Marissa lived much of her adult life in the small mountain community of Mariposa California. If you have ever visited Yosemite, chances are you have stopped to refuel or buy snacks there. After raising two children, Marissa moved to Butte County to continue her education at California State University, Chico. Since receiving her Public Health degree, she has been an Advocacy Coordinator for the American Lung Association working on the North Valley Rural Regional tobacco grant. Prior to working in tobacco, Marissa worked on a TomKat Foundation grant to educate rural health care providers on wildfire safety issues. Her interest in both tobacco work and wildfire safety, stems from the same place, a desire to uplift rural communities. Her unique experience helps span the gap between tobacco control projects and the rural population they hope to serve.
Tashelle Wright is a PhD candidate in Public Health at the University of California, Merced. She is currently a TRDRP Predoctoral Fellow working on her dissertation, which focuses on oral health and tobacco use disparities among underserved populations (e.g., older adults, Blacks, Hmong, Latinx, and immigrants) in California's rural Central Valley. Tashelle is the Media Subcommittee Chair of the Merced County ACCT Coalition (A Community Counteracting Tobacco).
Tashelle was introduced to the world of tobacco control in 2014 when she was working on her Bachelor’s in Public Health and working at the Utah Department of Health. She worked on several projects including a project educating tobacco retailers and a separate collaborative project to establish a sustainable African/African American/Black Health Taskforce.
Since moving to Merced, Tashelle has been interested in and involved with rural health issues including aging and caregiver health, tobacco and alcohol use, oral health disparities, and homelessness in the Central Valley. This interest stemmed from her growing up in a semi-rural environment and wanting to make a difference in the lives of rural communities. As tobacco-related disparities have a great impact on rural communities, her goal as a RISE Advisory Committee member is to continue advocating for tobacco control policies and conducting research that is culturally-relevant and community-based.
Dyane Osorio is the Sierra Club northern California’s Mother Lode Chapter Director. Like most Americans she comes from a vibrant immigrant story. Born in Southern California her family moved to South America when she was four years old and returned to California to attend college at CSU Northridge, where she received her B.A. in Political Science and dual Minors in Economics and History. In 2010, she moved to Sacramento and co-founded the higher-education nonprofit, Dream. Develop. Do., that fundraised scholarships for marginalized students and helped organize the largest annual university fair and FAFSA/Dream Act applications bilingual assistance event.
Her professional experience includes, serving as Press Secretary for Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada and being a certified expert translator. Prior to these positions she was also a Policy Consultant for Jim Gonzalez & Associates, where she prepared reports on environmental justice, higher education, elections, and voter participation. In her current role at the Sierra Club, Dyane and her team have taken part in numerous waterways and green spaces clean-ups, where tobacco butts are the most common litter found. Dyane looks forward to continuing tobacco waste work in the 22, mostly rural counties, that her chapter serves.
In her spare time, Dyana loves to hike, bike, and travel. Her hiking adventures include summiting Mt. Whitney, and many mountains in Ecuador and Chile.