About Us


SPEC was founded in June 2020 when Dr. Rhianna Rogers and Joe Torreggiani joined forces to respond to the challenges of the pandemic and social injustice facing their communities. They connected online when Torreggiani posted an offer to provide mentoring, technical training, and micro-loans to individuals from underrepresented backgrounds, and Rogers reached out about collaborating.

The two discovered a shared mission to make a positive impact and alignment on core values. Prior to meeting, they had independently dedicated their careers and research to making a positive impact in the world. Rogers, an expert on cultural and ethnic studies, intercultural competencies and diversity education, cultural mediation, and virtual exchange programmatic development and implementation. Torreggiani, a senior software engineer, researcher, educator, environmentalist, and philanthropist. They co-founded SPEC to combine their knowledge, expertise, resources, and networks to expand their impact and advance environmental and social justice.

Our Mission

SPEC's mission is to empower individuals to become globally-minded change agents by helping them learn the essential skills required to build sustainable careers and make a positive impact in their communities.

Our Values

In everything we do, we strive to incorporate these core values:

  1. We treat our people, partners, contributors, participants, and everyone else in our communities with respect and mutual reciprocity.
  2. Transparency is key if we want to raise awareness, inform, and advocate change. We communicate openly, sincerely, and directly.
  3. We believe progress is a byproduct of inclusive and sustainable practices.


Dr. Rhianna Rogers

Joe Torreggiani

Steering Committee

James W. Schuetz P.G

Leah Harper-Lane

Marissa Lee

Isaac Fennell

Dr. Menoukha Robin Case

Charles Harrison

Alissa Steele

Erik Walter

Karina Loera

Core Contributors

Nan Eileen Mead

Research Lead

Marcus Steiner

Operations Lead

Sandra Ortiz Juarez

Core Research Associate

Justina Vaughan

Social Media & Marketing Lead

Research Associates

Nay Farber

Core Research Associate

Carly Van Syckle

Mikayla Schneiter

Asia Moore

Johnson Kow

Bethany Patterson

Joseph Golden