Multicultural Student Services welcomes its new assistant director, simone calais-staley

The Office of Multicultural Student Services is excited to welcome simone calais-staley back to Western as its new assistant director. In this pivotal position, simone will provide support and leadership for the professional staff in the Black Student Coalition, Ethnic Student Center, and future identity centers. simone started virtually on Jan. 2, and joined us in-person on Jan. 16.

simone calais-staley

“I am incredibly excited to have simone join the team. She brings a depth of knowledge and experience that our students and the university will benefit from. simone’s approach to multicultural student services centers storytelling, relationship building, and engaging in difficult dialogues which are foundational to creating supportive spaces for our students,” said Amy Salinas Westmoreland, director of the Office of Multicultural Student Services at Western.

simone shared the following greeting to campus:

“Warm greetings WWU community! I am so excited to return to the Western community. My name is simone-calais staley and I use she and her pronouns. I am an alumna of Western and studied Recreation Management & Leadership program (Lifetime Member of Phase 5). I also studied Environmental Education (Huxley Spring Block) and completed a minor with Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies with a focus on Queer Indigenous Theories. During my time here from 2008-2012, I was involved in many campus programs including Residence Life and the Ethnic Student Center (ESC). I was an active student with the Native American Student Union (NASU) and the development of the Pride affinity housing program. As a staff member I approach my work through critical theories and identity development models. My passions include indigenizing education, consensus-based community development, advocacy and civic engagement, and leadership development through autonomy and sovereignty.

My family is from outside of Lewiston, Idaho and I am a proud mixed-race nimiipuu (Nez-Perce) woman. I have previously worked at WWU, University of Washington, Seattle University, and the University of Alaska Anchorage. I honor the land and peoples of each place I have lived and worked. I practice being a global citizen and I acknowledge my responsibility as a tenant of earth. I am grateful to our custodians here and I raise my hands in gratitude to the Nooksack and the Lummi. I have many hopes for our growing campus community, and I am committed to the legacy and future of Multicultural Student Services and the Ethnic Student Center.”

To learn more about programming and resources provided by Multicultural Student Services, please visit its website at