MEC Executive Board
Mark retired from a long successful career in retail (Costco General Manager) in 1999 and moved to Tucson, where his wife of 43 years, Lynda, hails from. Determined to begin a new career in education (at age 50), he enrolled at Pima Community College where he received his associate degree in education and served as an officer with the East Campus Student Government. He went on to the University of Arizona, receiving a bachelor’s degree in education Summa Cum Laude in 2004 and a master’s degree in higher education in 2008. He served as an officer in the Future Teachers Club and vice president of Phi Lambda Theta, a teacher’s honorary, while at the University.
He began work as a teacher’s aide in a class for “at risk” students at Catalina High School (a low-income, inner-city school) in 2004 before becoming the school’s college counselor from 2006 to 2014. During that time Catalina’s post-secondary attendance went from less than 60% to over 80%. Catalina students earned in excess of $25 million dollars in scholarships. After retiring from this position, he was elected to serve on the Pima Community College Governing Board in November of 2014, which he chaired during 2016-2017. He currently serves on the Pima County Planning & Zoning Commission and as the chair of the Metropolitan Education Commission’s Executive Board. He has continued to counsel students of all academic and family income levels on being prepared for, applying to, and successfully funding their college aspirations.
Mark was awarded the Metropolitan Education Commission’s “Crystal Apple Award” in 2011 and the Century Link/Arizona Diamondbacks “All Star Teacher Award” in 2013. He has a long history of community service including serving as president of the Pima Community College Alumni Association, the Pima Community College Foundation and chair of the University Of Arizona Hillel Board Of Directors
Dr. Treya Allen
Dr. Allen currently serves as the DEI-Focused Instructional Support Coordinator in the Office at General Education at the University of Arizona and a part-time faculty member in the Student Success department at Pima Community College. Her advising practice centers on elevating scholars and families through culturally relevant ways of knowing -both ancestral and intergenerational. She is the curator of underground retention programs for Black scholars at the collegiate level and an independent learning specialist for students in K-12. Her mission is to empower parents as the first teacher of their children and to see Black children soar academically, socially, and developmentally.
Having been a Black girl and woman in the same public pre-K through graduate school schooling systems, Dr. Allen’s research centers on the exploration of experiences of Black women and girls in higher education and the development of specific support for and retention. A result of this work has been the development of mentoring groups and retention programming with the direct purpose of helping Black women and girls succeed both academically and professionally.
Dr. Allen is a proud first-generation college and graduate student. She is a proud alumna of Northern Arizona University three times over having completed her Bachelor degree in Sociology, Master degree in Human Relations Counseling, and earned a Doctorate in Educational Leadership. Her favorite place in the world is in the middle of a bookstack in any library, bookstore, or archive.
Jon Lansa is currently the Senior Director of Grants and Federal Programs in the Tucson Unified School District. In this position he manages the federal funds and programming opportunities that are provided through the ESSA grants, School Improvement Grants, private funding grants, and most recently the Federal Stimulus grants. Prior to this role he served as a building principal for 12 years, at both the elementary and high school level, most recently as the principal of Amphitheater High School. In addition to this he has experience as an administrator in K-8 schools, school turnaround initiatives, finance/policy negotiation, professional development trainer, and data research. Throughout his career as an educator he has advocated for public education by serving on non-profit boards such as the Amphitheater Foundation and the Metropolitan Education Commission. He has also served as a consultant for school improvement initiatives and on numerous state-wide initiatives such as the Achieve60AZ initiative and programs through the Center for the Future of Arizona. Jon has focused his work and career on ensuring that all students and families in Tucson and throughout Arizona have access to the highest quality schools, resources, and educational opportunities available.