Premajor Studies Program


  • Joelle Pretty


    Premajor Studies Program Advisor
    BELL 113
    (206) 296-5979  

    Director of Premajor Studies & Academic Persistence System
    Bellarmine 120

    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.

    Michael Laveson

    Michael Laveson 

    Mallory Torgerson

    Office Manager
    Bellarmine Advising Center - Student Academic Services
    BELL 111
    (206) 296-2261 

    Educational Background: 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.