Learning Officer - Research and Communications
“All rural kids deserve the opportunity to share their gifts with the world.”
As a fourth-generation Oregonian and the first in her family to attend college, Mandy Elder brings her deep love of rural Oregon to her work as a learning officer. Mandy’s role is to support learning through research and evaluation and create communication systems that are accessible and centered on the people the Foundation serves.
“The questions we ask and who we ask them of—that’s what shapes knowledge,” Mandy says. Her work includes statewide data projects like Oregon by the Numbers and Oregon Voices. Mandy is especially interested in making sure this data and knowledge is accessible to people leading change efforts in rural communities, especially working class leaders, young people and students. In her work she seeks to lift up lived experiences that are not usually heard by larger systems and statewide or national leaders.
Mandy moved back to her hometown of Roseburg in 2017 and joined our team in 2019. She is a Ford Scholar, Class of 2009. Her education journey proudly began at Umpqua Community College with the support of TRiO programs. She later received a Fulbright research award to focus on women’s education in rural areas of Southern Mexico. She earned bachelor’s degrees in child and family studies and Spanish, and dual master’s degrees in sociocultural anthropology and public administration from Portland State University.Back to team