Pacific Welcomes New Human Resources Director

Pacific University is pleased to welcome Helen Howell as its new director for Human Resources. Howell joined the Pacific community on Dec. 1, 2021. Her office is in the Frye Building.

“Helen joins Pacific at an exciting time to help launch initiatives and innovative strategies to support the university’s most important asset — its students and employees,” said Tammy Scheenstra, associate director of Human Resources.

Howell worked most recently for Snow Peak as its first Human Resources manager, and where she was tasked with building the HR department from the ground up. Previously, she was an HR business partner at Lewis & Clark. Howell serves on the Portland Human Resources Association Board.Helen Howell

The mission of the Human Resources department is to share and provide knowledge, support, and advocacy to faculty and staff, as well as students and the community. HR aims to be business partners, good listeners, committed advocates for employees and the university, stewards of university policies and procedures, and active community members.

"Helen has an extensive background working within this scope and in higher education. That's a huge plus for Pacific University, as well as our staff, faculty and students," Scheenstra said.

Howell is thrilled to join the Pacific University HR team! “I am looking forward to deeply committing to its individual and group successes. I plan to positively align HR strategies to the organization’s vision, mission, and values,” she said.

“I put empathy and compassion at the forefront of my leadership, while recognizing opportunities for collaboration, professional development, and creative solutions.”

In her spare time Howell enjoys hiking, drinking tea, or playing board games with her three children.

Scheenstra offered her thanks to Jim Langstraat, who allowed her to serve as interim director in 2021, to members of the director search committee, and the HR team and its partners.

Feel free to stop by the HR office to meet Helen Howell or send her a welcome note! She also can be reached by email, at

Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2021