President's Cabinet

Brad Johnson standing in front of rolling greenery of main campus..

Brad Johnson

Provost & Executive Vice President

Academic Affairs
(360) 650-3547

Brad Johnson is the Provost and Executive Vice President and Professor of Physics at Western Washington University. Dr. Johnson has been at Western since 1997, following a one-year tenure-track appointment at the University of New Mexico, and a 4-year post-doctoral fellowship appointment at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia. Dr. Johnson earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Physics from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, and a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Colorado at Boulder. 

Prior to becoming Provost and Executive Vice President in 2022, Dr. Johnson was the Dean of the College of Science and Engineering for 5 years, Associate Dean of CSE for three years, and Chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Western for 13 years, overseeing a transformation that saw the establishment of focused research specialties in Astronomy, Condensed Matter and Materials Physics, and Physics Education Research. 

Donna Gibbs joined Western as Vice President of University Relations & Marketing in August of 2017. She was previously the Vice President for Marketing & Communications at Pacific Lutheran University. Prior to PLU, Gibbs served as a global marketing communications leader, with more than 30 years of experience working with some of the world’s best-known brands – including Nike, Mattel, Apple and Microsoft – and with emerging online and mobile technology companies and global integrated marketing and communications agencies.

Gibbs received a bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts and Sciences from Michigan State University. She is a member of the American Marketing Association and Public Relations Society of America.

Kim O’Neill is the Vice President for University Advancement and the President and CEO of The Foundation for WWU & Alumni. Since coming aboard in July 2021, Kim has led the University Advancement team in securing $45 Million in gifts and pledges, among which include the second largest cash gift and the most successful Give Day in the university’s history.

Under Kim’s leadership, the WWU Alumni Association and the Western Foundation—two previously separate non-profit entities—successfully merged and now operate together as the Foundation for WWU & Alumni, whose mission is to engage alumni and friends to advance the mission and strategic goals of Western through engagement of alumni and the broader community and inspiring philanthropy that is inclusive of time, talent, and treasure. Kim works with the 30-person Foundation for WWU & Alumni Board of Directors while also leading the University of Advancement Division of 34 employees serving over 130,000 university alumni and friends.

Prior to Western, O’Neill served in a number of development roles at the University of Idaho, ultimately advancing to Associate Vice President of Development for the university. She then served as Associate Vice President of Advancement at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, before returning to her home state of Washington.

A native of Stanwood, O’Neill began her career as an agriculture teacher in Enumclaw, Stanwood, and Colton School Districts. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from Washington State University.

Dr. Melynda Huskey is the Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services at Western Washington University. She joined Western’s ESS team in July of 2017. Prior to coming to Western, Melynda served for 20 years in various roles at Washington State University, including Interim Vice President for Student Affairs, Dean of Students and Associate Vice President for Student Affairs, and Founding Director of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Allies Program. She started her career as an Assistant Professor of English at North Carolina State University, where she specialized in folklore, popular culture, and Victorian fiction.

Melynda received her Ph.D. in English from the Ohio State University in 1989 and her B.A. in English from University of Idaho in 1984. Her professional interests include intercultural competency, conflict management, and LGBTQ+ issues in student development. Her goal is to support holistic student development in every aspect of the services ESS provides. She serves on the board of the Chuckanut Health Foundation in Bellingham.

Joyce Lopes joined WWU as Vice President for Business & Financial Affairs in July of 2021. Prior to coming to Western, Joyce was the Vice President of Administrative Affairs at Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, in California’s Sonoma Valley, where she oversaw human resources, budgeting, finance and accounting, student financial services, facilities management, risk management, safety services, law enforcement, property management, and entrepreneurial services, as well as other operations such as Title IX, Athletics, the bookstore and culinary services. 

Prior to Sonoma State, Joyce served in a similar capacity as Vice President for Administrative Affairs at Humboldt State University in Arcata, California. She led the efforts at both Humboldt State and Sonoma State to sign the Second Nature Climate Commitment and implemented a Climate Action Plan at HSU. She volunteers with the Western Association of College and University Business Officers serving on the DEI Committee, as faculty member for the annual Business Management Institute, and as a mentor for the past four years.

Over her 38-year career in education, Joyce has served in key finance and, administrative management roles in K-12, community college, as well as public and private universities in the US and Europe. Along with being a certified public accountant, she holds an associate’s degree in Business Management from the University of Maryland in Munich, Germany; a B.A. in Business and Management from the University of Maryland European Division; and an MBA from the University of Colorado. 

Jacqueline Hughes wearing blue jacket with very nice necklace standing in front of rolling greenery of campus.

Jacqueline Hughes

Chief Diversity Officer & Executive Director

Office of Equity
(360) 650-4255

Dr. Jacqueline Hughes joined Western in September of 2022 as Western’s first Chief Diversity Officer and Executive Director of the Office of Equity.

Hughes oversees the newly created Office of Equity, which brings together two complementary functions—compliance, and community education and development—and provides broad oversight to policies and initiatives that promote a learning and work environment where accessibility, diversity, equity, and inclusion (ADEI) are valued and integrated in institutional planning and operations.

Hughes has most recently served as Associate Provost for Academic Personnel at California State University, San Bernardino, and prior to that she served as Deputy Officer for Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation and Co-Chief Diversity Officer for Faculty Affairs at CSUSB. In addition to these administrative positions, Jacqueline has also held several faculty leadership positions from 2001 to the present, including Senator and Chair of the Educational Policy and Resources Committee of the CSUSB Faculty Senate and Director of Faculty Support and Development in the university’s College of Education.

Prior to CSUSB, Hughes served in several positions at California State University, Bakersfield including Chair of the Department of Teacher Education and Director of the Single Subject Teacher Credential Program and Alternative Teacher (Intern) Certification Program, and campus Chapter President of the California Faculty Association.

Hughes earned a Ph.D in Educational Psychology from Arizona State University, a master’s degree in Counseling from Northern Illinois University, and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Allegheny College.

Becca Kenna-Schenk is the Chief of Staff for President Randhawa. She joined Western Washington University in September, 2014 as Director of Government Relations, and was promoted to Chief of Staff in October, 2022. 

Prior to coming to Western, Kenna-Schenk was director of Government Relations for the Washington Student Achievement Council. She also worked as a policy analyst for the Washington State Legislature for several years. 
She has a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College and a Masters of Public Administration from The Evergreen State College.  

Jim Sterk was selected as WWU Athletic Director in July, 2023, returning to his alma mater where he is a member of the Athletics Hall of Fame. A native of Whatcom County who was born in Bellingham and raised in Everson, Sterk is a product of Nooksack Valley High School. He was a four-year varsity letterwinner and team captain in football (1974-77) at Western and lettered one year in basketball. Sterk earned his Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and Physical Education at WWU.
Following his time as a student-athlete in Bellingham, Sterk completed a Master of Science in Sports Administration at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, beginning his journey in athletics administration that resulted in over 26 years as the Director of Athletics at an NCAA Division I institution. Most recently, Sterk was the AD at the University of Missouri from 2016-2021, with previous stops as the lead figure in athletic departments at San Diego State University (2010-2016), Washington State University (2000-2010) and Portland State University (1995-2010).
With a professional career that has spanned five decades, Sterk brings a consistent track record of strong fundraising and all-around department success to WWU. He becomes just the seventh AD in the 109-year history of WWU Athletics and inherits a program that is consistently among the best at the NCAA Division II level for high standards in both academic and athletic success.