Faculty teaching in our ETSP and BASSP programs:

 Soraya Cardenas  

Soraya Cardenas, PhD


Soraya Cardenas received her doctorate degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her specializations in Sociology include, Sustainability & Environment, Inequalities, Race & Ethnicity, and Social Justice. She later would spend three years in Oaxaca to study poverty and the environment. While a professor at the University of Maine at Fort Kent (UMFK), she produced documentaries with her classes. One of her films, which explored Aroostook County's interest in biomass, was financially supported by a National Science Foundation grant. She received the Trustee Professorship to study windmills near the vicinity of communities, and in 2010, was awarded "Researcher of the Year" for her work with students in the classroom along with chairing the maiden event, "Scholars Symposium". In 2012, Dr. Cardenas was nominated for the Donald Harward Faculty Award for Service-Learning Excellence. In 2014, Dr. Cardenas took a group of students to Maui to study permaculture. When Dr. Cardenas is not working with students or in the classroom, she enjoys hiking, kayaking, skiing, running and spending time with her family.

John VanLeer  

John VanLeer

Earth Science

John VanLeer earned a Bachelor of Science in Physical Geography with an emphasis in Geological Sciences from Pennsylvania State University, and a Master of Arts in Physical Sciences from West Chester University. He has taught as a member of a five person interdisciplinary team at the middle school level and also as adjunct professor at West Chester University and Delaware County Community College. He has also served as an Associate Geoscientist for McLaren/Hart Environmental Engineering Corporation and as Environmental Scientist for McCormick Taylor and Associates.


Sadie Rosenthal


Sadie Rosenthal holds a Master's in Biological Sciences from the University of Notre Dame where she focused on freshwater ecology and invasive species biology. Prior to that she earned a Bachelor of Science in Forestry and a Minor in Entomology from the University of California, Berkeley. In addition to her applied education, she has spent many years traveling across the U.S. as a field and laboratory biologist. She worked on projects including the biological control of schistosomiasis, the biological effects of sun and shade coffee plantations in Puerto Rico, the botanical inventory of USFS lands in Alaska, and the monitoring of fisheries in the Bering Sea. Prior to being hired full-time, she taught as an associate faculty for two years at Cascadia College.

Erin Richards  

Erin Richards

Political Science

Erin Richards has a bachelor of arts in international relations from Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts, and a master of arts in political science from Washington State University where she is ABD. Her academic interests include American Government institutions and voting behavior, State and Local Government, Women in Politics as well as issues around citizenship, civic engagement, and political science education and pedagogy. Ms. Richards currently serves on the Status Committee for Community Colleges for the American Political Science Association (APSA) tasked with assessing and raising the visibility of the role of community colleges in political science education. She has published book chapters and articles on teaching at community colleges and worked on multi-campus projects on the role of American Government courses in promoting citizenship education and engagement. Prior to Cascadia, she taught at Washington State University, Olympic College, and Green River Community College.

Lisa Citron photo  

Lisa Citron, PhD


Lisa Citron joined Cascadia as a full-time faculty member in Economics in 2007. She was an associate faculty member here for the previous five years; during that time, Dr. Citron completed her Ph.D. in Anthropology and Education from Columbia University. She also has a M.S. from the University of Arizona and a B.S. from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. In addition to her expertise in economics, Dr. Citron is fluent in French and Moroccan Arabic, and proficient in Spanish.

 Marc Hyman Business Professor  

Marc Hyman

Business & Accounting

Marc Hyman is a Certified Management Accountant and a tenured accounting and business instructor at Cascadia College; he also teaches for University of Washington Bothell, and previously taught for UC Berkeley Extension, Golden Gate University (in San Francisco), and the Estonian Business School (in Tallinn). Mr. Hyman has more than 13 years of commercial and investment banking experience, and served as financial advisor on a USAID environmental action project in Poland. He is the author of Back on the Map, a memoir of Estonia during its transition to democracy, and American Business, a guide to U.S. business from an international perspective. He holds an M.B.A. degree, with specializations in accounting and finance, from The University of Michigan, and a bachelor's degree in psychology from UC Berkeley.

Stephan Classen  

Stephan Classen

Assistant Director of Sustainable Practices

Stephan Classen came to Cascadia teaching science labs, then became the advisor and assistant director for the BASSP program.  He was the Aquaculture Education Specialist for the Pacific Aquaculture and Coastal Resources Center (PACRC) in Hilo, Hawaii, a Biological Technician for two national parks, and a permaculture Water Harvesting Technician in Tucson, Arizona.  He received his B.S. in Environmental Land and Water at the University of Arizona with a minor in Chemistry.  He received his M.S. in Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science with a focus in aquaculture at the University of Hawaii at Hilo.  Stephan’s goal is to help students find interconnectivity, tying their education at Cascadia to relationships in industry, organizations, and sustainability research. 

Gail Alexander

Gail Alexander

Environmental Technologies and Sustainable Practices

Gail Alexander has more than 25 years of experience in education, program management, and scientific research, having worked at institutions that include Antioch University, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Oregon State University, the Sustainable Building Advisor Institute, the University of Southern California, and the University of Washington. She holds an M.A. in Whole Systems Design from Antioch University, an interdisciplinary M.S. in Environmental Science, History of Science, and Oceanography from Oregon State University, and a B.S. in Zoology (with a minor in Science, Technology, and Society) from the University of Calgary. She is also nationally certified as a Sustainable Building Advisor (CSBA).

Rebecca Burke

Rebecca Burke


Rebecca Burke is a priority hire faculty member in math. Rebecca has previously taught at Truckee Meadows Community College, Lamar Community College and Campo School. Prior to moving into the teaching field Rebecca was a Reliability Engineer and a Senior Web Development Engineer for a semiconductor company in Massachusetts. Rebecca holds a B.S in Physics (with a Co-Major in English) from Creighton University and a M.S. in Engineering from Cornell University.

Keith Roraback photo

Keith Roraback

Environmental Technologies and Sustainable Practices

Keith Roraback comes to Cascadia with more than 25 years of experience protecting water resources. Mr. Roraback is currently a Senior Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator at the King County Brightwater facility. Prior to that he worked for Herrera Environmental Consultants, Snohomish County and the City of Everett in various water-related positions. Concurrent with these positions, Mr. Roraback was a member of the United States Coast Guard Reserve for more than 20 years, working on oil spill response and waterfront facility inspections. Mr Roraback has a Master of Business Administration from Seattle University, and Bachelor of Arts in Science Education from Western Washington University.

 Mark Nieman

Mark Nieman

Environmental Technologies and Sustainable Practices

Mark Nieman is an active member of the Seattle area mechanical engineering community with over 24 years of industry experience with heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) and building systems, currently working for McKinstry Co. in their energy services group. Mark is an Energy Engineering Manager and performs building and facility project development under Energy Services Performance Contracting (ESPC). Mark also implements project development activities including performing Preliminary Facility Assessments (PFA's), development of Energy Efficiency Measures (EEM's), development of Facility Improvement Measures (FIM's) and project planning with an eye towards sustainability and resource conservation in the built environment. Mark has been an Associate Faculty for Cascadia College since 2011 and is a member of the Sustainable Practices Advisory Committee. Mark has a passion for energy conservation in the built environment and works to share that knowledge in his classes.

David Shapiro photo

David Shapiro


David Shapiro has a Master's Degree in Philosophy from the University of Washington and a Bachelor's Degree in Philosophy from the University of Minnesota. He is Education Director of the Northwest Center for Philosophy for Children, an organization that brings philosophy and philosophers into schools and community centers throughout the Puget Sound Area. His scholarly interests include applied ethics, philosophy of human rights, and philosophy with children. Mr. Shapiro has co-authored several books in the area of personal purpose and meaning and is the author of a book on applied ethics, Choosing the Right Thing to Do: In Life, at Work, in Relationships, and for the Planet (Berrett-Koehler, 1999).

Brian Bansenauer

Brian Bansenauer, PhD

Business and Information Technology

Brian Bansenauer graduated in 1992 from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering, which included extensive work in computer modeling. Dr. Bansenauer became interested in learning theory while teaching in the mathematics and computer science departments at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire. While at North Seattle College, he directed the creation of a new web developer program, which launched in the spring of 1999 and graduated its first students in June 2000.

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