Recruitment and Retention Specialist & AmeriCorps VISTA Member
Ursula is a passionate explorer of the human experience and curious about the acts and observations that disrupt categorization and illuminate the world's connectedness. An artist in training, Ursula is uncovering her next steps in life. An enthusiastic advocate for experiential education, she's engaged youth in creative writing classes, wilderness canoe trips, horseback riding, artistic inquiry, and studying abroad. Along the way, she's made a home for herself in Minnesota, Washington, Australia, & most recently Copenhagen, Denmark working with the Danish Institute for Study Abroad. Ursula is thrilled to be taking her next step in Portland with Wayfinding Academy.
Marzeta is an adventure seeker, strategist, and philanthropist who does her best to live out loud in the space where work, life, service, and exploration (food, travel, people!) intersect. She cares about culture and cuisine, communications and conversation, charity and community, education and lifelong learning. These inspire and infuse her purpose-driven work in strategy, communications, project management, experience curation, and leadership development. Marzeta has a huge admiration for (and enjoys working with) people with a strong desire to do (inner and outer) work that matters.
When she's not taking action for impact, you can find her enjoying a delicious meal with family and friends, dancing up a storm to soca music, serving the community with the Rotary family, planning her next trip to discover more flavors of the world, curled up with a good book, listening to podcasts, or with legs folded and eyes closed on a yoga mat where she's resetting and recharging.
M.S. Interdisciplinary Studies, Portland State University
Tina is excited to be diving back into the world of higher education as Wayfinding Academy's Director of Campus Activities. She's particularly passionate about experiential education having spent six years focused on the intersection of learning and service to the community. When not planning events like TEDxMtHood or the World Domination Summit, you can find her baking (usually sweet treats), adventuring outdoors with her friends, and always looking for a great book to read.
Ph.D. Organizational Psychology & Leadership, Claremont Graduate University
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.
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.
Hello all! My name is Grace McMickens and I am a rising junior at Lewis & Clark college. I am studying Sociology and Anthropology with a minor in gender studies.I am originally from Brooklyn, New York but it smelled weird so I came to Portland for school. It smells far better. I love to write so I try to spend at least 30 minutes a day writing. I also enjoy listening to music and true crime podcasts. Looking forward to meeting everyone in joining the Wayfinding crew!
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.
Director of Technology & Wayfinding Guide
M.S. Educational Leadership and Policy, Portland State University
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.
M.S. International Relations, University of Illinois
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.”
Tiffany D. Vann Sprecher
Internship Coordinator & Wayfinding Guide
Ph.D. History, University of Minnesota
Tiffany D. Vann Sprecher 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.
Cultivator of Adventure & Challenge
M.Ed. Student Affairs Administration, Western Washington University
Marli has been an experiential educator for over 15 years with a Bachelor's Degree in Outdoor Education and a Master's Degree in Education. She is passionate about creating inspiring, impactful and empowering programs where students can learn, grow and expand into the best version of themselves. Marli believes that the Wayfinding Academy is how Higher Education should be and is honored to get to be a part of such a dedicated team of educators who are driven to change the education system and create a powerful learning experience for each and every student. She believes that everyone has the potential to fulfill their most inner desires, hopes and dreams and her biggest goal is to provide both the inspiration and the tools to make that possible.
Sarah’s background is in education and non-profit leadership. She is a former high school English teacher, working for grassroots activist groups and homeless shelters in Georgia, and assisted in building a safe place for young people to be after school in rural Colorado. She is excited to bring those experiences together as the Development Director for the Wayfinding Academy. Sarah is passionate about creating hands on learning experiences, equal access to reproductive health care, abolishing stigmas around both mental health and homelessness, and human development with an emphasis on trauma informed care.