The STAR Project
Successful Transition and Re-Entry
Successful Transition and Re-Entry
Become a Mentor

Staff Members


Becky Turner - Executive Director

Becky has served as Executive Director since December of 2015. A graduate of Walla Walla Community College and Washington State University, Becky is a K-8 certified public school teacher. Her experiences as a teacher give her a unique perspective in dealing with disadvantaged populations, including people experiencing homelessness and families in crisis. An eclectic personality born and bred in the Walla Walla valley, Becky enjoys knitting and crocheting, weekly Sunday dinners with her extended family, playing the piano, organic gardening, and writing mystery dinner theater scripts.

Robert Leigh - Financial Director

Robert graduated from Vanderbilt University with a BA in Economics, Robert went on to receive an MBA: Accounting from St. Louis University and then his CPA.  Robert is a recent arrival to Walla Walla but not to the field of Accounting.  Over his forty-plus year career Robert acquired a broad range of financial and operational management expertise in such industries as manufacturing, medical supply, telecommunications and retail.  For the last 15 years he had his own business in Colorado where he focused on helping small businesses and individuals with taxes, litigation support and financial analysis.

Andy Owens - Executive Assistant

Andy joined the STAR Project in January 2016 as Executive Assistant. He has a strong background in technology and office management. Andy is responsible for many day-to-day "behind the scenes" management of the STAR office, including: website management, database management, and supervision of volunteers and interns.


Karen Gleason - Case Manager

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Lucinda Victorio - Housing Coordinator

Lucinda graduated from Central Washington University in 2018 with her BS in Social Services and BA in Psychology. Lucinda has made the International Honor Society in Psychology and the Vice Presidents Honor Roll while attending WWCC. Lucinda has years of experience in social work and wants to help people find suitable housing in the Walla Walla community. Lucinda is hardworking, big advocate for her clients and compassionate. Lucinda likes to weight lift, sing karaoke and spend time with family and friends in her spare time.

Lenel Parish - Reentry Specialist

Lenel is the Reentry Specialist at The STAR Project. Her job—and her goalis to match job seekers with Walla Walla employers. In this role, she can help with resumes, interview techniques and job leads. A Washington State University alum, Lenel is a native of the Walla Walla Valley whose previous employers include the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin and Whitman College. 


Board Members

Notice: We are actively recruiting new board members in 2019, please e-mail for more information.

Jim Barrow - Board President

Present Mayor pro tem, and Council Member City of Walla Walla since 2006; Retired USAF Attorney (Judge Advocate);  Fmr. Chief Attorney Disciplinary Counsel for LA Supreme Court ;  Chair, Blue Mtn Action Counsel; Board Member of STAR since 2016 and Vice Pres, 2017 - current.  Municipal Judge for Cities of Athena, Adams and Weston OR since 2012

Becky HaneyNixon - Vice President

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Stephen Michael - Secretary


Stephen Michael joined the STAR Project’s Board in 2018.  He is a Lecturer of Psychology at Whitman College.  His research and teaching, which focus on applications of psychology to issues in the criminal justice system, have given him a strong appreciation for the importance of the STAR Project’s mission and work.  Stephen lives in Walla Walla with his wife and baby boy, and in his free time he enjoys watching or playing just about any sport.

Keith Farrington - T

Keith Farrington joined the STAR Board of Directors in 2016. Keith is a professor of Sociology at Whitman College, and specializes in sociology of the family, criminology, the sociology of prisons and punishment, social psychology, the sociology of popular music, and social research methods. An aficionado of virtually all kinds of modern music, Keith plays electric bass in the local music group Early Morning Traffic. Keith’s wife is the Associate Dean of Campus Life and the Director of Residence Life and Housing at Whitman College. His older daughter graduated from the Stanford University Law School and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. His younger daughter is the founder and President of Forgotten Dogs Rescue in western Washington. Keith is an avid New England sports fan.

Austin Archer

Austin Archer is a founding member of The STAR Project and a long-serving Board member. After a brief break, Austin returned to the STAR Board in January 2019.


  • BS Andrews University, 1980; Behavioral Science
  • MA Andrews University, 1984; Education (Counseling, Guidance and Student Personnel)
  • PhD Indiana University, 1993; Educational Psychology (Instructional Psychology)


  • Biological Aspects of Addictive Behavior. The Journal of Adventist Education. April/May 2016.
  • Why Adventist Education Should Be Special: A Polemic with Some Practical Suggestions. The Journal of Adventist Education. December/January 2015/2016.
  • Constructivism and Christian Teaching. Journal of Adventist Education. February/March 2002.
  • Constructivism and Christian Teaching. Paper presented at the 23rd International Faith and Learning Seminar held at the University of Eastern Africa, Baraton, Kenya.

Melanie Clark

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Mike Howell

A founding member in 2004, Mike served STAR as Board  Treasurer and Bookkeeper until 2009 at which time he gave up the bookkeeper position. He stayed on as Treasurer until October, 2010 and rejoined the Board in March of 2014, again as Treasurer. He now serves as Board President. Mike has been a Member Mentor during his entire STAR service.

Lisa Meyer

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Lisa Meyer is a lifelong community member of the Walla Walla Valley and a former client of The STAR Project. She was released from the Washington Corrections Center for Women in 2013 with a determination to make meaningful changes in her life, and she has been an exemplary member of STAR ever since. During her time as a STAR client, Lisa worked with Goldmark legal intern Ingrid Zerpa and lawyers Dan Clark, John Hartzell, Nick Allen and the ACLU to bring the first Legal Financial Obligation remittance case to the State of Washington. Lisa's work with Legal Financial Obligations continues to help countless STAR cleints to this day, and has set national precedence for the remittance of discretionary fines. Lisa has been a constant presence at STAR's group dinners since 2013. Today Lisa serves on STAR's Board of Directors, where she provides a unique perspective on reentry.




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