Residence Life Professional Staff

Residence Life is committed to walking with you throughout your university experience – and helping you get where you want to be. The residence life staff is trained to create living atmospheres where you can make friends, live responsibly, and create the memories of a lifetime! Throughout our programs, you will find an emphasis on a personal and growing relationship with Jesus Christ and a commitment to the advancement of His Kingdom. We believe that during the college years students should grow as balanced persons emotionally, socially, culturally, intellectually, physically, and spiritually. Residence Life programs and activities are designed with this student’s growth in mind. Please join us in these exciting opportunities.

The Residence Life Staff are professionals who serve full time directing the various living-learning communities here at Northwest. They also are associate members of the university faculty. Some of their duties include supervision of student staff, crisis intervention, developing personal relationships with students, planning and implementing educational programs and social activities, and assisting residents in all aspects of their spiritual, academic, and personal growth.

Larissa Lilly | Dean of Students

Larissa Lilly serves as the Dean of Students. Her passion is to build community and help facilitate opportunities for students to find a place to belong at Northwest. Larissa oversees our Residence Life & Housing and Community Life departments and works within conduct and student leadership. Larissa has been living intentional life with college students since 2008. Though originally from a farm in eastern Washington, Larissa has found this work has taken her all over the US, but was happy to move back to the PNW in 2016. Her top five strengths are Achiever, Responsibility, Activator, Developer and Restorative. She’s a strong Three on the Enneagram and loves talking with students about how their personalities and stories play out.

Larissa and her husband Curtis live in the heart of campus. They have three young children: Zia, Iry and Booker. You will often see them as a family eating in the Caf, walking across campus or cheering on our Eagles! In her time away from work, you can find Larissa enjoying time with her family, fellowshipping with friends over meals, or at a local coffee shop. Come on by her office in the Pecota Center and ask her to take you to coffee!

Sara Rodriguez |  Apartments & FIRs Area Coordinator

Sara Rodriguez serves as the Area Coordinator for the Apartments and is excited to be part of the Northwest Community. She grew up in Indiana, where she received her Bachelor’s in Adolescent Ministry at Indiana Wesleyan University. She continued her education in Texas and received her Master’s in Christian Education from Dallas Baptist University while teaching outdoor education classes to 5th graders. She is now pursuing her Doctorate in Strategic Leadership from Liberty University Online. Her professional experience has been spent in camping ministry, where she has had many opportunities to connect with college-age students. This work grew her passion for college students, and she landed at Northwest. She is an enneagram seven, and her strengths are connectedness, empathy, developer, positivity, and ideation.

Sara spends her free time hanging out with friends, cooking for people, enjoying live music, trying a new coffee shop, or traveling. She is always up for an adventure and a good conversation! So please feel free to stop by her office for a good chat and maybe some coffee!   

Arlette Henderson | Gray Beatty Area Coordinator

Arlette Henderson serves as the Area Coordinator for Gray & Beatty residence halls.

She is from Houston, Texas, and enjoys living life with purpose. She has previously served as a Resident Assistant, Resident Manager, Resident Director, and Student Organization Advisor all at her alma mater, East Texas Baptist University (ETBU), while becoming ordained as a Licensed Minister to serve at her local church in Texas. During her time working, Arlette completed a Bachelor of Science in Sociology with a concentration in Human Services and went on to study for a Master’s of Business Administration all earned courtesy of East Texas Baptist University. Her top five strengths are Responsibility, Achiever, Ideation, Empathy, and Strategic; though if you really want to get to know Arlette you can ask her about one of her many hobbies which include (but are not limited to) traveling, cooking, shopping, and exploring new things.

Her commitment to servant leadership is a key, cherished value that shines through in her current role within student development by striving to humbly serve, motivate, mentor, and lead individuals in a Christ-like manner. 

Alissa Vinje | Guy, Perks, & Crowder Area Coordinator

Alissa Vinje serves as the Area Coordinator for the Guy, Perks, & Crowder residence halls.

She is an NU alum from Mukilteo, WA. She received her BA in Educational Studies with an endorsement in Instructional Design and has faithfully served in Admissions as the Campus Visits and Events Coordinator before her time in Student Development. Alissa found her love for higher education and importance of developing the next generation through her two years as a Resident Assistant and her senior year as the SAB Student Director. She loves to find ways to celebrate, encourage, develop and cheer on others in the big moments and in everyday life. She passionate about  encouraging and developing students holistically. And to be a resource and advocate for students as they start exploring who they are called to be and what it means to be a faithful disciple of our Creator.

Alissa is an enneagram nine and her top strengths are arranger, connectedness, developer, strategic and positivity. She is actively using these strength to build relationship with students and staff at Northwest University. 

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