Meet Our Instructors


Carolina Gómez-Montoya holds an MA and PhD from the University of Maryland, College Park. While not teaching language, literature, or writing, Carolina can be found in her studio doodling animation film ideas or attempting to finish a story she’s been working on. Carolina joined HIP in 2018 and was assigned a subject called “history” which she is still (fortunately) trying to make sense of. Carolina also teaches at Portland State University and in the Language and Thinking program at Bard College, Annandale-On-Hudson.

Rozzell Medina's passion for teaching is rooted in a belief that people learning together, in community, can greatly improve people's lives and our society as a whole. However, this won't happen if we model our classrooms and learning communities after institutions that harm people and the health of our society. So Rozzell looks to nature, Indigeneity, art, and liberation for inspiration to create healthy and creative learning communities. In addition to managing programs and serving as the lead instructor of Humanity in Perspective, Rozzell is the festival director of the Portland EcoFilm Festival. Previously, he founded and directed the creative learning nonprofit, Public Social University, which transformed art galleries, cafes, museums, and public parks into free,  temporary community schools. He also directed the Chiron Studies program at Portland State University, which enabled students to create, design, and instruct official, for-credit classes.

Rozzell grew up in and around Choctaw, Oklahoma; San Francisco, California; and San Antonio, Texas. He has lived in Portland for about 20 years, though he loves wandering off now and then, mostly to visit ancestral homelands in Mexico and New Mexico. 


Monica Mueller is a senior instructor of philosophy at Portland State University. She has been facilitating conversations with Oregon Humanities since 2017 and began teaching philosophy in the Humanity in Perspective program in 2018. Mueller’s areas of research are virtue/care ethics and political philosophy; she has published a book, Contrary to Thoughtlessness: Rethinking Practical Wisdom. She finds inspiration while engaging in conversations around human experience and while listening to the wisdom of nature. She earned her PhD from Binghamton University’s program for Social, Political, Ethical, and Legal Philosophy.


Patricia Vázquez Gómez works and lives between Portland and Mexico City. Her practice investigates the immigrant experience, social invisibility, the performative aspects of identity, the intersections between ethics and aesthetics, and the social function of art through a variety of media that includes painting, printmaking, video, and socially engaged art projects. The purpose and methodologies of her work are deeply informed by her experiences working in the immigrant rights and other social justice movements in the US. Patricia’s work can be explored at She teaches art history and visual culture at HIP.


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