Meet the Search Advocates

Name: Victoria Goodson (she/her)
Position: Associate Director for Student Rights and Responsibilities

Hello, you can call me Tori. I have a decade of experience in conflict resolution/management and use a collaborative approach to addressing concerns. I see myself as an encourager, a facilitator, a mediator, a compromiser, a space maker, goal and task orientated, and well organized. My goal as a Search Advocate is to provide assistance, to provide another perspective,  constructive feedback, and serve as a catalyst for conflict resolution in service of the hiring process.  

Name: Melissa Graham, PhD (she/her)
Position: Senior Lecturer, Department of Mathematics. Faculty Fellow for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice, CSTEM. Chair of CSTEM’s DEI Committee

Hi, I am Dr. Melissa Graham. I’ve been teaching in the Department of Mathematics for 18 years and am currently a Senior Lecturer. My research and teaching interests center on preservice and practicing mathematics teacher learning, especially related to equity-directed instructional practices. Creating equitable opportunities for students in math and science is my passion. I am currently the Faculty Fellow for DEIJ for the College of STEM and am working to establish a MESA Center at EWU in this upcoming year. I also am actively involved in EWU’s College in the High School Program, which allows many students around the state an opportunity to earn EWU credit while in high school. As a Search Advocate, I bring experience from these roles in addition to a knowledge of our institutional history.

Name: Marissa Jenks-Barajas, MSW, LICSWA (she/her/ella)
Position: Psychological Counselor & Group Coordinator – Counseling and Wellness Services (I also serve as the liaison between our office and CAMP.)

Hello! My name is Marissa Jenks-Barajas and I use she/her/ella pronouns. I am a first generation college graduate and a proud member of the Latinx & LGBTQIA+ community. My educational background is in social work with my current focus being mental health. Working in CWS has given me great perspective for what our students at EWU are struggling with & where certain barriers or gaps tend to be. In social work we are taught that “everyone is the expert of their own life” and this is the framework I tend to use when working with other people. My other areas of interest include identifying implicit biases, cultural competency, and cultural humility. My personal belief is that the best way to solve challenges is by actively listening and continuing to ask questions until we have all the information that is needed.

Name: Joanna Joyner-Matos, PhD (she/her)
Position: Professor of Biology and Special Assistant to the Provost for Research and Grants

I am a Professor of Biology. Most of my teaching supports students who are interested in clinical careers. My research focuses on two areas. First, I study the stress physiology of animals that live in challenging environments, such as those polluted by mining wastes. Second, I study ways to decrease the barriers that keep certain groups of students from succeeding in science. It is from this second area that I come to the Search Advocate program, as I am focused on understanding how the structures of academia prevent us from making this university and my discipline accessible to everyone – and then working to alter those structures.