Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

About our staff

Vanessa Wood, Director of Grants Development

Vanessa Wood began working at PCC in May 2008 as a Grants Officer. In her time at PCC she has written grants to the US Departments of Education, Labor, the National Science Foundation, and local and state entities such as Worksystems, Inc. As a Grants Officer, Vanessa brought in over $17.5 million in funding for the College. In February 2014, she became the Interim Director, and in October 2016 she was hired as the permanent Director. Under her leadership the Grants Office has brought in over $20 million in grant funds supporting the College’s mission, vision and Strategic Plan.

Prior to coming to PCC, Vanessa worked for Big Brothers Big Sisters Columbia Northwest as the Associate Director – Foundation Support from August 2006 through December 2007. While at BBBS, she wrote successful proposals to United Way of the Columbia Willamette, US Departments of Education and Health and Human Services, PGE Foundation, and the Spirit Mountain Community Fund.

Vanessa has a B.A. in Communications and Global Studies from Pacific Lutheran University. She received certification as a Grants Specialist from the National Grant Writers Association in August 2003.

Michelle DuBarry, Grants Officer

Michelle DuBarry has led the development of more than $6 million in funded proposals from federal, state, local, and private funders since joining Portland Community College in 2009. Prior to joining PCC, she worked on a variety of grant-funded health research projects supported by public and private sources including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Commonwealth Fund, and several government agencies. Her experience also includes 2 years writing grants for Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, the pediatric arm of Oregon Health and Science University, where she secured more than $1.3 million in private funding for the hospital. Michelle has a Master’s Degree in Political Science from Portland State University and a B.A. in Political Science from Montana State University.

Lori Gates, Grants Officer

Lori Gates joined Portland Community College in early 2017. Prior to joining PCC, she worked in a variety of areas in higher education. These included teaching, academic administration, advising, student services administration, grants, research, accreditation, and institutional effectiveness. Lori has a Ph.D. in History from the University of Toronto, Master’s Degree and B.A. in History from the University of Oregon, and an A.A. in Social Sciences from Lane Community College.

Jill Gear, Grants Officer

Jill Gear has been involved in resource development for several decades, raising funds for education, healthcare, and arts organizations. Within post-secondary education, she has worked at a major research institution, a private four-year university, and a two-year college. Her favorite, by far, has been the collaborative work she’s been involved in with the two-year college sector. Past initiatives that she’s led include career pathways for advanced manufacturing and healthcare careers, economic development projects, strategic planning, and self-assessment for college accrediting bodies.

She has written grant proposals to private and corporate foundations, and state and federal programs, and has had projects funded by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, Ohio Department of Development, National Science Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Labor, among others.

Jill has a B.A. in history from Purdue University, and an M.A. in Education from The University of Findlay (Ohio).

Kanna Hudson, Post Awards Grants Officer

Contact Kanna Hudson.

Beth Gebstadt, Post Award Grants Officer

Contact Beth Gebstadt.

Shannan Cox, Grants Specialist

Shannan Cox joined the Grants Office in 2006 and has assisted in the submission of over 200 grants. She supports PCC grant seekers in developing solid grant budgets, assembling final proposals and navigating the submission process to various Federal, State and local agencies and foundations. She enjoys working with people from across the District and utilizing her institutional knowledge to access resources around the College. Before her work in the Grants Office, she worked for the Sylvania Dean of Instruction and Accounts Receivable. She has long been an active member of the American Association for Women in Community College (AAWCC), serving on both the PCC and state boards.

Shannan has a B.S. in Biology from the University of California, Riverside, a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Western States Chiropractic College and an AA in Management & Supervisory Development from PCC.

Nancy Laughland, Administrative Assistant

Contact Nancy Laughland.

What others are saying about us

"Whether it is your first grant or your 10th, PCC's Grants Office support is invaluable. Working with Grants Office is the most effective way to prepare a proposal and it will certainly provide the greatest likely hood for success. They are a very intelligent and very professional group."

– Todd Sanders
Mechanical Engineering Faculty, NSF Grant Principal Investigator