Meet the Team

Sarah Keeney, ESL Specialist

Sarah Keeney, Program Director, ESOL Specialist.  I am the Director of the Office of Learning & Writing Support as well as the ESOL Specialist. My pronouns are she/her. I hold a Master's Degree in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages), a BAs in Spanish and Environmental Sciences. I have taught English language learners and offered writing support at all levels from pre-literacy to graduate students and professionals, both in the United States and other countries, including Colombia, China, and Ecuador. In addition to the writing support I provide at OHSU, I also teach North American English pronunciation and conversation classes at Portland Community College.   I look forward to helping you best articulate your ideas and find your academic writing voice.

Photo of Academic Tutor Liam Directo

Liam Directo, Peer Content Tutor.  My pronouns are they/them. (Need help navigating pronouns? Check out:  I’m in the OCNE BSN 3-year program, Class of 2022. I’ve worked as an EMT for almost nine years, mostly doing pre-hospital, emergency medicine. Prior to starting nursing school, I was working as the Transgender Services Coordinator at Outside In Clinic. I have my BS in Public Health with a minor in Gender/Queer/Sexuality studies. My overall goal is to become a Family Nurse Practitioner and Student Educator in order to improve the health care system by providing accessible transgender-affirming care and trainings, with an intersectional, trauma informed lens.  Your first year can/will be overwhelming, especially now that you will be starting virtually. I started two terms in-person then moved online my Spring term. The struggle to learn this content and apply concepts will feel hard, but I’m here for all of you.  If you need anything, reach out. I can help with study techniques, time management, test-taking strategies, understanding concepts based on your learning style, and whatever else (within my scope) you need to succeed! It is okay to admit when you need help.

Phillip Bergreen, Graduate Peer Content Tutor

Phillip Bergreen, Graduate Peer Content Tutor

I am a farm kid – now city adult – from Southern Oregon. I began my nursing career working on an inpatient addiction recovery unit specializing in the care of pregnant women but have since transitioned to working in inpatient adult mental health. Presently, I am in my 2nd year of the PMHNP/DNP program and am beginning clinical rotations at the VA where I will remain for the duration of my time at OHSU. I am an audiophile and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu enthusiast. I am grateful to be a part of a community of educators and learners who epitomize the transformative individual and social goods of the dogged pursuit of truth. I have been extremely lucky to have had excellent teachers and mentors and am honored to have an opportunity to share their gifts.


So-Mai Brown, Peer Content Tutor. Hi! I am a 3-year BSN student at OHSU, graduating in 2023. My background is in mental health and non-profit work. I hold a bachelors in psychology with a minor in holistic health and a masters in counseling psychology with an emphasis in health psychology. Like many Oregonians, I love the outdoors and spend lots of time camping with my family. I was born and raised in Portland, lived in San Francisco (and LA) while in college and came back 10 years ago. Nursing school is a big challenge and I’m here to support you in this exciting (and sometimes terrifying) journey. You can do this!"

Photo of woman Emily Hillhouse against a white background

Emily Hillhouse, MA, PhD, OHSU Learning Specialist. I am here to help you figure out how to be successful at OHSU. I provide individual academic coaching, workshops and resources to learners in ALL OHSU programs. I will work with you to develop personalized tools and approaches so that you can study more effectively and efficiently, decrease stress, improve your memory, and develop goals to help you succeed. Before coming to OHSU, I worked at The University of Texas, Austin where I provided academic coaching and helped create academic support programs to improve retention of first generation students, students on academic probation and students at risk of not graduating in four years. When I’m not at work, I’m probably chasing my kids who are chasing my cats who are chasing me in a circle around the house. I also really love breakfast tacos.

Hana Abdul-Rahman

Hana Abdul-Rahman, Writing Coach. Hi everyone! I am a third year chemistry student at Portland State University. I grew up in Southern California and moved to Portland for college. My hobbies include playing soccer, skateboarding, and hiking the many beautiful trails Portland has to offer. As a writing coach, I look forward to providing help with the writing process while giving advice on how to reach certain writing goals. I also hope to provide improvements while still allowing the individual to shine through in their writing.

Natalie San Luis

Natalie San Luis, Graduate Writing Coach. I am a student in OHSU’s Nurse-Midwifery DNP program, a recent graduate of the OHSU AccBacc program, and a nurse. Before moving to Oregon, I lived in Texas, where I was a freelance writer and organizer for a reproductive rights nonprofit. I worked at a writing center for several years, and writing coaching holds a special place in my heart. I’m here to demystify the writing process, help you build your confidence as a writer, and support you through the challenges of nursing school. Feel free to reach out to me at for help with any piece of writing at any stage in the writing process.