See what your classmates have been up to!

Emily Washines

Picture of Emily Washines

Emily is an enrolled Yakama Tribal member with lineage of Cree and Skokomish Tribes. She proudly resides on the Yakama Reservation, located in southern Yakima County. She and her family hold dear, long-standing tribal traditions: gathering food from the land, dancing and singing to sacred music, beadwork and weaving. Emily has maintained her knowledge of Ichiskiin, her native language.  Twenty years ago she began her career within the film industry. Today she produces short films and assists producers from network television and public broadcasting. She has had the pleasure of presenting her publications to tribal, state and federal agencies and to the public. Emily currently serves as the President of the Yakima Environmental Learning Foundation, which coordinates a yearly film series. She is a board member for the Museum of Culture and Environment, assisting with exhibits and the annual Salmon Run.  She speaks on behalf of the nusux (salmon) and other resources for the Nch’i Wana (Columbia River) while participating as a board member for the Columbia Riverkeeper. She keeps her research topics close to her heart, including: The Yakama War, traditional knowledge, resource management, fishing rights and food sovereignty. 


Emily von Jenzen

2005 Alum, Political Science and Law and Justice


  • Attorney, Kaufman Vidal Hileman Ellingson, Kalispell MT (current)
  • Executive Director, Enduring Waves Foundation (2013 – present)
  • Assistant Attorney General, State of Montana (2015-2018
  • Deputy District Attorney, Flathead County Montana (2011-2015)
  • Special Education Teacher, Mukilteo School District, Washington (2010-2011)


Emily von Jentzen is a high-achieving alumnus with a deep commitment to community, family, human rights and social justice.  Her areas of expertise is in the law are child advocacy and dependency, civil litigation and non-profit formation/representation.  She is a member of the National Association of Counsel for Children.

Emily is an endurance swimmer and in 2011 became the first person to swim the 55-mile length of Lake Chelan, which she did as a fundraiser for a local toddler with leukemia.  2013 she founded Enduring Waves, a charitable foundation raising money through long-distance swimming events to assist critically ill children in Montana whose families lack resources for their care [Enduring Waves Website]. Enduring Waves typically sponsors two children per year, providing support for medical expenses not covered by insurance; travel expenses related to treatment; and items to improve the child’s quality of life during their treatment.

In 2017 Emily became the first person to swim the length of Flathead Lake, down and back, a round trip distance of 112 miles.  Emily’s method for raising funds is to attract sponsors who donate a fixed amount for each mile she swims in her endurance events, also attracting other community members to swim with her for sponsorship dollars.


Rachel Almaraz

Picture of Rachel Almaraz

Rachel Almaraz, a CWU political science alumni who graduated in 2013 is now teaching English in Armenia. After getting her bachelor’s degree from CWU, Raquel got her masters in political science from West Virginia University. Currently, Rachel is living in a village called Alvank which is 10 minutes away from the Iranian border with Armenia. Rachel is teaching English as a part of the TEFL volunteer program.


Salam Awad

Picture of Salam Awad

Salam graduated with her bachelors in political science at CWU in 2013. She loved being a Wildcat and being a part of the political science department. In 2018, Salam returned to CWU as an adjunct professor. One of her greatest experiences as a student was working on a research project with Dr. Bang-Soon Yoon focusing on human trafficking in the Middle East. She is really happy to  be back on campus and work alongside her former professors who inspired her to pursue my passion for research and politics.


Nancy Pizano

Picture of Nancy Pizano

Congratulations to Nancy Pizano! She graduated from CWU with a Bachelors in Political Science in 2014 and has now completed her Master of Initial Teaching from Gonzaga University. 


Bryan Elliot

Picture of Bryan Elliot

Bryan Elliot graduated from Central Washington University with a major in Political Science in 2014. Since graduating from Central, he has served over two years in the Army on active duty as a Cavalry Officer. He was originally stationed for a year at Fort Benning, Georgia for training. Since October 2015, he has been stationed with the 2nd Stryker Brigade out of Joint Base Lewis-Mchord, WA. He has also served as a Scout Platoon Leader and a Troop Executive Officer. 


MAJ Brandon Nixon

Picture of MAJ Brandon Nixon

MAJ Brandon Nixon graduated from Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington in 2004 and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Aviation branch.   After completing Initial Entry Rotary Wing Training, OH-58D Flight School XXI and Aviation Officer Basic Course he was assigned to 2rd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade at Fort Campbell Kentucky in May 2006.  While assigned to 2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment MAJ Nixon served as a Platoon Leader, Assistant S-3 and Squadron S-1.  He was deployed to Kirkuk, Iraq in 2006 and to Kandahar, Afghanistan in 2008.  After returning from Afghanistan in 2009 MAJ Nixon moved to Fort Rucker, AL to attending the Aviation Captain’s Career Course.  Upon completion of the AVCCC, MAJ Nixon became the Aide De Camp for the Commanding General of the Army’s Aviation and Missile Command at Redstone Arsenal, AL.  MAJ Nixon was then served as the Troop Commander of B Troop 2nd Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment out of Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.  While serving as the commander of B Troop 2-6 CAV MAJ Nixon deployed to RC South, Afghanistan.

MAJ Nixon’s most recent assignment was the Brigade Aviation Officer for 2nd Infantry Brigade 25th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks HI.  MAJ Nixon is currently serving as the Assistant Product Manager for the UH-60M Product Office, Program Executive Office Aviation at Redstone Arsenal, AL.

MAJ Nixon holds a Masters Degree from Webster University in Procurement and Acquisitions Management. His military education includes the Aviation Officer Basic, the Aviation Captains Career Course and the Command and General Staff College.  His military awards and decorations include the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with numeral 3, Army Commendation Medal with valor, the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal with one star, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with two stars, the Iraq Campaign Medal with one star, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Armed Forces Service Medal, the Overseas Service Ribbon with numeral 3, the NATO Medal, Combat Action Badge, Senior Aviator Badge, Air Assault Badge and Parachutes’ Badge.


SFC Benjamin Steele

Picture of SFC Benjamin Steele

Benjamin Steele graduated from CWU in 2000. After an IT career, Benjamin enlisted in the Washington Army National Guard in 2003 and has been serving on near-continuous active duty since 2004 as a Russian linguist, Intelligence Analyst and Instructor. He served in Afghanistan in 2006-07 and is currently in Kuwait as part of Operation Inherent Resolve [the counter-ISIL coalition].  In between wars, he teaches Intelligence Analysis and Counter Threat Finance to civilian law enforcement agents and volunteers with Team Rubicon USA, a veteran-led disaster relief non-profit. Most recently, he served as the Region X Planning Manager, leading operational planning for disaster responses.


Dannielle Stembridge (Leaverton)

Picture of Dannielle Stembridge

Danielle is currently retired after 30 years in the classroom. She ran a campaign for a state representative and campaign statewide for teacher's union president. Throughout the years she has worked on many campaigns for people & causes. Fun fact: Danielle is ten Presidents away from visiting all President's library and/or birthplace.


Greg Turk

Picture of Greg Turk

Greg Turk granduated from CWU in 1989 with a degree in Political Science. Since graduating, he coached a year of college baseball at Sam Houston State University. He also earned a Master's Degree in Divinity at Texas Christian University, Brite Divinity School Pastor with the United Church of Christ and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Greg has been a Pastor of urban congregations for 22 years, and he has worked with gang-involved people for 18 years, including at All Peoples Christian Church, South Central LA. Greg has created social service programs and micro-business to serve gang members, including Homie Accents, a soap and lotion business, and the Exodus Urban Academy, an employment project, both in LA. He has helped Pete Carroll (Now Seahawks, then USC football coach) create a violence prevention project called A Better LA. He worked five years as a performance consultant - leadership and organizational culture - with a partnership he joined in creating. His primary clients were state agencies that provide social services. He is currently the pastor of All Pilgrims Christian Church, Seattle (Capitol HIll). 


Trevor Zandell

Picture of Trevor Zandell

Since graduating with honors from law school more than a decade ago, Trevor Zandell has been serving the legal needs of individuals, families, and small businesses across Southwest Washington. He has earned the confidence and admiration of hundreds of clients who have faced legal challenges ranging from boundary line disputes to business purchases and sales. 

While building an impressive litigation practice, Trevor has been active in an array of industry and charitable groups. President-elect of the Thurston County Bar Association and past board president of the local United Way, he currently serves as vice president of the board of directors for SafePlace and as an on-call volunteer attorney with the Thurston County Economic Development Council. In addition, he has been named a Rising Star® by Super Lawyers®, a researchdriven, peer-influenced rating service recognizing no more than five percent of attorneys nationwide.

Trevor graduated from CWU in 2001. 


Patricia Loera

Picture of Patricia Loera

As Associate Vice President for College Access for the UW Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity, Patricia Loera oversees work to expand pathways to and through college for underrepresented youth in Washington State by partnering with K-12 school districts, community coalitions and community colleges. 

Loera has committed her career to increasing educational opportunities for young people.  Prior to joining the UW, she was a senior program officer for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation leading national efforts to champion college readiness, share knowledge and ensure sustainability of these reforms.  She has also worked in Washington, DC as a legislative staff attorney for the MALDEF, the Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund and Legislative Director for the National Association for Bilingual Education.  Loera also served as a Washington State assistant attorney general in Yakima (1993-97).

Loera received a juris doctorate degree from the UW Law School (1993) and bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Spanish, cum laude, from Central Washington University (1989). 


Jack Barry

Picture of Jack Barry

Jack Barry graduated from CWU with a BA in Political Science. He was an Active Duty Army Officer for 5 years and still serves out his remaining contract on the Inactive Ready Reserve. After the Army, he has been involved in the non-profit and Higher Education fields. Jack worked on a Veterans Administration Grant that helped homeless Veterans find permanent housing and helped them with seeking new careers. In the Higher Education Field, he was the Special Funding Coordinator at Yakima Valley College helping students who were receiving public assistance applying for specific grants and scholarships that his department awarded. Currently, Jack is the Executive Assistant to the Lead Pastor at Resurrection Church in Tacoma, Washington. He says that his Political Science Degree has given him insight on how to lead in all of these positions.


Mike Fessler

Picture of Mike Fessler

Mike Fessler is a photojournalist at the CBS affiliate in Salt Lake City. Since graduating from CWU, he has cultivated a career in the news industry, beginning in Spokane and ending in Salt lake City. Living in the states' capital city affords him access to Utah's congressional delegation, Governor and state lawmakers, whom he regularly interviews. The degree he received through CWU's Political Science Department, in conjunction with his degree in Journalism, have been invaluable to him throughout his career.


Tiah Branson

Picture of Tiah Branson

Tiah Branson graduated from CWU with a double major in Law & Justice (pre-law/paralegal) and Political Science. She worked as a paralegal for private attorneys for 10 years. Tiah also has 10 years worth of Municipal Government Experience. She currently serves as an Executive Assistant/HR Analyst/Civil Service Secretary-Examiner for the City of Snoqualmie. This year she is focusing on helping out more in the City Clerk’s office. Tiah has earned both Certified Municipal Clerk and Certified Public Records Officer designations and hopes to take her career in the city clerk direction next. She feels very fortunate to have utilized both of her degrees in her professional endeavors thus far. She has also truly enjoyed municipal government work, which can be very rewarding.


Jessica Lautz

Picture of Jessica Lautz

      Jessica Lautz is the Managing Director of Survey Research and Communications. Jessica started at NAR in 2007. The core of her research focuses on demographic trends for both NAR members and housing consumers, and issues such as: how housing preferences shift in an ever changing market place, the consistent trends of consumers for the desire to own a home, consumers search to find a real estate agent, and generational trends.

          She writes annual studies including the Member Profile, the Commercial Member Profile, the Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, the Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends report, the Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey, the Profile of Buyers’ Home Feature Preferences, Remodeling Impact, HOME Survey and the Profile of Real Estate Firms. Jessica discusses the results of these studies in blog articles, Twitter chats, webinars, as well as in major media outlets and keynote presentations.

         Jessica is a graduate of the American University Master’s of Public Policy Program and has undergraduate degrees in Political Science and Law and Justice from Central Washington University. She is currently pursuing her doctorate of Real Estate from Nottingham Trent University. Her thesis is: "Is the Dream Still Alive? Tracking Homeownership Amid Changing Economic and Demographic Conditions".


Traci Hamilton

Picture of Traci Hamilton

Traci Hamilton graduated from CWU in 1989. Most recently, she spent the last four years working for Booz Allen Hamilton supporting clients in the Intelligence Community in the DC Metro Area, specifically the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency as a business advisor. She is also an Army reserve finance officer.  Traci recently moved back to the PNW to support a new client, the Navy, in audit readiness. It's been an adventure, and Traci has loved being part of something larger than herself.

Check out this piece written by Dr. George Hawley, a Political Science alumn, now an Assistant Professor at the University of Alabama:

How Donald Trump Can Change Conservatism


Shaun Meadows

Picture of Shaun Meadows

Shaun Meadows graduated in 2000, and became a commissioned officer in the U.S. Air Force.  He served 6.5 years on Active Duty and separated at the rank of Captain (O-3).  Shaun was a Wildland Firefighter for one season in Washington State after he got out of the service.  He currently works for the U.S. Department of Energy as a Security Specialist at the Environmental Management Consolidated Business Center (EMCBC) located in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Shaun is also the Veterans Employment Program Manager for our office.


Alex Herzog

Picture of Alex Herzog

Since graduating in 2006, Alex Herzog has worked in a number of positions in King County government, Sound Transit and the City of Shoreline.  Each position has had a focus on working with numerous jurisdictions to problem solve; staffing and providing analysis and recommendations to elected officials and executive-level staff; and guiding agency/Citywide policies, laws/ordinances, initiatives, and programs.

Soon after completing Seattle University's Master of Public Administration program, Alex was selected as one of 32 fellows in the country (July 2014) into the International City Management Association's (ICMA) prestigious, year-long Local Government Management Fellowship program. 

The Fellowship is a highly competitive program that places master’s degree graduates in executive-track government positions. He graduated from that program mid-2014. In early-2015, Alex was selected for the Puget Sound region's Leadership Tomorrow program. And, in less than six months after graduating from Leadership Tomorrow, in October 2016, Alex was was accepted into ICMA's Emerging Leadership Development Program.


Thomas Lorenson

Thomas Lorenson is currently an active duty Army Infantry Officer, who is in Command of an Airborne Infantry Rifle Company in the 82nd Airborne Division. He has served in Afghanistan from 2010-2011 as  A Platoon Leader in 2nd Cavalry Regiment, where he acted as a District Police Officer Senior Mentor for the Afghan National Police. Thomas was wounded during this deployment and received the Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal with Valor Device and the Bronze Star for Valor. He was also a Ranger Instructor at Fort Benning, Georgia from 2012-2014 where he was the Dive Officer and Platoon Tactical Trainer at the 4th Ranger Training Battalion.Thomas will be attending Graduate School on Army Scholarship this coming Fall and is considering returning to either Central Washington University for a Masters in History or the University of Washington for a Masters in International Relations.


Ken Luce

Picture of Ken Luce

Ken graduated from CWU in 1963. He has been in private practice for  about  50 years, serving the Pierce County area with a focus on elder law, estate planning and the needs of businesses.  He has developed his practice to meet the needs that families face throughout a lifetime .    He is now serving the fourth generation of clients. Ken has a passion for community. Most recently he has been actively involved in disaster preparedness, search and rescue. He  was  the Honorary Commander of the Western Air Defense Sector, and  is now the 7th Airlift Squadron Honorary Cdr. at JBLM. .

Ken has been an active member of Rotary, Lions Club, F & AM, served on the Board of Directors of the Mt.Rainier chapter of the American Red Cross.  Most unique to Ken is his collection of military history. His office is indeed a museum, with items spanning many wars and conflicts, dating back to the Civil War.

More information on Ken Luce:

Admitted to Practice In:
• Washington and Idaho State Courts; U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces; U.S. Tax Court
• Supreme Court of the United States

• J.D. Willamette University, 1967, B.A. Central Washington University, 1963
Professional & Bar Memberships:
• American Bar Association, since 1967, Fellow; Washington State Bar Association Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association, Idaho Bar Association

Honors, Publications & Presentations:
• AARP Community Partnership Award; protecting elders from financial abuse
• Legal Assistance to Military Personnel (LAMP), Distinguished Citizen Award (2)
• U.S. Navy, Superior Civilian Service Award
• U.S. Army, Civilian Patriotic Service Award
• Washington State Attorney General’s Office, consultant for illegal sale of living trusts to seniors;
• Honorary Member of the 2/75 Ranger Battalion JBLM

Prior Affiliations:
• Municipal Court Judge;, City of Fife;
• City Prosecutor, City of Fife and City Attorney for City of Milton and City of Pacific
• U.S Naval Reserve


Mathew Purcell

Picture of Mathew Purcell

Mathew was raised in Wenatchee and graduated from Wenatchee high school in 2001. He attended Central Washington University and graduated Cum Laude with a B.A. in Law and Justice with a minor in Political Science. Mathew then moved to California to attend the Ventura College of Law where he graduated in December 2009 with a Family Law Certification and clerked for the Family Law department of the Ventura County Superior Court.

After passing the California Bar exam in February of 2010, and only practicing as an associate for 3 months, Mathew was asked to enter into a partnership with a long-standing Family Law practitioner. After 3 years of practicing Family Law in Ventura County, Mathew and his wife decided it was time to move home to Kennewick to be near Family.

While in California, Mathew served as a Court Appointed Settlement Officer for the Family Law department and also served as Vice President of the Barristers section of the Ventura County Bar Association where he organized and oversaw Legal Self Help nights serving the Salvation Army Women’s Transitional Living Center and RAIN living center. Additionally, Mathew served as the Treasurer of the Family Law section of the Ventura County Bar Association.

In Washington, Mathew has helped found the Benton Franklin Collaborative Family Law Group, has presented at multiple Continue Legal Education seminars and has served as president of the Benton Franklin County Bar Young Lawyers Division. Mathew primarily focuses on Family Law/Domestic Relations matters.


Michael Madzuma

Michael Madzuma was accepted as a junior student at Central Washington University, having completed an Associate Degree at Fort Steilacoom Community College while at stationed at Fort Lewis (near Tacoma). On May May 18, 1980, Michael was activated with others in the National Guard for the Mount St. Helen’s volcano disaster. He graduated on June 12, 1980 with a B.A. degree in Political Science and minor in Business Administration. He then went on to graduate from UW with a Master's in International Studies (East Asia) and basic Korean language fluency. He returned to the military as an Air Force officer. He later served as an Intelligence Officer in Colorado, Hawaii, Michigan, Saudi Arabia (Gulf War I), Virginia, Turkey, and back to Colorado where he retired. Later, he entered  the Federal Government as an Intelligence Analyst with the Drug Enforcement Administration and moved to the Washington, D.C. area. Michael then ended up at the Federal Bureau of Investigation where he retired in 2013. Now fully retired, he continues to study Chinese language, Chinese calligraphy, and Korean language. He is grateful to the Central admissions officers willing to take a chance on a Vietnam-era veteran!


Mark Johnson

Picture of Mark Johnson

Mark, a Seattle native, is a 1983 graduate of Garfield High School and a 1987 graduate of Central Washington University, completing a degree in political science, a minor in economics and an emphasis in communications.  While at Central Mark served as the Associated Student Body President, advisory member for the Board of Trustees, President of the Phi Beta Lambda Business Club, Chairman of the Washington Student Lobby, and Sergeant of Arms for the Alpha Kappa Psi Business Fraternity. After graduating Johnson served on the CWU Alumni Association for 10 years, two as president. In 2000 he was presented the CWU Presidential Excellence in Leadership Award.  Johnson has addressed seven CWU graduation ceremonies.

Mark started his career in politics by interning for U.S. Senator Dan Evans in 1987.  He then worked in political campaigns, first for U.S. Senator Bob Dole’s presidential race in 1988 then with U.S. Congressman John Miller’s re-election bid.  Mark moved to Olympia in 1989 to work for State Representative and later State Senator Jeannette Wood until 2000.  He then worked as the legislative liaison for the Washington State Children’s Administration until 2001.  Mark served as the assistant state director for the Washington Chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business from 2001 until 2004. While at NFIB he won a Political Action Committee fundraising competition sending him to both the national convention and the presidential inauguration in 2004-05. 

Mark joined the Washington Retail Association January of 2005 as the Director of Government Affairs.  In June 2006 he was promoted to Vice President. Mark is responsible for the strategic development of the Government Affairs activities of the Washington Retail Association and the Government Affairs Division's activities.  He leads high priority issues for the association such as taxes, unemployment insurance, health care, privacy issues, and the handling of consumer products.  Mark is also the lead staff for the association's Small Business Committee, Political Action Committee and its Government Affairs Committee. Johnson currently is a member of the Council of Washington Business Organizations, the International Council of Shopping Centers, Enterprise Washington Political Oversight Committee, Council of State Retail Associations, the Attorney General’s Citizens Advisory Committee, and several others.


Dr. Stefanie Wickstrom

Picture of Dr. Stefanie Wickstrom

Our very own Dr. Stefanie Wickstrom graduated from CWU majoring in Political Science in 1988. She is a Senior Lecturer at CWU since 2000, and teaches a number of classes, including Environmental Politics (POSC 398), Spanish (SPAN 151) and Dimensions of Environmental Conflict (IDS 398). Her research interests include Environmental politics, political ecology, identity politics, environmental movements, Latin American politics. She has written several book chapters including Mestizaje and Globalization: Transformations of Identity and Power (14-chapter edited volume with Philip D. Young). University of Arizona Press – 2014, among others. For more information: Stefanie Wickstrom


MAJ Robert Kincaid

Picture of MAJ Robert Kincaid

After graduating from Central Washington University in 1990 with a BA in Political Science, Robert was commissioned as an officer in the US Air Force after completing Central's AFROTC (Det 895) program.  While an AFROTC cadet/student at CWU, he painted all but one of the aircraft murals in the AFROTC building's ground floor--and he was pleasantly surprised on his last visit to see that they are still there!  Robert served in the Air Force for seven years, leaving to attend law school at Oklahoma City University School of Law.  After law school, he practiced insurance defense litigation and plaintiffs litigation.  Following his interest in government, he started a Masters of Public Administration degree at the University of Oklahoma around the same time that he joined the US Army JAG Corps, Reserves, in 2003, where he started practicing military criminal defense.  He mobilized to Ft Hood, TX, in 2004 and deployed to Baghdad, Iraq for one year, and Tikrit, Iraq, for just under a year (including nearly 30 days in Bagram, Afghanistan).  As an Army lawyer, Robert defended Soldiers charged with various criminal offenses under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.  Having fallen in love with both the Army and criminal law, Robert applied for Regular Army (active duty) and was accepted in 2006, then deploying to Camp Casey in the Republic of Korea.  He continued to defend Soldiers charged with various crimes until he was sent to the US Army's Judge Advocate's Legal Center and School, where he completed his LLM in military law.  His next assignment took him to the U.S. Army's Criminal Investigation Division Command (CID) at Fort Belvoir, VA., where he was the Deputy Staff Judge Advocate, advising the Army's top criminal investigative agency on operation, administrative and regulatory issues, including preparing senior CID personnel for their presentations to Congress on various high profile, criminal investigations.  He next was assigned to the U.S. Army's Cadet Command in Ft Knox, KY, where for the first time he was not regularly involved in military justice matters.  He returned to military justice when he was assigned as a Law Instructor for the U.S. Army's Military Police School at Ft. Leonard Wood, MO.  Robert has returned to the court room for his current--and probably his final assignment before retiring--at the Office of Military Commissions, Military Commissions Defense Organization, outside of Washington, D.C..  Robert now has one client and is one of three military defense counsel (along with three pro bono civilian lawyers with habeas corpus experience and two pro bono law school professors) responsible for defending an accused al-Qaeda operative who the US government asserts has committed various war crimes under both US federal law and the Laws of War.  The case name is US v. abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi.  The first war crimes trials held since after WWII involve complex issues of constitutional law, federal law, international law, human rights law, the law of war, and administrative and regulatory law.  Robert says that there is simply no better way to cap a military career than for a lawyer with an interest in and passion for politics, due process of law and a desire to see justice objectively effectuated (to and for all) than to defend an accused before military commissions which were arguably contrived to implement the antithesis of the grand goals of the American Experiment of 1776-limited government held accountable to its own law.


Dr. George Hawley

Picture of Dr. George Hawley

George Hawley is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Alabama. His research interests include demography, electoral behavior, political parties, immigration policy, and the conservative movement in America. He is the author of three books: Voting and Migration Patterns in the U.S., White Voters in 21st Century America, and Right-Wing Critics of American Conservatism. He earned his Ph.D in Political Science from the University of Houston in 2012 and his undergraduate degrees in Political Science and Print Journalism from Central Washington University in 2006. Before entering graduate school he worked in politics in Washington, DC for multiple groups and individuals. Although his teaching and academic research keep him busy, Dr. Hawley is also an active consultant and media commentator. 


Stacey Grund

Picture of Stacey Grund

Stacey A. Grund graduated Central Washington University in 1988 with a BA in Political Science and a BS in Economics. Following graduation he started his career with the family construction business in Seattle. Over the years the business has grown to include over 275 employees among three companies with offices in Seattle WA, Portland, OR and Destin, FL. While working his way to becoming owner/president other responsibilities have included field labor, field supervision, general superintendent, accounting, project manager and estimator. In addition to his management responsibilities Stacey has served as an expert cost and construction defect witness on over eighty construction litigation cases offering mediation support and trial testimony. With a focus and experience on exterior building envelope issues, he has provide numerous speaker presentations to construction industry groups.

            Stacey has a strong commitment to the community and his industry that includes serving on The Salvation Army Advisory Board, Seattle Rotary Club, King Country Boys & Girls Clubs Board of Directors as well as long standing services as a trustee on union pension and health trust funds.


Crosby Olsen

Picture of Crosby Olsen

Crosby J. Olsen graduated Central Washington University in 2007 with a BA in Political Science.  Following graduation he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army.  Crosby trained to fly the CH-47 Chinook helicopter at Fort Rucker, Alabama.  He has been stationed in Alabama, Germany, Colorado and South Carolina with deployments to Afghanistan and Kuwait.  From 2012 to 2014 Crosby commanded the air traffic control company at Fort Carson, Colorado.  In pursuit of geographic stability and more family time, Crosby has decided to leave the Army for a career in business.  Crosby, his wife Amy and their son Arlo will be moving back to Washington in June 2016.


Elsa Larson

Picture of Elsa Larson

Elsa Larson is currently a 5th grade teacher in Akiachak, Alaska. She will be moving to Barrow, Alaska over the summer to continue working as an Elementary Teacher in Native communities.  She currently works with Yup'ik students and will be working with Inupiaq students next year.


Brian Dosch

Picture of Brian Dosch

Brian Dosch graduated from Central Washington University in 2009 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. Following graduation, he took a year off before going to the University of Idaho College of Law. He graduated in 2013 and passed the Washington Bar later that year. He is now an Associate Attorney with the Yakima firm of Hall and Gilliland doing Criminal Defense and Civil Litigation. When not in the courtroom, he loves taking advantage of the wonderful outdoor recreational opportunities that Central Washington has to offer.


John Douglass

Picture of John Douglass

John F. Douglass served in the navy before attending and graduating from Central Washington State College in 1969 with a BA in Political Science and minors in Economics & History.  Following graduation, he served again in the navy, this time as a commissioned officer.  After leaving the navy, he attended Indiana University in Bloomington where he received MS and MA degrees in 1976 and a Doctoral Degree in Adult & Higher Education Administration in 1982.  He spent 8 years as a Training Director in hospitals and simultaneously taught HR Management & Corporate Ethics in an MBA program…all of which he found quite boring.  Therefore, he decided a radical change was in order.  Something more along the lines of his original interests: (1) the political history of the Soviet Union, (2) the history, politics, and culture of the Arabian Peninsula, and (3) international business.

   Saddam Hussein’s timing, and the subsequent Gulf War were fortuitous.  John secured a position as Training Consultant to a command of the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Defence & Aviation in Dhahran.  Life in the ‘Magic Kingdom’ was agreeable…with some minor adjustments.  Convinced there would be another war involving Iraq, John was determined to remain in Arabia.  After a couple of years, John moved over to Aramco (The Saudi Arabian Oil Company) as a Leadership & Organizational Development Consultant at the Aramco corporate headquarters in Dhahran.  In this capacity, he advised management in departments such as Medical, Aviation, Marine, Project Management, Personnel & Government Relations, Gas Operations, Refining, Pipelines and a number of other departments in this company of 50,000 employees from 27 countries.  The position also involved weekly travel around the Kingdom to Jeddah, Riyadh, Yanbu, Jubail, Abqaiq, Shaybah, Ras Tanura, and occasional travel to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Cairo, and Bahrain, as well as pleasant vacations in England, Ireland, Scotland, Russia, Austria, Germany, and Denmark.

The expected war came in 2003, and eventually, except for the occasional terrorist attack, things seemed to quiet down.  John retired in 2005 and lives in the Eastern Oregon high desert along the Columbia River.  He spends most of his time fishing the river, and does some traveling around the USA and Mexico.  To sort of ‘keep a hand in the game’ he does some teaching.  He has no particular goal except, hopefully, taking a long vacation to visit old friends in England, the Persian Gulf, and of course, Indiana.


Josh Dazey

Picture of Josh Dazey

Josh Dazey graduated Summa Cum Laude from Central Washington University earning a B.S. (Political Science) and a B.A. (Public Policy) degree in 2001. Following graduation, Josh taught at Hubei Normal University in China for a year, then attended Georgetown University Law Center where he graduated with a J.D. in 2006. Josh currently is employed by Approach Resources Inc., an oil and gas exploration and production company, as Vice President, General Counsel and Assistant Secretary.  Prior to joining Approach, Josh served as Associate General Counsel, Securities & Finance and Assistant Secretary at Eagle Rock Energy Partners, L.P., a midstream and upstream oil and gas company. Over the course of his employment at Eagle Rock, Mr. Dazey worked on a wide range of SEC reporting, equity and debt offerings, exchanges and buybacks, upstream and midstream acquisitions and dispositions, corporate governance matters and other legal functions, culminating in Eagle Rock’s merger with Vanguard Natural Resources, LLC in 2015. Before joining Eagle Rock, Josh worked as an attorney in the corporate department of Baker Botts LLP, serving a wide range of clients.


Parker Davidson

Picture of Parker Davidson

Parker Davidson graduated from Central Washington University in 2010 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. Following graduation, he spent two years chasing storms and snowboarding around the western half of North America before settling down and marrying his college sweetheart, Kiana Shaw. Parker went on to study at Seattle University School of Law, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude in May of 2015. He now works as an in-house litigation attorney for GEICO and lives with his wife in the Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle. Although he is now more busy with work and family, he still tries to get up to the mountains as much as possible.


Jeremiah Donier

Picture of Jeremiah Donier

Jeremiah Donier attended CWU from September 1996 to June 1998, and earned a BA in Journalism and Political Science. He currently serves as a specialized federal consultant to the Capacity Building Center for States. Donier also conducts freelance social justice and communication design services for nonprofit in the Greater Seattle area. Over the past eight years, he has worked with the Washington State Parent Ally Network and child welfare professionals to develop better programs and policies.


Alyssa Foland

Picture of Alyssa Foland

Alyssa Foland graduated with a BA in English Literature, minoring in Women's & Gender Studies and Communications in 2013. While at Central, she fell in love with the art Graphic Design. She hails from East Wenatchee, but moved to Seattle after college to pursue a full time design and marketing opportunity through Americorps. Once she served a full term, she moved out to Chicago (where she has now resided for nearly 2 years) to pursue an opportunity to work as a Graphic Designer, Marketer and Fundraising associate for a nonprofit that focuses on housing counseling for low to moderate income families. She has recently gone back to school at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago to pursue a degree in Graphic Design to accompany her work experience. In her free time, she volunteers at local animal shelters, plays the ukulele, and crafts until her heart is content.


Douglas Dukelow

Picture of Douglas Dukelow

Douglas V. Dukelow graduated from Central Washington University in 1999 with a Bachelor’s in Political Science and Law & Justice. Following graduation from Central, Doug attended Indiana University School of Law in Bloomington where he received his Juris Doctorate in 2002. After graduating from law school, he became a member of the California bar.

    Doug spent over a decade engaged in a California-based nationwide trial practice. In 2014, he transitioned to an in-house position as MGA Entertainment's Senior Litigation Counsel. His present responsibilities include global litigation strategy and management, as well as litigating and taking cases to trial.


Roger Cartwright

Picture of Roger Cartwright

Roger C. Cartwright graduated from Central Washington University in 1987 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science.  Immediately following graduation from Central, he was commissioned as a 2LT in the US Army.  Rather going directly on to active duty, he elected to take an educational delay and attended Gonzaga University School of Law where he received his J.D. (cum laude) in 1990.  After graduating from law school, he went on to active duty as a Judge Advocate in the U.S. Army.  Over the next twenty plus years, he served on active duty and the US Army Reserve.  In 2011 he retired from the Army where he also earned a Masters Degree in Strategic Studies from the US Navy War College.  In 2012, he went to work as a Department of Army Civilian Attorney for the Office of Soldiers’ Counsel at Joint Base Lewis McChord, where he now represents Soldiers throughout the entire West Coast, going through the Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES).


Marcus Casey

Picture of Marcus Casey

Marcus Casey graduated from Central Washington University in 2008.  He's since been deployed to Iraq as a Platoon Leader and is still serving in the WA Army National Guard as a Logistics Officer Captain. He lived in Ohio for several years where he worked in the transportation industry and recently relocated back home to WA state where his civilian career currently involves procurement activities and international imports & exports for an engineering company in eastern Washington.  Marcus enjoys his career with Kurion, Inc., the domestic and international travel opportunities he's been afforded and the challenges of being an integral part of a up-and-coming company in eastern Washington.


Ryan Rodruck

Picture of Ryan Rodruck

Ryan Rodruck attended Central Washington University in Ellensburg where he graduated with a degree in Political Science. He is the Director of Communications and Marketing for Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences (PNWU) in Yakima, Washington. Prior to joining PNWU, Ryan was the General Manager of KYVE 47, Central Washington’s PBS affiliate. Ryan has also served as a senior staff member to former U.S. Congressman Doc Hastings in Washington’s 4th District. Ryan worked on a wide range of issues directly affecting the residents of the Central Washington community and worked to advocate to the government on their behalf. He has also served as staff to a member of the Washington State Legislature, developing electoral and constituent outreach strategy. A Seattle area native, Ryan moved to Yakima in 2006. He is active in several community organizations and currently serves as 2nd Vice-Chairman of the Greater Yakima Chamber of Commerce and Vice President of People for People, a regional social services provider. 


Jeremy Kelley

Picture of Jeremy Kelley

Jeremy Kelley graduated from Central Washington University with a BA degree in Political Science in 1999 and a BS in Public policy in 2000. He served as a student lobbyist in Olympia from 1998-2000.  Jeremy worked on getting bills signed by the governor pertaining to the WA State Need Grant and Childcare. He also ran two successful campaigns in the WA state 5th legislative district.  He is currently the President of the Washington State Math Council and CEO of his small business BackWiseMassage.  Jeremy also enjoys traveling and reading biographies.


David Sawyer

Picture of David Sawyer

After graduating from Central Washington University in 2005, where he majored in Political Science and Geography and Land Studies, David moved to Washington, D.C., and interned for the American Political Science Association and U. S. Senator Maria Cantwell. He was also one of the original field organizers for Barack Obama in the 2008 Iowa presidential caucuses. He  worked a statewide campaign for Attorney General and on the Denny Heck for Congress campaign.

David spends his time outside of Olympia studying to be a lawyer as a law clerk at Sadler Ladenburg, PLLC in Tacoma and is enrolled in the APR 6 Law Clerk program through the Washington State Bar Association. He was elected to the Washington State House of Representatives in 2012 and currently represents the 29th Legislative District (S Tacoma, Lakewood, Parkland, Spanaway, and Frederickson).


Tristin Sullivan

Picture of Tristin Sullivan

Tristin Sullivan doubled majored in Law & Justice and Political Science from CWU and graduated in 2009. She then attended Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, CA. During law school, she served as technical editor for Thomas Jefferson Law Review. Tristin also worked as a mentor for the law school Academic Success Program where students who under-performed during their first year of law school were placed in structured study groups and provided feedback on practice questions by mentors. She graduated from law school in December 2009. She graduated summa cum laude and was the class valedictorian. Upon graduation, Tristin returned to Washington State. She took and passed the February 2014 WA Bar Exam. She currently works as an attorney for DSHS - Division of Child Support representing the state in child support matters.


Carol Smoots

Picture of Carol Smoots

Carol Smoots graduated from Central Washington University, B.A., Summa Cum Laude and went on to attend Williamette University College of Law earning her JD. Carol has more than 25 years of energy industry experience. She represented energy companies in regulatory proceedings before federal and state regulatory bodies as well as in domestic and international energy transactions. Carol regularly provides energy counseling on contracts, utility rates, regulatory compliance issues, Independent System Operator rules, FERC enforcement actions and regulatory appeals. She also represented energy companies on the construction and operation of energy projects, including interconnection issues, transmission access and regulatory compliance. She is now a Retired Partner at Pierce Atwood, LLP. 


Jake Stillwell

Picture of Jake Stillwell

After Jake Stillwell graduated, he worked as Communications Director for the United States Student Association in Washington, DC, which is a nonprofit organizing which advocates on behalf of college students, from 2009 - 2011. We helped pass the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act and secure funding for the Pell Grant. From 2011-2014 Jake was a student at Gonzaga Law School where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Gonzaga Law Review and graduated summa cum laude. Jake currently works as a law clerk for Judge Justin L. Quackenbush at the U.S. District Court in Spokane.


Staci West

Picture of Staci West

Staci West graduated with a bachelor of arts degree, double majoring in Political Science and Journalism, in 1994. She immediately participated in a fellowship at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies in St. Petersburg, Fla., and then worked as a reporter at newspapers near Seattle for three years. In 1998, she joined Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, a U.S. Department of Energy research laboratory in Richland, Wash. In her 17 years at PNNL, Staci has led national media outreach, coordinated U.S. Energy Secretary visits, supported Congressional outreach strategies, managed media and community relations functions, and led public relations campaigns. She currently manages public relations for a research facility at PNNL specializing in molecular-scale research. She's a member of the board of the United Way of Benton and Franklin Counties. She previously served a term on the CWU Alumni Association Board. LinkedIn - Staci West


Kwame Amoateng

Picture of Kwame Amoateng

Kwame Amoateng graduated from CWU in 1999 with a degree in Political Science and a minor in Journalism. Immediately following graduation, he attended Seattle University School of Law and graduated in 2002. He has been a member of the Washington State Bar since 2003.  Kwame joined the litigation office at Safeco Insurance in Tacoma and worked there for one year. From Safeco, he joined the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services where he worked for three years as a Legal Benefits Attorney before joining the federal government. For the past eight years, Kwame has worked as an attorney with the U.S. Government.  He has served on the board of the Washington State Bar Association’s Civil Rights Committee. He has also served on the board of Lumana, a Microfinancing and Microphilantropy organization serving rural farmers and entrepreneurs in Ghana. Kwame lives in Seattle.


Austin Benham

Picture of Austin Benham

Austin Benham graduated with the class of 2011 with a BA in History, and BA in Political Science. While at Central he worked as a member of the CWU chapter of the Washington Students Association, and served the history department as a member of the Student Academic Senate.

Upon graduation Austin began work as a grassroots organizer for the CA Democratic Party, and shortly became the project director for their Oakland field office. Heading into 2012 he moved into electoral politics as a professional political operative, specializing in campaign finance. Over the next few years he worked on two top 10 congressional races, the only Special Senate race of 2013, and served as the Finance Director for a county executive race in Montgomery County Maryland. Austin developed a niche for working in the fourth quarter of campaigns under tight deadlines on high profile races. Collectively he helped raise over $6,000,000 for his candidates. 

After three years of crisscrossing the country Austin decided to hang up the political cap, and returned home to Washington State. He now works in customer service for Toll Brothers Inc. America’s premier luxury home builder, and is looking forward to a new role in project management starting shortly. He still enjoys politics, and studies history as a hobby.


Susan Adams

Picture of Susan Adams

Susan B. Adams, JD graduated from Central Washington University in 1987 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science.  Immediately following graduation from Central, she attended the University of Puget Sound School of Law (now Seattle University School of Law), earning a Juris Doctorate degree in 1990.  Susan was admitted to the Washington State Bar in 1990 and spent the first fourteen years of her career working in the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office.  During her years as a prosecutor, she served as a Division Chief, the Supervisor of the Domestic Violence Unit, a Felony Trial Team Chief and a Felony trial lawyer.   For the past ten years, Susan has worked as the Director of the Crystal Judson Family Justice Center in Tacoma.  The Family Justice Center is a collaboration of community and criminal justice agencies working to serve victims of domestic violence and their children by providing comprehensive services in one central location.

 Susan speaks both locally and nationally about domestic violence and her work with the Family Justice Center.  She serves on the Washington State Attorney General’s Domestic Violence Advisory Group.   She is a Senior Fellow with the American Leadership Forum of Tacoma/Pierce County (Class XIV).  She is an active member of Tacoma Rotary #8 and also serves on the board of St. Francis House in Puyallup.


Kyle Alm

Picture of Kyle Alm

Kyle Alm graduated from Central with a BA in Political Science and BS in Public Policy in 2002. Served as Legislative Liaison in 1997-98 and helped pass the bill that added a voting student to the Board of Trustees. Served as Vice-President of Political Affairs for ASCWU in 1998-99 and helped secure design funding for the music building. Ran a handful of campaigns including legislative races, Congress, and a public/private partnership for NASCAR in Kitsap County. Also served as a faithful bureaucrat at the Jefferson County Department of Community Development in the Lang-Range Planning Department. He currently owns SEO Bandwagon, focusing on WordPress development and Internet Marketing in Seattle consulting with businesses, non-profits, artists, and campaigns.


Logan Bahr

Picture of Logan Bahr

Logan Bahr grew up in Tacoma and now resides in Olympia. He graduated with a BA in Political Science in 2011. While at Central, he served on the Board of Trustees as Student Trustee from 2010-2011. He currently works in advocacy, policy, and communication for the Washington Council of Police and Sheriffs, a statewide association representing the interests of law enforcement officers. In his free time, he chairs Graduate Washington PAC, a non-partisan higher education advocacy group. He is actively pursuing his MA of Public Administration from The Evergreen State College.  While, technically, he is both a Central Wildcat and an Evergreen Geoduck, his true allegiance will always reside with the Ellensburg campus.

CWU News

CWU Women’s History Month Film Series to begin March 5

February 28, 2024


CWU Capital Planning and Projects director appointed to Ellensburg City Council

February 28, 2024


More News
Give to Program