Leaders

 Meet the NSBE PRO-PDX Chapter Executive Board

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J'REYESHA (JAY) BRANNON

President

J'reyesha (Jay) Brannon is a born and raised Oregonian and University of Portland alumni (’15), where she graduated with a degree in civil engineering. Jay currently works as a design engineer and project manager for the City of Portland. She has managed sewer rehabilitation, treatment plant / pump station facility upgrades, and potable water systems. She is passionate about accessibility and inclusion for communities of color, particularly in STEM fields. Outside of work she is an avid volunteer, holding roles in a variety of community organizations. In her spare time, she manages a small vintage resale business and is an artist. 

www.jreyesha.com

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BRYAN HALL

Vice President

Bryan Hall, the 386th Lifetime Member of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), is passionate about diversifying the STEM pipeline while building community among aspiring, developing, and excelling minority engineers. Over his 13-year career in NSBE, Bryan has served in multiple collegiate leadership roles for the University of North Texas and Iowa State University as well as the special events coordinator for Bryan serves as the Finance Chair for the NSBE Portland Professionals Chapter. He aims to fulfill NSBE's mission, which is "to increase the number of culturally responsible Black Engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally, and positively impact the community."


Bryan has over seven years of professional experience in quality assurance, test engineering, and software development and currently works as a Software Quality Engineer at Intel Corporation. He possesses his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of North Texas and his Master of Science in Computer Engineering from Iowa State University. Bryan pursues his Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Engineering at Iowa State University. He aims to ignite a passionate flame within you to engage, enrich, and empower the community surrounding you. 

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GORDON KAWALEY

Finance Chair

Gordon Kawaley, a native born Sierra Leonean is locally raised in Oregon and is a University of Portland alumni (‘11), where he graduated with a degree in Engineering Management and a Business Degree. He is also a Portland State University alumni (‘13) where he finished his Electrical Engineering Degree. He currently works as a Transmission Planning Grid Modeling Engineer with Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) and has been working in this role for 8 years during his 14-year tenure with BPA.

 

He also works part time as a Financial Advisor, consulting with individuals and families to help them meet their financial goals. As an Electrical Engineer, he manages Grid Simulations for Hydro, Wind, and Solar plants in the Western Electricity Coordinating Council, amongst a myriad of other tasks. He is passionate about exposing the youth and other professionals in the STEM and Business fields to opportunities and different ways to better themselves and their community. Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with his wife, family and friends and is engaged in other community events. 

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SHANEKA OWENS

Secretary

Shaneka Owens was born and raised in Baltimore, MD. She received her B.S. degree in Civil Engineering and M.S. degree in Transportation and Infrastructure Studies, both from Morgan State University. Shaneka is an Operations and Major Projects Engineer for the Federal Highway Administration's Oregon Division. She is responsible for federal oversight on highway transportation projects in the Portland Metropolitan Area.

 

Shaneka loves to mentor youth and volunteer with local non- profit organizations. She is dedicated to inspiring and encouraging more youth of color to pursue STEAM careers. In addition, Shaneka is a professional seamstress that loves to create custom clothing during her free time. 
 

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KENT MERTILIEN

Professional Development Chair

Bio coming soon!
 

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KENT MERTILIEN

Professional Development Chair

Kent is a first generation Haitian - American,  originally from Miami, Fl. He attended University of Central Florida and Arizona State University for his degree in Electrical Engineering. Kent has over eight years of electrical engineering experience throughout different industries including copper mining, space launch ground support design, and semiconductor. Kent is a Product Development Engineer at Intel where he creates and test complex hardware solutions ensuring optimal product quality.  

 

His passion lies in community engagement and mentoring where he helps new employees from minority background feel welcome so that they have a space to connect and build a foundation. He also mentors and introduces STEM as an opportunity to young black youth with hands-on science projects and one-one engagements.

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Senior Executive Chair

LUL KIDANE

Membership Chair

Lul is a graduate of California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo where she completed her degree in civil engineering with an emphasis in water resources engineering. While pursuing her undergraduate degree, she engaged in several projects to provide real-world solutions to stormwater and flood management. Since graduating she has worked as a design engineer with expertise in pipelines, site improvements, and stormwater management. She has experience assisting water resources and transportation design groups in their service to government agencies, districts, consultants, and sometimes the general public. Lul also gained construction engineering experience as an intern for firms in California and abroad in Ethiopia.

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DR. STEVEN CALLENDER

Dr. Steven Callender was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. He received his B.S. degree from Columbia University and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from UC Berkeley all in Electrical Engineering. He is currently a Research Scientist in Intel Labs, the research division of Intel Corporation, with a focus on the development of integrated circuits for next-generation communication systems.

 

Outside of work, Steven is passionate about engaging with the youth and increasing their interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematic (STEAM) careers. He is especially focused on improving the presence of underrepresented groups in the STEAM pipeline. He finds it important to demystify STEAM fields, build confidence in young engineers, and equip them with the tools needed to navigate a fulfilling career path. His favorite pastime is listening to live jazz and is always open to long conversations around music.

 

Pre-College Initiative Chair

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DR. COREY FRAZIER, P.E.

Senior Executive Chair

Corey Frazier, Ph.D., PE is a proud “Air Force Brat” whose experiences as a youth influenced his career trajectory in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Applied Arts, Mathematics) advocacy, systems-thinking, and leadership roles. He currently works for Intel Corporation as a Technical Marketing Strategist and Operations Manager for artificial intelligence products. He has had multiple roles in engineering management, design team leadership, innovation coaching, and business development in areas such as supercomputer hardware development, quality systems management, and startup portfolio management and incubation.

 

Prior to Intel, he worked for NASA’s Space Shuttle Program for 7 years in Houston, Texas as a trajectory design lead. He has a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering and a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Central Florida and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University. In the community, Corey serves on the Oregon Innovation Council and a board member on the State Plumbing Board. He serves on the Advisory Board for the College of Community Innovation and Education at the University of Central Florida, is a board member for iUrban Teen, and is on the executive board of directors at the Urban League of Portland (ULPDX). In his spare time, Corey has translated his creative passions into content creation across Twitch and YouTube. In partnership with ULPDX, he has piloted the CreatorSpace, a program offering creative camps and seminars for youth of color to express themselves and see themselves in the media they consume (comics, digital and traditional art, writing, online content creation, and gaming).

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JOIN OUR DYNAMIC BOARD!

Why should you join?

- Impact your community

- Develop leadership skills

- Increase your network

- Add to your resume

Open Positions:

Social Media Manager

Web Manager

Community Outreach / Event Coordinator

Senior Executive Chairs (Senior Level / VP) 

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