Alumnae

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Theresa is a lawyer in private practice in North Portland. She earned her undergraduate degree from Portland State University and then a law degree from Lewis & Clark – while also raising four daughters. For three years she has served on the Board of Governors for the Oregon State Bar, is a senior auditor at Portland State University and serves on the advisory committee for the Avel Gordly Treatment Center. She has volunteered in numerous ways – including for Planned Parenthood, Roosevelt High School, St. Andrews Legal Clinic – and currently conducts free legal seminars out of her law office.

An Oregonian who calls Canby home, Irene speaks fluent English, Russian and conversational Ukrainian. She is passionate about human rights and celebrating diversity. She has worked for domestic violence shelters in both the U.S. and Canada, making sure that programs reached diverse communities, and has been a board member of Uniting to Understand Racism since 2010. Irene currently focuses her time increasing awareness of the police oversight function of the city of Portland Auditor's Office.

Dawn Lesley is a professional environmental engineer licensed in Oregon, a mom, and a backpacker. She has 20 years of experience in water infrastructure planning and design for municipal and industrial facilities. She serves as an appointed Commissioner on the City of Eugene’s Sustainability Commission.

Kristi Jo (KJ) Lewis moved to Portland in 2001 from Namibia, where she served in the U.S. Peace Corps. Deeply committed to social justice, political activism and volunteering since youth, KJ holds an MPA and an MS in Education Policy from PSU. KJ makes a life and living through Global Sistergoods, a marketplace for fair trade products made by women in emerging economies that she launched in 2006.

Emily works for Metro and is leading the creation of an affordable housing strategy for the Portland-metro area. Her work is driven by a belief that with population growth expected in coming decades, there is an opportunity to build a more inclusive and equitable city. After receiving her master's degree in urban and regional planning from Portland State University, a fellowship took Emily to Georgia, where she worked for the mayor of Atlanta and led a multi-agency strategy to reduce veteran homelessness.

Oregon State Representative, District 38

Ann Lininger grew up in Southern Oregon where her family has lived for four generations.  In 2009, she won appointment to the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners, where she provides a moderate, balanced approach to leadership.

Chair of the Oregon Federation of Democratic Women

Raised in rural Oregon but with experience living in the Willamette Valley, Japan and the Washington, DC area, Darcy Long-Curtiss brings a unique and valuable mix of rural, urban, national, and international understanding to Oregon politics.

Organizer, Oregon Student Association

Rachel Loskill is the Equal Rights Organizer for the Oregon Student Association. She works with LGBTQ students and allies across the state to eliminate barriers and create safe spaces for all students. She’s in Oregon thanks to EMILY’s List Campaign Corps, a program that sends young people across the United States to help pro-choice Democratic women get elected into office.

Jenn is a Venture Partner with Portland Seed Fund, and has a decade of experience with startups and software companies. For the last two years, Jenn has been a volunteer leader with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, an organization founded in the wake of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. Jenn serves on the board of directors for Schoolhouse Supplies, Peninsula Children’s Learning Center, Oregon Public Broadcasting and the Oregon Alliance for Gun Safety. She lives with her husband and three young children in Portland.

Nancy is a Certified Nurse-Midwife in Salem, Oregon who started the first hospital based midwifery practice in the Salem area. For 15 years, she was a co-owner in one of the few CNM owned practices in the country before joining the Silverton Health System in 2013. Nancy was elected to the Salem Keizer School Board in 2009 and reelected in 2013, and has served in leadership positions for four of her six years on the board. She was appointed by the governor to the Oregon Educator’s Benefits Board in 2012.

Tualatin City Councilor

Donna Maddux considers public service a personal calling. Currently serving on the Washington County Commission on Children and families, Donna cut her teeth as a member of the first class of AmeriCorps in 1994, working in public schools, on environmental projects, and delivering vital services to those in need.

State Representative, House District 27

Sheri is a public health nurse and has been a champion for women and children throughout her 30+ year nursing career. She won election in November of 2016 to represent District 27 (Beaverton) in the Oregon House of Representatives. She also currently serves on the state Commission for Women. These are all the ways in which she advocates for the health and welfare of families. She is a lifetime Oregonian, currently living in Beaverton, where as a single parent, she raised her three sons, all now grown and thriving.

Raised in Montana, Ryan Manion now makes her home in Portland. Ryan has been politically active and committed to progressive politics and social justice since she was very young because of her family's dedication to social justice and peace.

Chelsea was elected to the West Linn-Wilsonville School Board in 2015. She also owns her own business as a leadership coach and organizational development consultant that she founded in 2007. Chelsea has taught Communication Studies courses at local colleges such as Portland State University, Marylhurst University and Chemeketa Community College. Prior to being a board member, she served as the first PTA president of Lowrie Primary School in Wilsonville and on the West Linn-Wilsonville school district’s budget committee.

Government Affairs and Public Policy Specialist, Portland General Electric

Annette Mattson has been an elected volunteer member of the David Douglas School Board for 17 years and is serving her 3rd term as Chair of the Board. She also served for 8 years as a member of the Oregon School Boards Association Board of Directors and was President of OSBA in 2009.

At the very young age of 10, Kelsie knew that a career in law would be her profession. She attended law school at Gonzaga University and upon returning to Oregon, was hired by one of the few female district attorneys in the state to work as a deputy district attorney for Morrow County. She later transitioned to the Union County District Attorney's Office in La Grande. Kelsie was appointed, later elected and is still serving as the District Attorney of Union County. She is one of five women district attorneys in Oregon.

Pediatrician

Emily is a 5th generation Oregonian from Forest Grove and a graduate of the University of Oregon. During the work day Emily serves as lobbyist and advocate for Basic Rights Oregon, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon and other progressive groups and causes that advance civic engagement, access to democracy, education, and equity for under-represented communities. 
Emily is an alumni of the 2011 Emerge class and now serves on the Emerge Oregon board.

Throughout her career, Jamie has demonstrated her commitment to good governance, environmental and economic sustainability and equality. Having lived and worked in Africa, Europe, and the western U.S., she returned to Oregon to be close to family and continue her work for a more sustainable future. Jamie has experience in engineering, regional planning, and management. Currently, she is earning a law degree from the University of Oregon with a focus on water and energy law. Jamie lives in the Willamette Valley with her partner and their family.

Rayleen McMillan serves as Assistant Director of Government Relations for Portland State University. Prior to this, she spent three years on the government relations team at Portland Community College, and is also a proud alum of both institutions. Rayleen is passionate about her professional advocacy and feels strongly that quality, accessible public education is altogether crucial to the pursuit of meaningful social change.
Rayleen is a self­identified civic participation nerd, and fills her time with a range of gratifying duties.

Candidate for Multnomah County Commission, District 1

An Emergency Medicine physician in Portland, Sharon Meieran works with individuals from all walks of life. On a daily basis, Sharon sees the safety net for our most vulnerable population stretched to the breaking point, and knows we must have a better, truly inclusive and accessible health-care system for all Oregonians. Her two young children confirm her belief in the need for a strong public educational system in order for all children to succeed and lead productive and fulfilling lives.

A mother of four, Shalonda Menefee was born and raised in Northeast Portland; she both understands and actively participates to empower and support her community. Shalonda's passion extends far beyond her various mentoring and volunteer commitments throughout the city; it's her way of life. Shalonda's involvement includes work with several organizations that span across education, youth, community and economic development work.

As a first generation immigrant, moving to the US from Germany at the age of 4, Renate understands what it is like to be an outsider and to assimilate to a new culture. This gives her empathy and understanding toward newcomers and respect for their tenacity and courage.
She has lived in Oregon City for 30 years, and enjoys being involved in her community – to help shape it’s future where she can. As a professional, she leads the Canby Economic Development Program for the last 4 years.

Adalina Capuli Merello is a Eugene, Oregon native.  She has spent the last 10 years working for social justice, through policy analysis, community organizing and outreach and education, all across the country.

Springfield City Council

Growing up in the Tigard area, Sheri Moore recalls warm summer days picking strawberries or working in her Mom's small cafe. Other job and life experiences carried her through both her Bachelor's and Master's degrees from the University of Oregon, before settling into a 25-year career as an elementary school teacher. Newly "retired", Sheri serves as both Springfield Planning Commissioner and Lane County Master Gardener, hosts international college students, and teaches half-time.

President and CEO, Travel Salem

A native Oregonian, Angie's passion for family, community and the environment are reflected in her service projects and professional track record. After taking the helm of Travel Salem in 2007, she was recognized for regional community building, bringing the public and private sectors together to drive economic development in the Mid-Willamette Valley.

Dorila Nava came from Peru over 25 years ago seeking for a better education and style of leaving for her children. Having a background in Law and Political Science and being Spanish speaking allowed her to work as Human Resources in local building Maintenance Company.
She served as an interpreter, assisting the Latinos to better communicate and understand the American system. After becoming a US citizen she found her passion in advocating for all individuals who were not able to speak for themselves.

Executive Director, Friends of Baseball

As the Executive Director of Friends of Baseball, Nova is pursuing her per­sonal pas­sion to bring the dream of play­ing base­ball and softball, and the impor­tant lifeskills they teach, to more of our state’s youth. Previously, she has run her own communication consulting business, worked as the Head of Community Outreach for the Center for Women's Leadership at Portland State University, and held posts locally and internationally for adidas Group. Nova serves in a variety of leadership and volunteer roles in the community with a focus on access and equity.

Co-Founder and Managing Partner, AutoMedic, LLC

Chi Nguyen-Ventura is a first-generation Vietnamese-American. Seeking political asylum, she and her family moved to Portland in 1990. They came empty-handed but, like many others, hearts full of passion for democracy and the will to work to earn a place in the land of opportunity.
Chi is a proud product of the Portland Public Schools. She graduated Valedictorian from Madison High School and completed her Honors Bachelor of Science from Oregon State University. She received her MBA with honors from Willamette University [as an Atkinson Scholar and Beta Gamma Sigma].

Raised in Salem, Kim returned to Oregon last year after nearly a decade studying and working in Washington, D.C. and abroad. From 2008-2014, she served as a member of the U.S. Foreign Service at embassies in Bern, Switzerland, and Ankara, Turkey. Kim holds an M.A. in German and European Studies from Georgetown University, a B.A.

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