Meet our team!
Sophia Agtarap (she/siya)
Sophia is a 1.5 generation Filipina American who resides on the traditional lands of the Puyallup people. She works alongside communities in the areas of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion, as they do the brave work of imagining the world they want to build and animating others to join them in creating a more just society where all may thrive.
Sophia earned her B.A. in English, Master in Teaching, and Master of Communication in Digital Media from the University of Washington, and is currently pursuing her Ed. D. in Education Policy, Organization and Leadership with a focus on Diversity and Equity in Education and a Certificate of Specialization in Community College Leadership through the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Sophia is a qualified administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory®–a cross-cultural assessment of intercultural competence.
Sophia is no stranger to public service, as much of her life's work has involved communication, advocacy and engagement in the areas of student success and educational access, immigration, economic justice, healthcare, poverty and homelessness. Before joining the State Board, Sophia led equity efforts in the K-12 sector and for a regional transit agency’s office of Civil Rights, Equity and Inclusion. She is thrilled to be co-creating alongside the EDI team at the State Board and across the system.
Melissa Williams (she/her)
Melissa is a Pacific Northwest native from the Portland/Vancouver area, the traditional territories of the Multnomah, Cowlitz, and Chinook peoples. She is Black-White biracial. Her mother’s family of educators and engineers hails from New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Illinois. Her father’s family is rooted in Texas where they were enslaved and then forged lives as sharecroppers and farmers after emancipation.
Melissa earned an A.A. from Clark College, a B.A. in History from the University of Washington, and an M.A. in Public History from Washington State University with a concentration in African American and social history. She is currently pursuing an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership at Portland State University. Melissa’s professional journey in higher education began in 2005; she has held several student services positions. Before joining the State Board, she served as Director of Student Equity and Inclusion at Clark College.
Outside of work, Melissa is often invited to provide diversity, equity, and inclusion training for institutions, organizations, churches, and businesses. Additionally, her passion for history inspires her to participate in local history projects and to speak to various audiences about Vancouver, Washington's Black history.
In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, engaging in progressive political action, road trips, camping, podcasts, and watching rugby.
Christopher Carter (he/him)
Dean of Allied Health at Renton Technical College: SBCTC Intern
Born in Los Angeles, California Christopher Carter is a graduate of California State University, Long Beach with degrees in Black Studies and Speech Communication, Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science with a degree in Health Information Technology, he is a life time member of the American Health Information Management Association earning the RHIT and RHIA certification, Argosy University; Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and ABD/Ed. D in Educational Leadership. Currently Enrolled at Oregon State University completing an Ed.D in Adult Higher Education. Dissertation title: “The Impact of Mentorship Initiatives on Black Male Community College Students Persistence and Completion.”
Christopher’s professional background is in health information technology and began his career in 1989 working for several health networks including Blue Cross, Healthnet and Blue Shield. Christopher started his career in higher education in 2000 as a curriculum developer and program director at United Education Institute, where he served an underrepresented, low socio-economic student population for 10 years. For nine years, he continued his journey in higher education as a program chair and associate dean of allied health for Charter College. In 2015, Christopher was hired by President Kevin McCarthy as the dean of allied health at Renton Technical College; which recently changed to dean of health and human services. He loves working with faculty and staff, and helping students to meet and exceed their personal and professional goals.
Christopher’s hobbies include cooking, baking, reading and listening to music. Christopher has been married for 11 years and has two children.
Last Modified: 1/4/23, 8:02 PM