Staff Senate Members 2015-2016

Senators are elected by a peer vote to represent staff at large and serve a two-year term.

2015-2016 Senators and their terms end dates are:

Staff Senate Chair

Susan Pedersen (2017)

Susan has worked at Pacific University for just over 8 years. As the Director of Budget Operations and Reporting she has the opportunity to work with cross functional groups of the University. She looks forward to representing staff in the governance process of the University. This includes responding to staff concerns, identifying major staff initiatives, and representing staff in University wide process and program changes. Her governance experience includes two past terms on the Staff Senate serving both as Vice Chair and Chair of the Staff Senate.  She also represented staff on the Welcoming, Staff Professional, and Ad-Hoc Governance Committees. She currently serves as a standing member of the University Council Finance Committee as the Budget Office representative. Susan has a BS in Accounting from Linfield College. She lives in Vernonia with her husband Dale and daughter Sheyanne. Prior to coming to Pacific she worked 15 years in the high tech computer industry in progressive roles in Accounting & Budget.

Staff Senate Chair-elect

Lauren Esbensen (2017)

Lauren Esbensen, Associate Athletic Director/Senior Woman Administrator, began work at Pacific University in August of 2012.  Previously, Lauren worked in the Athletic Departments at the University of Portland and the University of Oregon.  Lauren is a graduate of the University and of Kansas where she participated as a student-athlete for five years in cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field.  She also holds a graduate degree from the University of Washington. When not at Pacific University or other Northwest Conference schools, cheering on the Boxer student-athletes, Lauren is spending time with her husband Thor and two dogs, Loki and Odin in their southeast Portland home. Lauren enjoys volunteering her time at Wilson High School for their cross country and track programs, where her husband is a math teacher and head coach.

Staff Senate Secretary

Derek Naegeli (2016)

Derek came to Pacific University from a small town in Montana as a student in 2006 and graduated with a degree in Environmental Biology in 2010. He started as an admissions counselor in 2011, and continues to work with prospective students from across the United State in the admissions office. He loves living in Oregon and enjoys kayaking, running and being outdoors with his dogs and wife.

Staff Senate Treasurer

Stacie Englund (2016)

Stacie is a native Oregonian and grew up in Pleasant Hill, a small community outside of Eugene. After graduating from high school, Stacie attended Northwest Christian University in Eugene and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. While attending Northwest Christian University, she was a work study student in the Financial Aid Office – not knowing at the time that this would become a career. After graduating, Stacie worked at Northwest Christian University for 4 years in a variety of financial aid related positions including, Financial Aid Counselor and Student Services Coordinator.  

In 2004, Stacie made the decision to move to the Portland metro area and started at Pacific University as a Financial Counselor and now Assistant Director of Financial Aid. As an active member of the Oregon Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (OASFAA) she has served as Secretary and Fund Development Committee Chair, is currently the Membership Committee Chair for OASFAA and a member of the Annual Conference Committee.

In her spare time, she enjoys arts and crafts related activities. Stacie is also a dedicated hockey fan and enjoys supporting the Portland Winterhawks with friends.

Staff Senate Governance Chair

Peter Morgan (2016)

Peter started working at Pacific early in 2013 in UIS as a Programmer/Analyst in the Enterprise Data Systems team.  Before joining the Pacific community, he worked in IT and Institutional Research at another institution, and worked as a trainer before that. He enjoys offering trainings and serving on the Staff Professional Development Committee. He is the current chair of UDOT (University Data Operations Team) committee and serves on the Staff Senate Governance Committee. In his spare time, he'll probably be dirty.  He and his wife (and dog, cats, cows, and chickens) live on her parents' farm. He'll probably be in the garden, running a chainsaw, beating back the blackberries & poison oak, or fixing something in the old farm house.

Staff Senate Former Chair, serving ex officio for 2015-16

Justin McRobert (2015)

Justin grew up in a small town just outside of Forest Grove.  After graduating from Forest Grove High School, Justin studied an academic year in Krefeld, Germany on a congressionally sponsored exchange program. Upon his return to the US, he began working for the Forest Grove School District as an instructional assistant, working with individuals with special needs. Justin joined the Pacific community in 2007 working as a shuttle bus driver and later in the mail room.

While working at Pacific, Justin continued his education finishing a Bachelor’s of Science in Human Development from Warner Pacific College, and a Master of Business Administration with an emphasis in nonprofit management from Corban University. In the time outside his 8-5 at Pacific, he operates a photography business with his lovely wife, volunteers on the slopes as the league VP for High School Competitive Snowboarding, and practices the art (and science) of Zymurgy.



Lisa Downing (2016)

Lisa started with Pacific University in 2012 as the inaugural and only employee in the College of Health Professions Continuing Education Program, where she continues to work today. Lisa coordinates continuing education so that healthcare professionals can meet continuing education requirements to maintain their licenses. She is driven by innovations in teaching and applying best practices to interprofessional healthcare education.  Lisa earned an associate of science degree in Accounting from Matanuska Susitna Community College and a bachelor’s degree in Business Management and Communication from Concordia University in Portland.  In her spare time, she prefers reading, gardening and camping.

Krisha Hall (2017)

Krisha works in Graduate Admissions as a Data Manager for the College of Education.  Her current position includes processing all applications for the Forest Grove and Woodburn Campuses as well as supporting the counselor on the Eugene campus. She also designs electronic communication materials to send out to prospective students. She came to Pacific after graduating with a degree in Cultural Anthropology from Southern Oregon University. She has served on the Welcome Committee, is on the University Data Operations Team (UDOT) Committee, and is the current Chair of the Caring Committee. In her spare time she enjoys photography, exploring new places, baking, and doing crafts.

Tania Hand (2017)

Bio to come!

Yashica Island (2016)

Yashica Island is the director of student academic inclusion and success in the Pacific University College of Arts & Sciences. She earned her bachelor of science in chemistry with a minor in mathematics from Southern Arkansas University. She also has a master of arts in teaching from Oregon State University and additional doctoral-level study in pharmaceutical sciences. She has spent seven years teaching math and science in private and public schools and, most recently, provided support for low-income and first-generation students as the science, technology, engineering and math coordinator for Upward Bound at Portland State University.

Steve Klein (2017)

Steve Klein is an Iowa native who attended the University of Northern Iowa and received his bachelor's degree in psychology with a minor in sociology. He continued on at UNI to obtain his master's degree in College Student Personnel Services with an emphasis in counseling.

Over his 28-year tenure at Pacific he has had three different positions which all related to Student Activities and Student Services across campus. Even though he enjoys working with Pacific’s wonderful staff he considers himself a student advocate and has always received gratification in shaping the lives of the young adults as they transition from entering Pacific to graduation. He has been on 50 + committees which has allowed him to observe and comment on the underpinnings of the institution.

In his spare time he enjoys the outdoors with his wife by hiking, biking, skiing and walking. He is also an avid basketball player and Portland Trailblazer supporter. At home he has an extensive music library and relishes in collecting concert posters and Rock and Roll memorabilia.

Joanne Leijon (2016)

Bio coming soon!

Cat Marlow (2017)

Cat Marlow is the director of curricular operations in the School of Pharmacy. She has been working for Pacific University since 2010. She earned her bachelor of arts in criminal justice and psychology from Kean University in New Jersey. She also holds a master of library science from Emporia State University in Kansas. She currently serves on the Staff Senate Caring and Welcoming Committees. Previously, she represented staff on the University Technology Committee. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, knitting, and spending time with her husband and their two cats binge-watching television shows on Netflix.

Tamarra Mellick (2016)

Tamarra began work as an Administrative Assistant for the School of Physical Therapy in 2001. Along with her Physical Therapy work, she began working as an Administrative Assistant for the Master of Science in Athletic Training program in 2012. She has served on the Faculty/Staff Awards committee, Sustainability committee, and various other Health Profession committees. Tamarra also enjoys gardening, exploring Oregon with her family and is delighted to be with Pacific University and the ever-changing requirements of education. 

Megan Rice (2016)

Megan Rice is the Program and Conduct Coordinator in the department of Residence Life  She has been working for Pacific University since 2011. She earned her bachelor of science in Biology from Pacific Lutheran University. She also holds a master of College Student Personnel from Western Illinois University. She currently serves on the Staff Professional Development Committees. Previously, she has assisted with the annual Halloween Costume contest and the Staff Pancake Breakfast. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, reading, wine-tasting, sports, hiking and spending time with her husband.

Angel Skjeie  (2016)

Bio coming soon!

Kaitlyn Varuska (2017)

Kaitlyn came to Pacific as an undergraduate student from Carlton, Oregon in 2004. After graduating in 2008, she was hired in the Registrar’s Office and hasn’t looked back. As Senior Enrollment Coordinator she works with multiple programs, schools, and colleges across the University. She processes academic schedules, student registration, and monitors student progress towards graduation; to name a few things! In her time away from Pacific she enjoys cooking, hiking, and traveling with her boyfriend and their dog.

Jennifer Walsh (2017)

Bio coming soon!

Governance Staff

Kim Greenwood | Administrative Assistant to University Governance
503-352-2114 |

UC Box: A115
Location: Scott Hall 208