Joelle Pretty 

Director of Premajor Studies & Academic Persistence System

Student Academic Services

BELL 118

(206) 220-8525


Educational Background: I have a bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in English from Luther College, Decorah, Iowa. I moved to Seattle to pursue the Student Development Administration master’s program at Seattle University. I have a Master of Arts in Education, and am interested in educational equity programs and services, critical multiculturalism, and psychosocial interventions, in addition to working with Premajor students.  

Hometown: I lived in Arkansas until 3rd grade, then grew up in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. It is a small town, but was a great place to live. We went swimming in the lake every summer and then could ice skate on the lake in winter (it got REALLY cold.) I moved to Seattle in 1998 and fell in love with this city. It has the best of everything between the water, the mountains, and the temperate climate.  I spent a few years each in Colorado and California, but Seattle is definitely my home now. 


Favorite Book: It’s so hard to pick just one! In my free time I devour fiction. I love John Irving’s “A Prayer for Owen Meany.”It’s so well-written that I hear Owen’s very distinctive voice in my head when I read it. It’s very moving and just wrecks me at the end. I thoroughly enjoy Jane Austen; “Pride and Prejudice” is probably the book I have read most in my lifetime. Professionally I would say the books that guide me most are Paolo Friere’s “Pedagogy of the Oppressed,” Margaret Wheatley’s “Leadership and the New Science,” and Parker Palmer’s “The Courage to Teach.” The book I would recommend most to students is John Medina’s “Brain Rules.” Students would save a lot of time and effort knowing the brain science packaged in this easy-to-read paperback! 

Why I Wanted to Work with Premajors: Helping students discern who they want to be is a fantastic calling. The kinds of conversations Premajor students have are so rich and fulfilling. This is the core of education – discovering what you don’t know and diving right into it. I love helping students realize the possibilities that are open to them. Premajor is so much more than figuring out what major to choose. It’s a bigger dialogue about how you want to be in the world, what brings you joy, and what you have to offer. On a personal level, I would have benefited from someone having deeper conversations about the life choices I was making when I was in my late teens and early 20’s. I don’t regret the journey, but my path might have been easier if I had been engaged in some deliberate reflective practices. The value of developing your discernment skills in Premajor Studies at Seattle University will last a lifetime. 

LechtenbergShanai Lechtenberg

Premajor Studies Program Advisor
Student Academic Services
BELL 116
(206) 296-5431 

Educational Background: BA in Human Services from Western Washington University, M Ed in Student Affairs Administration from Western Washington University 


Hometown: Kent/Renton, WA


Favorite Book: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle. The pages of my copy smell like cinnamon/apple pie which enhance the story greatly and make this my go-to book I’ve read many times.


Why I Wanted to Work with Premajors: I’m passionate about helping others find their passion, particularly in the context of an institution committed to social justice. I love walking through the process of self-discovery with students, supporting and challenging them along the way.

MelboJen Melbo

Premajor Studies Program Advisor 
Student Academic Services 
BELL 116 
(206) 296-5979  

Educational Background: Bachelor of Arts in International Studies with a focus on East Asia, Portland State University. Master of Science in Counseling Psychology, Chaminade University.

Honolulu, Hawaii


Favorite Book: I have a hard time with “favorites” because I can’t decide on just one!

Why I Wanted to Work with Premajors:
College is such an exciting time because you're still trying to figure out who you are, what you're good at and where you want to go.  On the other hand, it can also be overwhelming and scary.  I love being here to offer support, resources and be a sounding board as students go through the discernment process.  I can relate to what Premajor students are going through having been there myself and could have benefited from a program like this.  The world is full of endless possibilities and I want to help every one of my students find their calling in life!   

MalloryMallory Torgerson

Administrative Assistant
Student Development - Student Academic Services
BELL 111
(206) 296-2261 
Educational Background:
Currently working on my Masters in Public Administration graduate program at Seattle University, BA in Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences with a focus in Political Economy from the University of Washington-Tacoma.



Hometown: Tacoma, WA


Favorite Book: Savage Inequalities by Jonathan Kozol


Why I Wanted to Work with Premajors: I love working with and helping students, especially their first couple of years in college.  I have experience serving on student government and working in a Student Programs office and wanted to continue working and gaining experience in higher education.


The advisors in the Premajor studies program make you feel like you have a direction even in your time of indecision.-Premajor StudentSeattle University