Dr. Daisy Rodriguez-Pitel
Interim Executive Director | Email: [email protected]
Dr. Daisy Rodriguez Pitel is a culturally and racially conscious leader whose vision and professional practice is grounded in diversity, equity, and inclusion. She fell in love with education during her undergraduate experience at San Francisco State University, studying Speech Communication and indulging in Ethnic Studies coursework. She earned her graduate degrees in higher education administration with a focus on Student Personnel Administration, graduating from New York University with her master’s degree and her PhD from Indiana University- Bloomington. She has a long career in higher education administration, serving in Residence Life, Student Activities, Multicultural Affairs, and International Education and Global Engagement. Dr. Rodriguez Pitel’s perspective is informed by her experiences living in multiple states across the U.S., including California, New York, Utah, Indiana, Virginia, and Arizona.
Daisy realized the value of owning her own narrative and exercising her voice as she completed her dissertation on the voices of Filipino American college students. She is a skilled facilitator, trainer, and speaker. Additionally, she authored two children’s books, Going to Lola Lynn’s and Adobo at School. She values her identity as a Filipina American, and embraces her roles as an educator, leader, and family member-especially as a mom to her thirteen year old son, Daniel.
RCAC Program Coordinator | Email: [email protected] | Phone: (480) 818-5676 | Text, call, or use Calendly to schedule a College & Career Consultation with Chelsea today.
Raised in Tucson, Chelsea Forer is a Cienega High School and University of Arizona (UA) alumna with Bachelor degrees in Religious Studies and Biological Anthropology. Her education also includes intermediate Arabic proficiency and coursework in Higher Education and international human rights law. She is currently completing her Master’s degree in Religious Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her studies focus on Indigenous traditions and epistemologies, and equitable representation under the First Amendment.
Chelsea began working alongside youth as a College of Humanities Student Ambassador. In sharing her own love of learning, her passion for supporting students’ to find their desired place in Higher Education grew. After graduating from her undergraduate career, Chelsea served the Tucson nonprofit education sector as an AmeriCorps State member for two consecutive terms. Her work included direct service with high school youth in social emotional learning skills and college and career access as the Peer Coach Team Lead in partnership with the Metropolitan Education Commission (MEC)-Regional College Access Center (RCAC).
As a volunteer at the MEC’s annual Teen Town Hall, Chelsea experienced firsthand the impact of centering youth voice in education. When the opportunity to join the MEC staff as the RCAC Program Coordinator arose, Chelsea was thrilled to join local efforts in the fight for equitable access to education for all Tucson and Pima County students and families. She strives to build network collaborations across K-12 institutions, Higher Education institutions, and youth-serving community organizations in order to efficiently and sustainably facilitate access to community resources for all.
Program Assistant | Email: [email protected]
Raised in Tucson, Kyle is a former member of the Youth Advisory Council (YAC), Teen Town Hall, and a graduate of Rincon High School. He recently graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Arts in both Psychology and Law and is now pursuing a Master of Legal Studies (LLM) degree. His studies focus is on Tax Law, Human Rights, and Compliance.
Since his time in the YAC in high school, Kyle has made every effort to improve not only his community but every community he visits. In 2016, he was selected as the Most Outstanding Teen Citizen by the Tucson Mayor and Council. In 2020, he was professionally selected as one of the most outstanding student employees at Pima Community College for his work in the International Student Office. In 2021, he was selected as a Benjamin A. Gilman Scholar, a highly competitive State Department Program that sends students abroad to represent the U.S. at foreign colleges and work on a follow-on service project in their home community upon their return. This year, he was selected to be a Program Ambassador for the Gilman Scholarship, one of only 24 students in the country, to represent State Department Programs at colleges and events across the country.
Kyle attributes his success academically, professionally, and personally to the early influence of the YAC and Junior Statesmen of America Programs that were in his High School. Effective and equitable public education improves every aspect of the community. Now that he is the Program Officer for the YAC at the MEC, he wants to see students have every opportunity that he has had because of the amazing work the YAC did.
College Intern| Email: [email protected]
A Tucson native, Hannah Lansa has served as a college intern at the Metropolitan Education Commission since March 2022. Hannah’s role as the intern is to complete office jobs and assist in tasks assigned. While working here, Hannah has developed her time management skills as she has to schedule her own hours and finish some projects remotely. The opportunities she has experienced here have helped her grow professionally and prepare her for the bigger roles she will take on in the future. Hannah never went to high school (she was homeschooled and then took community college courses as high school credit) so she never knew of these programs such as the MEC that were available to high school students. However, through connections, Hannah was able to join us at the MEC and pursue one of her goals of helping in the education system.
Hannah is currently getting her B.A. in Law at the University of Arizona with a minor in Sports Management. Upon graduating in 2023, Hannah will potentially pursue a future in law school and become a lawyer.