Meet the Staff
The Orientation staff is here to welcome you!
Denise Price-Giesbers ‘00
Director of Orientation, Office of Transfer Student Services, Greek Life, Veteran Services, and Pacific Information Center
Major | Music, Emphasis on Vocal Performance
Minor | Art
Year | 2000
Hometown | Ontario, OR
My Pacific Story | I was a transfer student. When I decided to transfer I had visited, registered for classes, bought a sweatshirt, and a bumper sticker—all for another university. My mom was adamant that I needed to visit at least one other institution. One of my high school teachers had been talking to me about Pacific for a couple of years, as his middle son was a current student and his youngest son (who was in my class) was looking at attending there as well. He kept insisting that Pacific would be a good fit for me.
I was scheduled to be in this area for state solo and ensemble festival so I figured why not, it doesn’t hurt to go visit and get them off my back. We arrived on campus in the pouring down rain, yet on the campus tour I realized this is where I was supposed to be. For the record, I detest the rain with a passion. But I truly appreciated that people knew each other, took the time to say hello, and seemed to care about their peers. I would not be another number but a part of a community that I now know as the Pacific family.
Advice for Incoming Students | Your experience at Pacific is what you make it. If you go to class and go back to your room, that is an experience, but not one I would recommend.
If you go to class, get involved with a club or organization, join a study group, etc…that is a much more enriching experience. The outside the classroom experience is designed to enhance and put into practice everything you are learning inside the classroom. You may not realize it now but in 5, 10, maybe 15+ years from now, you will realize just how important creating your own experience and all that you learned outside the classroom really was.
Advice for Family Members | You did it! You have successfully supported your student through their first steps (and the many more that followed) in their educational career. Now you become their support system, most likely from a distance, as they continue their journey of exploration to further their academics in pursuit of a career they are passionate about. The process of learning how to be supportive of their decisions when it isn’t exactly how you want them to do it can be very difficult. Just remember, you raised them to be who they are. Trust that you did your job well and when they need you, you will be there.
Aloha! I’m Janalei Chun, also known as, “Aunty Jana” on campus. I’m originally from Hilo, Hawai’i and graduated from Pacific University in 1989 with a BA in Elementary Education and a Master of Arts in Teaching in 1997. I was an elementary school teacher for 28 years and am blessed to be back at Pacific as the Director of Hawaiʻi Outreach and Programming, and also the Advisor of Nā Haumāna O Hawaiʻi. My main focus is to support the students from the 50th state, but am thrilled to be able to join the Orientation team to welcome you to the Boxer ‘Ohana! See you soon!
Hi, my name is Natona Derleth and I am originally from Medford, Oregon but spent seven years living and working in Binghamton, New York. My role on campus is our Residence Life & Student Conduct Coordinator, where I supervise two of our residence halls: Burlingham and Gilbert, and I am extremely excited to be helping coordinate Orientation this year. This is my third year working at Pacific and I fall more in love with it each day and I hope you will find our campus to be a home away from home. While my main job responsibilities are within Residence Life, I have a passion for welcoming new students to campus through orientation programs and can’t wait to meet each of you and your families!
Hello and welcome to the Pacific family! My name is Evangeline Van, and I graduated from Pacific in 2015 with a Bachelors of Arts in Integrated Media and Business Administration-Marketing. While in undergrad, I worked for various university offices, held numerous student leadership positions, and went on tour to Taiwan with the Chamber Singers Choir. My time as a Boxer was filled with so many opportunities to discover what I love and I am so excited for you to find your passions as well! Since graduation, I have worked in various positions within higher education and have been working as an Art Director for a media company. This year, I’m excited to be joining the Orientation Team; Pacific University has such a special place in my heart and I am so excited for Pacific to become your home and community!
Hi! My name is Susie Carr and I’m from Sacramento, California. I transferred to Pacific in fall of 2019 and I am a senior this year. I’m majoring in psychology with a focus on family and children. During my time a Pacific I have done my work-study in the Office of Transfer Student Services and I’m also a member of the Transfer Club. I am a certified yoga and pilates instructor, I love teaching others how to move and practicing intentional body movements. My dream is to become a Child Life Specialist, they work with hospitalized children and the families of those children in various types of play therapies. I would also love to be involved with teaching those kids chronic pain management through alternative movements, like yoga and pilates. I have a dog named Bear who I walk frequently around campus who loves to find sticks and get lovin’s from students. I’m stoked to be a part of the Orientation team this year and to help others get connected!
Mar Lopez Palafox
Hello, my name is Mar Lopez Palafox and I am a transfer student from Tucson, Arizona. I am a senior majoring in Early Childhood Education and minoring in Spanish. During my time at Pacific University, I have had the opportunity to work in Transfer Student Services and participate in internships at local schools. After graduating, I hope to work at a dual language school to help students develop their linguistic and academic potential. I am very excited to work with the orientation team to make this orientation memorable and help incoming students feel welcome and experience all that Pacific has to offer.
My name is Julio Montelongo. A Media Arts Transfer graduate of Pacific University who has lived in Oregon for the past 10 years. During my time at Pacific University, I had the humbling opportunity to work with a variety of areas in Student Life, allowing me to engage and advocate for the betterment of Pacific’s Boxers. Now that I am an alum, I hope to work in Higher Education to continue advocating for university students from all backgrounds. I am excited to work with Orientation and have the chance to make your experience and first impression of Pacific University a memorable one!
Hola! I’m Kalie Nation and I graduated from Pacific in the class of 2020. I am from Port Orchard, Washington, which is just a ferry ride from Seattle. At Pacific, I studied Education and Learning and minored in Spanish. I am an admit for the Masters of Arts in Teaching program at Pacific, class of 2022. During my time as an undergraduate at Pacific, I was able to participate on three of the university’s athletic teams, including women’s soccer, women’s lacrosse, and track and field. I also studied abroad in York, England, participated in intramural sports, hosted a show at our campus radio station, worked in the mailroom, and worked for sports information. I also spent a large portion of my time working off-campus at a local restaurant called Taqueria Corona, where I had the opportunity to practice my Spanish daily. Through volunteering for classes and doing research for my Capstone, I was able to start making connections at local elementary schools that specialize in dual-immersion (Spanish/English) programs. When I was not busy selling the best tacos in Forest Grove, you could find me at soccer, basketball, and baseball games. As a Pacific graduate, I am very excited to introduce the incoming class to Forest Grove and all that Pacific has to offer. Go Boxers!
Howdy there, my name’s Max Smith and my preferred pronouns are they/them/theirs. The use of preferred pronouns is something that you’ll see a lot of here at Pacific. I recently graduated from Pacific as an Art History major and hail from a tiny town in the middle of nowhere, Texas. During my time at Pacific, I found student leadership highly rewarding and would highly recommend getting involved as possible. It’ll help you make friends and it helped me to grow into a successful professional. Having been around the block a few times now, I want the incoming students to recognize me as a resource for any and all questions that they may have about Pacific and its surrounding community.