AMANDA FIGUEROA

Senior Director of Student Transitions & Success,
University of Washington Tacoma

Amanda is the Senior Director of Student Transitions and Success at the University of Washington Tacoma, where she leads the Career Development & Education, New Student & Family Programs, First Generation Student Initiatives, and Pre-College Programs. As a first-generation college student, two of her proudest accomplishments were earning her Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences (2004) and Master of Science in Aquatic and Fisheries Science (2010), both from the University of Washington. She worked in scientific research for seven years where her work included identifying marine worms, mapping sex chromosomes in three-spined stickleback fish, and exploring the biological impacts of chemicals in plastics.

 

Amanda co-founded the University of Washington's student chapter of the Society of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science, an experience that ultimately led to her current work in Student Affairs. Her professional experience over the past nine years has centered on advocating for equity in education, creating bridges between educational institutions and communities, and supporting young people in developing and attaining big dreams. Outside of work, Amanda enjoys cooking with her husband, crafting, gardening, and hiking.

KIMBERLY KEITH, PhD

Executive Director,
Hilltop Artists

Kimberly was appointed Executive Director of Hilltop Artists in May, 2017. She is a Tacoma

native who has worked in the arts and culture sector since 1992. Kimberly earned her PhD in

Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London, researching how US and UK museum practitioners

develop and engage diverse audiences in relation to disparate organizational cultures and strategic

policies. She also holds a Master of Non-Profit Leadership from Seattle University and a BA from

The Evergreen State College with a focus on art history and studio art. 

 

Kimberly worked in museums developing and delivering educational programs, most specifically for at-risk youth and diverse audiences, at the Children’s Museum of Seattle and the Museum of Glass in Tacoma. She was a Trustee on the board of Black Cultural Archives in the Brixton area of south London, and served on its capital project board to raise 7 million pounds to build the UK’s first national black

heritage center, which opened in July of 2014. Kimberly serves on the Advisory Committee at Oasis

Youth Center in Tacoma.

Jaleesa’s work at the Lifelong Kindergarten research group at the MIT Media lab focuses on creative learning and learning technologies to eradicate race, class and social barriers in education through a lens of intersectionality. Through her efforts, she hopes to give marginalized youth access to STEM technologies and resource educators to provide an equitable learning environment. 

 

Jaleesa is currently a community organizer with a group called Tacoma Action Collective, where she helps bring awareness to issues that impact marginalized people.

JALEESA TRAPP

PhD Student, Massachusetts Institute of Technology 
Media Lab

Almahz is an educator, entrepreneur, engineer, public servant, world traveler, and lover of all things coffee and cats.Originally from California, she moved to Washington in 2007 and completed her PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington in 2015.

 

In addition to working as a Power Analyst for Tacoma Public Utilities, Ahlmahz is also the co-founder of n3Solutions, a local start-up that develops, markets and manages innovative community-focused energy services and economic development solutions.

 

In her free time, Ahlmahz balances managing a free legal clinic at the Muslim Community Resource Center and spending time with family and friends.

ALMAHZ NEGASH, PhD

Electrical Engineer/Power Analys, Tacoma Public Utilities

Lin  has been President and CEO at Bates Technical College since 2018. She is the college’s first female president, and the first female Chinese immigrant to serve as president at a public two-year college in Washington state. She previously served in various leadership roles at bates and at Lake Washington Institute of Technology. She holds a Ph.D. in education, with an emphasis in community college leadership, from Oregon State University, a master’s degree from City University. She currently serve on the board for College Sparks Foundation, American Technic

LIN ZHOU, PhD

President & CEO,
Bates Technical College

2019 Storyteller Bios