Interview with Dr. Mari Acob-Nash

Dr. Mari Acob-Nash started this past summer in the new Dean of Student Life position. I sat down with her to talk about Student Life, campus engagement, hula, and dogs in outfits.

How would you explain your position as Dean of Student Life?

In the area of Student Life, we have Student Leadership and Multicultural Programs, we have the Roy Flores Wellness Center, we have the Student Childcare Center, and then our Sustainability Office. All of these areas allow students to be connected to the campus, find their identity, and find a sense of community. What has been shown in history and research is that if a student is engaged on campus, and feeling a sense of belonging, they are more likely to complete and be successful. Those are the areas that I would call Student Life: being the student voice and being engaged on our campus.

Dean of Student Life is a new position, so we’re still figuring out how we can help students feel connected here. I’m very involved in Guided Pathways, which is what the state is working on, closing the gaps for our marginalized students and making sure they have a chance to succeed. I’m also connected with the work at the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, because of our work with racial identity and special populations. That’s what I love about the job. I love that our work in Student Life is promoting and supporting students in their educational careers. My plan is that Student Life will provide a chance for all North students’ lives to be engaged and to give them a sense of community and belonging.

You used to work at North in International Programs, right? How has your experience in this position differed from that one?

I was here from 2006 to 2013. We really had the opportunity to travel and find students from overseas, and we put North on the global map in terms of a place to go to study and transfer to top universities. We had students transferring to Purdue, down to Berkley, to UCLA, even MIT—really big schools.

When you’re in International Programs, you help students navigate enrollment, registration, and advising. This includes marketing, communications, a lot of intercultural and international relationship work. I was traveling two to three weeks every single quarter, overseas. Now I get to stay on land! I really get to know the students deeply, and work with and through racial and social identities and figure out how they fit on our campus. What is really great is that I work with all students including International Programs.

So, do you have a project, plan, or goal on your agenda right now that you’re excited about?

I really see North being able to catapult forward and be one of the best Student Life and Leadership programs in the state. It is a goal of mine that all students should have positive, inclusive experiences on campus. It is a goal of mine that for every single North student to have either attended or been involved with one of our events, programs, or organizations. And I think we can do that, whether that be “I’m going to go work out in the Wellness Center,” or “I’m really involved in a club,” or “I attended orientation and spent some time learning about the campus.” That, to me, is being involved and being engaged, and I think those things will create positive experiences.

I’ve been told that you do hula, can you talk about that?

I was adopted by my Hawaiian/Filipino family in the Seattle area when I moved out here as an international student. This family I knew took me under their wings. They’re from Oahu, and they were hula dancers. I’d take my kids—they’re called keiki—to the keiki class, and the teacher, the kumu hula, would ask me, “Why aren’t you dancing?”

The part of hula you get connected to is the culture. You learn about Hawaiian culture before you can really understand what you’re dancing about. It’s storytelling and it’s about perpetuating Hawaiian history and culture. The type of regalia that you see us wear is based on the history of the Hawaiian Islands. Usually the song, mele, is based on the history of the island that it’s talking about.

That’s really cool!

It is pretty cool. I will be sharing more with the Indigenous Student Alliance, one of our student organizations, for students from Native cultures. As a haumana, which is a student, I have to, not only learn the specifics of the songs, but how to do the Hawaiian cultural crafts. A lot of the stuff in my office has a story behind it in terms of my Hawaiian culture and what it brings into education!

I also chant that have certain meanings. There’s ole aloha, which is to bring people into a situation, like a meeting, to a cultural event, or there’s a chant asking the gods to help me with my dancing or my storytelling, and then there’s a chant to share love. I hope to share some chants with my work in Student Life. I’ll chant, every once in a while, when we need it.

My last question is, um, I’ve been told that you have a dog?

Milo! So, Milo is now 12 years old. He’s 7 pounds, and I dress him up, because after your kids leave, you have nothing else to do but talk to your dog. At 11, he lost all his teeth. These little tiny Yorkies are prone to teeth loss, and now his tongue hangs out! I do dress him in costumes. You name it, I have it for him. He doesn’t always enjoy what I put him in. But he brings me joy and a chance to laugh. Sometimes when I feel a little frustrated, or stuck, I just have to look at a picture of my dog and life is better.

Thank you for your time!

Thank you! That was fun!

This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.


Student Leadership Team #Communications

Welcome to 2020, North Seattle—and the first snow of the season! This week we introduce a new (old) member of our team, returning from last year’s cohort… Natasha! 

Pronouns: they/them/theirs 

Natasha is the Communications Officer, taking over for Kauser in her position as Communications Intern. As Communication’s Officer, they will be managing the Student Blog, maintaining bulletin boards around campus, and documenting events. Natasha joined Student Leadership because they wanted to know more about what’s going on around campus, and how and why decisions are made. They’re most proud of their work last year as the Layout Editor for Licton Springs Review (copies are free, and littered around campus! Look for the pink cover) and their favorite spot on campus is between the IB and AS buildings, where the stairwells are draped in vines. Natasha loves color coding and is constantly disappointed when it doesn’t end up worth the time it takes to do, and their secret talent is forgetting simple words at the most ironic time possible. After North they plan to get a Bachelors in Fine Arts, in order to continue their study of the more painstaking methods of making. 

Stop by the Student Leadership office (CC1446) to say hello! And stay safe out there! 

Student Leadership Team #Research&Advocacy

Hey North Seattle! It’s been a while since our last student leader bio but this one will take us straight through finals! This week, our featured student leader is… Lily!

Pronouns: she/her/hers
Lily is the Research and Advocacy Board Coordinator and she joined Student Leadership because she wanted a chance to get more involved on campus. Lily’s favorite spot on campus is the Grove and her favorite Seattle spot is Magnuson Park. She is inspired by the ambition and motivation of those around her as well as her own desire to do and be better. Lily has a pet schnoodle (poodle-schnauzer mix) and is REALLY good at yoga. She is hoping to attend a 4-year college after graduating from North Seattle College and we wish her all the best when she takes that next step!

Good luck to all of you during this Finals season! Come drop by the Student Leadership office if you would like to start a club, want to get involved, or just want to hang and meet new folx! CC1446 is where it’s all at!

#northseattlecollege #nscstudentleadership #studentleadership

Student Leadership Team #Equity

Hey North! This week our featured student leader is… Raya!

Pronouns: she/her/hers
Raya is the Equity Board Coordinator and joined student leadership to help promote EDI (equity, diversity, and inclusion) in her community. She strives to help others and to make North as safe and equitable an environment for all people. Raya is most proud of her work in hosting equitable events around campus, making policy changes, as well as the advocacy projects she works on in the Equity and Welcome Center. Raya’s favorite thing about North Seattle College is the leaves that grow on the buildings, and watching them change color as the seasons change. Her favorite spot in Seattle is Carkeek Park and something that makes Raya unique is her love for stickers (especially the multidimensional ones that you can squish; I didn’t even know that was a thing!). Things that motivate Raya include Alexandria Ocsasio Cortez and rabbits. When Raya graduates from North Seattle, she plans to transfer to a 4-year university.

Thank you for making this school a place that’s open to all! Come by the Student Leadership office (CC1446, across from the Grove) to say hi!

Student Leadership Team #EventsCoordinator

Welcome to Week 6 of the Fall Quarter! Mid-terms are about half-way through and the weather is beauuuutiful! With Halloween just around the corner, it seems like the perfect time to introduce you to… Eli!

Pronouns: he/him/his

Eli is the Events Coordinator at the Student Leadership office! Eli is the Master Planner of events through the Student Leadership office as well as a master soccer ball juggler. Eli joined Student Leadership because he wants more students to be involved in the events on campus and wants to bring a sense of community to the school. His favorite spot on campus is The Student Learning Center and is motivated by the awesome people he’s surrounded by. Eli enjoys all the water and beautiful viewpoints around the city and Hope’s to transfer to either UW or UCLA after graduating from North (oohhh! Aaahhh!). Eli has a calm and cool demeanor, and always open to having great conversations and new friends!
Drop by the Student Leadership office (CC1446) across from The Grove to see what events are coming up next (or give him a couple of your own ideas)!

#northseattlecollege #nscstudentleadership #studentleadership #eventscoordinator

Student Leadership Team #President

Hey North! Hope you’re staying warm in this chiiiiiilly weather! This week I would like to introduce you to the one, the only… SARAH!

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Sarah is the STUDENT BODY PRESIDENT and serves to be the student voice for the college. She joined Student Leadership so she could be part of the solution for the problems she saw on campus (instead of just complaining). One of her greatest accomplishments was conducting a fancy research project where she successfully inserted the human insulin gene into a fast-growing mushroom and got it to express! Sarah is also obsessed with tacos and her favorite animal THIS week is the highland cow. Her favorite spot on campus is an exposed pipe on the North side which she did a photo project on last year. One unique thing about Sarah is that she’s diabetic and wears an insulin pump. “Some people wear their hearts on their sleeves, I wear my pancreas in my pocket.” When she graduates from NSC, Sarah hopes to transfer into the neurobiology program at the UW and adopt a highland cow!

Thank you for all your hard work and dedication to this school! Come by the Student Leadership office across from The Grove (CC1446) to say Hello.


Student Leadership Team #Communications

Hey North Seattle! Every week we will be introducing you to one member of the Student Leadership team! This week we have the pleasure of introducing you to…

Kauser Gwaduri

Pronouns: She/her/hers

Kauser is the Communications Intern at the Student Leadership office, focusing on social media, the student blog, bulletin boards, etc. She is most proud of her current attendance at Seattle University in a Masters program in Student Development. Her favorite spot at #northseattle is the plaza over the Arts and Sciences building (great spot for events!), and her favorite thing about Seattle is the diversity and the cold weather. Kauser is motivated by desserts and the ability to support and empower other people to follow their dreams. She joined Student Leadership because she wants to find different ways that people can get involved on-campus based on their own skills and passions. Last, but not least, Kauser’s secret talent is her ability to wiggle her ears, nose, and eyebrows.

Please feel free to drop by cc1446 on Tuesdays and Thursdays to say Hello! Welcome to the team Kauser!

NSC Clubs Interview with Megan Davies

Here at North Seattle College, there are many ways to get involved with the campus community. For example, any student can join a club or start their own. I have heard several students express their great club ideas, but they are not sure how to get clubs started. The process for creating a club is much simpler than most students think. On August 6th, I sat down with Megan Davies, the 2018-2019 Club Council coordinator, to clarify this process and reveal the positive outcomes of participating in club activities.

Afsara: How many clubs are there currently?

Megan: There are no clubs during the summer, but the last academic year ended with about 38 clubs. 

Afsara: Where can students find information for club meeting times? 

Megan: On the Student Leadership website, there is a page for clubs, which has a table including information for club names, club emails, club leaders, meeting times, and locations. Physically, there is also the student clubs board in the Student Leadership office with club meeting times listed. At any point, you can also ask one of the Club Council members in the office for a roster of student clubs. 

Afsara: What is the process for joining an existing club?

Megan: If you want to be a club member, all you have to do is show up to a meeting. Certain clubs keep track of their members with a sign in sheet for every single meeting, but some are more relaxed. For example, the Gaming Club has a lot more drop in students who come in for one or two meetings, depending on the games they’re playing. Since all clubs are open to any student at North Seattle College, you can just walk in to any club. 

Afsara: What is the process for starting a new club?

Megan: We now have dual online and in person forms. The club activation form is on the Student Leadership website and in the Student Leadership office. It is one sheet, front and back, and asks for things such as the club’s purpose and goals. It also asks for basic information such as your name, the advisor’s name, your email, and what you want the club’s public email to be. Some people choose to make their personal email public, but others create a public email. Another requirement is getting 10 signatures from students in support of the club. A lot of people think that the 10 signatures have to be by people that want to join the club, but they actually just need to be people who are in support of forming the club on campus. For example, if you’re signing in support of an “I Hate Plants” club, you don’t have to hate plants! You can just be curious about where they’re coming from. 

Afsara: What is an example of a past club event that was successful?

Megan: The Robotics club has had a lot of really cool, successful events. They have had Skype interviews with NASA engineers and the people in the control room for rocket takeoffs. They have done rocket workshops where they have gotten people their level one certifications. I also know that movie nights are always a hit. LGBTQ+ had a successful movie night showing Love, Simon and the Chemistry club has also had a good movie night turnout. 

Afsara: What in particular about those events do you think made them so successful? 

Megan: For movies, I think that it’s really easy for people to come to a movie night because you don’t have to put yourself out there as much. It’s not like you have to introduce yourself and talk to all of the members. You’re just sitting with a group of people who also want to enjoy the movie, so it’s a really easy way to get out there without too much social interaction. Since the rocketry program here is so good, I think that if people are even just a little bit interested, they are are more inclined to go to it because of their past success. They also have own little private shop area. 

Afsara: Those events seem like a great way to meet more people. 

Megan: Yes, exactly. I always recommend them. 

Afsara: Can you recall a time when a specific club made a positive impact on campus? 

Megan: What comes to mind the most is Spring Fair 2018 when the Student Leadership Events Board ran out of their budget. Each club has a budget of $500 per year so we then turned to the clubs and asked, “Do you want to sponsor some things at this event?” The Flat Earth club sponsored the bouncy house, if I recall correctly, and another sponsored the snowcones. I believe LGBTQ+ donated the remainder of their budget as well. Any club that didn’t use their budget sponsored these cool activities and made them possible. 

Afsara: Can you think of any other information about clubs that would be good to know?

Megan: I think that it’s just really hard getting into the world of clubs if you’re not socially inclined. Before joining Student Leadership, I never would have put myself out there to join a club. After working with clubs and seeing how beneficial they are and how much of a community they’ve become with people who started off as strangers, I know how impactful they can be. 

Afsara Sadiya 

2018-2019 Student Cabinet Coordinator

Student Leadership is Now Hiring!

We are currently accepting applications for Student Leadership, North’s student government and a program offering on-campus jobs and professional skill-building. Student leaders work to improve the campus for all students, support the college values of equity and inclusion, and promote student interests.

No experience is necessary, and new students are welcome! We encourage students from all backgrounds to apply.

Student Leadership positions are paid $16/hour and offer opportunities to build skills in the following areas: teamwork, multicultural competency, leadership, professionalism, advocacy, critical thinking, self-awareness, accountability, communication, and other skills for your academic and professional success. The deadline for guaranteed consideration is April 17, 2019 by 5pm. Applicants selected for an interview will be invited to a GROUP INTERVIEW within 10-12 business days.

Positions start on Aug 19, 2019 and end June 15, 2020.
There is a mandatory new employee orientation on Monday, June 17, 2-4pm. Required work days include Aug 19-22, Aug 26-29, and Sep 20; on these days, student leaders work 7 hours a day. During the remainder of the employment term (fall, winter and spring quarters) student leaders work part-time. Positions require weekly meetings (1-4 hours per week) as well as flexible hours (1-10 hours per week).

• Must be an enrolled student at North Seattle College fall, winter, and spring quarters 2019-20.

• Must commit to entire employment term (August 20, 2019 – June 15, 2020).

• Must have and maintain a minimum 3.0 quarterly GPA starting fall 2019.

• Must demonstrate written and oral communication skills, incl. proficiency in speaking and writing English.

• Must demonstrate the desire to be a leader on campus.

• Members of historically disenfranchised groups are strongly encouraged to apply.

Preferred qualifications: leadership experience, interest in advocating for diversity, equity, and inclusion, writing and public speaking skills, knowledge of campus.

The online application can be completed at

Afsara Sadiya

Student Cabinet Coordinator

NSC Rocketry Club Collaboration with Russia

North Seattle College has friends in unexpected places—like Blagoveshchensk, Russia.

Tracy Furutani, a physics instructor at North and the faculty advisor for the Rocketry Club, has been working on fostering a collaboration between North Seattle College and Amur State University in Blagoveshchenk.

For years, the North Seattle College Rocketry Club has been entering an annual international rocketry competition in New Mexico ( The club members spend the school year researching, designing, and building a rocket that will blast to an altitude of 10,000 feet at the competition in June.

This year, for the first time, the rocket (named ‘Pele’) will carry a payload designed and built by the Payload Club at Amur State University (see their announcement at

Pulling off a technical partnership this complex takes a lot of work and creative thinking. The NSC Rocketry Club has been coordinating with the ASU Payload Club via Skype chat.

In April, Mr. Furutani is traveling to Blagoveshchensk along with the president of NSC, Dr. Brown. They’ll get to meet the students and faculty of the Payload Club and talk about the possibility of future partnerships.

While there, Mr. Furutani will also talk to the Rocketry Club. However, he’ll be on the opposite end of the Skype session! The exact date and time of the Skype chat have not been set yet, but it will happen around April 15. Contact the Rocketry Club if you’d like to attend. All students are welcome. This adventure started last year, when Dr. Brown traveled to Russia in a Fulbright Scholar program that brought American and Russian community college leaders together to discuss how to best serve their students (

Kate Tanski

Student Cabinet Member