Our team consists of individuals with a background in higher education, public service, and social change who are seeking to transform the realm of higher education in the United States. We also have a group of incredibly dedicated volunteers who bring their expertise and energy to a variety of Wayfinding events and experiences.
Director of Community Engagement
In the haze of post-grad, Co impulsively moved to Oregon and found herself on the doorsteps of the Wayfinding Academy. She loved the learning, independence, and friendships that came with college, but spent endless hours rereading majors trying to mold herself to fit one. She’s thankful to be a part of a higher education focused on the individual. In her spare time, she likes trying new restaurants, discussing books, and questioning existing hierarchies.
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Director of Student Services and Wayfinding Guide
Jean’s background is in post-secondary education with some dabbling in early childhood and K-12. Throughout her career she has always been passionate about equity and inclusion issues. She has advocated for student access whether it’s been for Latinx high school students to explore careers, or leading diversity efforts at a community college to ensure barriers are removed for all students. She thrives in environments in which all people are treated with respect and dignity and in which all people are provided opportunities to participate, to be fully engaged, and to contribute to their communities. She believes that we learn from each other and that there is hope for a better world.
When she is not working, Jean likes to play hard. She likes to work up a good sweat at the gym, or grab a recipe out of a food magazine and cook up a storm. She loves planning, planting, and harvesting from her garden. And she has OCD – Obsessive Canning Disorder!
Sarah is a graduate of Portland State University where she studied philosophy and Women's Studies, with a focus on women of color. As a former middle and high school humanities teacher in Chicago and Detroit, as well as a short time spent teaching in Ramallah, Palestine, she has cultivated a holistic and interdisciplinary educational philosophy based on social justice, creative and critical inquiry, and a radical rethinking of our world. Her passion is empowering students of color through radical curriculum, restorative justice, and authentic social and emotional learning. She also spent time in New York in Democracy Now's education department, creating social justice and media literacy curriculum resources for teachers. She enjoys being in nature, writing, reading, and film photography.
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Chief Academic Officer, President, and Founder
Michelle is doing her life's work right now, which is exhilarating and terrifying. During her 15 years teaching Leadership and Organizational Behavior courses in the traditional college system, she had a front row seat for what is broken about that system. About 3 years ago, she began gathering a group of like minded badasses around a vision of what a revolution in higher education could look like. After years of helping groups and non-profits organize for social impact as a volunteer (SuperThank, TEDxMtHood, World Domination Summit) Michelle started her legacy project and the Wayfinding Academy was born.
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Felipe is originally from Brasília, the capital of Brazil. Felipe received a BS in Environmental and Sustainability Studies from the University of Utah in 2009 and an MS in Educational Leadership and Policy from Portland State University in 2016 with emphases in Leadership for Sustainability Education and Gender, Race, and Nations. Felipe currently teaches Race and Social Justice in the Senior Inquiry program, a dual-credit, year-long learning experience offered in partnerships between Portland State University (PSU) and selected Portland area high schools. As a critical sustainability scholar/educator, his research and teaching interests include productions of nature, popular culture and sustainability, cultural studies, and critical consciousness development. Felipe enjoys geeking out on quantum physics and can often be found in one of Portland's several urban parks meditating on very dense books.
Chief Business Officer
Bjarke is a hope-seeker, a Dane, a numbers lover and an environmental justice activist with a conviction that the training of future generations is a key part of the solution. Bjarke moved to Portland in 2011 to pursue his MBA, as a supplement to his bachelor degree in industrial engineering. With this combination he has skills in the technical realm, the user-centered design realm, financial realm and the organizational strategy realm allowing him to function as a fluid team member with a flair for the technical and quantitative analytical space. Outside of work Bjarke spends most of his time with board games and outdoor activities like hiking, skiing and sailing. Although it is hard to find enough time for skiing and sailing within the traditional American labor market, hopefully we can use the WFA to make more of that happen.
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Recruitment and Retention Specialist & AmeriCorps VISTA Member
Travis is a recent college graduate who majored in environmental studies. He enjoyed his time there, but quickly became disenfranchised with how higher education functioned. So, he is excited to see where his time with Wayfinding takes him. He is particularly interested in environmental and social justice, community empowerment, and ecology. He has working experience as an ecosystem surveyor, a teacher, and a Lyft driver. He is from Beijing, China, but moved here to avoid the smog. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, going to breweries, and playing volleyball.
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Director of Technology & Wayfinding Guide
Poe brings a background in education as well as technology to the Wayfinding Academy. He started his journey in education as an experiential educator leading extended wilderness-based expeditions focusing on facilitating student’s personal growth and self reliance in an outdoor context. He brings this authentic experience to the field of higher education as one of our Wayfinding Guides. In addition to working directly with students, Poe also brings his broad background in information technology as our Director of Technology. When he isn't Wayfinding you might find him bouldering, cooking, working on his house, or building train tracks in the living room with his daughters.
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Lead Matchmaker & Wayfinding Guide
Tiana always thought she'd grow up to be ambassador to France, but that didn’t quite go as planned. A former humanitarian aid worker, she developed and implemented an innovative program in Iraq that taught people with disabilities (PWDs) how to advocate for themselves and become social change agents, ran a gender program that taught 10,000 women to read and write, and served as the State Director in Southern Kordofan until being extracted from the civil war in 2011. She has also worked for non-profits on employment for PWDs where she developed job readiness training and disability awareness training for employment partners. She most recently worked as a development consultant on the Syrian Crisis in Turkey. Since saving the world didn’t work out, she joined the Wayfinding to help people choose their life on purpose while she continues to explore what she wants to be and do when she grows up. Tiana is a public speaker on topics such as tenacity, leadership, and disability, and she's working on a memoir, “American Non-combatant.” A member of the USA Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team for 5 yrs, Tiana is a two-time Paralympic medalist, bringing home bronze and silver. Her work on behalf of people with disabilities was featured on NBC Nightly News, NPR’s Here and Now, and The Takeaway. Most recently she gave a TEDx talk titled “Redefining Disability.”
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Internship Coordinator & Wayfinding Guide
Tiffany holds a Ph.D. in History from the University of Minnesota and a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School. She has taught History and Writing at the university, community college, and high school levels. Dedicated to educational outreach, she has been involved in several prison education programs in Boston, New York, and Portland, OR. She has also taught at the Brooklyn Brainery, a crowd sourced educational facility; acted as a History consultant for Beutler Ink, a data visualization company; and even presented a lecture on medieval torture at a Game of Thrones party. In addition to her work at Wayfinding Academy, Tiffany tutors students in Reading, Writing, and the Humanities, and provides consulting in business communication.
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Learn more about what Tiffany is doing here!
Communications Strategy and Management
Amanda has over a decade of experience in higher education communication, employer relations and outreach, internship coordination and career services. The connections made through communication and experiences together is what makes her a happy(ier) human. She is currently working to publish communications research on working mother identity negotiation in a variety of organizational cultures while also coordinating employer relations for a small, liberal arts college in Portland. She loves hanging out with her quickly growing toddler, taking Instagram pics, reading at least several books haphazardly, and enjoying Portland’s many parks with her family.
Communications Strategy and Management
Sean is certain that we all have stories to share, and he is excited to help people share them. He loves all things having to do with writing, from the freewheeling creativity of a rough draft to the intensive minutiae of editing, the perfect placement of each word, and he has spent more than a decade in higher education teaching composition and creative writing. He has been a TEDx storyteller, a combatant in a literary deathmatch, an essayist, a writer of short stories, and the creator of an existential thriller that is still in its late stages of revision. When Sean’s not writing or teaching, he loves playing with his daughter and cooking awesomely delicious meals with his partner.
Emily is contagiously passionate about creating education programs that empower our youth to face the crises and opportunities of these times. She had the amazing opportunity to earn a M.A. in Peace Education at The U.N. University for Peace while researching the power and potential of youth to be engaged changemakers. Later, she found her life calling while teaching Peace Studies and Global Citizenship to teens at a farm school. Emily is now midway through a PhD in Sustainability Education. Since moving to Portland, she is immersed in building community and education projects around permaculture, climate action, social justice, nature connection, and rites of passage.
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Halfway through a rigorous Interior Design program at the #1 school in the nation--and following a life-changing study abroad in Australia--Gina realized that she didn't want to be an Interior Designer. She spent the rest of her time at college twisting and bending projects to fit her desire to become a student of culture and a creative problem solver (who more often than not, is working with her first love... food).
Iggy helps individuals and groups function like champions. From working in the wilderness to working with gritty roller derby teams, Iggy brings calm and a sense of humor to helping individuals and groups function at their best. Iggy has worked for Outward Bound, several liberal arts colleges, and now through her own independent business to make the world a better place through thoughtful attention to human growth and team development.
is currently finishing her Educational Specialist Degree in School Psychology, and recently completed a certificate in Ecopsychology, at Lewis and Clark. She transitioned to this career after teaching high school English, hoping to maximize her positive impact on students and schools. Mary is interested in how numbers can affect people's daily lives, sustainable systems, and building healthy learning communities. She lives in St. John's and enjoys hiking with her dog son.
is a nostalgic celluloid curmudgeon with a hint of curiosity. Sigfried started as a film projectionist, then ran and installed theatrical cinemas. He has had many years of stage production and work with IATSE doing camera and lighting for variety of film and commercial productions. Rabid traveling and espresso devouring churns his life. Currently he is laying groundwork for a non-profit professional film on-demand production and releasing company.
Jill has spent the last fifteen years connecting ideas and people through a diverse set of experiences in public relations, higher education, corporate recruiting and international volunteer work. In higher education at places like the University of Chicago and the University of California, Berkeley, Jill has worked in Admissions, Residence Life, Academic Affairs and Career Services. She finds the most joy in guiding and helping others discover their gifts. Jill is happiest when out enjoying nature or exploring a new place. A trip around the world in 2013 with her husband has been the best investment in her life thus far. Being dropped into a new city and immediately knowing her way around is her super power!
Dr. Angela Wheeler is an author, speaker, and facilitator who teaches women how to thrive and lead by becoming aware of their strengths, creating nourishing boundaries, and cultivating the courage to become their best selves in the world. Her research focuses on how women can grow and thrive through transitions rather than waiting on "the right time" for them to prioritize the work they're called to do. She's the co-founder of Productive Flourishing and co-host of the Productive Flourishing podcast. With a Ph.D. in sociology and her experience at PF, the best way to describe Angela is as a catalyst for positive change in life and business.