TRSA Staff

Get to know the Nerd Herd

 

Xan Black
Executive Director

Xan Black is the Executive Director of the Tulsa Regional STEM Alliance (TRSA). Xan’s drive, passions, and leadership of the Alliance support all aspects of STEM education. She aligns the experience and wisdom of community partners with the need of educators and schools. She is responsible for project management, strategic planning, program implementation and more. Xan graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Petroleum Engineering from Texas Tech University in 1981. She worked for eight years in the energy industry in Oklahoma. In 2007, Xan earned a Master of Education degree with an emphasis in Middle and Secondary School from Southwestern Assemblies of God University. She taught secondary math and science for 11 years at Mingo Valley Christian School. Xan and her husband, Jeff, have five adult children and have lived in Tulsa since 1990.

918-779-4910

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Emily Mortimer
Program Director

Emily Mortimer is a rural Missouri native with a B.S. in Biology from Missouri State University, M.S. in Teaching, Learning and Leadership from OSU and currently pursuing a PhD in Curriculum and STEM from OSU.  Her professional experience includes 14 years in informal education at the Tulsa Zoo and Dickerson Park Zoo.  Over the years, her main job duties included behavioral training for various bird and mammal species, volunteer management, community partnerships, program development, curriculum writing, and education department management.  Ten years ago she was a member of the founding team for the teacher professional development program, SENSEsational Science, which is now a TRSA program and has served over 400 Oklahoma teachers and given out over 32,000 hours of PD. 

When not at work, Emily enjoys spending time with her husband and young son building and exercising on American Ninja Warrior Obstacles in their backyard, hiking, gardening, baking, swimming and running.

918-779-4910 ext. 201

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Kristen Tanner
K-20 Program Manager

Kristen received her B.S. in Elementary Education from Northeastern State University and has 12 years experience in the classroom, most recently as an elementary STEM teacher.  She has a passion for STEM education, working with and encouraging teachers, and helping students broaden their horizons and change the future. She has been married to her husband for 22 years and they have two amazing daughters.  They love to travel and visit National Parks. When she’s not attending one of her daughters’ many band events, you can probably find her pulling weeds in the yard while dreaming of her next hiking and road trip.

918-779-4910 ext. 203

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Jaime Christensen
Events Manager

Jaime Christensen is the Events Manager for TRSA. She has a strong sense of devotion for the nonprofit sector and is excited to join in TRSA’s efforts to develop STEM in the Tulsa area. She previously worked as a marketing and public relations professional at a trade association in Dallas. She has a strong background in events and communications. Jaime graduated from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah with a Bachelor of Business in Event Planning and a minor in marketing. She is an active member of Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) and Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).

Outside of work, Jaime enjoys baking, playing soccer and spending time with her dog.
 
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Josh Walton
Data Analyst and HR Manager

Josh Walton has joined the TRSA team as the Data and Evaluation Coordinator. Josh is focusing research on program effectiveness and impact within organizations as he pursues his graduate degree in human relations at OU-Tulsa. Since moving to Tulsa three years ago, he has been active in nonprofits benefiting Tulsa education. He hopes to continue this passion within the STEM field, further strengthening youth education in the process.

Away from work, Josh enjoys running, disc-golf, hiking, and playing with his dog, Iris.

918-779-4910 ext.202

Taylor Smith
Mentorship and Volunteer Program Manager

Taylor Smith has joined the TRSA team as the Mentorship and Volunteer Program Manager. A Tulsa-area native, she received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Spanish from The University of Tulsa in 2014. Taylor has several years of experience with mentoring and volunteerism, both on a personal and professional level in the non-profit sector.

Taylor serves on the Board of Directors at Dayspring Villa, a local shelter that provides care for victims of domestic violence and human trafficking. If she is not working on her own budget, you might find her teaching a financial literacy class and helping others with their personal finances. 

In addition, Taylor enjoys spending time with her husband Jacob and dog Holmes, traveling, attending concerts or OKC Thunder games, and Chick-fil-A.

918-779-4910 ext.202

Lynn Staggs
Office Manager

Lynn Staggs is the Office Manager for TRSA. Having worked in the tech industry for many years, TRSA and its mission of raising awareness about and interest in STEM is near and dear to her heart.

Living with a husband with a science degree and raising a daughter with a science degree and a son with an engineering degree, Lynn is the maverick in the family with a double major in literature and mass media studies.

While this is the first time she’s been paid for her work at a non-profit, Lynn has accumulated thousands of volunteer hours at numerous non-profits – starting in high school when she volunteered with a special needs Girl Scout troop, through the PTA years, and up to her current board membership at the League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Tulsa.

Away from work, she lives by the rally cry of her birth city, New Orleans -- laissez le bon temps rouler!

918-779-4910 

Aleia McNaney
Communications Coordinator

Aleia McNaney is the Communications Coordinator for TRSA. Originally from North Carolina, she moved to Tulsa in the fall of 2016 to serve for two years as an AmeriCorps VISTA with the Alliance. Aleia has a BA in Communication from Regent University. Her experience includes an internship in her congressman’s D.C. office as well as a communications internship with a nonprofit working to fight human trafficking in Virginia Beach.

In her free time, Aleia enjoys hiking, laughing at her own puns, and bread.

918-779-4910 

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Rikki Brown
AmeriCorps VISTA, STEM Shoppe Coordinator

Rikki Brown grew up in Tulsa and received a Bachelor’s of Science in Natural Resource Ecology and Management from OSU. She previously worked with the Tulsa nonprofit Crossroads Clubhouse, which serves adults with mental illness. She was also an AmeriCorps member on Cape Cod in Massachusetts, where she worked on environmental and disaster preparedness projects. She is excited to work with the Tulsa STEM Alliance and help serve the community through science education.