Sierra Bray graduated summa cum laude from the University of Portland with a B.S. in Organizational Communication and Spanish. Her senior thesis, "Power in Transit," examined the social construction of power in relation to the perceptions, interactions, and spatial behavior of passengers on public buses. She received the university’s College of Arts and Sciences University Scholar Award for graduating at the top of her class, as well as the Paul Melhuish Outstanding Organizational Communication Major Award.

After graduating, Sierra worked for three years in strategic communication, marketing, and business consulting. In this time, she advised business owners on strategic initiatives to grow their companies, reach broader audiences, and improve employee engagement. Having seen the principles of organizational communication in action throughout her career, Sierra is inspired to study the social construction of power in the workplace, gender dynamics, and how knowledge gaps relate to perceived competence and professional success.