The Authors

Elizabeth B. Pearce

Liz Pearce is proud to be a member of an institution that supports the work of this open pedagogy project and open educational resource, which strives to increase equity for students learning about about families in the United States. Creating opportunities and resources for transformative learning is her passion. She is a long-time faculty member at Linn-Benton Community College, teaching Human Development and Family Sciences courses and advising future Human Services and Social Work professionals. In addition she leads and mentors faculty in several areas: equity-based teaching, active learning, technology use, and open pedagogy.

Christopher Byers

Christopher earned an Associate of Science degree in Human Development and Family Sciences, Human Services option in June 2020 from Linn-Benton Community College. HE is now headed to Portland State University for the social work program. Christopher helped start the Human Services Club at LBCC, has been active in Student Government and is currently working on acquiring his Drug and Alcohol Counseling Certificate at Emergence Addiction & Mental Health Services. He expects to graduate with his Bachelors of Social Work degree in 2022 and his Masters of Social Work in 2023.

Alexis Castaneda-Perez

Alexis Castaneda-Perez is a Psychology major at Oregon State University and LBCC. He researched and wrote for the Justice chapter as well as the Food and Water chapter. In addition he assisted with ensuring accessibility, accessing open resources, and creating chapter glossaries. He hopes to eventually become a therapist and help college students. When not at school he enjoys writing music and playing guitar.

Nyssa Cronin

Nyssa Cronin is a proud Linn-Benton Community College and Oregon State University alumni with a Bachelors of Science in Human Development and Family Sciences, emphasizing in Human Services and minoring in Public Health. Her academic and personal interests have led her to study trauma and how that impacts individual, interpersonal, familial, and community health. No doubt, this led her to understand how systemic structures impact individuals based on their race, class, and gender. As an ally, she believes that education should be free to all; this book marks a step forward in that pursuit.

Cassie Cruze

Cassie is a working single parent in the process of attaining her undergraduate degree in Human Development Family Sciences at Linn-Benton Community College with the hope to see social and personal goals met. She worked on the Justice Chapter of this book. She is employed by the Lebanon Downtown Association; her favorite aspect is creating experiences for individuals and families to have lasting memories. She enjoys working alongside her child as they volunteer for community organizations that serve Linn and Benton counties. She expects to graduate from Linn Benton in 2021.

Shonna Dempsey

Shonna is a 40 year old, first generation college student. She is a full-time mother, part-time employee, and full-time college student. She is currently enrolled at LBCC. She will be graduating with an AS in HDFS in 2021. Shonna worked on the Housing and Routines, Traditions, and Culture chapters, as well as the glossaries. After graduating she plans on transferring to obtain a bachelor’s degree in social work or in HDFS. Shonna’s dream job is to work with women coming out of addiction and domestic violence or at risk youth.

Ruta Faifaise

Ruta is a dual-enrolled LBCC and OSU student who is majoring in Human Development and Family Sciences. She was awarded the Oscar Humberto Montemayor Award at the 2020 Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration as a student who “embodies Oscar’s ethos of selfless service; steady, strong, considerate leadership; and trailblazing spirit and heart.”

Jessica N. Hampton

Jessica is finishing up her associate degree in the Human Development and Family Sciences (HDFS) field at Linn-Benton CC, and is heading forward to continue HDFS at OSU to obtain her Bachelor of Science degree. She contributed to the Visual Culture: Art and Beauty chapter, as well as the Health chapter of this text. She is a feminist, a mother of two, and believes that the beginning of every individuals journey to success starts with receiving the necessary services and support needed to help them flourish.

Katherine Hemlock

Katherine Hemlock is a Human Development Family Sciences student, dual-enrolled at Linn-Benton Community College and Oregon State University. She helped start the Human Services Club at LBCC and also uses her Applied Science Degree in Horticulture to teach a gardening class for Justice Involved Youth. Katherine enjoys writing and art, and contributed to the Housing chapter as well as creating several illustrations. She is a parent of two school-aged sons and two little dogs she trained to chase birds out of her blueberry patch and fruit trees.

Amy Huskey

Amy is a mom who is a volunteer leader at her children’s schools and in her community. She is studying Public Health at LBCC.

Carla Medel

Carla Medel is a current Oregon State University student who is dual enrolled at Linn Benton Community College. She is majoring in Psychology and holding minors in Human Development and Family Sciences and Spanish. As a young Latina who is also part of an immigrant family she found it extremely important to include the stories of people and families like hers to this book. Throughout this project she showed continuous motivation and drive to have future students see themselves reflected in academic learning materials as she did not get to experience that in her previous education. She will be graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in the spring of 2021 and is looking to further her education with a Masters degree.

Hannah Morelos

Hannah is currently an Human Development and Family Sciences (HDFS) major at LBCC with an emphasis in Human Services and soon plans to transfer to OSU for a Bachelor of Science in HDFS. She contributed to the Art and Beauty chapter along with the Health chapter. Hannah’s dream career is to work with troubled adolescents along with making an impact in the systems that affect young individuals.

Katie Niemeyer

Katie Niemeyer is an aspiring artist who wants to see the world change for the better. When she took on this project, she had no idea what was in store for her but this project helped her learn and grow into the person she is today.

Wesley Sharp

Wesley Sharp is currently a Human Services major at Linn-Benton Community College. Wesley’s main passion is avocation for socially disadvantaged groups mainly focusing on the LGBT+ community. He contributed to the Love and Nurturance Chapter as well as the Housing chapter. He hopes to eventually run a non profit organization on empowering and elevating queer youth as well as finding them safe and affirming living situations where there are none.


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Contemporary Families: An Equity Lens 1e Copyright © 2020 by Linn-Benton Community College and student contributors is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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