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Your Admissions Team

Our team of Admissions Counselors is here to answer your questions and provide assistance. Need tips on how to create the perfect application? Want to know what the Admissions Committee looks at when admitting students? Get to know your counselors!



  • Jibran Ahmed
    Jibran Ahmed
    Admissions Counselor Phone: (360) 650-2381 Email:  College Major: Biocultural Anthropology, Psychology minor I serve: Washington's Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish, King and Pierce Counties / Multicultural Outreach

    I came to Western in 2009 as a transfer student. Moving away from home to attend a university was a challenge for me and my family. However, when I stepped on campus I was greeted by some of the most welcoming and supportive people I had ever met. The small class sizes and welcoming professors provided me with ample opportunities to get hands on experience outside of the classroom. In my first quarter I connected with a professor and was able to do research studying crayfish in the department of Behavioral Neuroscience in my very first year!

    I found my support at the Ethnic Student Center through club activities and various academic and social support networks. I also found my own connection with Western through poetry events on campus that provided safe spaces for students to share their own experiences. I loved it so much I ended up performing on stage with my own music group!

    From doing Undergraduate research to performing as an artist at concerts, I’ve done it all! Western really does give you the freedom to explore and create your own path inside and outside of the classroom. I graduated in 2012 and now, as an admissions counselor, I have the opportunity to show students just how much Western has to offer!

  • Brent Bode
    Brent Bode
    Admissions Counselor Phone: (360) 650-4346 Email:  College Major: Planning and Environmental Policy: Urban Planning Emphasis, Geology minor I serve: Oregon, California, Washington's Olympic Peninsula

    When beginning my college search I knew I wanted to explore an unfamiliar location with a lot of new people. Raised in northern California, I wanted a university that had a welcoming community that could feel like a home away from home. Western has welcomed me during my first steps on campus, throughout my 4 years as a student, and even today as a Counselor. I began my journey in 2009 completing my degree in Planning and Environmental Policy through WWU’s Huxley College of the Environment.

    In my time at Western I was given the chance to work and serve in different capacities on campus. As the treasurer for 5 residence halls and my position on the executive board for an AS club I gained valuable leadership experience. My passion to become a Counselor came from my work as a student employee for the Admissions Office and New Student Services/Family Outreach where I have worked as an Admissions Representative and Orientation Advisor. I am excited to be able to serve the future of Western’s community to help students see how they can succeed here at Western Washington University.

  • Jo Golden
    Jo Golden
    Manager of Campus Visits and Program Support Phone: (360) 650-2494 Email:  College Major: English - Creative Writing Emphasis

    I grew up overseas in Korea and Singapore before moving to Vancouver, WA to attend high school. I thought I wanted to go to school in Seattle or California, but after visiting different college campuses I fell in love with Western and Bellingham.

    I was unsure of what I wanted to study but soon realized I wanted to pursue writing, with the help and encouragement of an amazing professor. Western helped me step out of my comfort zone and gave me incredible experiences I would not have had otherwise. I was a crew coxswain, a youth leader, was able to travel, and got involved in a couple clubs on campus. After graduating I spent some time working in a marketing office at a hotel, had the opportunity to be published in several magazines, and worked in higher education for five years (which I loved more than writing!). I’m excited to have the chance to work with students and help them find what they are really passionate about – and pursue things they didn’t think they would.

  • Leslie Gonzalez
    Leslie Gonzalez
    Admissions Counselor Phone: (360) 650-4462 Email:  College Major: General Studies (Minors in Anthropology and Sociology) I serve: New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Washington's Pierce and Thurston Counties

    My parents immigrated to the states from Mexico in their teens and growing up I had a very cultural upbringing both in my home and my hometown of Kent, Washington. I remember my first day of kindergarten at Park Orchard Elementary (Go Pandas!) I was not alone in saying goodbye to my parents in a different language. When I graduated from Kentwood High School in 2005 (Go Conks!), I began my first quarter at Green River Community College (Go Gators!). At first, I only wanted an AA Degree but that all changed when I visited a friend at Western! I fell in love with the beautiful campus and the welcoming atmosphere that I immediately felt. In 2008 I transferred to Western (Go Vikings!) with the intent to pursue a Recreation Degree but that all changed as soon as I got here. The great thing about Western is that it gives you the freedom to create your own degree which is exactly what I did with my General Studies Major. Every quarter at Western I realized how diversity is more than skin color, culture and languages. On campus, I was surrounded by Western students, but we each lived our lives uniquely and the university has over 250+ clubs/activities to prove how our interests vary. I graduated from Western Spring 2012 and did not want to leave! As a Western Admissions Counselor I look forward to informing students about what Western has to offer.

  • Kiersten Horton
    Kiersten Horton
    Assistant Director of Admissions Phone: (360) 650-4448 Email:  College Major: Bachelors of Science in Sports Sciences with minors in coaching and business from Ohio University; Masters in Higher Education with an emphasis in Sports Management from Washington State University

    Upon arriving in Bellingham for the first time I distinctly remember marveling at the beautiful setting and thinking that I never wanted to leave this wonderland. And remaining grounded in the ‘Ham is just what I have done! Since arriving here seven years ago I have continued to play, explore and gain new appreciation for all of the adventures that the city of Bellingham has to offer. In fact, I have had such a great time hiking, skiing and snow shoeing here that I named my golden retriever Lady Baker after Whatcom County’s very own Mt. Baker.

    One of the things I appreciate most about WWU is the community. There is always a smiling face to greet you or a friend who is interested in catching up with you for coffee. After relocating from a state other than Washington, having that friendly outreach really helped me feel welcomed on campus.

  • Dave Morrin
    Dave Morrin
    Admissions Counselor Phone: (360) 650-3441 Email:  College Major: Historical Studies, Master's in Teaching - Secondary Education I serve: International, Alaska, Washington's King, Snohomish and San Juan Counties

    Originally from New Jersey, I followed my heart to Bellingham. I love kayaking, hiking, improv, creative writing, and exploring our region’s endless parks and trails. And Western! I discovered Western in 2007 during my service as an AmeriCorps*VISTA volunteer. I fell in love with this amazing university and Bellingham’s vibrant community, so I stayed and earned a post-bac certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and a Master’s in Teaching at Western’s renowned Woodring College of Education. I was ready to teach high school but Western prepared me so well that I had a job offer before I even graduated; I relocated to Eugene and served as a counselor at the University of Oregon for three years.

    The calling to come back to Western was just too strong, so I returned “home” to Western in 2013. Adventure, passion, energy, innovation, a beautiful bayside “college town”, a unique and friendly community – these are the things that brought me home to Western. There is no other place I’d rather be. Go Vikings! I am excited to help you to discover what a gem this university truly is! I was the first person in my family to go to college, and I know how overwhelming it can feel to navigate that process. We are here to help you and welcome you to Western. I am thrilled to be a proud Viking and I want to help you to become one, too. Get in touch with us today!

  • Cassie Venneau
    Cassie Venneau
    Admissions Counselor Phone: (360) 650-7946 Email:  College Major: Spanish, Psychology minor I serve: Central Washington, Southwest Washington, and Washington's Snohomish County

    Growing up in a town located just 30 minutes south of Bellingham my relationship with Western started when I was a child. As I went through high school, I quickly learned that Western’s size as a medium liberal arts university and commitment to excellence inside and outside of the classroom made the university an obvious choice for me to continue my education. We have the resources of a large university with a small community feel. I have had the opportunity to study abroad in Spain, play on our women’s Rugby team, join Western’s Step2This step team, work in WWU’s Office of Admissions as a student representative, as well as work with professors who are truly passionate about what their students do. I switched my major constantly while here: from Chemistry to Community Health to Psychology because all of my classes were so fun and interesting that I found it hard to pick an academic interest! I finally decided to pursue a degree in Spanish after a life-changing internship I completed with Western through the Noyce Foundation where I was able to work in a classroom and help students through their high school career. Now, after graduation I have the opportunity to work with talented high school students to help them plan their future and I could not be more excited. I am so eager to work with students and show them how amazing Western is, not only as an educational institution, but as a place I can happily call home.

  • Colin Watrin
    Colin Watrin
    Senior Admissions Counselor Phone: (360) 650-7950 Email:  College Major: Communications & Sociology I serve: Arizona, Idaho, Colorado, Montana, Washington's Spokane County, and the Central and Eastern United States

    When I came to Western as a transfer student in 2007, I was seeking a college environment that provided a welcoming community as well as challenging new opportunities. Western and Bellingham lived up to their strong reputation for providing these and much more during my time as a student.

    I found my niche at Western in the world of student leadership opportunities where I worked as an Orientation Student Advisor and Campus Tour Guide. Western allowed me to pursue my passion for working with people inside and outside of the classroom as an Instructor Assistant for public speaking classes and through research on educational theory with the Sociology Department. My passion for involvement and leadership eventually led me to run for student government where I served as the Associated Students President. My experiences allowed me to travel the country, meet with lawmakers, negotiate contracts and budgets for student programs, and play a positive role in shaping the community around me.

    I am excited to continue working with the Western community through the Admissions Office to help students discover where their Western experience can lead them.

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