BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Chair Director, Chapter Founder
Graham Covington is the founder of Minds Matter Portland and currently serves as the Board Chair. He also serves as Board Chair with Portland Baroque Orchestra and is on the boards of Outward Bound West, Neskowin Valley School and the Portland Racquet Club. Graham holds an undergraduate degree from Williams College and an MBA from the University of California at Berkeley.
Graham's corporate career included time in the paper manufacturing industry where he was VP of Sales and Marketing at Boise Cascade Corporation, and earlier stints in the advertising business in New York. In 2005, Graham founded Grease Consulting, focusing on improving organizational effectiveness and creating value. He is an advocate of critical thinking and clear oral and written communications. Graham also served as an officer in the US Naval Reserve.
Graham subscribes to the following mantra, which motivated his founding and leadership of the Minds Matter organization. "If you can communicate well, orally and in writing, you can do anything. If you can't, you can't."
Carolyn Becic has over 30 years of non-profit management experience. She began her career as a teacher in East Los Angeles, California and Miami, Florida. Identifying a passion for working with underserved youth, Carolyn became the executive director of College & Careers, a Ford Foundation initiative to improve high school and college graduation for minority youth. In 1998, Ms. Becic returned home to Portland, Oregon and held Development Director positions at Providence Portland Medical Center, Friends of the Children, and Self Enhancement, Inc. From 2005 to 2012, she was the executive director of Oregon Mentors, the state partnership for mentoring programs. In August of 2012, Carolyn became President of Saint Andrew Nativity School, a tuition-free, Jesuit middle school for underserved youth. She is currently a board member of Minds Matter Portland, a college access mentoring program. She’s experienced in fund development, strategic planning, public relations, and marketing.
Anjene Bryant started her career as an elementary and middle school Social Studies
teacher in Vancouver, Washington. She joined PPS in 2014, where she taught at George Middle School. In 2018, she was the Assistant Principal at Beach Elementary, followed by a Program Associate role with Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP). Anjene earned a bachelor’s degree from Western Washington University and a master’s degree from Heritage University. Anjene also holds an administrative license from the University of Portland. Anjene is currently the Interim Director of Middle School Redesign, focusing on redesigning all PPS middle schools, redefining the student experience, and providing equitable opportunities and outcomes for students, particularly Black and Native students.
Tim Wright is an attorney at Tonkon Torp LLP where he works on complex civil litigation matters. Prior to joining Tonkon, Tim graduated from University of Oregon School of Law in 2017 and served as a judicial law clerk for the Hon. Erika L. Hadlock, former Chief Judge at the Oregon Court of Appeals. Before pursuing a life in the law, Tim grew up in rural Georgia and earned a BA in philosophy at the University of West Georgia, then served in the U.S. Army as a Tactical Unmanned Air Systems Repairer. He lives in Portland with his wife and child. He enjoys hiking, biking, reading, and singing and dancing with his kid. “I volunteer with Minds Matter because I grew up similarly situated to the students the program serves and understand how tough the path to higher education can be for a young person in that setting, even with a strong support network.”
Dr. Michael DeVaughn
Dr. Michael Lawrence DeVaughn is the Dean of the Pamplin School of Business at the University of Portland. He was a first-generation college student at Brown University, where he double majored in Economics and Organizational Behavior and Management. He is a native of Washington, D.C., but spent the past 19 years living in Minneapolis, MN working at two different universities (University of Minnesota and University of St. Thomas) before moving to Portland in June 2021. Prior to his time in higher education, he also worked in the corporate sector for Bank of America, Ralston Purina, and PepsiCo. In 1997, he resigned his position as a Vice President at Bank of America to pursue a Ph.D. in Business at the University of Wisconsin, setting him on a path to becoming a university professor and administrator. He decided to become a professor because he found that he enjoyed his “after work” position as an unpaid instructor (teaching assistant) at his alma mater more than his real, paid job at Bank of America. When not focusing on work, he likes to spend time exercising, walking, and biking. He also enjoys traveling and watching live sports.
Director - Minds Matter Alumni
Jessica Yu is a Minds Matter Portland alumnus, who was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. In 2021, Yu graduated with a B.A. in Chemistry with a concentration in biochemistry from Washington University in St. Louis. She currently works as the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Coordinator at The Oregon Clinic. In her free time, she likes to spend time with her dog, cook, and play games. "I serve on the board of Minds Matter Portland, because I know first-hand how impactful this program can be for low-income, first-generation students."
Sean Wallace is a CPA practicing in business taxation with focus on emerging growth and technology companies with Perkins & Co. Sean briefly spent time as a financial statement auditor before focusing on income tax and has been working as a CPA since 2010 when he became licensed. He graduated from the University of Oregon with dual bachelor's degrees in Spanish language and literature and business administration with a focus in accounting. Sean joined the board of Minds Matters Portland in 2015 looking to get involved in his local community. Minds Matter's mission and grass roots nature seemed like a great fit. Sean, his wife Meghan, and their two golden retrievers live in Vancouver, but split time between their farm in Colorado and home in the Portland metro area.