Our team is joined by several veteran professors with more than 100 years combined experience teaching college courses, former student services and college admissions counselors, founders of educational and civic non-profits, filmmakers, and more.
Course(s) Taught: Wayfinding 101
As a small child, Jonathan loved giving hugs and taking risks (his mother will happily tell you the story of how, at under 9 months old, he climbed onto the kitchen counter to turn on the toaster oven). He wouldn’t realize it until much later, but these values are at the core of who Jonathan is and how he lives his life. Jonathan is a genuine, caring person who thrives on forming connections and building community. He is passionate about personal growth and self-discovery and has spent his career as an experiential educator honing his skills to facilitate people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities. Along the way, Jonathan has received extensive education and training in social and cognitive psychology, social emotional learning, leadership, and group development (at Duke University, National Outdoor Leadership School, and beyond). He has also sought out valuable life experience in various roles such as World Traveler, Mad Scientist, Hug Trainer, Preschool Teacher, and Wilderness Instructor. His most recent (and most challenging) undertaking has been the role of Daddy to his lively daughter Lilah. Jonathan strives to grow and further discover how to be true to himself, and he looks forward to continuing this journey along with his Wayfinding students.
Ph.D. American Studies, Emory University
As a working class kid from Seattle, Richard Hill was blessed to receive permission from gifted teachers at Gonzaga University and Emory University to dream about life’s possibilities. His 40 year college teaching career is an attempt to “pay it forward,” to give others permission to dream and to act. In the last several years, his passion is to understand the historical and cultural systems that shape us to colonize each other—and to find alternatives, systemic and practical ways to participate in a world-wide “Continuing Revolution” to create a more socially just world by overcoming the fears that constrict us and making new institutions based on the ecological perception that we are “all in this together.”
PhD (in progress), Toulan School of Urban Studies & Planning, Portland State University
Course(s) Taught: Futures and Citizenship
She is the Associate Director of First Stop Portland, a program she helped develop in 2008 while a doctoral student in the Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning at Portland State University. First Stop hosts visiting delegations from around the world who travel to Portland to exchange policies and best practices with Portland's "Green Brain Trust."
Her areas of expertise include social equity, urban place-making, smart cities, climate action planning, and sustainable development. Her doctoral research examines how cities & regions exchange ideas and practical wisdom to become more sustainable, more resilient places. No need to re-invent the wheel-- let's share what's working and do more of it!
In addition to brokering knowledge exchanges between Portland and leader around the globe, she consults locally on political communications and internationally on sustainable urban planning and development efforts. She is a community activist and the owner of a neighborhood restaurant, the Arleta Library Cafe, promoting fair labor practices and urban agriculture. She currently serves on the boards of the Halprin Landscape Conservancy, the SoMa EcoDistrict, and am a co-founder of the grassroots Arleta Triangle Project. Most recently, she’s advised updates to the City of Portland Comprehensive Plan and the Portland Development Commission Strategic Plan.
Her favorite mode of travel is walking, which her dog adores but her teenager loathes.
M.S. Experiential Education, Minnesota State University
Course(s) Taught: Understanding Ourselves and Others
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.
M.B.A. Harvard Business School
Course(s) Taught: Science, Technology, and Society
David has pursued a life of involvement with interesting things. His passion for education began with teaching physics and mountaineering in secondary schools; continued through eighteen years at NIKE, with a focus on management learning; and now finds expression in developing and teaching courses on HR, Business and Information. He has engaged deeply with competitive skiing, rock climbing, mountain biking and sea kayaking and is a life-long woodworker. His wife and he operate a B&B on the edge of Portland’s Forest Park.
Ph.D. History, University of Minnesota
Course(s) Taught: Engaging with Information
Tiffany 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.
M.A. English, California State University - East Bay
Course(s) Taught: Communicating Effectively
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.
M.A. Peace Education, The United Nations University for Peace
Course(s) Taught: The Good Life
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.
Master of Science, Botany (Plant Ecology). University of Washington, Seattle, WA.
Bachelor of Arts, Environmental Studies. Johnson State College, Johnson, VT.
Certificate in Wetland Science and Management. University of Washington, Seattle, WA.
A fascination with tiny plants clinging to alpine ridges was the first spark of what turned out to be Jim’s lifelong fascination with native plants, wildlife, and their ecosystems, a path that led him to advanced study in plant ecology, and a career as a conservation biologist, restoration ecologist, and environmental educator. Jim has served in various capacities for conservation-oriented agencies and organizations such as the National Park Service, The Nature Conservancy, and the Washington Native Plant Society, among others. He’s an enthusiastic volunteer for the Vashon-Maury Island Land Trust in his home community of Vashon Island, Washington, and works with his community at Vashon Island Cohousing as they restore eight acres of forested wetland on their shared property. Jim’s special conservation interests at this time include the roles of native plants in wildlife habitat and as pollinator resources, and the evolution of ecological restoration practices to meet the challenges of climate change.
Wayfinding Academy Lab: Views of the River: Understanding Pacific Northwest Rivers & Streams with Hearts and Minds (Fall 2018)
Originally from Minnesota, much of Ursula Beck's artistic practice has sprung from the lakes and trees endemic to that place. A painter by training, Ursula has expanded her practice and is exploring art as a collaborative and symbiotic process, working fluidly between mediums and relationships. She earned her BA in Studio Art from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA and currently is pursuing an MFA in Critical & Pedagogical Studies with Malmö Art Academy in Sweden. Ursula has worked with numerous schools and educational programs both in the U.S. and abroad, teaching and facilitating youth and young adults primarily.
Jason deParrie-Turner has amassed decades of experience in front of and behind the camera, from television to feature films, he has done it all. He is the co-owner of a local production company, Heliorana Filmworks. In his spare time, he enjoys drumming and serves on the board of the Portland Adult Soap Box Derby.
Jesse is a Portland native. He earned graduate degrees in conflict resolution and human rights education at Portland State University and the University of San Francisco (respectively). Since 2008 he has taught interdisciplinary courses in the humanities and social sciences for the University of Louisville, Northwest Indian College and Concordia University, Portland. Right now Jesse is homesteading off-the-grid with his wife, Kristine. They are both interested in self-reliance and mutual aid.