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.
TONG ZHANG, PH.D.
Tong is a first-generation American who immigrated from China to the US as a small child. She attended Title I schools throughout her elementary years and credits the dedicated teachers and well-rounded education she received for shaping her career interests and fostering her academic success. 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, an organization providing wrap-around support to high school students in Baltimore city. Prior to her work in non-profit management, she worked on developing cancer vaccines. She has a Ph.D. in Immunology from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, a B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Washington, 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.
Born and raised in Gresham Oregon, Kelly has a passion for advocacy work. As an undergraduate in Portland State University's film program, Kelly focused on storytelling as a method for elevating the voices of the Portland community, assisting with local projects from the TV show Portlandia to the HBO documentary American Winter, which told the story of eight Portland families navigating public systems to survive through national financial crises. It was at PSU that Kelly discovered MESA in 2013 and finally felt at home. Kelly sees MESA, not just as a creative outlet for youth to develop their talents in STEM and address issues they care about, but as a diverse, intergenerational community of people dedicated to achieving equity within Oregon. Kelly holds a Masters in Public Administration from PSU and as MESA's Assistant Director, oversees program implementation in the different regions where MESA has grown.
Program Manager - Curriculum & Training
Tamara brings over 20 years experience in education, science and research to MESA programming. She earned her B.S. in biology from Southwestern College and a M.St. from the Center for Science Education at Portland State University. Prior to her position at MESA, she worked for the Girl Scouts managing a STEM program that encouraged girls to attend college and major in a STEM career field. Since joining MESA in 2008, she has steered the curriculum towards a more project‐based and invention themed curriculum.
Bianca joins Oregon MESA with experience designing for and teaching in STEM education. Her STEM journey started at Cornell University, where she graduated with her B.S. and M.Eng. in mechanical engineering and was a collegiate member of the National Society of Black Engineers. After joining Intel in 2012, Bianca relaunched the NSBE Portland Professional chapter with a group of local engineers, focusing on community engagement and bringing engineering education to underrepresented students. 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.
Tiffany brings over 10 years of experience in education, professional development, and student advocacy. As a first-generation college student, she earned her B.A. in economics & political science from Western Washington University, a M.A.T. from Concordia University - Portland, and completed the NGSS Instructional Specialist Program at Portland State University. Prior to her role with MESA, she was a NGSS Specialist with the Portland Metro STEM Partnership, Communications Coordinator for the Oregon Science Teachers Association, and a teacher & STE(A)M coach in the Hillsboro School District. Tiffany is committed to advancing MESA’s mission of bringing equity in STEM education, empowering students, and supporting educators.
Michelle Yebra is a graduate from Portland State University with a B.S. degree in Environmental Science and Management. During her time at PSU, she worked for the CCAR Research Experience for Undergraduates Program. Michelle has a passion for community and sustainability which she was able to channel as a student volunteer at PSU’s Student Sustainability Center: Garden Task Force. Prior to her MESA position, Michelle was an Operational and Sustainability Consultant for a contracting company in Gilbert, Arizona. As a member of the Latinx community, Michelle strives for equity while empowering students to find their confidence in the STEM fields.
MESA Regional Coordinators
MESA Regional Coordinator for Clackamas & Marion Counties
MESA Regional Coordinator for Washington County
Centro Cultural de Washington County
MESA Regional Coordinator for West Multnomah County
Portland State University
MESA Regional Coordinator for East Multnomah County
Mt Hood Community College
MESA PSU Staff
KARLA BARRAZA LOPEZ
Special Projects Coordinator
Communications & Development Coordinator
YARELI TORRES RINCON
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.
Vice-Chair | Bonneville Power Administration
Kevin Bell is an attorney with the Bonneville Power Administration, practicing in the areas of federal contracting and procurement policy. He has previously worked with Comcast Cable Corporation. He has lived in the Pacific Northwest for eleven years with his wife Theresa Bell and their two sons, Morgan and Mason. Kevin has been involved with MESA for 9 years.
DR. TIMOTHY ANDERSON
Member | 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.
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 | 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 | 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 | 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.
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.