Walla Walla University has selected two new leaders to support its mission of quality Adventist education. Brooklynn Armesto-Larson has been named dean of students, and Howard Munson will serve as associate vice president for Academic Administration.
As dean of students, Armesto-Larson will provide leadership in student conduct and government with particular emphasis on the well-being and growth of students for character development, while providing administrative assistance to the vice president of Student Life. An alumna of Walla Walla University, Armesto-Larson continued her education at University of Oregon School of Law where she sought out a variety of experiences in both legal and higher education fields, including roles in Title IX policy, public defense, and leadership development. Since graduating with her Juris Doctor in 2020, Armesto-Larson has served as a judicial clerk in Lane County Circuit Court and practiced family law and criminal defense in Oregon.
“Brooklynn’s legal background and heart for restorative justice make her a great fit for this important position,” says Darren Wilkins, vice president for Student Life.
“Having grown up in the Walla Walla Valley and attending Walla Walla University myself, I am so excited to join and serve this community that means so much to me,” says Armesto-Larson. “My experiences as a resident assistant and student dean at WWU inspired me to study leadership development while in law school. I’m excited to share what I’ve learned with students and to help them discover the path God has planned for them.”
Armesto-Larson and her husband, Manuel, also a WWU alum, live in Walla Walla with their daughter Magdalena and Armesto-Larson’s extended family.
As associate vice president for Academic Administration, Munson will support the oversight of student academic concerns, summer session, and the continuing education program. Munson joins WWU from Pacific Union College where for the last twelve years he has taught history and more recently served as the chair of the history department. His pursuit of creating positive difference beyond his own classroom led him to serve on the college’s curriculum and efficiency committee, chairs council, and academic senate.
“Dr. Munson’s extensive experience as a professor and dean, and his love for helping university students navigate higher education make him uniquely qualified for this role,” says Pam Cress, vice president for Academic Administration. “He comes with high recommendations from former colleagues and we are excited to see the valuable contributions Dr. Munson will make to our campuses.”
Also a WWU graduate, Munson holds a doctorate in U.S. foreign relations from Washington State University, and a master’s in U.S history from Portland State University. His research interests are the U.S. and Turkey in the early Cold War and the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Middle East. His love of history and teaching comes in part from his father who dedicated 50 years of service to Adventist education.
“I am excited about this position because it is at a nexus of so many parts of campus,” says Munson. “I am passionate about the interests of students, about the interests of faculty and staff, and about Adventist education thriving at all levels.”
Munson met his wife, Brenda, at Upper Columbia Academy, and together they enjoy spending time with their two sons: playing soccer, tennis, and Legos, and mountain biking, trail running, and hiking.
Posted Aug. 1, 2023.