Meet your advisor

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UW Tacoma admissions advisors visit high schools, community colleges and participate in college fairs regionally throughout the year. They are also available for one-on-one consultations to answer your questions and help you navigate the admission process.

Photograph of Janet De La Cruz.
Photograph of Janet De La Cruz.

Janet De La Cruz
Admissions Advisor

B.A. in History and Literature, Pacific Lutheran University, 2016

Hablo Español

Hometown: Tacoma, Washington

Favorite place in Tacoma: My favorite place in Tacoma is the Grand Cinema. This is a great place to watch independent, foreign, and local films while having the best popcorn in town!

Favorite class in college: The Art of Brevity: Latin American Short Story Narratives

What makes UW Tacoma special? One of my favorite things about UW Tacoma is the community on and off campus. Students, faculty, staff and surrounding community have created an inclusive environment where it is easy to feel welcome and supported.


  • Bethel, Fife, Franklin Pierce, Seattle, Highline and Tukwilla School Districts
  • Tacoma and Seattle private schools
  • Kitsap County
  • Central Washington

Contact Janet

Janet De La Cruz

Octavio Garcia-Ruiz
Octavio Garcia-Ruiz

Octavio Garcia-Ruiz
Admissions Advisor

B.A. in Foreign Language with a Spanish Specialty and a minor in Political Science, Central Washington University, 2016

Hablo Español

Favorite place/thing to do in Tacoma: I enjoy going to Point Ruston; getting some ice cream on a hot summer day and walking down the trail to take in the Tacoma Waterfront.

What was your favorite class in college: The Spanish for Heritage Speakers series

What do you think makes UW Tacoma special: How welcoming, diverse, and tight knit the community is here. These traits make this community special.

Prospective Freshmen and Running Start students from the following school districts and regions:

  • Auburn School District
  • Clover Park School District
  • Kent School District
  • Peninsula School District
  • University Place School District
  • Thurston County
  • North/East King County
  • Northwest Washington

Contact Octavio

Octavio Garcia-Ruiz

Mya Kim
Mya Kim

Mya Kim
Admissions Advisor

B.A. in Geographic Information Systems, University of Washington, 2017

Favorite place/thing to do in Tacoma: I really love Ruston Way and the Point Defiance area. These are the places I go to when I really want to disconnect and enjoy my surroundings. Especially on a sunny day Ruston Way and Point Defiance are wonderful places to hang out, get food, and feel lively.

What was your favorite class in college: Special Topics in SE Asia. I identify as a South East Asian American and this class gave me the opportunity to learn the history of my own Cambodian culture along with expanding my skills in the Khmer Language.

What do you think makes UW Tacoma special: The sense of inclusivity you feel when being on this campus. Professors and faculty are dedicated to work with students to succeed in their classes. There are plenty of resources to help students get a sense of belonging academically, culturally, and professionally. UW Tacoma is such a tight-knit campus it makes it easy to network with other professionals and companies around us. The community you create on this campus will definitely set you up for success.

Prospective Freshmen and Running Start students from the following school districts and regions:

  • Federal Way School District
  • Renton School District
  • Tacoma School District
  • Olympic Peninsula
  • Washington Coast
  • Southwest Washington

Contact Mya

Mya Kim

Photograph of Maria Reyes.
Photograph of Maria Reyes.

Maria Reyes
Pierce College-to-UW Tacoma Transfer Academic Advisor

Degrees: B.A. in Social Welfare University of Washington Tacoma, 2015; Master of Social Work (MSW), University of Washington Tacoma, 2018

Hometown: Tacoma, WA

Favorite place/thing to do in Tacoma: I love to explore the great places Tacoma has to offer such as the Farmer's Market, Point Ruston and the Point Defiance Zoo!

What was your favorite class in college: T HISP 355 Latino Literature Migration/Family in the U.S.

What do you think makes UW Tacoma special? What makes UW Tacoma special would definitely be the campus community, once you step foot on campus you feel a sense of community, a sense of belonging. The faculty here really care about their students and want them to succeed, they go the extra mile to get to know their students.

Territory: Transfer, international and Running Start students who attend Pierce College. Maria is on the Pierce Fort Steilacoom campus on Mondays and Tuesdays and the Pierce Puyallup campus on Thursdays and Fridays. She is there to help current Pierce students make their way to UW Tacoma. You can also meet with Maria at UW Tacoma on Wednesdays.

Contact Maria

Maria Reyes
Pierce College

Photograph of Noelle Wilson.
Photograph of Noelle Wilson.

Noelle Wilson
Senior Admissions Advisor for Campus Visitation

B.A. in Communication, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), 2005
M.S.W., Mental health and addictions, IUPUI, 2011

Hometown: Indianapolis, Indiana

Favorite place/thing to do in Tacoma: Spend time at Point Defiance Park and the Zoo/Aquarium with my family.

What was your favorite class in college: Western Civilization - the professor made it great!

What do you think makes UW Tacoma special? UW Tacoma is special because of the ability to go to school in an urban setting and all the opportunities that come with that. It’s also special because of the ability to earn a prestigious degree at an intimate campus.

Noelle manages campus visitation and events. She supervises our campus ambassadors and works to assure all who visit UW Tacoma have a meaningful experience.

Contact Noelle

Noelle Wilson

Portrait of Navia Winderling.
Portrait of Navia Winderling.

Navia Winderling
Admissions Advisor

B.A. in Communication, University of Washington Tacoma, 2014
M.Ed., Higher and Postsecondary Education, Arizona State University, 2017

Hometown: Steilacoom, Washington

Favorite place/thing to do in Tacoma: Nothing beats a Tacoma Rainier’s game at Cheney Stadium! The stadium has a lot of local food options like The Red Hot (my favorite) and it’s just a great place to be on a bright, summer day!

What was your favorite class in college: I took News Writing while at UWT and loved it! The class strengthened my writing skills and gave me insight into what a career as a journalist might look like. We got to take a tour of The News Tribune and chat with some of the writing staff. While in the class I wrote an article about UWT’s Pathways to Promise partnership and got the opportunity to interview our former chancellor.

What do you think makes UW Tacoma special? UW Tacoma is special because of its size. It is such a close-knit campus community. As a student you are able to establish meaningful connections not only with peers, but with faculty , staff, and other community members who engage with UWT.

Transfer Students, International Students, and Running Start students attending the following community colleges:

  • HIGH SCHOOL: Orting, Eatonville, White River, Enumclaw, Steilacoom
  • Bates Technical College
  • Bellevue College
  • Bellingham Technical College
  • Big Bend Community College
  • Cascadia College
  • Centralia College
  • Clark College
  • Clover Park Technical College
  • Columbia Basin College
  • Edmonds Community College
  • Everett Community College
  • Grays Harbor College
  • Green River College
  • Highline College
  • Lake Washington Institute of Technology
  • Lower Columbia College
  • North Seattle College
  • NW Indian College
  • Olympic College
  • Peninsula College
  • Renton Technical College
  • Seattle Central College
  • Skagit Valley College
  • South Puget Sound Community College
  • South Seattle College
  • Spokane Community College
  • Spokane Falls Community College
  • Walla Walla Community College
  • Wenatchee Valley College
  • Whatcom Community College
  • Yakima Valley Community College

Contact Navia

Navia Winderling

Photograph of Megan Cooley.
Photograph of Megan Cooley.

Megan Cooley
Associate Director of University Recruitment

B.A. in Social Studies Education, Washington State University, 2005
M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration, Washington State University, 2007

Hometown: Maple Valley, Washington

Favorite place in Tacoma: Tacoma coffee shops! Anthem, Metronome, Valhalla, Blue Beard. . . On warm and cold days, I know the coffee shops of Tacoma can all give me a hug in a cup.

Favorite class in college: History of American Immigration

What makes UW Tacoma special? UW Tacoma is empowering, sassy, and dedicated. We care and give with everything we have. We help our neighbors, we celebrate together, we weep together. UW Tacoma is the definition of “Community.” I love it here.


Megan oversees our admissions advisors and campus visitation team. She works closely with high school counselors and other guidance professionals. In addition, she assists the following students:

  • Tahoma High School
  • Spokane
  • Out of State Students

Megan also currently assists students looking to transfer from Tacoma Community College (TCC).

Contact Megan

Megan Cooley