Steve Nakata Named Director of WSU Multicultural Student Services

PULLMAN, Wash. — Following a national search, Steve Nakata has been named director of
Washington State University’s Office of Multicultural Student Services, effective July 1. He is
currently the office’s interim director.
“Steve has shown that he has the knowledge, skills and vision to develop creative new
programs which will move Multicultural Student Services forward,” said Ernestine Madison,
associate vice president for administration/human relations and diversity, in announcing the
appointment. “He will bring continuity, stability and strong leadership with the internal and
external minority communities.”
WSU President Samuel Smith said, “Steve has shown by example, during the interim period,
that he has the ability, dedication and work ethic to lead this important university effort, serving
our students of color.”
The office includes programs and services to enhance the recruitment, retention and
graduation of African American, Asian American Pacific Islander, Native American and
Chicano/Latino students at the university.
Nakata was one of four finalists for the job. He succeeds Lee Jones, who left WSU for a
position at Florida State University.
He came to the university in 1988 as a minority student recruiter and was named assistant to
the director of Minority Affairs in 1991. In 1992, he was appointed assistant director and in 1995,
associate director, both for Multicultural Student Recruitment and Community Relations. His
background includes serving as a reporter for KNDO-TV, Yakima.
Nakata earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in communication from WSU in 1986 and
1992 respectively. He is graduate of Pullman High School.