Board of Directors
Amanda J. Zellmer is an Assistant Professor of Biology at Occidental College. Her research focuses on using computational ecology to study how humans impact species and inform conservation and management. She received her PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Michigan and her Bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin. Amanda has two young kids and enjoys taking them out into nature to look for salamanders and other slimy things. In her free time, you can find Amanda out on the soccer field; she's a lifelong soccer fan. Since her undergraduate days, Amanda has advocated for women and underrepresented minorities in STEM fields, visiting elementary school classrooms, supporting philanthropies that provide books for kids, and advising aspiring undergraduate scholars.
Liz Derr is an Education professional with 8+ years of experience working with immigrants, refugees, and international students in nonprofit and higher education sectors. She specializes in curriculum development, instructional design, and digital learning. Liz currently works as National Manager of Curriculum & Instructional Design for Upwardly Global, providing training and resources for skilled immigrant and refugee job seekers to launch their professional careers in the U.S. She earned her Master's degree in Teaching English as a Second Language from Hamline University in her hometown of St. Paul, Minnesota and her Bachelor's degree in Linguistics from The Ohio State University, where she was a member of their national championship synchronized swimming team. In her spare time, she coaches synchronized swimming and teaches yoga. Whether in the classroom, online, at the pool, or in the yoga studio, Liz is passionate about lifelong learning and providing equal opportunities and access to quality educational experiences.
Laurie Nelson has a Masters in Teaching from Seattle University, and experience as an educator in the U.S., China & South Africa. She has worked as a charitable giving consultant at a financial firm. She has a great love and admiration for the work of non-profit organizations and served as Executive Director of Dwankhozi Hope. Laurie enjoys spending time with her family including her two adult children. In her free time she gardens, cycles and started a year-round hiking group so that she always has someone to hike with in the beautiful Pacific Northwest!