Walla Walla University leadership team

Walla Walla University is led by the university president, the president’s Cabinet, and the Board of Trustees. The president and vice presidents lead the day-to-day management and direction of the university, and the president receives this authority from the university Board of Trustees.

Three times a year, the president and vice presidents meet with the Board of Trustees to advise that governing body regarding university matters. The Board of Trustees is responsible for the overall government and welfare of the university, including matters regarding faculty, staff, students, and alumni. The board is also responsible for selecting the university president, determining the major goals of the university, and approving university budgets.

As a Seventh-day Adventist university, members of the Board of Trustees include regional leaders of the Adventist church as well as church members elected to terms of service on the board.

John K. McVay has led the university as president since 2006.


Learn more about the Board of Trustees.

President’s Cabinet

John McVay


(509) 527-2121

Executive assistant to the president
Deirdre Benwell
(509) 527-2121
Fax: (509) 527-2103


  • BA Southern Adventist University, 1980; Theology
  • MDiv Andrews University, 1983
  • PhD University of Sheffield, 1995

Previous Experience

  • Seminary dean, Andrews University Theological Seminary, 2000–2006
  • Associate dean and professor of New Testament, Andrews University Theological Seminary, 1998–2000
  • Assistant and associate professor of religion, Pacific Union College, 1985–1998
  • Pastor, Iowa and Georgia, 1977–1978, 1982–1985


John and his wife, Pam, have two children: Marshall and Macy.


John McVay's Inauguration Address 

Pamela Cress

Vice President
for academic administration

(509) 527-2431

Executive assistant to the vice president for academic administration
Cheri Wolcott
(509) 527-2431
Fax: (509) 527-2103


  • BSW Walla Walla College
  • MSW Walla Walla University
  • PhD Andrews University

Previous Experience 

  • Dean of the School of Social Work and Sociology 
  • Professor of social work 

Prakash Ramoutar

Vice President
for financial administration

(509) 527-2402

Executive assistant to the vice president for financial administration

(509) 527-2402
Fax: (509) 527-2130

Academic Qualifications

  • PhD - Business Administration
  • MBA - Accounting & Finance Specialization
  • MAPTH - Leadership & Administration Specialization
  • BS - Applied Accounting

Professional Qualifications

  • FCCA - Certified Chartered Accountant
  • CIA - Certified Internal Auditor
  • CFE - Certified Fraud Examiner
  • Certificate in Anti-Money Laundering & Financial Crimes


  • Over the last 15 years, served in various corporate positions including Junior Accountant, Accountant, Internal Auditor, Accounts Manager, Chief Accountant, and Vice President of Financial Administration.
  • Over the last 9 years, held academic roles as e-Tutor, Second Examiner, Course Coordinator, Lecturer, and Assistant Professor at various institutions of higher learning including the University of the West Indies Open Campus, University of the Southern Caribbean, the School of Higher Learning for Heriot-Watt University, and the Associate of Business Executives (UK).

Teaching Areas

  • Intermediate Accounting, Auditing, Managerial Cost Accounting, Accounting Information Systems, Government & Not-for-Profit Accounting, Risk & Insurance, Business Analytics 


  • First Recipient of the University of the Southern Caribbean Special President's Award - Outstanding Contribution Toward the Development of Financial Administration, 2016-2021
  • Outstanding Service Award - Financial Affairs, University of the Southern Caribbean, 2013


  • Fellow Chartered Certified Accountants (United Kingdom)
  • Institute of Internal Auditors (USA)
  • Association of Fraud Examiners (USA)
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants (Trinidad and Tobago)

Research Interests

  • Budgetary Control
  • Working Capital Management
  • Business Sustainability
  • Performance Management


  • Cricket, traveling, spending time with family


Darren Wilkins

Vice President
for student life

(509) 527-2511

Executive assistant to the vice president for student life
Sharryl Toews
(509) 527-2511
Fax: (509) 527-2674


  • Montana State University, 2008; State High School Principal Endorsement
  • MA La Sierra University, 2004; Curriculum and Instruction, Emphasis in Ancient Languages
  • BS Walla Walla University, 1994; French, Minors-Mathematics, History

Previous Experience 

  • Principal, Spring Valley Academy, 2013–June 2023
  • Principal, Mt. Ellis Academy, 2002-2013
  • Teacher, Loma Linda Academy High School, 2001-2002
  • Teacher/Vice-Principal, Loma Linda Academy Hr. High School, 1994-2001


Darren and his wife, Yvette, have three sons.

Jodi Wagner

Vice President
for university relations and advancement

(509) 527-2772

Administrative assistant to the vice president for university relations and advancement
Renee Unterseher
(509) 527-2772
Fax: (509) 527-2397


  • BA Walla Walla University, 1992; Mass Communication with emphasis in Journalism
    • Minors in Business and English

Previous Experience

  • Director of Client Planning and Strategy Services, Coffey Communications, 1998–2008
  • Client services representative, Coffey Communications, 1994–1998
  • Copy editor, Coffey Communications, 1992–1994


Jodi and her husband, Jeff, have three children: Katie, Jenna, and Nikolas.

Pedrito Maynard-Reid

Assistant to the President
for diversity

(509) 527-2028

Administrative assistant for diversity
Marion Ruybalid
(509) 527-2393


  • ATCL Trinity College of Music, 1969
  • LTCL Trinity College of Music, 1970
  • LRSM Royal Schools of Music, 1970
  • BTh West Indies College, 1970
  • MA Andrews University, 1973
  • MDiv Andrews University, 1975
  • ThD Andrews University, 1981
  • MTh Fuller Theological Seminary, 1995


Previous Experience

  • Vice president for spiritual life and mission and professor of biblical studies and missiology, Walla Walla University
  • Professor of biblical studies and missiology, Walla Walla University
  • Professor of music and religious studies, Northern Caribbean University
  • Professor of theology, Antillean University


Pedrito and his wife, Violet, have two children: Pedrito II and Natasha.

Albert Handal

Campus Chaplain


  • B.A. Southern Adventist University
  • M.Div. Andrews University
  • D.Min. Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

Previous Experience

  • Pastor for College and Young Adults, Southwestern Adventist University - Keene, TX 2015-2017
  • Senior Pastor, Austin Stonehill Church - Austin, TX  2011-2015
  • Pastor for Youth and Young Adults, Calhoun Adventist Church - Calhoun, GA 2006-2011


Albert and his wife, Allison, have three children: Edward, Rosa, and Dalia

Howard Munson

Associate Vice President
for academic administration

(509) 527-2395

Academic Services Specialist
Lorri Bays
(509) 527-2395
Fax: (509) 527-2130


  • PhD Washington State University

  • MA, U.S. History from Portland State University
  • BA, Summa Cum Laude, Major-U.S. History, Minor-Biblical Archaeology Honors Program, Walla Walla College  

Previous Experience

  • Professor and Department Chair: Pacific Union College July 2018-June 2023

  • Associate Professor: Pacific Union College July 2015-July 2018
  • Assistant Professor: Pacific Union College July 2012-July 2015
  • Instructor: Washington State University Summer 2010,2011,2012
  • Teaching Assistant: Washington State University Spring 2008-2012
  • Instructor: Pacific Union College Summer 2006-Summer 2007
  • Instructor: Walla Walla College Spring 2003-Spring 2006
  • Graduate Assistant: Portland State University Fall 2002-Spring 2003


Howard and his wife, Brenda, have two sons.

Jonathan Duncan

Associate Vice President
for graduate studies

(509) 527-2421

Administrative assistant to the associate vice president for graduate studies
Nicole Malik
(509) 527-2421
Fax: (509) 527-2237


  • PhD Indiana University, 2007; Mathematics
  • MS Indiana University 2001; Computer Science
  • MA Indiana University, 2001; Mathematics
  • BS Walla Walla College, 1997; Mathematics
  • BA Walla Walla College, 1997; Computer Science, German

Set theory, logic and foundations


Eric James 

Associate Vice President
for financial administration


  • BS Walla Walla College; Business Administration, with a concentration in Accounting
  • CPA
  • Planned Giving & Trust Services certification

Previous Experience

  • Staff Auditor, General Conference Auditing Service
  • Senior Accountant and Director of Accounting, Walla Walla University


Eric and his wife Kristelle have two children.

Trevor Congleton

Associate Vice President 
for marketing and enrollment services


  • MSW Walla Walla University, 2007
  • BSW Walla Walla University, 2006; Social Work with a minor in Religion

Previous Experience

  • Director for recruitment, Walla Walla University, 2010–2012
  • Director for guest relations, Walla Walla University, 2008–2010
  • School counselor, Walla Walla Valley Academy, 2007–2008

Troy Patzer

Associate Vice President 
for alumni and advancement services


  • BS Walla Walla University, 1999; Business Administration 
  • MBA City University, 2004
  • Administrative certificate, NPUC in conjunction with Walla Walla University, 2008
  • Planned Giving & Trust Services certification

Previous Experience

  • Trust officer, Upper Columbia Conference, 2012–2014
  • Principal, Upper Columbia Academy, 2008–2012
  • Vice president of student administration/accountant, Upper Columbia Academy, 2004–2008
  • Treasurer/accountant, Upper Columbia Academy, 1999–2004


Troy and his wife, Renée, have three daughters: Amélie, Elianne, and Lilia.

Brooklynn Armesto-Larson

Assistant Vice President for Student Life
Dean of Students


  • JD University of Oregon School of Law, 2020
  • BA Walla Walla University, 2016

Previous Experience

  • Judicial Clerk for Hon. Judge Debra Vogt, Lane County Circuit Court, 2020-2021
  • Attorney, Criminal Law & Family Law, 2021-2023


Brooklynn and her husband Manuel have one daughter.