My name is Laura Arellano, I am a first-generation Latina born and raised in Northern California. I have lived in Washington for the past two years, and I am currently a senior at Washington State University Vancouver, majoring in Sociology and minoring in History. I enjoy spending time with family and friends, reading, writing, listening to music, watching movies or television, and practicing golf.
For me, it is important take advantage of the opportunities I have been given in my life, to attain a higher education, and to use my knowledge, experience, and expertise to help communities of color in any way possible. Through the courses I have taken at WSU Vancouver, I have been able to develop the language to help articulate my experiences, and the experiences of my community, more effectively. Understanding some of the policies that have influenced my parents' decisions to come to the United States at young ages, allows me to be able to place myself in the historical context of our contemporary world. My role on the Student Diversity Team is to find ways in which the school and community can better support and reach out to students who are undocumented.
As a U.S. born Latina and someone who has an understanding of the struggles faced by those who are not documented, I feel that it is my responsibility to use my privilege to represent people who are not allowed to participate in certain political processes. Many people live in fear of being separated from the ones they love, including some of our fellow students. Living in that constant state of fear is not acceptable. As a community, we need to do a more effective job supporting, and standing up for, those who feel that they do not have a voice, and encourage those who do.
It is crucial for our campus to understand the struggles of our most marginalized students. For our campus to be more inclusive, and live up to its potential, we need to provide a space for these students to engage the campus without fear of being reported. Through my role in the Student Diversity Center, I am committed to ensuring these students have access to resources on campus and a safe space for open dialogue.
Manuel Avalos Robles
Hello fellow Cougs! My name is Manuel Avalos Robles, and I am a Neuroscience major preparing for medical school. I am a Latino from the Bay Area who loves soccer, music, surf, theater, and a lot more. I'm looking forward to working in the Student Diversity Center to help other students succeed, and to help everyone create an exceptional experience on this campus. In my role in the SDC, I will be focusing on bringing music to our campus, and using music to recreate space—a space to speak honestly about the troubles in the world today. I am here to talk, so don’t hesitate to ask!
Psychology and Human Development
Hi everyone, my name is Abbie Bambilla. I am a junior here at Washington State University Vancouver, majoring in Psychology and Human Development, and working towards a certificate in Human Services Case Management.
I love the Student Diversity Center because it’s one of the best places to make mistakes. Many think anything to do with “diversity” just means saying the right thing. I view it as creating a safe space to ask and answer questions, work through difficult conversations and gain awareness about the social justice issues that impact our everyday lives. So please come visit! For the 2017 – 18 academic year, I am honored to serve as the Diversity Center Intern, where I will be working to further develop the Impact Volunteer Program on campus. I believe involvement is vital to student success, and am looking forward to meeting all the great people I will get to interact with. I hope to facilitate dialogue regarding social justice issues and equity-mindedness. My goal is to help people from all communities, cultures and identities get engaged in the conversations happening on campus and in the larger community.
In my free time I enjoy hiking, reading, watching documentaries and connecting others to what they need. I am excited to be a part of something greater than myself, and am looking forward to seeing how the Student Diversity Center will make an impact on WSU Vancouver and beyond.
My name is Natalie, and I am a senior here at Washington State University Vancouver majoring in Psychology and minoring in Anthropology and English. In addition to being a student, I am also the Passport Navigator for the Student Diversity Center and I am on the Student Government elections board. My diverse cultural background includes roots in Latino, Native American and Italian traditions. As a first-generation college student, school was not a priority for me growing up in southern California; I needed to work to survive and help support my family. While it took me years to get on the college track, I’m proud of the work I put in to get here.
When I transferred to WSU from Clark College the excitement and fear of going to university seemed almost overwhelming. Volunteering and being involved with WSU Vancouver community has been the best experience for me, and building these amazing connections helped me through the transition to college, and from college to university.
My duties as the Passport Navigator include mentoring foster-care students wanting to attend WSU Vancouver and current WSU students who were foster care system. I see this role as a great opportunity to be able to give back to the campus and help students, who like myself, have extra challenges earning a degree.
Outside of my time on campus, I spend my time as a freelance career advisor and stylist. I enjoy hanging out with my family and friends, hiking, riding my bike and I LOVE music and dancing. I enjoy writing and cooking are also passions but I don't do them together or write about cooking.
I look forward to meeting—and building with—you all!
Digital Technology and Culture
Hi everyone! My name is Nadia Martinez. I was born and raised in Mexico. I am a transfer student from Clark College where I was a peer mentor, as well. Currently, I am a junior majoring in Digital Technology and Culture and minoring in Fine Arts and Women Studies. It is my pleasure to join the Student Diversity Center team this year. As a student-team lead in the SDC, I will focus on social media and campus outreach. In this role, I will share important information, events, club meetings and programs with our students of color and allies to help them feel included and heard, and to raise our campus’s awareness of our contribution.
As a student at Washington State University Vancouver, I want my fellow students to know that the SDC is a safe space where students can come visit, feel welcome and build an inclusive community. The best thing that you can do as a student is to get involved at campus. It can help you personally, academically and professionally.
I enjoy sharing knowledge with others, painting, creating designs, dancing and reading. I also enjoy eating lavender ice-cream and watching movies. Please, don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions. Also, you can come in and start making new connections. Most of all to have fun!
Johanna Taimanao Inoke
Hafa adai and hello! My name is Johanna Taimanao Inoke, and I am a senior here at Washington State University Vancouver majoring in Biology. After graduating, I hope to teach back home on the the beautiful island of Saipan. I love spending time with family and friends and learning new things. When I’m not in class, I try to be involved in my Pacific Islander community. I am a member of the Pacific Islander Student Alliance, an organization that supports Pacific Islanders in higher education and fights for social justice. In my role in the Student Diversity Center, I’m focused on student retention and creating the SDC as a supporting space for our students. I truly enjoy helping other students, because I am so grateful for the student leaders who have helped me along my college journey. Please do not hesitate to ask me any questions! Stop by the Diversity Center today to meet me and the other awesome staff in the Student Diversity Center. Go Cougs!
Sociology, Business Administration and Public Affairs
My name is Catherine Townsel. I was born in North Carolina and raised on the island of Guam. Two years ago I moved to Washington to seek better opportunities. After completing my Associates Degree in the small town of Port Angeles, Washington, I transferred to Washington State University Vancouver to complete my bachelor's degree. I am currently a Senior and a proud Vancoug triple majoring in Sociology, Business Administration, with an emphasis on Management, and Public Affairs, and with a concentration in Justice Studies.
Ultimately, I would love to start a nonprofit organization, aiming to promote higher education. I am very passionate about developing opportunities for marginalized groups and creating mobility in the realms of higher education. As a nontraditional student, returning to college five years after graduating high school, I place a high importance on higher education, and Washington State University Vancouver has allowed me to continue to chase my dreams.
This year I am serving as a member on the Student Diversity team, as the College Access Coordinator Assistant, and I am very fortunate to have been given this opportunity, for it combines something I'm very passionate about and the next steps in achieving my career goals.
I will be working alongside the College Access Coordinator in creating meaningful programs to inspire children from various elementary, middle and high schools. I am excited to encourage students to pursue their dreams and higher education.