Board & Staff
Committed to student success.
Oregon MESA’s staff and advisory board are committed to reaching more schools, strengthening existing programs, and developing partnerships in order to fulfill our mission for achieving equity in STEM.
Bianca joins Oregon MESA with experience designing for and teaching in STEM education, with a B.S. and M.Eng. in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University, leadership experience in the National Society of Black Engineers, and a passion for community engagement. Bianca is currently putting the "A for Arts" in STE(A)M by bringing science and robotics projects and props to film. Bianca oversees our outreach efforts including alumni, volunteers, families, and mentor recruitment. She also leads the coordination of MESA Day.
A recent transplant from Silicon Valley, Erick is working towards his MA in Education to become a High School Spanish teacher. He loves to travel and meet people from all over the world. As a Spanish Translator, Erick directly translates, proofreads, and revises materials for students, families, and partners. He ensures event language accessibility through a culturally-aware lens. Erick is excited to serve our Pacific Northwest community and increase language accessibility for MESA’s students, families, and overall community.
Born and raised in Gresham Oregon, Kelly has a passion for advocacy work. With a Masters in Public Administration from PSU, and experience elevating the voices of the Portland community through storytelling and film, Kelly joined the MESA team in 2013. Kelly sees MESA as a creative STEM outlet for youth and a diverse, intergenerational community of people achieving equity in Oregon. As MESA's Assistant Director, she oversees program implementation in the different regions where MESA has grown.
Daniela was born in Tijuana, Mexico and crossed the U.S. border at the age of 3. As a first-generation immigrant growing up in a low-income neighborhood, Daniela will be the second Ortiz to earn a Bachelor's Degree, and the first to attend Graduate school. She is actively engaged in equity work for her immigrant Latinx community, serving on Metro’s Committee on Racial Equity. She believes in creating more diverse spaces within the higher education system and believes MESA has and continues to do this.
Communications & Marketing Coordinator
Born and raised in Italy, Michela is an international graduate with a B.A. in English. Prior to joining MESA in 2019, Michela worked for the Portland Community College Women’s Resource Center, serving the Portland community with a feminist intersectional approach. Michela brings her passion for equity and creativity to MESA, overseeing external communications, branding, and fundraising. Michela is committed to MESA’s work to create an equitable STEM future of talented, empowered, and diverse innovators.
Kehinde is an undergrad student at Portland State University studying Business Administration with a double major in Management & Marketing. She has a passion for equity, diversity, and youth empowerment. Her past experiences include a media planning internship at the GROWTH Initiative, where she worked closely with her client to produce a TV ad and increase their overall social media presence. She currently runs a small event decor business, and enjoys cooking, dancing, and traveling.
A current undergraduate Business student, Taiye Timothy has a passion for serving communities of color and elevating youth. She loves bringing people together and celebrating each of our unique differences through event planning, mentorship, and community engagement. She is always finding connections in the STEM work in MESA to her academic journey in business and entrepreneurship. In her free time, Taiye enjoys dancing, brunching, traveling, and creating episodes for her podcast.
YARELI TORRES - RINCON
Yareli first joined the MESA program at Poynter Middle School in Hillsboro in 2012. In MESA, she found a welcoming space for her to explore the invention process and make life-long connections. A DACA student and the first of her generation to attend college, Yareli is currently pursuing a career in patent law. She brings her perspective as a former student, mentor, and current alumna to facilitate MESA’s family engagement program, coordinating and executing family nights, and directly addressing MESA families' needs.
Procurement & IT Specialist
Jack Wanitkun is a current Computer Science major at Portland State University. As a passionate programmer and problem-solver, Jack is currently developing a full system from software to hardware to provide real people with tangible solutions. After working with MESA students as a mentor, sharing his skills and love for STEM, he is now responsible for overseeing MESA’s equipment and supplies for office operations and student programs, providing additional support throughout the school year for student success.
Tiffany brings over 15 years of experience in education, professional development, student advocacy, and management. Prior to her role with MESA, she worked with the Portland Metro STEM Partnership and the Oregon Science Teachers Association. She also served a teacher & STE(A)M coach, and worked in political and corporate management roles. Tiffany is committed to advancing MESA’s mission of bringing equity in STEM education, empowering students, and supporting educators.
A graduate from Portland State University with a B.S. degree in Environmental Science and Management, Michelle worked for community and sustainability with the CCAR Research Experience for Undergraduates Program, and PSU’s Student Sustainability Center Garden Task Force. Prior to her MESA position, Michelle was an Operational and Sustainability Consultant in Arizona. As a member of the Latinx community, Michelle strives for equity while empowering students to find their confidence in the STEM fields.
Tong is a first-generation American who immigrated from China to the US as a small child. She has a background in working with organizations to create meaningful and sustained social impact. This includes being a founding staff member and COO of Thread. She has a Ph.D. in Immunology from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and is a proud alumnae of North Clackamas Schools. Tong is passionate about the MESA mission of engaging underserved students in STEM in her home state of Oregon and beyond.
MESA Regional Coordinators
MESA Regional Coordinator for East Multnomah County
Mt Hood Community College
A long-time MESA supporter, Robin has served as the East County Regional Coordinator out of Mt. Hood Community College for the past 2 years. Before that, she worked in elementary schools with the SUN program (Schools Uniting Neighborhoods), and did community engagement and event volunteer work with Oregon MESA. She also worked as a marketing assistant for Universal Studios Hollywood.
MESA Regional Coordinator for West Multnomah County
Portland State University
Kelli has 10 years of experience working with students and running after school programs through non-profits prior to her starting at MESA. She has been with MESA since 2018 growing the Mentor Program. She has a B.S in Environmental Science from Portland State University. As a member of the Navajo Nation, Kelli is always looking for opportunities to bring native youth into the world of STEM.
MESA Regional Coordinator for Klamath County
Adam Martinez is a passionate community activist, working to expand MESA’s reach as the Klamath County Regional Coordinator. He sees MESA as more than a STEM program and hopes to foster a strong, supportive community that equitably serves its neighbors. Outside of MESA, you can find him hiking Oregon’s beautiful forests or teaching in the garden with Rogue Valley Farm 2 School.
MESA Regional Coordinator for Washington County - Centro Cultural de Washington County
Originally from Washington, Alax graduated from Pacific University with a B.A. degree in Education and a Special Education endorsement. Crediting their encouraging and supportive science teachers in high school, Alax hopes to share their knowledge and passion to encourage students to discover their own interests and capabilities while building self-pride and curiosity.
MESA Regional Coordinator for Clackamas & Marion Counties
A graduate from Humboldt State University with a B.S. in Environmental Management and Protection, Elizabeth joined MESA in 2019 to serve middle and high school students historically underserved in STEM. Elizabeth also participates in the Outreach and Education Committee for Women in Science Portland, promoting equity in the sciences through the advancement of women and girls in these fields.
DR. TIMOTHY ANDERSON
Chair | Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science, Portland State University
As a member of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Tribe, Dr. Anderson is one of the few Native American engineering faculty members in the U.S. He is a fellow of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society as well as the Portland International Center for the Management of Engineering and Technology. His current research focuses on applications of productivity analysis, technology forecasting, quantitative benchmarking, and new product development in diverse areas. He has worked with and consulted for a range of companies including the U.S. Postal Service, Oki Electric Corporation, Honeywell, CenturyLink, and Nike.
Vice Chair | Education & Workforce Policy Director at Oregon Business Council
Kyle is the director of education and workforce policy for the Oregon Business Council, a business roundtable focused on improving Oregon’s quality of life and economic prosperity. In this role, Kyle helps advocate for equitable, student-centered learning at all levels in Oregon education. She also leads the Oregon CTE-STEM Employer Coalition. Kyle has broad experience in business leadership and engagement, collaborative partnerships, strategic initiatives, and public policy efforts. Prior to this, Kyle was the executive director of the Oregon Council of the American Electronics Association (AeA), the state’s high-tech trade association, and was previously awarded the Portland Business Journal 40 Under 40 award.
Member | Manager in Portland General Electric's Environmental Group
Chris is a manager in PGE's environmental group responsible for site cleanup and other support within the company. He manages a staff of eight working on multiple issues including environmental cleanup, waste management, permitting, avian protection, and terrestrial biological resources. Previous to PGE, he worked in consulting at firms including CH2M Hill. Chris is a Professional Engineer with a BS in Chemical Engineering, an MS in Civil Engineering, and an MBA. Chris has been with PGE and in Portland for the last four years. He is married with two children and two dogs.
Member | Manager of Transmission Planning, Bonneville Power Administration
Ricky oversees reliability, expansion, and interconnection planning activities for the Northwest Federal Transmission System at the Bonneville Power Administration. Ricky is a first generation Mexican-American, born and raised in Oregon. He attended Glencoe High School in Hillsboro, Oregon, and Rice University in Houston, Texas, where he received a Bachelors in Electrical Engineering. Ricky is passionate about connecting under-represented and disadvantaged youth to careers in STEM and to empowering them for professional success. His wife is a high school science teacher and they have two kids.
Member | Enterprise Business Solutions | Intel
Romanna Flores has spent 25 years creating innovative, digital interactions in a variety of industries (education, finance, and high-tech). Her formative education at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago couldn’t have been more well-timed for experimenting with emerging technologies - focusing in areas such as computer design, 3-D modeling, animation and programming. Her passion for re-purposing electronic gadgets is currently being shared with her precocious son and very understanding husband.
Member | University Supervisor PSU College of Education
Ford Morishita served as a science educator in the North Clackamas School District for 33 years. Ford has also worked as Regional Science Coordinator in Washington, a STEM Consultant for Discovery Education, and currently supervises teacher candidates for PSU College of Education. He has previously served as a founding member of the Teacher Advisory Council for ODE and continues to serve as an original member of the Chalkboard Project Advisory Council. Ford was the 1997 Oregon Teacher of the Year, received the 1997 Milken National Educator Award, and in 2008 was designated as a lifetime National Associate by the National Academy of Science. Ford received his MAT and BS in Biology from Lewis and Clark College.
Member | Program Officer at The Collins Foundation
Jackie currently serves as a Program Officer at The Collins Foundation. Her past roles include serving as the first full-time executive director of Airways Science for Kids, After School Program Manager for Self Enhancement, Inc. in Portland and Director of Student Services at Heritage University on the Yakama Indian Reservation. Jackie is deeply committed to connecting youth of color and under-served youth to education and careers in science, technology, engineering, and math. Jackie has a strong background in culturally-specific and culturally-responsive education, holding a master’s in education from Heritage University.
Member | Founder and CEO at Roger That Agency
Jennifer Ruwart is Agency Director of Roger That, a brand development and design agency. She loves working with companies who are in business to do good. With a career that spans two decades, four continents and multiple industries, Jennifer’s depth and breadth of experience serves Roger That’s clients well. Today, whether helping clients articulate their brand promise or unique value proposition, she has an uncanny ability cut through fluff and jargon to get the heart of the matter painlessly.
Dave Squire offers 45 years of executive leadership experience in Oregon high tech, and 30 years of active involvement in education, workforce and economic development. He has served on the boards of the Oregon Community College A Association board, Lintner Center for Advanced Education, the Oregon Quality Initiative, Worksystems Inc., the Leadership & Entrepreneurship Charter High School and Moyo Jasiri. He served 6 years as an elected member of the Portland Community College Board of Directors. David now serves on the boards of Oregon MESA and Saturday Academy and is a Fellow at Oregon Learns.
Member | Middle School Teacher at Portland Public Schools
Michelle York offers 17 years as an educator. Her approach integrates career and technical education into classroom curriculum. She has supported school-wide programs such as MESA, Science Fair, and Pentagames to increase student awareness of and participation in STEM related activities. Her interest and passion for engineering and math problem solving comes from a childhood spent in an engineering family and she continues to share the joy of discovery with the next generation.