MEET OUR TEAM

Combining expertise in higher education, college access, student support, community development, curriculum design, academic research and information technology, the Degrees of Change staff team is uniquely positioned to help communities and colleges build partnerships that help students succeed and communities thrive.
Alyson Atwater

Alyson Atwater

Administrator

Alyson earned a bachelors degree in Education from Whitworth University. She is an Act Six alum and after graduating, she worked as the Act Six Site Director in Spokane, WA before relocating back to Tacoma with her family. Alyson has a passion for working with students and helping them reach their potential. After a few months of transition, she rejoined the Degrees of Change staff as the Administrator.

Kelly Bay-Meyer, Ph.D.

Kelly Bay-Meyer, Ph.D.

Director of Research and Evaluation

Trained as a political scientist focused on education politics and direct democracy in Latin America, Kelly returned home to WA in 2010 to give back to her local community. She taught courses in research methods and social justice at Seattle University before serving as Senior Research and Evaluation Officer at the College Success Foundation. She holds a doctorate in Political Science from Brown University.

Francis Chau

Francis Chau

Communications Specialist

Francis is an Act Six alum from the third cadre at Gonzaga University, where she completed a dual Bachelors of Arts in Criminal Justice and Sociology. Working as the Communication Specialist, she helps with programmatic communications through our social media network. She also serves as the Act Six Program Supervisor for the Spokane area.

Bill Hanawalt

Bill Hanawalt

Development Director

Bill leads fund development at Degrees of Change and is passionate about connecting individuals and organizations with meaningful opportunities to give generously. Previously as the initial Executive Director of Peace Community Center, Bill grew the organization into a leader in youth development, culminating in recognition as a White House Champion of Change.

Tim Herron, Ed.D.

Tim Herron, Ed.D.

President

As an urban high school math teacher in Tacoma, WA, Tim developed the Act Six initiative in 2002 at Northwest Leadership Foundation to help his students succeed in college and return to lead in Tacoma. He now guides Degrees of Change as we work to expand and share the success of Act Six. He holds a doctorate in Higher Education Leadership and Policy from the University of Washington.

Nalani Linder, M.A.

Nalani Linder, M.A.

Managing Director of Community Cohorts

Nalani leads our new project to expand Degrees of Change’s reach to students at 2- and 4-year public universities. Fiercely committed to equity at all levels, Nalani has a background in child welfare system reform, private consulting around public/private collaboration for systems change, and working at the regional level to improve equity for early learning. She holds a Master’s Degree in Organizational & Systems Change Leadership from Antioch University.

Naticcia McNamara

Naticcia McNamara

Program Operations Support Manager

Naticcia is a first generation college student and Act Six alum from Whitworth, where she earned a bachelors degree in Sociology. Passionate about social justice and educational equity for marginalized communities, she taught second grade in Southern New Mexico for Teach For America before returning to the Northwest to join Degrees of Change, where she provides programmatic support for our partners.

Will Monin

Will Monin

Chief Techology Officer

Will leads technology projects for Degrees of Change, focusing on increasing our effectiveness through efficient data collection and analysis. He worked for a number of leading high-tech companies, including VMware and HP, in roles including product management, technical consulting, business development and sales. He holds a degree in Chemical Engineering from Vanderbilt University.

April Rose Nguyen

April Rose Nguyen

Administrative Intern

April Rose is a sophomore and member of Cadre 8 at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma. She is currently the intern for Degrees of Change, where she assists with various projects related to the Act Six and Ready to Rise programs. Majoring in Political Science and Communication, she is passionate about leadership, service, and being involved in her community.

Ben Sand, M.Div.

Ben Sand, M.Div.

Strategy Consultant

Deeply committed to identifying and developing leaders for the spiritual and social renewal of Portland, OR, Ben serves as CEO of the Portland Leadership Foundation and Strategic Advisor to the President at Warner Pacific College. At Degrees of Change, he helps shape strategy and develop new partnerships. He earned a Master’s of Divinity from George Fox University.