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MAVIN Foundation Board of Directors

MAVIN Foundation Board of Directors

Theresa Ronquillo, PhD

Vice President
Jenee Jahn

Eric Hamako

Amanda Erekson

Louie Gong, M.Ed.
Joe Sakay, Esq.
Kelly Jackson, PhD
Bridget Ray
Chris Robinson, MBA
Monica Nixon, M.Ed.
Mary Lingenfelter, MA
Laura Kina, MFA

Past Chairs of the Board

Gwen Trotter

Christopher B. Sharp

Eric W. Fredricks

Mariya Rubbelke, MBA PHR

Joe Sakay, Esq.

Michele Andrasik, PhD

Louie Gong, M.Ed.

MAVIN Foundation Board of Advisors:

Colleen Delaney, MD
Edwin C. Dorn, PhD
Matt Kelley (Founder)
Maria P. P. Root, PhD
Gina M. Samuels, PhD

Theresa Ronquillo, PhD- President Theresa was born and raised in the Midwest.  She received her B.A. from the University of Michigan and her MSW from the University of Chicago.  As a social work professional she held positions in management, supervision, program development, and research in a variety of community-based settings in Chicago and Ann Arbor MI.  Theresa moved to Seattle in 2004 to attend the University of Washington where she received her PhD in social welfare in 2008.  Her scholarly and teaching interests focus on curriculum transformation and integrating innovative pedagogies—including intergroup dialogue, project-based learning, community engagement and organizing, and performance—in higher education.  Theresa currently teaches courses at the University of Washington in a variety of departments.  She identifies as 2nd generation Filipina American and resides in Seattle’s Rainier Valley neighborhood with her partner and their fierce, intelligent, mixed race toddler Gabriela.




Jeneé E. Jahn - Vice President
Jeneé was born and raised in Davenport, a small farm town in Eastern Washington.  She moved to Seattle, Washington in 2001 to attend the University of Washington where she received a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Portuguese Studies (Spanish).  While there, she conducted two years of research in African American History under the mentorship and guidance of Dr. John C. Walter.  After graduating, she worked as a Program Coordinator at the Ethnic Cultural Center (University of Washington), a multicultural student leadership development center that works with historically underrepresented student populations.   There she was able to transform her experiences as a mixed Japanese American, low income and first generation college student into practical application by helping others to strive for excellence and pursue rewarding community connections.  In turn, her students and colleagues challenged her worldview; pushing her to grow personally and professionally.  Currently, she attends the Seattle University School of Law. 

Amanda Erekson- Treasurer
With a bachelor's degree in Asian Studies-Japan from Colgate University, Amanda joined MAVIN as an intern and quickly moved on to the staff as Operations Manager. While in this position she co-managed the Generation MIX National Awareness Tour, facilitated workshops on the mixed race experience at the Women of Color Mixed Heritage/Ethnicity/Race Conference, the National Student Conference on the Mixed Race Experience and Washington's Student of Color Conference among others and participated in strategic planning for the organization. Amanda recently returned from a year in the Japan Exchange & Teaching Program and is excited about her new role as the Secretary on MAVIN's Board of Directors. Raised in Eugene, Oregon, she identifies as mixed race, Japanese American and white American.
Eric Hamako- Secretary Eric has been involved in Mixed-Race student organizing since 2000, working first with Hapa Issues Forum (HIF) and now as an instructor and speaker in Western Massachusetts. Currently a doctoral candidate in the University of Massachusetts Amherst's Social Justice Education Program, Eric studies how community education can support Mixed-Race people's political movements in the US and ways to incorporate stronger anti-racist frameworks into those educational efforts. His first publication, "For the Movement: Community education supporting Multiracial organizing" appeared in the journal Equity & Excellence in Education in 2006. Eric has also presented on Multiraciality to colleges and universities across the U.S., on topics including identity development, community education, and pop culture representations. Eric is a Multiracial Asian American man of Japanese and Ashkenazi Jewish heritage, raised upper-middle class in Watsonville, California.
Monica Nixon,  M.Ed.- Monica directs the Office of Multicultural Affairs at Seattle University, building on a decade of experience in higher education at the University of Virginia, the University of Puget Sound, and Colgate University. She has been on the MAVIN listserv since she first advised students establishing a multiracial student organization at U.Va. (which she also did at UPS and Colgate), and she is thrilled to join the MAVIN Foundation board. She earned both her bachelor’s degree in English and her master’s degree in counseling from the University of Virginia; her master’s project focused on identity development and experiences of multiracial undergraduate students. She has also researched and presented on many other topics, including intersections of racial and sexual identity development, privilege and oppression, intergroup dialogue, and multicultural competency development. Monica and her partner live in Seattle.
Joe Sakay, Esq. - Past President Joe is a partner at the Hillis Clark Martin & Peterson, P.S. law firm in Seattle. His practice focuses on the litigation and trial of complex civil matters in state and federal courts. He has participated in the successful litigation of antitrust cases with potential damages in excess of $1 billion. Joe is a member of state and federal bar associations and has volunteered for pro bono and mentorship projects. He is published on topics including Filipino Amerasians and the struggle for Black equality in post-war Seattle. A triracial person and the father of three young multiracial, multiethnic children, Joe became acquainted with MAVIN when he registered as a bone marrow donor at a 2001 MatchMaker drive. Joe lives with his wife Lisa and their children in Seattle's Greenlake neighborhood.
Louie Gong

Louie Gong, M.Ed.- Past President
Louie is a Nooksack tribal member who was raised by his grandmother, father, aunts and uncles within his tribal community. Since graduating from Western Washington University’s School Counseling program in 1999, he has worked primarily with communities of color as a teacher, child and family therapist, and counseling program coordinator. In all these roles, and in his current position as Education Resource Coordinator for the Muckleshoot Tribal College, Louie pushes for recognition of the mixed heritage experience in educational and social programming. This value is also interwoven into his work as adjunct faculty for Evergreen State College, where he teaches classes such as the “Mixed Heritage: Thinking outside the box about tribal communities.” Louie is also an artist and frequent public speaker. The unique merger of his art and activism has been profiled in the film "Unreserved: the work of Louie Gong."

Kelly Jackson, PhD- Kelly is an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at Arizona State University.  She earned her PhD in Social Welfare from the University at Buffalo, State University of New York.  Kelly’s research examines the cultural identity of multiracial people.  She is also interested in developing and evaluating strength-based interventions for multiracial and multicultural youth who are at-risk of developing psychosocial and/or health-related problems.  Kelly identifies as Biracial (Black/White), and resides with her dog Yuma in Phoenix, Arizona.

Chris Robinson, MBA- Chris is a senior marketing executive at Target Corporation.  He is over 15 years experience in the service and technology industries and extensive experience in marketing, international product launches, strategy & planning, and program initiatives.  A mixed heritage person with African, Hispanic, Scottish, Native American and East Indian roots, Chris has volunteered for several mentor and youth programs including the YMCA, Minneapolis Schools, and Sharing & Caring Hands and Big Brother.  He is the co-founder and past board member of Rites Association and former board member of Theater in the Round.
Bridget Ray- Ms. Ray has over 20 years diverse work experience in the public, private and tribal sectors with her most recent work interests revolving around Native Non-profit Development and Organizational Capacity Building, and Native Community Economic Development through Strategic Planning (for Environmental Sustainability also). She is a certified nonprofit planning and fundraising trainer and facilitator.  Bridget graduated from TESC in 2003 with a BA/BS in Cultural Studies and Environmental Science and recently became a First Nations Development Institute LEAD Cohort recipient for 2009. In addition to serving on the MAViN Board as the Fundraising Chair, she aslo serves on two other non-profit boards and the Technical Assistance Committee for the Potlatch Fund.
Rudy Guevarra, Jr., earned his Ph.D. in History at the University of California, Santa Barbara.  He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Asian Pacific American Studies Program at Arizona State University.  He has co-edited Crossing Lines: Race and Mixed Race Against the Geohistorical Divide (Alta Mira Press, 2005), and is completing his book manuscript titled, Mexipino: Mexicans, Filipinos and the Formation of Multiethnic Identities and Communities.  A self-identified Mexipino, Rudy is also the creator of Multiracial Apparel, which celebrates mixed heritage people and families.  His research and teaching interests include comparative and relational Asian American, Pacific Islander and Chicana/o-Latina/o history, multiracial/multiethnic identity, immigration and transnational migration, and labor history.   His community work has included youth education on gang enforcement laws and prisons, community archive building, and cultural awareness.   In addition, Rudy is an avid cook and would one day love to open his own “mom-n-pop” restaurant.  

Laura Kina, MFA is an artist, independent curator, and scholar whose research focuses on Asian American art and critical mixed race studies. She is an Associate Professor of Art, Media and Design, Vincent de Paul Professor, and Director of Asian American Studies at DePaul University where she teaches studio arts courses and seminars on Asian American Arts and Culture and Mixed Race Art and Identity. She earned her MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago and her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Kina became involved in issues of mixed race representation through her own visual art projects and by way of her involvements in Chicago’s Asian American arts and film community since the mid-1990s. She is currently the Midwest coordinator for the Diasporic Asian Arts Network. Born in Riverside, California to an Okinawan father from Hawai’i and a Basque-Spanish/French, English, Irish, and Dutch mother from the Pacific Northwest, Kina was raised in Poulsbo, WA. and lives and works in Chicago, IL with her husband, Mitch, and their daughter, Midori, and her stepdaughter, Ariel.


Mary Lingenfelter, M.A. - Mary is a Korean-American adoptee, having been adopted from South Korea at the age of 3. She has spent 12 years of her professional career in the social services field, holding positions including international adoption social worker and foster care and adoption specialist. Mary earned her BA degree in sociology from the University of Washington and her MA in mental health counseling from Seattle University. During her graduate studies, she focused on clinical issues for adoptees, both same race and transracial family configurations. Mary has developed and facilitated transracial adoption trainings at her current agency, and has helped hundreds of adoptive families learn how to successfully parent their transracially adopted children. Additionally, Mary teaches the 27 hour foster parent licensing training which focuses on the child welfare system and the issues involved in parenting children in foster care. She has been a guest speaker for different events including the Wismer Conference at Seattle University, Friends and Family of Children from China events, and the Mavin Foundation events. Mary lives in the greater Seattle area, enjoys walks with her dog, rollerblading around Greenlake, and sharing good meals and conversation with friends and family.

Eric W. Fredricks
Bio statement is forthcoming.

MAVIN Foundation Board of Advisors
Edwin C. Dorn, PhD
Ed is a Professor of Public Affairs at the University of Texas' Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. He served as Dean of the LBJ School from 1997 to 2004. He previously served as Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. In that capacity, he was the Defense Secretary's senior advisor on recruitment, training, pay, and benefits for the Defense Department's total force of more than three million people. Before joining the DOD, Dorn was a Senior Staff Member at the Brookings Institution, where he developed executive education programs for government and private sector managers. He also has been Director of Executive Operations for the U.S. Department of Education, and Special Assistant in the U.S. Department of Health, Education. Ed is the author of over fifty articles, reports, and op-ed pieces. He lives with his family in Austin.
Matt Kelley
Matt is MAVIN Foundation's founder. He founded MAVIN magazine in 1998 as a college freshman. He is also co-editor of the Multiracial Child Resource Book and producer of the film, Chasing Daybreak. Matt has been featured in over 400 media, including the New York Times, CNN and Newsweek, and is the recipient of many awards, including a "Points of Light" distinction by President George W. Bush. Matt has presented testimony to Congress about the health needs of mixed heritage people, served as vice president of the Association of MultiEthnic Americans (AMEA), and volunteers with the Korean American Coalition and the Pride Foundation. Born and raised in Washington, he enjoys fishing, horticulture and trying on different identities.
Maria P. P. Root, PhD
Maria is an independent scholar and clinical psychologist. She is a trainer, educator, and international public speaker on the topics of multiracial families, multiracial identity, cultural competence, trauma, work place harassment, and disordered eating. One of the leading authorities in the field of racial and ethnic identity, Maria published the first contemporary volume on mixed race people, Racially Mixed People in America (1992). Including this book, she has edited two award-winning books on multiracial people and produced the Bill of Rights for Racially Mixed People. The U.S. Census referred to these texts in their deliberations that resulted in an historic “check one or more races” format to the race question for the 2000 census. She is past-President of the Washington State Psychological Association and the recipient of national and international awards.
Gina M. Samuels, PhD
Gina is an Assistant Professor at the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. Her research interests are in child welfare and examine the long-term socio-cultural outcomes among transracial adoptees and foster youth, including racial/ethnic heritage and identity development. A biracial adoptee herself, Gina also serves as a Research Expert on the Illinois Adoption Advisory Council, and is a Faculty Affiliate of the Center for the Study of Race Polictics and Culture and a Faculty Associate at the Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago. Gina and her husband live in Chicago.
Joana Ramos, MSW- Joana is an independent consultant specializing in health policy issues, particularly on access to care, in the US and internationally.  A graduate of Boston University and the University of Washington School of Social Work, Joana is a community organization specialist who has been involved in a variety of child welfare, education, health and healthcare, and civic programs in staff and volunteer roles; her personal background as part of a multi-heritage family often guides her work. She served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Brazil, and later lived in the Amazon region. After a diagnosis of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that did not respond to treatment, she underwent a BMT (blood & marrow transplant), and subsequently began to work on equity issues in this field. She was a reviewer of the Institute of Medicine’s 2005 report Cord Blood: Establishing a National Hematopoietic Stem Cell Bank Program, and served on the initial Consumer Advocacy Committee of Center for International Blood & Marrow Transplant Research, from 2005-2007. She assisted MAVIN with the former MatchMaker program to recruit BMT donors, and was Program Manager for MAVIN’s Healthcare Access Project from 2006-07, resulting in the creation of the BMTBasics.org website. Currently Joana is the Director of the Washington Coalition for Prescribing Integrity, a small consumer and provider coalition working on the policy level to ensure that all state residents have access to appropriate and affordable prescription drugs. With experience as a medical interpreter for patients and translator for health organizations, she is also a founding member of the new Washington State Coalition for Language Access. Her hobbies include hiking, reading mysteries, bread baking, and writing, including a professional website at http://ramoslink.info/ and the blog Health Watched at http://healthwatched.org. Joana and her husband live in Seattle and are the parents of two adult children.