Staff

Photo of Jennifer Alkezweeny

Jennifer Alkezweeny

Program Director

Pronouns: she/her/hers

jennifer@oregonhumanities.org

(503) 241-0543 x123

Jennifer has been Oregon Humanities' program director since 2020.  She supports the team of folks making Oregon Humanities programs happen, provides leadership for the organization's vision, and connects with organizations and communities to explore new initiatives. She is focused on connecting people to their communities and pursuing their goals while centering social justice. She has created learning spaces around the country and globe and loves that moment when the people in a room begin to harmonize. Jennifer is a deep believer in experiential learning, harnessing the knowledge in a room, finding your learning edge, and the power of silence. She's a longtime volunteer facilitator with the Dougy Center for Grieving Children and Families. In her free time she can be found experimenting in the kitchen, looking at the world from behind a macro lens, or floating around in her kayak.

Photo of Karina Briski

Karina Briski

Communications Associate

Pronouns: she/her/hers

k.briski@oregonhumanities.org

Karina joined Oregon Humanities in April 2021. She brings a range of experience spanning work in digital media, journalism, hospitality, and event production. Her interests in supporting community arts and education access have led her to work with numerous organizations in Seattle, New York City, and Portland. She grew up in northern Minnesota and has lived in Oregon for five years, recently completing an MFA in Fiction at Portland State University. She is a volunteer English language tutor at PCC and enjoys finding ways to gather with people through food and writing. 

Photo of Phylicia Chartier

Phylicia Chartier

Office Administrator

Pronouns: she/her/hers

p.chartier@oregonhumanities.org

(503) 241-0543 x

Phylicia joined Oregon Humanities in May of 2022. Her lifelong interests in art, music, and storytelling have led her to work for community-based creative organizations. She grew up in the Hudson Valley region of New York where she studied art, and then went on to work for a local arts and culture media company. During her time there, she managed finances and organized community events including a conversation panel series. In 2020 Phylicia was a volunteer at the Poughkeepsie Farm Project, where she connected with her community working for food justice. She moved to Portland in December of 2020. In her free time she enjoys contemporary classical music, quiet walks in nature, ice cream, and conversations over meals.

Photo of Adam Davis

Adam Davis

Executive Director

Pronouns: he/him/his

a.davis@oregonhumanities.org

(503) 241-0543 x114

Adam Davis has been the executive director of Oregon Humanities since 2013 and directed the Center for Civic Reflection before that. Davis has trained thousands of discussion leaders across the country, facilitated hundreds of community and workplace discussions, moderated onstage conversations with community-builders, office-holders, and authors, and edited books including Taking Action and The Civically Engaged Reader. He currently sits on the boards of the High Desert Partnership and the Cultural Advocacy Coalition. He received his PhD from the University of Chicago, and he used to lead wilderness trail crews in the Pacific Northwest.

Photo of Vicky Hart

Vicky Hart

Development Associate

Pronouns: she/her/hers

v.hart@oregonhumanities.org

Vicky joined Oregon Humanities in June 2022. She grew up in Vancouver, Washington, and has lived in rural areas of Oregon since 2015. She graduated from the University of Idaho in 2014 with bachelor's degrees in journalism and English Literature. She brings experience in nonprofit communications, marketing, and development. Vicky is excited to work as a fully remote staff member from her home in northeast Oregon (La Grande). She enjoys gardening, making crafts, and walking her dog.

Photo of Rozzell Medina

Rozzell Medina

Program Manager

Pronouns: he/him/his

r.medina@oregonhumanities.org

(971) 361-9883

Rozzell grew up in and around Choctaw, Oklahoma; San Francisco, California; and San Antonio, Texas. He has lived in Portland for about twenty years, though he loves wandering off now and then, mostly to visit ancestral homelands in Mexico and New Mexico. Prior to joining Oregon Humanities in 2019, he founded and directed the creative learning project Public Social University, which transformed art galleries, cafes, museums, and public parks into temporary community free schools. He earned a master’s degree in educational leadership and policy with an emphasis on regenerative ecological and cultural learning from Portland State University. There, he also instructed several interdisciplinary studies courses and coordinated the Chiron Studies program, which enabled students to create, design, and instruct official, for-credit classes. In addition to managing programs and serving as the lead instructor of Humanity in Perspective at Oregon Humanities, he is the festival director of the Portland EcoFilm Festival.

Photo of Alexandra Powell Bugden

Alexandra Powell Bugden

Communications Associate

Pronouns: she/her/hers

alexandra@oregonhumanities.org

Alexandra joined Oregon Humanities in July 2021. She provides communications and editorial support for several departments and publications, including development, grants, Oregon Humanities magazine, and the Beyond the Margins essay series. Alexandra has spent her career working for nonprofit organizations focused on engaged scholarship and environmental justice. She was born and raised in New South Wales, Australia, and now lives in Northeast Portland.

Photo of Carolina Rios

Carolina Rios

Development Assistant

Pronouns: she/her/hers

c.rios@oregonhumanities.org

Carolina joined Oregon Humanities in January 2022. Originally from California, she has spent most of her life in Oregon and graduated from Portland State University with a Bachelor's degree in International Studies. She brings experiences of nonprofit program management and volunteer coordination. Carolina is excited to work with Oregon Humanities to find a place within the Portland community where she can make a difference. At present, she’s enjoying listening to podcasts, reading, and spending time with her friends and family.

Photo of Dawn Smallman

Dawn Smallman

Grants and Programs Coordinator

Pronouns: she/her/hers

d.smallman@oregonhumanities.org

(503) 241-0543 x110

Dawn coordinates Oregon Humanities' grants offerings and supports existing and new programs. She joined Oregon Humanities in April 2021. Dawn's work history includes crafting media stories about culture and nature for exhibits in public lands visitor centers and museums; serving as the director of the Portland EcoFilm Festival; and working as a community engagement manager and administrator for nonprofit fiscal management programs. Dawn sits on the board of Open Signal. She enjoys spending her free time growing food for her family and for others. 

Photo of Lucy Solares-Steger

Lucy Solares-Steger

Program Assistant

Pronouns: she/her/hers

l.solares@oregonhumanities.org

Lucy joined Oregon Humanities in December 2020. She graduated from the University of Oregon in June 2019 with dual degrees in ethnic studies and general social science, through which she explored themes of social justice and cultural understanding using a multidisciplinary approach. She is originally from Oregon, and in her time off enjoys the world of cosmetics, listening to music, and following the work of social activists online locally and beyond.

Photo of Julia Soto

Julia Soto

Development Director

Pronouns: she/her/hers

j.soto@oregonhumanities.org

(503) 241-0543, ext. 118

Julia joined Oregon Humanities in July 2021. She began working with nonprofits after almost a decade as an engineer. As a development professional, she brings experiences in grant writing, event sponsorships and program leadership. She most enjoys helping organizations thrive through integrated and relationship-based approaches. Originally from Pennsylvania, Julia has called Oregon home since 2004. In her free time, she loves working on craft projects, trying out new recipes, and playing in the mountains with her two children, Felix and Ester, and her husband, Jacob.

Photo of Ben Waterhouse

Ben Waterhouse

Communications Director and editor of Oregon Humanities magazine

Pronouns: he/him/his

b.waterhouse@oregonhumanities.org

(503) 241-0543 x122

Ben joined Oregon Humanities in 2012. He supervises the organization's communications and publications efforts, including Oregon Humanities magazine, the Beyond the Margins essay series, and marketing strategy. He created the Dear Stranger letter-exchange project in 2014. He grew up on Kalapuyan land in Scio, Oregon, near the confluence of the North and South forks of the Santiam River, and now lives in Southeast Portland.

Photo of Crystal Akins Meneses

Crystal Akins Meneses

Fields Artist Fellowship Coordinator

Pronouns: she/her/hers

crystal@oregonhumanities.org

Crystal is an interdisciplinary creative who activates community music and art through activism and spiritual care. Learn more about her work and arts nonprofit at activateartsnow.com. She received one of the first round of Fields Artist Fellowships in 2019 and has coordinated the program since 2021.

Photo of Keiren Bond

Keiren Bond

Executive Producer of The Detour

Pronouns: she/her/hers

thedetour@oregonhumanities.org

Keiren has worked with Oregon Humanities since April 2021. Keiren has been producing and facilitating conversation-based projects for community media organisations since 2011. Outside of Oregon Humanities, Keiren supports grantmaking at the Oregon Community Foundation, is a recovery mentor for the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa, and spends long days exploring Oregon's mountains and deserts by foot.

Photo of roame jasmin

roame jasmin

Humanity in Perspective instructor

Pronouns: she/they

roame jasmin is an interdisciplinary writer and editor from Philadelphia, often operating under the name pony roame. roame has studied the ecology of inhumanity and American gothic literature as a Mellon Mays fellow at the University of California of Los Angeles and Emory University. She has earned her MA from New York University after cultivating her thesis in Portland, Oregon as a professor at Pacific Northwest College of Art. As an artist-in-residence at Independent Publishing Resource Center, roame became the mother and editor-in-chief of loose cornrows, publishing whimsical and speculative fiction. Currently, they teach about these kinds of things in the Black Studies department at Portland State University. 

Photo of Nadia Raza

Nadia Raza

Humanity in Perspective instructor

Pronouns: she/her

Nadia is an educator, learner, curriculum builder, mom, organizer, baker, and old-school letter writer. For the past 18 years, she has taught sociology, ethnic studies, and education courses at Lane Community College. Her areas of interest are decolonial feminist theory and processes, alternatives to incarceration, social change, and identity formation. She is drawn to education as a place of possibility and endless inquiry. 

Additionally, she has been working with adults and children impacted by the criminal legal system for twenty-two years, through the College Inside Program at Chemeketa Community College, Sponsors and the University of Oregon’s Prison Education Program. She has created a correspondence-based art, education, and activity resource for people in solitary confinement. From facilitating as a summer camp counselor, teaching inside, and removing barriers to reentry education, she does this work because everyone deserves dignity and support.

Photo of Amanda Byron Singer

Amanda Byron Singer

Humanity in Perspective instructor

Pronouns: she/her

Amanda Byron Singer is a social justice educator with over 30 years of experience working with diverse communities to heal trauma and transform conflict. Dr. Singer is an Associate Professor in Conflict Resolution at Portland State University, where she directs the Holocaust and Genocide Studies Project, coordinates the Holocaust and Genocide/Atrocity Prevention Graduate Certificate, and focuses her teaching and research on unsettling the role of identity in conflict, understanding enmification and hatred as root causes of violence, and developing peacebuilding strategies to prevent mass atrocities. Current research interests are focused on the restoration of dignity in the aftermath of atrocity, and the active role of imagination in possibilizing a welcoming future.