Dr. Richard White teaches courses in the Community Development undergraduate program and International Community Development field seminars in Nicaragua and Uganda. He also teaches in PSU’s nationally recognized University Studies Program preparing students for further work in the Community Studies and the Healthy People Healthy Places clusters.
Richard’s research interests include urban social structure, social justice, community organizing and community development, international community development, and urban faith-based organizations. He is a frequent guest lecturer in seminary urban ministry courses and seminars; is a member of the board of Instituto Teologico del Oeste (Theological Institute of the Northwest); and advisory board member for Bikes to Rwanda and the NAPE Foundation (Ghana).
He is a contributing editor of Cultural Encounters, journal for the Theology of Culture. Association memberships include the Evangelical Missiological Society, Community Development Society (currently on the International Committee), International Association for Community Development, and the Society for Values in Higher Education. Richard also consults with domestic and foreign faith-based organizations on issues related to community building, community development, and intercultural relationships.
Mike Bray – I am the father of two great little girls who when I asked for advice about this program told me I should go for it and offered to help me save money. This trip will earn me my last six credits toward a B.S. in Community Development. I grew up in Southern Oregon and am torn between missing my family and the incredible natural areas back home and the immensely satisfying urban life that Portland has to offer. Before I have to choose, I am excited to make my first trip abroad and learn what another culture that is drastically different from my own has to teach me. I enjoy adventures with my daughters, climbing, biking and live music.
Megan M. Brown – I am a Community Development major at PSU. I play kickball, garden, bake, and I run around outside with my daughter. I enjoy working hard and reading books. I have worked with beach clean-ups on the Oregon and Maui coast, Hawks-Bill turtle recovery projects in Maui, and Camp Imua which hosts to special-needs children and adults. I worked for literacy programs with young kids through Washington State libraries, and volunteered and donated to the South Pacific Tsunami Relief of 2009. I hope to finish my education at Portland State, work for the Peace Corps and travel with my daughter to many different countries.
Erik Mandell - I am currently a graduate student at Portland State, and will soon be pursuing a masters in Public Administration/Global Leadership at PSU. I’m relatively new to Portland (been living here about a year), but I’m excited to be a west-coaster and back in school studying something I’m passionate about. Originally from the Boston area, I went to college at Middlebury College in Vermont, then traveled quite a bit and taught middle school and high school for several years before finding myself in Portland. Outside of school, I enjoy all of the outdoor pursuits that Oregon offers — skiing, hiking, biking, camping, climbing and any form of exploration. I’ve traveled extensively in the US and abroad, and my travels have certainly shaped my current academic and professional ambitions. I’m excited to get back to Nicaragua, learn some more Spanish, and gain amazing experiences.
Alena Paisano - I am a 25 year old student at Portland State University, my major is Community Development. When not studying I enjoy traveling (mostly to spend time with my family), cooking, hiking (and all things outdoors), general craftiness, ceramics, music, and going out with my friends and exploring everything this amazing city has to offer. I have the amazing opportunity to have school be my primary focus; therefore without the obligations of work I have been exploring the many benefits of being a student. My goal is to take advantage of these opportunities while I am still in school; so that I can be a better student, more conscious professional, and a better global citizen. I plan on working towards a master’s degree in Urban Planning, where I can utilize the participatory and equitable principles of community development to enrich my work, and emphasize the human perspective in the planning process. I hope to work primarily with under- represented and indigenous communities to facilitate the development of mutually beneficial, sustainable, and equitable relationships with the formal planning community; ensuring that their voice is heard, and offering technical support so these communities can be self-reliant and successful in the modernizing world.
Jay Coolman - My name is Jay Coolman and I work for Portland Public Schools as a para-educator at Jason Lee K-7. I help facilitate learning and inclusion by being an advocate for students with unique learning styles (autism spectrum disorder). I was born and raised in Portland and plan on living here forever, more or less. I spend my free time helping raise my three nephews and I live in an apartment with my best friend and our rabbit. My life goals are to fight oppression in all of its forms by rejecting materialism (not consumption) and using technology to forge a more equitable (not equal) future. I want to raise children and live in a world without racism, sexism, homophobia, paternalism or classism. I’m enrolled at PSU as a CD major in order to break through the class divide that separates the “educated” from the “uneducated”. I’ve always been interested in city planning from playing Sim City as a child to mulling over the idea of pursuing a Master in Urban and Regional Planning despite my better judgement. My biggest academic influences are Paulo Freire, John Dewey, and Karl Marx.
Anastasya Raichart - Who am I? Can words alone capture the essence of the human soul? I am child of the wild, raised among the tallest oaks and the low-growing ferns on 20 acres on the outskirts of a mountain. Nurtured by a community that embodies the old African proverb, “it takes a village to raise a child,” I was brought up to be curious and question the world around us, to understand compassion and express empathy, to embrace humility as a species, to be in awe of Mother Nature, to value knowledge and learning of all forms, to be tolerant of other cultures, and to love the beauty of humanity. My journey in this thing we call life has been a very winding path and it has lead me on some amazing adventures: I have been to Europe to study history and culture, shaved my head to raise money and provide strength to patients of childhood cancer, been involved in the production of a movie to explain the dangers of methamphetamine, acted as a key witness on the stand of a mock trial, been a part of an editorial team on various newspapers, bodysurfed many summers away, spent a year in New York studying bioinformatics and molecular biology, taken Swing dance, traveled to Boston to undergo real food training, and sat on the board of a local nonprofit. These are just snapshots of my life and there are so many, many more. But my journey is not even close to being over and I am excited for the next chapter here at Portland State! As a double major in both political science and community development I have been blessed with the amazing opportunity to fly across the land, and maybe a little water, to Nicaragua to engulf myself in the culture, breath in their way of life, and learn about how they empower and sustain communities. I cannot wait!!