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New Faculty and Staff

Scott Adams

Scott Adams, Operation Systems-Network Analyst

OfficePortland-Metro

Scott Adams is a Portland native. He attended Oregon Tech in Wilsonville as an Information Technology major and graduated with his bachelor’s in 2015. When Scott isn’t working, he enjoys running, cooking, and working in his garden. Scott is excited to be working for Oregon Tech and looks forward to providing tools for students to succeed.

Dawn Bailey

Dawn Bailey, Associate Professor

OfficeHumanities and Social Sciences

Dr. Dawn Bailey is excited to join the faculty at Oregon Tech where she will be the practicum coordinator for Applied Behavior Analysis students. Dr. Bailey is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA-D) with over 20 years of experience designing behavioral & learning programs for a variety of populations, including persons with emotional/behavioral disorders, autism and other developmental disabilities. She received her graduate training in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) at Florida State University (Go Noles!) under Dr. Jon S. Bailey, where she was awarded her Ph.D. in 2008. Dr. Bailey is a frequent presenter at behavior analysis conferences and gives workshops to teachers, parents, and staff on a variety of topics related to the practice of behavior analysis. Dr. Bailey serves on the Georgia Behavior Peer Review Committee to assist the state with policy development and implementation regarding behavior analytic services provided in the state. She was a consultant to school districts, private families and state agencies in Florida, New Jersey and Delaware between 1998 and 2017 and has served as an adjunct faculty member at Florida State University and the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. She was president of the Florida Association for Behavior Analysis (FABA) in 2014 and held a position on the Executive Committee of FABA for many years.

Krista Beaty

Krista Beaty, Instructor

OfficeDental Hygiene

Krista has been working in the field of dentistry since 1998, first as a Certified Dental Assistant, then as a registered dental hygienist. She received her dental hygiene degree from Clark College in Vancouver, WA, and her Bachelor of Science Degree in Dental Hygiene from Eastern Washington University. Krista is currently working to complete her master’s thesis on the general and oral health experiences of patients with CREST Syndrome through Idaho State University. Over 13 years of dental hygiene experience have included clinical practice in restorative, periodontics, and general dentistry. A native of Washington State, Krista and her family are avid Seahawks and Wildcat fans, but are also looking forward to rooting for the Oregon Tech Owls!

Casey Bennett

Casey Bennett, Executive Assistant

OfficeStrategic Enrollment Management

Born and raised in San Diego, Casey moved to Oregon six years ago and plans to never leave. Casey’s background is in program coordination and management for youth, family, and community-based programs. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in social work, Casey spent the first three years of her career as the program manager for a large food bank serving San Diego County. She then moved to Corvallis to pursue a master’s in public health at Oregon State University. For the past five years she’s worked as the program coordinator for the Healthy Youth Program, a health promotion outreach program out of the Linus Pauling Institute at OSU.

Casey is excited to be part of the Oregon Tech community and to take on a new role within enrollment management. When she is not at work, you’ll find her spending time at home with her husband and two little ones who keep her on her toes!

Mitch Besser

Mitch Besser, Assistant Professor

OfficeComputer Systems Engineering Technology
Stephen Blomberg

Stephen Blomberg, Trades Maintenance Coordinator

OfficePortland-Metro

Stephen has worked in maintenance most of his life. He is excited to work at Oregon Tech because he highly values education. He grew up in Washington State and he is married with four smart children. Since he was married, he has lived in Japan for 12 of those years. The first time for four years and the second time for eight years. While in Japan, he and his wife owned a Conversational English School. His family moved to Oregon (Wilsonville) in 2014 and loves it.

Ryan Brown

Ryan Brown, Assistant Professor

OfficeMedical Laboratory Science

Ryan earned his B.S. in Clinical Laboratory Sciences from Arizona State University. Ryan is certified MLS (ASCP) by the American Society of Clinical Pathologists. He started his career as a generalist and later moved into the blood bank. He earned his master’s degree in clinical laboratory sciences from Rosalind Franklin University in 2011.

Jolene Cady

Jolene Cady, Counselor

OfficeStudent Health

Jolene is a native Oregonian. She joins Oregon Tech as an entry level counselor in the Integrated Student Health Center. Jolene received her M.A. in Counseling in 2013 from Corban University and did her internship with Western Oregon University (WOU). Prior to coming to Oregon Tech she worked as a counselor for WOU and also did private practice. In her free time Jolene enjoys traveling, hiking and photography.

Dan Carrere

Dan Carrere, Assistant Professor

OfficeManagement

Dan has worked in the information security and networking field for over 25 years. He developed and taught courses on information security for colleges and corporate training for the last 17 years. Dan provides advisory and design for enterprises relating to information security and core infrastructure. He holds graduate and undergraduate degrees in management information systems (2000)/information systems (1998) (focusing on information security and high availability and performance of systems at scale). His research focuses on next generation firewalls, optical networking (DWDM, CWDM, MEF), community open access fiber networks, BSD Unix and Linux, and storage (especially SANs with ZFS). Dan has authored peer reviewed journal articles, co-authored books, and has given invited talks on security and systems monitoring, Unix systems, and server infrastructure. He has a strong commitment to teaching students applied technologies that enable them in our ever changing fields. Dan’s interests include spending time with his family while exploring the wilderness of the Northwest and being involved with music.

Kim Cholewinski

Kim Cholewinski, HR Consultant

OfficeHuman Resources

Kim is a native Oregonian and grew up just north of the Eugene/Springfield area in the small town of Coburg. She graduated from Oregon State University (OSU) in 2010 and was hired at OSU as an HR representative, where she worked for almost 7 years before joining the Oregon Tech human resources team. She is excited to be part of the Oregon Tech and Klamath Falls communities. In her free time, Kim enjoys spending time in the wilderness, photography, and cooking.

Mandy Conley

Mandy Conley, Administrative Program Assistant

OfficeBusiness Affairs

Mandy Conley grew up in Humboldt County, CA until moving to Klamath Falls in 2015. She studied at the College of the Redwoods for two years before going to cosmetology school and worked in a salon for 5 years. During this time, she received her CNA as well as becoming a medical assistant. She worked as a medical assistant for 5 years, most recently as the lead at the Orthopedic Clinic in Klamath Falls. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, exploring Oregon and traveling. She is very excited to start this new chapter here at Oregon Tech.

Andrew Coomes

Andrew Coomes, Information Technology Consultant

OfficeRetention Services

Andrew was raised in Portland from the age of 3. While his pursuits and interests ranged far and wide, three in particular stood apart from the rest: music, drifting (automobiles), and computers. At 25 he earned his Formula Drift license and drove a full national season, but couldn’t continue into the next. As a lifelong technology enthusiast, it was natural for Andrew to transition into software development from his stint as a professional race car driver.

Mike Corbitt

Mike Corbitt, Manager of Application Support

OfficeInformation Technology Services

Mike grew up in West Virginia and graduated from the Ohio State University. He and his wife, Janet, moved to Corvallis in 1990 and began raising a family. They enjoy many outdoor activities including gardening, hiking, camping, boating, water and snow skiing and traveling.

Mike began a Banner career as a project manager implementing Banner Human Resources at Linn-Benton Community College in 1992. He then moved over to the Chancellor’s Office of the Oregon University System (OUS) to serve as project manager for the implementation of the Banner Human Resources system at all 7 universities and the Chancellor’s Office of the OUS. This was followed by 14 years as director of Banner Standards Management until the legislature ended the OUS in fiscal year 2013. Mike then worked three years as senior project manager with Ellucian (owners of Banner) before coming to Oregon Tech as manager of Application Services.

Erin Cox

Erin Cox, Assistant Professor

OfficeCivil Engineering

Erin Cox was born and raised in South Dakota before venturing to balmy North Dakota State University in Fargo to attain her bachelor’s degree. After receiving a master’s degree in water resources and environmental engineering from the University of Minnesota, Erin worked in Southern California, Alaska, and Florida before relocating to Oregon in 2012. Twelve years of her career were spent working for CH2M HILL as a project manager and business development director. While at CH2M, she received multiple achievement awards for Top Client Growth and Business Development in her region. Erin has been an adjunct professor in Oregon Tech’s Civil Engineering Department for the past three years. She serves the local community on the Sky Lakes Foundation Board of Directors, Sky Lakes Hospital Cancer Advisory and Scholarship Committees, SMART Reading Program Leadership Council, and Community Police Advisory Committee. Erin is a published self-help author who loves yoga, traveling, and hiking…but she is happiest when she’s home with her three children, Ella, Elena, and Kellan, who all attend Roosevelt Elementary School.

Darcy Dawson

Darcy Dawson, Custodian

OfficeFacilities Services

Darcy was born and raised in Klamath Falls. She graduated from Klamath Union in 2002 and then joined the Air Force. She went on to graduate boot camp in San Antonio, Texas in 2003. She went to Personnel Management Technical School in Biloxi, Mississippi at Keesler Air Force Base. She then advanced to the International Air and Hospitality Academy in 2009 and graduated on the President’s List with a certificate as a Travel Industry Specialist.

Elise Donovan

Elise Donovan, Assistant Professor

OfficeNatural Sciences

Elise Donovan grew up in West Virginia and Southern Utah. She attended the University of Toledo for her B.S. in Exercise Science/Biology, Long Island University-Brooklyn for her M.S. in Molecular Biology, and Colorado State University for her Ph.D. in Human Physiology. Her first post-doctoral fellowship was at the Liggins Institute, University of Auckland in New Zealand, and she is joining the Oregon Tech Biology Department from her second post-doctoral fellowship at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. Elise is a broadly trained physiologist who has research and/or teaching experience in exercise physiology, cell and molecular physiology, developmental origins of health and disease, and the biology of aging. She is also an active member of the American Physiological Society.

Personally, Elise has a passion for all things outdoors, and after a collegiate and semi-professional soccer career is now a competitive cyclist racing both road and cyclocross.

Jared Emard

Jared Emard, Professor Practice

OfficeManagement

As a native Oregonian and Oregon Tech alumnus, Jared is excited to blend his love for teaching with his love for Southern Oregon. Since graduating from Oregon Tech, he has worked as a process improvement consultant, production manager, plant scheduler, & inventory controller. Along with a background in construction, Jared has participated in multiple business startups and enjoys a broad perspective of business.

In his free time, you’ll find Jared exploring Southern Oregon with his wife or tinkering away on home remodel projects. While any number of topics may stir his passions, Jared is most excited about building community and people. “When you impact a person’s life, you are making an investment that pays dividends that may outlast you. That’s the greatest venture I can imagine.”

Matt Frye

Matt Frye, Assistant Professor

OfficeCommunication Studies

Matt grew up in Indiana, but moved west to earn his Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Composition and M.A. in English from Washington State University, where he started out studying role-playing games and ended up doing a dissertation on writing assessment and epistemological development. (He promises they’re related.) In the years since his bachelor’s degree at DePauw University, he has taught a wide selection of writing and multimedia authoring courses and worked as an editor for Make Believe Games.

Matt loves teaching writing courses because they give him the chance to see what people are doing around campus and learn a little bit from each major. They also give him a chance to keep exploring that research interest by seeing the ways folks from a variety of majors communicate their knowledge to others. He’s very excited to teach at Oregon Tech and continue learning from our students!

Eli Gahringer

Eli Gahringer, Annual Giving Manager

OfficeDevelopment

Eli is from Wenatchee, WA and came to Klamath Falls in 2010 to attend Oregon Tech. He graduated in June of 2016 from the Management program with degrees in both small business management/entrepreneurship and marketing. Eli met his wife while in school at Oregon Tech (in an accounting class of all places) and have since been blessed by a happy and healthy baby boy. Eli loves being outside and enjoying time with his wife and son, no matter where they are.

Kamal Gandhi

Kamal Gandhi, Assistant Professor

OfficeNatural Sciences

Kamal comes to Oregon Tech from up and down California; having most recently served as an instructor in San Diego. As someone who has always been good at helping friends and family understand scientific concepts, “Dr. G” is excited to join the team at such a renowned teaching institution. He brings an expertise in microbiology, with most of his research career spent studying viruses. As a kid who got sick a lot, Kamal was always fascinated by how tiny “germs” could wreak havoc on the body, and he looks forward to sharing his knowledge and enthusiasm with the students at Oregon Tech.

Outside of the classroom, you are likely to find Kamal enjoying the outdoors, day-tripping or world-travelling, watching good TV or bad movies, and most of all finding time for a great meal with friends and family.

Kevin Garrett

Kevin Garrett, Assistant Professor

OfficeHealth System Services

Kevin Garrett gladly joins the Oregon Institute of Technology faculty as clinical director of the Marriage and Family Therapy master’s degree program. Prior to teaching at Oregon Tech, Kevin taught for three years in southwestern Oklahoma at Cameron University in the Department of Psychology. He served as one of the clinical faculty in the Psychology Department and as a practicum supervisor while at Cameron University. He worked full-time in community mental health as a licensed marriage and family therapist in Wyoming for five years before teaching at Cameron University. Kevin completed his Ph.D. in the marriage and family therapy specialization at Kansas State University in 2014, earned his master’s degree in the marriage and family therapy specialization at the University of Oregon in 2006, and received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Utah State University in 2003. He completed a medical family therapy-focused doctoral internship at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska in 2009, and earned a post-degree certificate in medical family therapy while completing his doctoral internship. Kevin holds the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy Approved Supervisor designation. He looks forward to giving presentations in the community, region, state, as well as nationally. He is excited to be returning to his home state of Oregon, and to bring his clinical experience, passion for teaching, and community-focused orientation to Oregon Tech!

Michael Gilinsky

Michael Gilinsky, Instructor

OfficeRespiratory Care Program
Juan Gonzalez Velador

Juan Gonzalez Velador, Custodian

OfficeHousing
Sarah Henderson

Sarah Henderson, Benefits Consultant

OfficeHuman Resources

Sarah grew up in San Francisco and graduated from San Francisco State University with a B.A. in Sociology. While furthering her education, she worked as a project coordinator in the construction industry, primarily working on projects in public and higher education. Sarah holds a M.S. in Human Resource Management from Golden Gate University and worked in human resources at the San Mateo County Office of Education and later at the Asian Art Museum where she was the benefits and staffing manager.

Sarah moved to Klamath Falls 4 years ago. Since moving to Klamath Falls she worked locally for the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), Highway Division. In her most recent role at ODOT she assisted in the management of over 450 highway lane miles and all facilities located in this area; with a focus on procurement and project management. At ODOT Sarah had the pleasure of working side by side with many Oregon Tech alumni, primarily in the civil engineering and surveying disciplines, as well as many student interns in engineering. Sarah is excited to return to her field of study, human resources, and looks forward to working with the Oregon Tech faculty and staff.

Brenda Hubbard

Brenda Hubbard, Executive Secretary

OfficePresident's Office

Brenda comes to Oregon Tech after working for the VA system for over 23 years – 22 at Portland and 1 at White City. She has worked as an executive secretary for the past 13 years.

She moved to Klamath Falls in December 2016 to be closer to family. When she isn’t working, you can find her spending time with her husband and family that live in the area. She’s excited to start a new chapter here.

Bryan Jimenez

Bryan Jimenez, Library Technician 2

OfficePortland-Metro

Bryan grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana where he completed his Bachelor of Art in Communication with a specialization in Broadcast Journalism from Loyola University. Travels brought him to Portland where he completed a Master of Education with a specialization in Student Services from Portland State University.

Bryan is a long-time library enthusiast and has worked at the Portland State University library and in 3 of the 5 Carnegie public libraries in the Portland-Metro area. Bryan is excited to support Oregon Tech students, faculty and staff at the library front desk in Wilsonville with library services including circulation, summit, interlibrary loans and ready reference.

In his free time, he enjoys collecting music and playing DJ at friends and family events. He also is a big basketball fan of the NBA (Portland Trail Blazer season ticket holder) and the Kentucky Wildcats.

Jim Jones

Jim Jones, Chief Information Officer

OfficeInformation Technology Services

Jim comes to us from Gonzaga University where he served as associate CIO and interim CIO. Jim brings a wealth of experience leading information technology (IT) organizational transformation, strong IT governance expertise, and implementing enterprise-wide infrastructure solutions. Jim has a track record of implementing organizational and cultural maturity models to build a high-performing IT team that deliver quality services focused on end user experience and enterprise success.

Josh Jones

Josh Jones, Pre College Coordinator

OfficeAcademic Agreements

Josh works as the pre-college coordinator to help high school students access Oregon Tech classes. He was a high school teacher in Connecticut and Beaverton before joining Oregon Tech. Josh is passionate about shepherding high school students into collegiate success. When he’s not at work, Josh enjoys riding his bike, brewing beer, and spending time with his family.

Sheri Kropholler

Sheri Kropholler, Registered Nurse

OfficeStudent Health

Sheri is an Oregon Tech alumni, receiving her BSN from OHSU’s Nursing program in 1999. Remaining in the Klamath Falls area, Sheri has enjoyed a nursing career that has included rural health, public health, and pre- and post-operative care. Sheri and her husband take every opportunity to enjoy the Klamath area’s outdoors camping, fishing, kayaking, hunting and hiking. Sheri considers herself incredibly blessed to join the amazing ISHC team as the new student health RN.

Gary Kuleck

Gary Kuleck, Provost & Vice President of Academic Affairs

OfficeAcademic Affairs

Dr. Gary Kuleck began his service as provost and vice president of academic affairs at the Oregon Institute of Technology on June 30, 2017. He has joined Oregon Tech after serving as dean of the College of Engineering & Science at the University of Detroit Mercy. Formerly, he was professor of biology and associate dean in the College of Science and Engineering at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in Los Angeles. His appointment was proceeded by post-doctoral research at the USDA Agricultural Research Service in Beltsville, MD and at the University of Maryland College Park. He received his Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and bachelor’s degrees in biology and chemistry from the University of Maryland Baltimore County. Dr. Kuleck has dedicated his academic career to preparing and mentoring students for professional career paths and to creative a supportive environment for faculty career development.

Amber Lancaster

Amber Lancaster, Assistant Professor

OfficeCommunication Studies

Amber grew up in Michigan, lived in Alaska and now Texas. She earned her Ph.D. in Technical Communication & Rhetoric from Texas Tech University and her M.A. and B.A. in English, Rhetoric from the University of Alaska Anchorage. She is a distance/online adjunct and teaches writing.

Amber and her husband have four kids and enjoy traveling and exploring the great outdoors. Her creative activities (besides writing) include painting, sewing, and laughter yoga.

Harika Manem

Harika Manem, Instructor

OfficeComputer Systems Engineering Technology

Harika has most recently worked as a research scientist at the Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE), SUNY Polytechnic Institute, Albany, NY. She obtained her Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering, Brooklyn, NY. She is very excited to be a part of the Oregon Tech community and share and grow her knowledge and expertise.

Christina Martinez

Christina Martinez, Administrative Program Specialist

OfficeRegistrar’s Office
Robert Melendy

Robert Melendy, Associate Professor

OfficeElectrical Engineering & Renewable Energy

Robert was born in Brooklyn, NY. His father worked for IBM and had the opportunity to move to Oregon. So at 7 months of age Robert was moved to Oregon where he’s spent most of his life. From 2006-2014 Robert was an assistant professor in the College of Engineering at George Fox University, where he served as the college representative to the Oregon NASA Space Grant Consortium.

In 2014, Robert and his wife Debbie moved to Virginia to accept a position as an associate professor of electrical engineering at Liberty University. His research entailed identifying the cognitive aspects of engineering students’ analytical and abstract mathematical reasoning associated with engineering problem solving.

Robert and Debbie have returned to Oregon, where Robert joins us and the EERE group in Wilsonville.

Michelle Monteith

Michelle Monteith, Office Specialist 2

OfficeFinancial Aid

Michelle is a native of the Klamath Basin, being born and raised here. She and her husband, Russ, have 3 daughters, and a new grandson that keep them very busy with sports and school activities. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, scrapbooking, white water rafting, camping and photography.

Nagi Naganathan

Nagi Naganathan, President

OfficePresident's Office

After a nationwide search in 2016, Oregon Institute of Technology’s Board of Trustees selected Dr. Nagi Naganathan as the 7th president of the university on November 16, 2016. At the time, Dr. Naganathan served as the dean of the College of Engineering at The University of Toledo (UT) in Toledo, Ohio.

In addition to serving as the dean of engineering at UT, and previously interim dean of engineering, Dr. Naganathan was also UT’s interim president; was the founding chairperson of the Mechanical, Industrial, and Mechanical Engineering department; and was a member of the faculty since 1986.

Dr. Naganathan has received a number of prestigious awards, including elevation to Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, UT Outstanding Teacher Award, UT Outstanding Researcher Award, SAE Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award, ASME Outstanding Regional Faculty Advisor Award, TST/TSPE Engineer of the Year, and Distinguished Alumnus Award from his alma mater, the National Institute of Technology in Tiruchirappalli, India.

Dr. Naganathan earned his bachelor’s degree with honors in mechanical engineering from the National Institute of Technology at Tiruchirappalli (formerly known as Regional Engineering College, Tiruchirappalli), University of Madras, India, a master’s degree in mechanical and industrial engineering from Clarkson University, New York and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Oklahoma State University.

Bryce Nelson

Bryce Nelson, Administrative Program Assistant

OfficeOnline Learning

Bryce Nelson is a recent graduate of Portland State’s geology program, where she developed a passion for communication and helping those around her succeed. She is excited to join the student support staff in the online office and help prospective students reach their higher ed goals.

Bryce lives for weekend road trips to national parks, solitary jaunts through the woods, backpacking, and cooking for her partner and their two cats.

Adam Oppegaard

Adam Oppegaard, HR Consultant

OfficeHuman Resources

Adam was born and raised in southern Oregon but has substantial international experience. He comes to Oregon Tech with more than ten years of experience, having worked in private sector as a foreign HR advisor and corporate trainer as well as in the public sector as a project officer for an international research and development funding agency, and learning and development specialist for the national diplomat academy while abroad in the Republic of Korea. He also served as the work injury specialist for Lithia Motors, Inc.

Adam’s educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in psychology and master’s degree in applied psychology (organizational training and development) from Southern Oregon University. In addition, Adam holds certificates in professional in human resources (PHR), and mediation and conflict management.

Rosanna Overholser

Rosanna Overholser, Assistant Professor

OfficeMathematics

Rosanna grew up in the Sierra Nevada range, and is happy to be near the high country again. She earned her A.A. at Bakersfield College, B.S. at the California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and M.S. and Ph.D. (in mathematics) at the University of California, San Diego. She has previously enjoyed teaching at UCSD and the University of Toronto, Mississauga, and is looking forward to meeting the students at Oregon Tech.

Rosanna loves using statistics to help others and has worked as a statistician at UCSD, Ghent University in Belgium, and Umeå University in Sweden. In her free time, she enjoys reading and spending time in the outdoors with her family.

Brian Page

Brian Page, Director - Cyber Defense Center

OfficePortland-Metro

Brian is a results-oriented, security leader with a proven track record of building successful IT and security teams from the ground up. And while superior technology and top-notch services will take a team quite far, a motivational coach with broad and deep industry experience can lead it to greatness. Brian’s previous hands-on experience with building secure, efficient, and scalable data infrastructures paired with his personal management style of being approachable, collaborative, and mentoring, makes him a natural fit to lead growing teams of diverse engineers.

“Find the area of interest in technology a person enjoys and connect them to it so they stay enthusiastic, curious, and inspired. But, most of all, be human. At the end of the day, a team is not just about the technology, it is about the people, the customers you serve, and the problems you solve.”

Brian has spent the last 20 years in the technology field, with a focus on security for 15 years. Over the course of his career, he has provided executives with secure architecture strategies, policy and compliance management, cybersecurity training, and properly aligned IT projects with business requirements. Currently, Brian is the director for Oregon Tech’s Cyber Defense Center and strives to align solutions that meet their clients’ cybersecurity requirements.

Robert Paxton

Robert Paxton, Associate Professor

OfficeManufacturing and Mechanical Engineering Technology

Robert moved to Oregon in 2015 from the Land of the Long White Cloud (also known as New Zealand). He obtained his bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of Waikato, and his master's and doctoral degrees in mechanical engineering from the Auckland University of Technology. After spending a few years in industry, Robert returned to academia to teach engineering to aspiring young engineers. During this time Robert has also served on numerous academic committees and held service positions such as Program Leader for the Bachelor of Engineering Technology (Mechanical) at AUT. He has also served as an international accreditor for university mechanical engineering programs helping to ensure the continuing quality of engineering education.

Nilda Pena

Nilda Pena, Accountant

OfficeBusiness Affairs

Nilda was born and raised in Klamath Falls. She graduated from Klamath Union High School and Klamath Community College (KCC). She is currently working on a bachelor’s degree in business administration and anticipates to graduate in June of 2018. Some of her job experience includes: Working for the state of Oregon as a human service specialist III, tutoring students in accounting classes at KCC, and working as a business specialist II at Klamath County School District.

Outside of work, she enjoys being outdoors and traveling with her three children. Her favorite place to visit is the Oregon Coast. Also, this September her family traveled to the Dominican Republic, where they explored the culture and relaxed for a few days.

Stephanie Pope

Stephanie Pope, Director Budget & Resource Planning

OfficeBudget

A Wisconsin native, Stephanie joined Oregon Tech in June. She has over 16 years’ experience in higher education including in budget and finance, fiscal planning, auxiliary services, and student affairs. She holds a bachelor’s degree in english literature from University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point and a master’s of business administration from Edgewood College. Stephanie’s interests include spending time with her husband and three dogs, hiking, hunting/fishing, show shoeing/cross-country skiing, and generally spending time in the outdoors as well as reading and crocheting. She is looking forward to serving the Oregon Tech campus community in her new role.

Lara Pracht

Lara Pracht, Director of Lab Education & Operations

OfficePortland-Metro

Lara grew up in southwest Kansas, and graduated from the University of Kansas with a B.S. in Civil Engineering. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Washington in Seattle in Environmental Engineering, focusing on arsenic mobilization in subsurface environments.

Outside of work, she enjoys reading, traveling, and watching sports.

Bren Raffaelly

Bren Raffaelly, Professor Practice

OfficeManagement

Bren has returned to the Management Department while continuing to practice the art of enabling information technology in business. Bren spent several years as a software development manager of a large manufacturing firm overseeing major IT system implementations in several countries. His passion is helping people maximize their information technology investments to gain competitive advantages. He has also been a Certified Information Systems Auditor creating and testing secure IT control environments. Bren is currently broadening his work experience as a digital manufacturing director at Nike, Inc. He is looking forward to returning to the Management Department and helping students learn and prepare for their exciting careers. Bren holds an M.B.A. with a focus in Technology Management from the University of Phoenix, and a B.S. in Aviation Management from Southern Illinois University.

Mostafa Saber

Mostafa Saber, Associate Professor

OfficeManufacturing and Mechanical Engineering Technology

Dr. Mostafa Saber earned his Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from North Carolina State University in 2013 and then served as a postdoctoral research scholar at the same university for two years. Before he joined Oregon Tech, Dr. Saber served in the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at Portland State University as a research assistant professor for more than two years since 2015. Prior to his Ph.D., Dr. Saber spent 10 years in metallurgy industries on casting and heat treatment design of tool steels, stainless steels, high-temperature steels, aluminum alloys, and magnesium alloys. His research currently focuses on advanced alloy developments, mechanical behaviors of materials, and new generation of materials for cutting tool applications.

Michael Schwartz

Michael Schwartz, Instructor

OfficeRespiratory Care Program

Michael Schwartz, MA, RPSGT, CCSH, is a nationally Registered and Licensed Sleep Technologist (Polysomnography) and Certified Clinical Sleep Educator. In 2007, Michael became an adjunct faculty member in the Polysomnography program at Oregon Tech and is excited to move into the position of program director. Michael is also currently the insomnia education coordinator at the Asante Sleep Center, a nationally accredited Sleep Disorders Center, providing sleep health education for patients clinically diagnosed with chronic insomnia.

With his special interest in helping people learn behaviors to improve sleep, Michael developed the sleep-training smartphone app Sleep On Cue to give those who struggle with sleep an active way to work on their sleep. With his wife and two children, Michael has lived in the Rogue Valley since 1995. While awake, he loves spending time with his family, mountain biking, golfing and tuning up the old Buick.

Clifford Stover

Clifford Stover, Associate Professor

OfficeManufacturing and Mechanical Engineering Technology

Cliff was born and lived most his life in Southern California. He took 14 years to earn his mechanical engineering degree while working full time as a mechanic, machinist and mold maker. After earning his master’s degree and working as a design engineer, he was hired by Cal Poly Pomona as both professor and engineering director for the project and development laboratories. Cliff was advisor for both Formula and Baja SAE and brought his teams to 72 events all over the United States and Canada as well as international events in Italy, Germany, and England.

Cliff is a licensed registered Professional Engineer (PE) in CA, MA, OR, PA and FL and has 30+ years of experience in the design, manufacture, analysis, testing, and inspection of mechanical systems, being involved in a wide range of projects including accident reconstruction, failure analysis, patent infringement, and product liability.

Hobbies and outside interests have included Motocross, Desert and 750cc road racing on motorcycles, IKF kart racing, and off-road exploring in a 1971 Bronco. Outdoor activities include hiking and fishing, and just getting out and camping with his family.

Darlene Swigart

Darlene Swigart, Instructor

OfficeDental Hygiene

Darlene grew up in a military family living in numerous locations throughout the United States. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene degree from Idaho State University in 1998 and has practiced dental hygiene in both Montana and California. After 17 years as a clinical dental hygienist in general and periodontal practices, Darlene decided to pursue her life-long dream of becoming a teacher. She is currently completing a Master of Science in Dental Hygiene degree with an emphasis in education from Idaho State University and is conducting qualitative research on the dental hygiene diagnosis for her thesis research. Darlene comes to Oregon Tech from West Coast University in Anaheim, California where she was an adjunct clinical faculty member and also taught the Introduction to Periodontology course. Darlene is excited to teach the community dental health courses and prevention courses at Oregon Tech and to give back to a profession that has given her so much. In her leisure time, Darlene enjoys hiking and kayaking.

Thomas Taylor

Thomas Taylor, Assistant Professor

OfficeNatural Sciences

Thomas was born and raised in Ohio and has only recently moved to Klamath Falls. He earned his B.S. in Biological Sciences Education from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio in 1986 and returned to his high school alma mater to teach. He developed and implemented an AP Chemistry program and in addition, taught physics and anatomy for 13 years. He earned his first M.S. in Education and Health Sciences in 1995 at the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio. Thomas returned to school again in 1999 and graduated from Kettering College of Medical Arts in Dayton, Ohio with his physician assistant certificate. He practiced for many years with an orthopedic spine surgeon and in the emergency department setting gaining valuable clinical experience. Thomas graduated in April of 2017 from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio with his M.S. in Anatomy. He brings a variety of teaching and clinical experiences with him and is excited to join Oregon Tech. Outside of his professional life, Thomas enjoys being in nature and is a hiking enthusiast. He looks forward to exploring the Pacific Northwest.

Drew Tessler

Drew Tessler, Disability Services Specialist

OfficeStudent Success Center

Drew Tessler comes to Oregon Tech rather circuitously. Professionally he has been a kitchen manager, massage therapist, live-in chef and a kindergarten teacher. He has lived in Ohio, Wisconsin, California, Illinois and now Oregon. For the past 17 years Drew was in disability services as an advocate and educational specialist in the Chicago public schools, for Northeastern Illinois University and with North Park University. Drew spends most of his free time being a single dad and raising his three daughters—18, 11 and 9. He is very excited to be starting this new chapter of his journey in Klamath Falls.

Michele Vitali

Michele Vitali, Executive Assistant

OfficePortland-Metro

Michele is an east coast transplant and 25 year Oregonian. Prior to joining the Oregon Tech Portland-Metro campus, she spent 12 years with the OUS Chancellor’s Office supporting ETIC and industry partnerships, and then another two years with the Oregon Talent Council at the state level. She is excited about bringing her analytical and planning coordination support skills to the team.

Jennifer Volpi

Jennifer Volpi, Instructor/Research Associate

OfficeHumanities and Social Sciences

A life-long Oregonian, Jennifer comes to Oregon Tech with prior experience working with students at the University of Oregon, Portland State University, and Oregon Health & Science University. Jennifer started her own education at Western Oregon University, earning a Bachelor of Science in Social Science. She later earned a Master of Public Health at Portland State University, and a Master of Arts in Teaching from George Fox University. She is excited to join the Population Health Management program. She is passionate about health promotion and has interests in physical activity and risk reduction.

Jake Williams

Jake Williams, Housing

OfficeResidence Hall
Laurie Yates

Laurie Yates, Visiting Professor

OfficeManagement

Laurie earned her Doctor in Management in 2011 from George Fox University. A native of the Pacific Northwest, she comes to Oregon Tech with an extensive management background in both entrepreneurial and large corporations. In 2010, she joined academia full time at Eastern Oregon University, serving there as a tenured associate professor of business. She has presented at national and international academic conferences in her areas of expertise which include leadership, management, ethics, organizational behavior, and human resources. She also actively engages in research and scholarship, publishing in a variety of peer reviewed journals. She currently serves as the chairman of the Board of Commissioners for IACBE, an international accrediting body for collegiate business programs. Laurie and her husband recently moved to Newberg, Oregon. They have two grown children and four grandchildren in the area. Besides lots of family activities, she and her husband love to travel and explore other cultures, especially anywhere she can practice her infrequently used French.

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