Chancellor’s Executive Team

Sandra Haynes

Chancellor Sandra Haynes provides overall leadership for WSU Tri‑Cities, represents the campus within the University system, and serves as a liaison with local communities, organizations and industries.

Her Executive Team provides leadership in the primary areas across campus to support faculty, staff and student success.

Martin Klotz, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Martin KlotzAcademic Affairs, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs; Professor, Molecular BiosciencesFloyd 263E509-372-7251

Dr. Martin G. Klotz ( joined Washington State University Tri-Cities as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs in July 2017 after serving as Dean of Faculty, Division of Mathematics & Natural Sciences, and Professor of Biology at Queens College, The City University of New York, in Flushing, New York. Before coming to CUNY, Klotz held academic positions at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (Professor and Chair, Department of Biological Sciences), the University of Louisville (Departments of Biology and Microbiology & Immunology) and the University of Colorado-Denver (Department of Biology). A Physics undergraduate Major by training (Universität Rostock, Germany), he holds a Master’s degree in biophysics and earned his doctorate in biology from the Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena (Germany). His graduate and postdoctoral training in biology (Germany, Hungary, Sweden, USA) ranges from membrane biology to bacterial genetics to plant-microbe interactions. Klotz is also a Professor in WSU’s School of Molecular Biosciences in Pullman.

For the majority of his career, Klotz directed his “Evolutionary and Genomic Microbiology Laboratory” to study the molecular underpinnings of ammonia- and methane-oxidizing bacteria with an interest in metabolic reconstruction of key catabolic pathways, the evolutionary history of involved inventory and how this inventory is being regulated. His research has been funded by federal and state grants agencies in excess of $4 M, which contributed to the editing of 3 books on nitrogen cycle research and the co/authoring of more than 100 peer-reviewed articles. Klotz served on a variety of national and international grants panels and presented at numerous national and international meetings. As an administrator, Klotz facilitated the receipt of development and educational awards exceeding $5M including an HSI-STEM grant award from the US Department of Education.

Klotz has served the microbiology community in many capacities including as an elected officer (Chair, Adviser and Councilor of Division R “Evolutionary and Genomic Microbiology”, as a member of the General Meeting program committee and as a reviewer and editorial board member) of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM); he also serves on the editorial board of Environmental Microbiology. He has co-edited several recent books on Nitrogen Cycle research and is the co-founder of international professional organizations that coordinate collaboration in research on the global Nitrogen and Carbon cycles. Klotz is the founding Editor-in-Chief for the open-access journal Frontiers in Microbiology (2016: IF 4; 3rd most cited journal in the field of Microbiology).

Jensen Cheryl

Cheryl Jensen

Principal Assistant

Chris Meiers
Chris MeiersVice Chancellor for Student AffairsFloyd 269F509-372-7381

Dr. Chris Meiers previously served as Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Services at the University of Kansas Medical Center. His experience in higher education includes positions as a registrar, admissions counselor, financial aid director, fitness center director, ombudsman, and clinical assistant professor.

He earned his Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and Research from the University of Kansas in 2010 with a dissertation on “Item Response Theory Scaling of an Academic Medical Center Student Satisfaction Survey.” Dr. Meiers received his Master of Science in Educational Administration and his Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry at Fort Hays State University.

As the Vice Chancellor, Dr. Meiers provides visionary leadership and strategic direction to our comprehensive services and programs in enrollment management and student affairs, including recruitment, retention, financial aid, registration, career services, counseling services, and student involvement.

Chief of Staff and Operations

John Mancinelli
John MancinelliChief of Staff and OperationsEast 225509-372-7237

John Mancinelli, Ed.D., joined Washington State University Tri-Cities as Chief of Staff and Operations in July 2014. Dr. Mancinelli has 23 years of experience in education and educational leadership. Dr. Mancinelli brings a deep understanding of Washington State’s educational system, organizational structures and management best practices. His experience and positive relationships contribute to the advancement of the Tri-Cities campus.

Dr. Mancinelli serves as Educational Leadership faculty to the College of Education and to the International Principal Certification Program. He teaches educational leadership courses to masters and doctoral students on the Tri-Cities campus. Additionally, Dr. Mancinelli advises, mentors and sits on committees for masters and doctoral students. Dr. Mancinelli’s area of research focus includes educational leadership and role theory as it relates to building academic capacity.

Dr. Mancinelli functions in the role of “ambassador” for the Chancellor and works with strategic partners to advance campus and systems initiatives. As Chief of Staff, Dr. Mancinelli assists the Chancellor to advance his initiatives and oversees the Chancellor’s Executive Office. He supports all aspects of the campus by integrating and coordinating campus executive units of Student Affairs, Academic Affairs, Research, Advancement and Community Engagement, Finance and Administration, Human Resources, Safety, Diversity and Outreach. Dr. Mancinelli consults and coordinates with WSU Attorney General, Human Resources, Finance and Administration, Student Affairs, Government Relations, and Research offices. Dr. Mancinelli plays both a management and advisory role to the Chancellor.

Nationally, Dr. Mancinelli participates in the American Association of Colleges & Universities group and The Creativity Commonwealth: Building Institutional Capacity for Transformation.

Dr. Mancinelli obtained an Associate of Arts degree from Columbia Basin College, a Bachelor of Arts degree from Central Washington University, a Master of Science degree from Southern Oregon University and a Doctorate of Educational Leadership from Washington State University.


Karina Barajas-Garibay, M.Ed.

Principal Assistant

Senior Director for Finance & Administration

Peter Smith
Peter SmithSenior DirectorEast 218509-372-7261


Peter Smith has been serving as the Interim Senior Director of Finance and Administration for Washington State University Tri-Cities since November 8, 2017.

Peter brings a wealth of expertise in managing financial and administrative operations. Recently, Peter served as a part-time Finance Specialist for Business Development & Analysis at PNNL after retiring from Battelle PNNL as a Finance/Business Manager for more than 28 years. In his last assignment before retirement, Peter was a Business Manager supporting the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL) of the PNNL operated by Battelle for the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE). Peter led the EMSL Business Office in providing financial planning/forecasting, proposal pricing, charging guidance, financial systems/processes, and financial control services, including analyzing financial results, assuring compliance with accepted accounting methods, controlling to budgets, and generating financial reports to EMSL, PNNL, and DOE. He has also served as a part-time Special Assistant for Finance and Administration at WSU Tri-Cities since 2014.

Peter has prior commercial company experience as the Manager of Finance for Westec Services in San Diego, CA, where he was responsible for all corporate financial activities of a small business for four years.  Before that, he was Assistant Manager of Finance for Hughes Aircraft Company’s Electro-Optical Engineering Division, where over five years he worked his way up from the Business Administration Manager training program, to Financial Analyst, to Head of Financial Policies & Procedures.  Peter was active in the U.S. Army Reserve for ten years and honorably discharged as a Captain, with his last assignment as HQ Commander of the 408th Finance Company.

Peter also served as adjunct faculty at WSU Tri-Cities, Columbia Basin College, University of Redlands and at San Diego State University. He holds a Bachelors in Business Administration from Washington State University, a Masters in Business Administration with emphasis in Accounting & Finance from University of Washington and is a Certified Finance Manager (CFM), and a Certified Management Accounting (CMA).

photo of Teresa Tritt
Teresa TrittExecutive Assistant, Finance & AdministrationEast 231509-372-7253
Org. Chart
Jeffrey Dennison
Jeffrey DennisonDirector, Marketing and CommunicationEast 220509-372-7319

Jeffrey Dennison, M.A., provides leadership in producing and managing WSU Tri-Cities internal and external communications, social media, marketing, public relations, public affairs outreach and branding. Under Jeff’s leadership the WSU Tri-Cities Marketing and Communications department has won numerous awards, including AVA Gold, Hermes Gold and Marcom Awards gold for writing, photography, graphic design, videography and project planning.

Prior to joining WSU Tri-Cities, Jeff worked in communications and external affairs for the Mission Support Alliance, where Jeff facilitated communications activities for the US Department of Energy (DOE) on the Hanford Site. While at Hanford, Jeff launched the Hanford Speakers’ Bureau program, Hanford Forward e-magazine, and worked in various other roles.

Jeff is a graduate of Santa Clara University with a B.S. in Political Science and a M.A. from Gonzaga University in Communication and Leadership Studies. He is a Certified Crisis Communicator and holds various other DOE certifications.

Jeff attained the rank of Eagle Scout from Troop 539 in Los Gatos, California, one of the oldest Boy Scout troops in the nation.  In 2006, the Association of Washington Business awarded Jeff their Community Service Award for education work on literacy projects in rural Washington. In 2008, the Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal named Jeff “One of the 40 most outstanding young individuals on the Kitsap Peninsula.”

Debra McCormick
Debra McCormickCampus HR DirectorEast 242509-372-7302
Kathleen McAteer
Kathleen McAteerAcademic Affairs, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs; Clinical Assistant Professor, BiologyFloyd 263G509-372-7371

Kathleen McAteer earned her Ph.D. from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of South Carolina. Before she came to WSU Tri-Cities as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences, she worked as a research scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Her research has three focus areas: 1) Analysis of metabolism in pathogen bacteria to gain a better understanding of the infection process, 2) Analyzing metabolic changes in filamentous fungi mutants to determine their utility in bioprocessing, 3) Characterization of immobilized enzymes in hydrogels to determine the optimal properties for these solutions as threat-detection agents. All of these projects utilize NMR spectroscopy as the main tool for probing biochemical changes in the systems being studied.

As the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Dr. McAteer leads the AVID for Higher Education and Million Women Mentor programs and is responsible for undergraduate curriculum and academic advising. Dr. McAteer received the President’s Distinguished Teaching Award for Non-tenure Track Faculty at Washington State University in 2015.

We welcome and appreciate anonymous feedback.