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.
What does he teach? 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.
What does he teach? Understanding our World
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.
What does she teach? Communicating Effectively
Aliah is a lifelong writer who left the traditional academic path after receiving a Master’s degree in Irish Studies from New York University. Since then, she has made a career in supporting nonprofit missions through marketing writing and fundraising, from protecting civil rights to conserving wildlife habitats. Aliah is interested in learning from others’ perspectives and experiences, communicating with compassion, and examining her beliefs and values to live each day with intention.
Originally from New Jersey, Aliah moved to Oregon after falling in love with the endless pine forests of the Pacific Northwest. With thanks to an amazing mentor, she has become an active guitarist and singer, and now teaches guitar and ukulele to young students. She is also training to become a certified forest therapy guide. In her spare time she enjoys connecting with nature, developing her meditation practice, petting neighborhood cats, and playing with her band – Sagitttaire!
What does she teach? 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. Iggy holds a M.S. degree in Experiential Education from Minnesota State University.
What does she teach? Making Good Choices
Aria is a professional problem-solver and educator from Portland, Oregon. Driven by a roving curiosity and commitment to personal and collective growth, Aria has worked in or adjacent to the education space for 10+ years. Though she always thought she’d teach in a public high school, Aria naturally seemed to gravitate to less conventional educational spaces. She’s worked on an educational farm, with a startup helping universities better serve their students, at an international artists residency and ceramics school, with a career coaching program, in a grassroots community organizing space, with a radical “free school,” and with countless other educational projects as a facilitator, organizer, and program designer.
When she isn’t teaching or coordinating the Labs program at Wayfinding Academy, Aria works as a community-centered consultant, helping organizations to design and develop programs to better meet the needs of their members. In work and life, she believes deeply in participatory design processes, democratic decision-making, and the power of asking good questions. When she isn’t helping start or grow amazing programs, you’ll find Aria relaxing on her front porch or teaching herself to surf on the Oregon Coast.
What does she teach? Futures and Citizenship
Sarah is the former 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. She is running for Mayor of Portland in 2020.
Her favorite mode of travel is walking, which her dog adores but her teenager loathes.
What does she teach? Engaging with Information
Rachel is a librarian educator from Portland, Oregon. Currently a faculty librarian at Portland Community College, Rachel has previously worked in libraries in small, private liberal arts colleges, a large land-grant university, a small town public library and a large urban public library. Though the specifics of these environments differ greatly, in each, Rachel has observed the power of libraries to transform people. Like many people who find themselves working libraries professionally, Rachel's research interests are wide-ranging. As an information literacy educator, she is particularly interested in epistemology and the ways that people construct authority. She is also very interested in legal and ethical issues surrounding information and technology.
When she's not in a library, Rachel likes lifting heavy things, sewing, walking, traveling, and spending time with her family.
What does she teach? 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. Emily holds a M.A. Peace Education from The United Nations University for Peace.