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Success in college can never begin too early. From preschool through high school, there are things we can do to help prepare our young minds for higher education—no matter what stage they may be at today!

Office of Engagement Staff:

Erin L. Castro, PhD

Office of Engagement
Associate Dean for Student Access and Community Engagement

She/her/hers

Erin Castro, PhD

 

Erin L. Castro, PhD

Office of Engagement
Associate Dean for Student Access and Community Engagement

She/her/hers

 

Dr. Castro is the Associate Dean for Student Access and Community Engagement, an associate professor of Higher Education at the University of Utah, and Co-Founder/Director of the University of Utah Prison Education Project, an on-site initiative providing college coursework and programming to adults at the Utah State Prison in Draper. She directs the Research Collaborative on Higher Education in Prison where she is involved a number of projects, including: federal Pell grant restoration for incarcerated people, criminal and disciplinary history questions in college admissions, the national directory of higher education in prison programs, and myriad issues related to data collection and equity in prison higher education. She was a strategic organizing member of the Alliance for Higher Education in Prison (launched 2016) and served as part of the Re-Entry and Education Advisory Committee for the Lumina Foundation from 2019-2020. She is a founding executive editor for the Journal of Higher Education in Prison (launched 2020) and her work has been published in journals such as Harvard Educational Review and Journal of College Student Development. She is the recipient of the Early Career Teaching Award (2017) and the Beacons of Excellence Award (2019) at the University of Utah. Dr. Castro routinely teaches and learns inside prisons and affectionately holds the title of Mamá for a tiny human named Emilio.

 

Rachel Everitt

Utah College Advising Corps, Director

She/her/hers

Rachel Everitt

Rachel Everitt

Utah College Advising Corps, Director

She/her/hers

 

Rachel is the Associate Director for the Utah College Advising Corps. Rachel is a first generation college graduate who earned her B.S. in Social Science and Secondary Education at Westminster College and her Masters of Public Administration from the University of Utah.  

 

Jeannette Heltman

Utah College Advising Corps, Interim Assistant Director

She/her/hers

Jeannette

Jeannette Heltman

Utah College Advising Corps, Interim Assistant Director

She/her/hers

 

Jeannette attended the University of Utah and earned two bachelor’s degrees in mass communications and English literature as well as a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. Serving as a College Access Adviser with the Utah College Advising Corps and helping young students transition into higher education developed her passion for higher education. She has worked as the Student Affairs Program Coordinator at the Full-Time MBA in the David Eccles School of Business before returning to UCAC as a Regional Coordinator and now Interim Assistant Director. In her free time, Jeannette can be found hanging out with her dogs, hitting the ski slopes or cuddled up with a cup of tea and a good book.

 

 

Martha Macomber

Uintah Basin, Pathways Coordinator

She/her/hers 

Martha Macomber

Martha Macomber

Uintah Basin, Pathways Coordinator

She/her/hers

 

Martha grew up in California, went to college and raised a family in New Hampshire, and wandered to Utah in 2015.  Her current job allows her to combine many things that she loves: driving, hiking, studying history, taking photos, teaching, and working with children and young adults.  She splits her time between the "U" and Moab where her husband runs a nonprofit, educational river school.  Being able to work with the Ute Indian Tribe and make a more "well-trodden path between the University of Utah and the tribe" gives Martha the self-proclaimed honor of having "the best job in the world." 

 

Amery Kongphouthakhoun

Defining Your Path Programs, Program Manager

C.O.S.A Academic Advisor 

She/her/hers

Amery

Amery Kongphouthakhoun

Defining Your Path Programs, Program Manager

C.O.S.A, Academic Advisor 

She/her/hers

Amery, the DYP Program Manager, has been planning and leading field trips for the University of Utah since 2015. She started out as a DYP volunteer while earning her undergraduate and graduate degree on campus. Soon after she became an intern for DYP for several years and is now the program coordinator. She is an energetic leader who enjoys working with students of all ages. She has a passion for giving back to her community through promoting college access to students from diverse backgrounds. As an inclusive educator, she continually works to create educational environments that are both engaging and interactive for all.  

 

 

Joy Kavapalu

Defining Your Path Programs, Program Coordinator

She/her/hers

 

 

 

 

Joy Kavapalu

Defining Your Path Programs, Program Coordinator

She/her/hers

Joy was born in Kailua, Hawai’i and raised in Taylorsville, Utah. She is in her final semester as an undergraduate student studying Health, Society and Policy at the University of Utah. She is passionate about giving back to her community and increasing college access for underrepresented students.

 

 

 

Arturo Canela

Education Pathways- Mt. View Community Learning Center, Partnership Program Manager

He/Him/His

 

 

 

 

Arturo Canela

Education Pathways- Mt. View Community Learning Center, Partnership Program Manager

 

Arturo Canela moved to Utah from San Diego, California in 2013. He completed his Undergraduate and Masters degrees from Southern Utah University. One of Arturo’s favorite past times is to travel to new places, both within the country and internationally, and get to meet new people and learn more about the culture of those areas. He is currently lives in Sugarhouse with his wife, fur baby and turtle, while working on a doctoral degree in Education, Culture and Society at the University of Utah.

 

 

 

Taylor Hoffman

Office of Engagement, Administrative Assistant

AmeriCorps, Office of Engagement Campus Coordinator

She/her/hers

Taylor Hoffman

Taylor Hoffman

Office of Engagement, Administrative Assistant

AmeriCorps, Office of Engagement Campus Coordinator

She/her/her/they

Taylor is the Administrative Assistant for the Office of Engagement. She received her B.A. in English Literature at Westminster College where she was in the Honors Program and heavily involved in the theater. She is a writer and avid comic book enthusiast.

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Last Updated: 5/9/22