• Meet Our Staff

  • Roseann Rivera, M.S.
    Director of TRIO Programs

    Bio: Born and raised near Oakland, CA—I grew up privy to the underpinning, and multidimensional systems that marginalize underrepresented communities. As the first in my family to graduate high school and pursue higher education, I truly understand the limitless opportunities a college degree can provide. I am forever committed to diligently examine systemic inequities that perpetuate the cyclical cycle of poverty and its hindrance upon educational growth for underrepresented communities. I absolutely love the power of TRIO Programs and its positive impact on students and their families.

    Fun Fact: I love to cook whole foods, hike, run, explore the outdoors and spend lots of family time with my husband and 4 kids.

    Education: Master of Science, Educational Leadership & Policy w/ a specialization in Policy and Government Relations, Portland State University; Bachelor of Science, Political Science, Portland State University.

    Arianna Gazca, BFA
    Administrative Assistant, TRIO Programs

    Bio: I am an MHCC and TRIO-SSS alum – graduated in 2013. Without this program I would not have been able to succeed academically and further my education. After having completed my Bachelor’s degree, I wanted to give back by helping students in any way I can, in order for them to succeed as well. TRIO works!!

    Fun Fact: I am an artist and filmmaker who works around visualizing music. My films have been screened internationally.

    Education: Bachelor of Fine Arts in Animated Arts, Pacific Northwest College of Art; Associate of Science in Art, Mt. Hood Community College.

    TRIO Educational Talent Search Program

    Erik Ruch, M.S.
    Program Coordinator, TRIO Educational Talent Search

    Bio: I was not what you would call a "good student" in middle school and high school. In college I dropped out of school on three separate occasions. It is why I'm so committed to working to eliminate the barriers to success that so many students face. As part of TRIO I have been fortunate to collaborate with so many people dedicated to this work.

    Fun Fact: I worked as a cook for many years. Even though it's not my job anymore, the love is still there. My free time is often spent attempting to perfect a particular food or dish

    Education: Master of Science, Educational Leadership & Policy, Portland State University; Bachelor of Arts, History, Portland State University.

    Amy Potter, M.A.
    Academic Adviser, TRIO Educational Talent Search

    Bio: I moved a lot as a kid. I lived in Kentucky, Indiana, Chicago, Ohio and Minnesota by the time I was ten. As a young adult, I spent five years living, studying and working in Costa Rica, India and Bolivia. In 2000, I moved to Portland where I've been working to support students' academic, social and emotional success for eighteen years. At Portland Community College, I worked with Migrant Head Start teachers in a partnership called Adelante Maestros. I then worked with high school students as the Director for Upward Bound - a TRiO program. After the birth of my twins (I have three kids), I left PCC to pursue part-time work in the nonprofit sector - first as the Program Director for Reading Results and later as a Database Manager for Camp Fire. My husband and I also started an organization at our children’s school where we work directly with parents to learn about and practice skills in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. I'm thrilled to be working with middle and high students as the TRiO adviser at Centennial School District!

    Education: Masters of Arts, Conflict Resolution with an emphasis on building cultural competency in institutions of higher education, Portland State University; Bachelor of Arts Sociology/Anthropology with a minor in Environmental Studies, Carleton College.

    Fun Fact:I am the dragon that my 3 kids try to slay, the human that throws the frisbee for the pooch, and the family top chef. We spend a lot of time camping (even in the snow), hiking, x-country skiing, playing music together, and racing roly polies – the only terrestrial crustaceans on the planet!

    Davy Em, B.S.
    Academic Adviser, TRIO Educational Talent Search

    Bio: I was born in Southern California and raised in Portland, Oregon. My parents are survivors of the Cambodian genocide. As a TRIO Upward Bound alumna, I was the first in my family to pursue and graduate from college with the help of my TRIO advisers. As a first-generation student, I understand the challenges of navigating the college system and the barriers that may arise as students go through their educational journey. I have spent the past six years of my life serving underrepresented youth in the roles of a college mentor, tutor, tutor coordinator, and academic advisor. I have an unwavering commitment to help students realize their academic potential and is excited to contribute my knowledge and skills to help students accomplish their goals.

    Education: Bachelor of Science, Psychology, Portland State University; Associate of Arts, Oregon Transfer, Portland Community College.

    Fun Fact: I am a current graduate student working towards a Master’s in Education and Leadership Policy at PSU. I speak English and Khmer. I love sloths.

    Amy Kirkman
    Student Success Coach, TRIO Student Support Services

    Bio: I was born in Idaho and moved to Oregon as a teenager. I finally decided to explore higher education as a first-generation non-traditional college student starting at MHCC and eventually graduated from Portland State University. During my own educational journey, I grew to appreciate helping others on their own paths to success.

    Fun fact: I enjoy playing tabletop RPGs with friends.

    Education: Bachelor of Science, Community Health Promotion, Portland State University