MESA Day 2021: Future Innovators Celebration
Come celebrate our graduating seniors and honor the work they have accomplished in their time in MESA. Join us for this virtual event to support MESA, recognize past and current MESA students, get a glimpse of all that we’ve accomplished this year, and find out what Oregon MESA has in store for 2022!

For the event, we are excited to feature a keynote by Brook Thompson who is an Oregon MESA alumna, Native scholar, and current Stanford graduate student. She will also join an incredible panel of other young Oregon MESA Alumni (Melissa Tran and Lesly Rojas) to talk about how they think we can foster more equitable innovation for the future. The panel will also be moderated by another superstar Alumni, Adrienne Livingston.

MESA Day and the Future Innovators Celebration is sponsored by The Lemelson Foundation.

You can support and donate to MESA by texting MESAInnovators to 41444.
Brook Thompson | Keynote Speaker
Keynote Speaker
We are excited to welcome our incredible keynote speaker and Oregon MESA alumnae Brook Thompson. Brook is a Yurok and Karuk Native from Northern California. Growing up she lived and fished on the same land that her ancestors have been on for over 12,000 years.

Brook fights for water and Native American rights through speaking to groups and frontline activism. She graduated from Franklin High School in 2014, where she was in MESA. Brook is a graduate from Portland State University with a degree in civil engineering and a minor in political science. Currently, she is in her master’s program in environmental engineering at Stanford University. She has been an intern for the City of Portland’s BES and the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs in D.C. In 2017. Brook was awarded the Rising Environmental Leaders Fellowship, was the American Indian Graduate Center’s Undergraduate student of the year, and in 2020 she won Unity’s 25 Under 25 award. Her goal is to bring together water rights and Native American knowledge through engineering, public policy, and social action.
Adrienne Livingston | Panel Moderator
Panel Moderator
Adrienne Livingston is the Director of Anti-Sex Trafficking Initiatives (Global) with WorldVenture. Adrienne is a Co-Developer of the Girl Empowerment Curriculum which was created for Christian communities as a sex trafficking and domestic violence prevention curriculum for middle and high school girls. She is the producer and host of the Justice Hope Freedom Podcast to educate about the issues of sex trafficking & exploitation. She is a MESA alumna and received her Bachelor’s degree in Marketing, International Business and International Studies from Oregon State University and her Master of Arts in Intercultural Studies from Western Seminary. One way she incorporates self-care is through practicing and teaching trauma-informed yoga.
Melissa Tran | Panelist
Melissa is currently a student at the University of Portland majoring in mechanical engineering with a minor in innovation. She is also one of the Pilot Venture Challenge finalists representing the University at InventOregon. She was inspired to get into STEM through MESA because she enjoyed learning about design thinking, practicing the design process, and creating products in a hands-on way. In her free time, she enjoys bullet journaling, going on long walks, and modeling objects to 3D print.
Lesly Rojas | Panelist
Lesly is a graduating high school senior and found her passion for engineering in seventh grade when she first joined MESA. Her time at MESA sparked an interest in human centered design that ultimately became her favorite part about being an inventor. Most notably she had the opportunity to work on an adaptive cup for individuals with dysphagia and blueberry machinery to help those in her community. Post graduation she will head on to Oregon State University as a first generation student where she will pursue her Computer Science engineering degree in the hopes of one day being the CEO of her own engineering firm. With the ultimate dream to encourage and empower minorities to pursue a career in STEM.
Dr. Tong Zhang | MC | Oregon MESA Executive Director
Tong is a first-generation American who immigrated from China to the US as a small child. She attended Title I schools throughout her elementary years and credits the dedicated teachers and well-rounded education she received for shaping her career interests and fostering her academic success. Tong is passionate about the MESA mission of engaging underserved students in STEM in her home state of Oregon and beyond. Prior to her work in non-profit management, she worked on developing cancer vaccines. She has a Ph.D. in Immunology from Johns Hopkins University and a B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Washington.
This webinar will show you…
  • 1618026346-d068c2000923359f
    We're excited to celebrate our MESA seniors!
  • 1618026541-f0405ff4c33b96e9
    The MESA Community makes the great work of the program happen!
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    MESA has big plans moving forward and we hope you can join us in our journey!