirement and Graduate School policy inquires.


Justine Eason
Communications Consultant 
Phone: (509) 963-3103

Justine serves as the Communications Consultant in the Graduate School and is involved with marketing and recruitment of the graduate programs.  She also serves as the Director of the Graduate Hooding and Commencement Ceremony.   Justine received her M.S. in Information Technology and Administrative Management, Data Analytics from Central Washington University in 2021.


Sandy Martinez                                                                            
Human Protections Administrator (HPA)
Phone: (509) 963-3115

Sandy is the administrator responsible for screening and
reviewing all Human Subjects Review applications and Requests for Exemption. Sandy also serves as an ex-officio voting board member. Additional duties include preparing for full board meetings, taking meeting minutes, corresponding with and providing support for investigators and reviewers, developing policy and procedures, and educating the CWU community about ethics of human subjects research.

She has been employed at CWU since 2008. Sandy received her M.A. in Sociological Practice from Cal State San Marcos in 2003.


Lynn Niemi
Program Coordinator
Phone: (509) 963-2243

Lynn provides administrative support to the Graduate School Dean and staff and assists with the admissions and degree check out processes. She helps coordinate the internal faculty and student award competitions and processes for WICHE and nonresident tuition waivers. She works with the Dean and graduate faculty regarding academic warning / low GPA procedures.


Diane Houser
Fiscal Specialist / Graduate Assistantship Coordinator
Phone: (509) 963-3102

Diane is a fiscal specialist in the School of Graduate Studies and Research. She has been an employee of the university since 2002. She coordinates graduate school financial affairs and the graduate assistantship program.


Lila Harper
Program Assistant
Phone: (509) 963-1793

Dr. Harper serves as the thesis editor. She has taught at Central for 20 years in the English department and also teaches in Computer Science and in the Douglas Honors program. Her job is to provide documentation and writing guidance to the graduate students and review the theses once they are completed for adherence to the thesis regulations, along with documentation, formatting, research methodology, and writing correctness. She completed her Ph.D. from the University of Oregon in 1996 with a focus on Victorian science and literature.



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