Fond Farewells & New Beginnings

For the past decade, Oregon MESA has grown significantly to serve more students throughout the state. With the development of our Invention Toolkit, Oregon MESA has also become a leader in invention education nationally bringing more opportunities for underrepresented students across the country to creatively translate their ideas into reality.

A huge part of that growth over the past decade has been due to Tamara DePue, MESA’s Program Manager of Curriculum and Training. Tamara will be moving on from MESA this summer to pursue other opportunities but the contributions that she has made with the organization will be long and lasting. Since 2007, Tamara has been our curriculum and training lead and helped spearhead key initiatives like our growth to Salem in 2014 and supporting the MESA National Engineering Design Competition to adopt invention and human-centered design for its competitions. Not only has Tamara trained hundreds of educators since she started at Oregon MESA, but she has also fostered the growth of dozens of staff in her time. We wish Tamara the absolute best for her journeys ahead.

As we prepare for this upcoming school year, MESA will also continue carrying on the great work that Tamara started as we add new schools throughout the state. For the first time, MESA will be adding programs in Klamath County in partnership with Oregon Tech. We will also continue to grow programs in our current regions by partnering with our host institution, Portland State University, and other regional partners, Centro Cultural de Washington County and Mt Hood Community College. MESA has also brought on new staff members to deepen and expand our work with students and teachers throughout the state. We look forward to introducing these new members of our team to you soon.

Finally, we know that this has been a tough year and a half and we’re looking at another uncertain year ahead. However, as a MESA community we have continued to bring engaging, STEM opportunities directly to students. We couldn’t have done it without the dedication of Tamara, the other members of our staff team, and most importantly the incredible teachers, mentors, and volunteers at MESA. We want to thank them all for being in our community and are looking forward to a bright future ahead.

Warmest wishes,
Tong Zhang
Oregon MESA, Executive Director