WOU Alum Greg Garcia Wins Oregon History Teacher of the Year Award

Greg Garcia
Greg Garcia, an alum of Western Oregon University and teacher at Franklin High School with Portland Public Schools, was named the 2021 Oregon History Teacher of the Year by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History in July. To honor this inspiring achievement, we want to share the highlights from our interview with him.  When [more…]

Western Oregon University receives $2.1 million to increase support for DeafBlind individuals

The DeafBlind Interpreting National Training & Resource Center (DBI) in Western Oregon University’s Research & Resource Center with Deaf* Communities received a $2.1 million dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA). The grant supports the DBI’s work to increase the number of qualified Protactile language interpreters with the expertise to [more…]

Grad Profile: Karina Ortiz Ramirez

Karina Ortiz Ramirez is a 2021 graduate from Salem, Oregon. Her major is Early Childhood/Elementary Education, with a minor in ESOL/Bilingual Education.    How has being a Dreamer impacted your journey to and within college? Being a Dreamer impacted my journey to and within college by always giving me the motivation to keep going and [more…]

Grad Profile: Morgan McLain

Morgan McLain is a 2021 graduate from Roseburg, Oregon. He completed an Elementary Master of Arts in Teaching degree.   Are you a transfer student? If so, where did you transfer from and what has the experience been like? The eMAT Graduate Program was my first experience at Western Oregon University. The experience that I’ve [more…]

Grad Profile: Suzanne Duda

Suzanne Duda is a 2021 Master’s Program graduate from Albany, Oregon. She is majoring in Elementary Education.   Why did you choose WOU?  I chose WOU for several reasons. First, I was already familiar with WOU, having earned my paralegal certification there, and because I had worked in the Public Relations department for a year. [more…]

Grad Profile: Jasmine Altamirano

Jasmine Altamirano is a 2021 graduate from Portland, Ore. She has earned a Master of Science in Education: Curriculum and Instruction, plus a minor in ESOL Education.    What has your experience been like as a first-generation student? I feel a lot of pride in saying that I am the first person in my family [more…]

Grad Profile: Emily Grande-DePriest

Emily Grande-DePriest is a 2021 graduate from Dufur, Oregon. She is an Early Childhood Studies major with a minor in History.    Why did you choose WOU?  Originally, I wanted to study both education and ASL, and WOU offers both programs. When I changed my major and minor to Early Childhood Studies (ECS) and History, [more…]

Grad Profile: Elli Manoogian-O’Dell

Elli Manoogian-O’Dell is a 2021 graduate, earning a Master’of Arts in Teaching. She is from Corvallis, Oregon.   What has been your most memorable class?  I took a class from Professor Wu during fall term that really changed how I feel about teaching. We discussed curriculum, assessment, and classroom management through the lens of racial [more…]

Grad Profile: Heather Casey

Heather Casey is a 2021 graduate from Kingman, Arizona. She is majoring in ASL/English Interpreting, with a minor in ASL Studies.    What has your experience been like as a transfer student? I transferred to WOU from Coconino Community College in Flagstaff, Arizona in 2018. I have absolutely loved my experience at WOU, and I [more…]

Grad Profile: Carlos Fonseca Jr.

Carlos Fonseca Jr. is a 2021 graduate from Klamath Falls, Oregon. He is a double major in Exercise Science and Physical Education Teacher Education. Carlos is also an award winner from WOU’s Leadership Recognition Month, where he was given a Distinguished Student Leader award, the Arbor Park and Barnum Resident Assistant of the Year award, [more…]

Grad Profile: Leslie Rincon

Leslie Rincon is a 2021 graduate from Monmouth, Oregon. Her major is in Early Childhood Studies (ECS).   What has the experience been like as a transfer student? I transferred from Chemeketa. I earned my degree in Early Childhood Education and my Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer (AAOT). It was really easy to transfer over [more…]

Grad Profile: Jeanette A. Betancourt Garcia

Jeanette A. Betancourt Garcia is a 2021 graduate from Independence, Ore. She is an Education major with a minor in Bilingual Education/ESOL Endorsement.   What has your experience been like as a first-generation student?  My experience has been challenging throughout the years, since I am the second one in my family to attend college. My [more…]

Grad Profile: Alondra M. Bocanegra Guerrero

Alondra M. Bocanegra Guerrero is a 2021 graduate from Independence, Oregon. She is an Early Childhood/Elementary Education major, with a minor in English to Speakers of Other Languages.   What has your experience been like as a first-generation student? It has definitely been beyond challenging to navigate through this process all by myself, but I [more…]

Grad Profile: Trani Rae Morton

Trani Rae Morton is a 2021 graduate from Chino Hills, California. She is a double major in American Sign Language/English Interpreting and ASL Studies.   What has been your most memorable class?  I really can’t name just one. I love all of my teachers and the staff interpreters at WOU. If one [specifically] was life [more…]

Grad Profile: Danielle Cramer

Danielle Cramer is a 2021 graduate from Keizer, Oregon. She’s graduating with an Elementary Master of Arts in Teaching, along with a minor in ESOL Endorsement.   What has been your most memorable class?  My most memorable class during my eMAT program was 615: Critical Inquiry into the Foundational Narratives of Schooling with Dr. Dana [more…]

Grad Profile: Adam Schaeffer

Two people and a child holding hands and standing in front of a field of flowers
Adam Schaeffer is a 2021 graduate from Ballwin, Missouri. He’s completing a Master’s of Education with a major in Educational Technology, plus a graduate certificate in Instructional Design.   Why did you choose WOU?  WOU was local, online, affordable, and had the exact degree I was looking for!   Do you have any advice for [more…]

Student Q&A: Madi Knox

Madi Knox is a third-year student at WOU and an active part of our campus community. She is majoring in Early Childhood/Elementary Education, with a minor in Theatre Arts.   Why did you choose WOU?  I chose WOU because I am from a really small town, so when I came to campus and saw how [more…]

Student Q&A: Cheyanne Bumgardner

Cheyanne Bumgardner is a WOU junior and an active part of the campus community. She is an American Sign Language/English Interpreting major with a minor in Psychology.   Why did you choose WOU? I chose to attend Western because of the ASL/English Interpreting major and leadership opportunities. I knew that I would gain a great [more…]

Explore Graduate Oppurtunites at Western Oregon University

WOU sign at the front of campus, glossy black with gold lettering, greenery behind it. Campus appears wet from rain.
As we get closer to 2021 commencement, some students might be considering pursuing their education further, and, thankfully, WOU offers some phenomenal graduate programs. From MAT programs to a Masters in Contemporary Music, WOU has something for everyone. It is important to note that some graduate programs only specify the necessity of a bachelor’s degree, [more…]

New Faculty Q&A: Leanne Cusack

Dr. Leanne Cusack is a new WOU Health and Exercise Science assistant professor. She’s attended University of Waterloo (Canada) and Oregon State University, and she’s been teaching at a university level for about 10 years. This term, she is teaching Epidemiology and Infectious Disease/Injury Prevention. Cuasack’s office can be found at RWEC 237.   Why [more…]

New Faculty Q&A: Lin Wu

Dr. Lin Wu is a new assistant professor for the Education and Leadership department. Wu has spent seven years teaching in K-12 and four years teaching in higher education. Wu graduated from the University of Washington and is currently instructing two classes at WOU: ED 418 Assessment, Planning, and Instruction; as well as ED 623 [more…]

Alumni Profile: Jordawn Jones

WOU alum Jordawn Jones smiles for a photograph. Jones is wearing a black shirt, and has long brown hair.
As part of our ongoing alumni feature series, we spoke with 2014 graduate, Jordawn Jones, who majored in Exercise Science with a minor in Human Biology. Jones is now working as the Head Athletic Trainer and adjunct faculty at Sierra Nevada University. Why did you choose WOU? I planned to attend WOU to play basketball [more…]

Alumni Profile: Karen Edwards

WOU alum Karen Edwards smiles for a photograph. She is wearing a red sweater and is leaning against a white pole.
As part of our ongoing alumni profile series, we spoke with Karen Edwards, ‘16, an Interdisciplinary Studies grad who specialized in Early Childhood Studies and Communication Studies. At WOU, Edwards participated in multiple extracurriculars, including student government, on-campus jobs, and leadership activities. She mentioned that when she was not in class, she would attend various [more…]

WOU Students Are Training To Be Contact Tracers

Peter Courtney Health and Wellness Center.
Western Oregon University Community Health students will have the opportunity to apply what they have learned in the classroom to serve as contact tracers in Polk County. WOU’s Health and Exercise Science Division and Polk County Health Services professionals are collaborating to develop and implement a COVID-19 Prevention and Contact Tracing program that meets the [more…]

Grad Profile: Jose Raul Magana Mendoza

Jose Raul Magana Mendoza is an Early Childhood/Elementary Education major with a minor in English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). He is from Salem. As an outstanding 2020 graduate, we interviewed Magana about his most notable experiences from WOU, as well as his future plans.   What has your experience been like as a [more…]

Grad Profile: Gabriela Acevedo-Solis

WOU graduate Gabriela Acevedo-Solis poses in her red graduation gown. She is wearing multiple cords and stoles, representing the numerous organizations she has been involved throughout her time at WOU.
Gabriela Acevedo-Solis is a graduating student, who will be receiving a degree in Middle/High School Social Science Education student with a minor in Spanish. She is from Independence, and has been involved in numerous extracurriculars during her time at WOU, including the Multicultural Student Union, Student Engagement, and multiple volunteer organizations.   How has being [more…]

Grad Profile: Danel Camacho

Danel Camacho is a Community Health Education major and a Human Biology minor from Roseville, Calif. As a 2020 graduate, we interviewed Camacho about her experience being a transfer student, as well as her fondest memories from being a student-athlete and interacting with our WOU community as a whole.   Are you a transfer student? [more…]

Grad Profile: Melissa Long

Melissa Long is a Secondary English Language Arts Education major from Bend, Ore. As an outstanding 2020 graduate, we interviewed Long on the lessons she learned during college and her favorite memories from WOU.   Where did you transfer from and what has the experience been like? I transferred to WOU from Chemeketa Community College [more…]

Grad Profile: Kaela Wehrman

Kaela Wehrman is a Secondary Education Language Arts major from Albany, Ore. As a 2020 graduate, we interviewed Wehrman on her most memorable communities and moments from WOU.   Why did you choose WOU?  I chose WOU because from the first moment I stepped on campus to tour, I could feel the sense of a [more…]

Grad Profile: Susiele Koga Truong

WOU graduate Susiele Koga Truong smiles in front of a railing.She is wearing a blue striped jumpsuit and a light wash denim jacket. She is holding an iced coffee and there is lush greenery behind her.
Susiele Koga Truong is a first-generation graduating student from Wailuku, Maui. She is a Community Health Education major, with a minor in Human Biology.   Are you a first-generation student? What has your experience been like? Yes, I’m a first-generation student and my experience through college has been eye opening and not only an experience [more…]

Grad Profile: Faith Van Putten

WOU graduate Faith Van Putten smiles in her red graduation cap. She is leaning against a brick wall, and has a white tassel hanging from her cap.
Faith Van Putten is a graduating Early Childhood Studies student, with a minor in English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). She is from Sacramento, California, and has participated in Peer Mentors, D.R.E.A.M., and Family Building Blocks while at WOU. Why did you choose WOU? I chose WOU because of the small class sizes, their [more…]

WOU Alumna Finds Herself in the Spotlight

People at a press conference
Western Oregon University alumna Colleen Thayer’s new high-profile assignments have placed her in a spotlight that’s slightly outside of her comfort zone. Even so, she gladly accepts the challenge, because she believes it’s important to provide accurate information to the deaf community during this unprecedented moment in history. A Certified Deaf Interpreter, Thayer has been [more…]

Grad Profile: Jon Montero

WOU senior Jon Montero is standing in front of large rock structures. Jon is wearing a black Adidas shirt and glasses.
Jon Montero is a graduating student from Seattle, Wash., who is completing a degree in Exercise Science. Why did you choose WOU? I chose WOU because I was excited about the hands-on experience you receive when taking the courses. In the first year you practice teaching to your peers and in the second year you [more…]

T.H. Gentle Professor of Education for 2021

Richard Woodcock Education Center
When she was a middle and high school teacher in rural China, Western Oregon University Associate Professor Xiaopeng Gong observed many of her students struggled with various social and emotional challenges. “As a teacher, there were so many questions that I wanted to find an answer to but did not have a means to do [more…]

Grad Profile: Maddie Hannah

Graduate student Maddie Hannah smiles in front of bright pink flowers, with a pink flower in her hair. She is wearing a light gray WOU sweatshirt.
Maddie Hannah will be graduating from WOU’s Master of Arts in Teaching program. Originally from Rome, Georgia, she graduated from WOU with a major in Humanities and a minor in Linguistics, and has worked as a graduate assistant for the Writing Center. Are you a transfer student? What has the experience been like? I transferred [more…]

Grad Profile: Kailee Goodrich

Person smiling, standing in front of blooming trees
Kailee is graduating with degrees in both American Sign Language (ASL) Studies and ASL/English Interpretation Major, and she has also earned a minor in health. She is from Livermore, California, where she attended Las Positas Community College and completed her Associate in Arts degree before transferring to WOU. As an outstanding student and member of [more…]

Grad Profile: Camryn Skari

Camryn Skari smiles for a photograph. Her hair is up, she is wearing red lipstick, and she is wearing and off-the-shoulder white shirt.
Camryn Skari will be graduating with a Masters in Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling this June. In addition to being a graduate student, Camryn has worked with the WOU Foundation Phonathon team for the past three years, and has been the lead caller for two years.     What has it been like working for the [more…]

Late WOU Professor Recognized for ‘Historic’ Contributions to the Field of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

A red bike rack that spells the name "Hank"
The American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities announced in early April that it was honoring the late College of Education Professor Hank Bersani in its National Historic Recognition Project 2000-2020. Bersani, a professor of special education who passed in 2012, was named a National Honoree in the project, which seeks to recognize the key [more…]

Recent InfoTech Graduate Helps Educators Navigate Emergency Shift to Online Learning

Person in a WOU sweatshirt standing outside in front of tall rocks
By Anthony Rimel Kaitlin Lucas graduated from WOU’s Information Technology M.S.Ed. program in December 2019. And just a few months later she would be on the frontlines of one of the biggest moments in the history of educational technology: the unprecedented shift to online learning following the global outbreak of COVID-19. Lucas, who also earned a certificate [more…]

I Love You Emoji Began at WOU

Wolfie surrounded by hearts
For anyone who has texted the “I love you” handshape emoji, please thank CM Hall and Chad Ludwig. Hall, the co-project director of DeafBlind interpreting, and Ludwig, the director of RRCD, petitioned Unicode Consortium, a nonprofit that regulates the coding standards for written computer text that includes emojis to have the “I Love You” handshape [more…]

WOU Continues to Lead Nation in American Sign Language Education and Advocacy

Two people in a class
Western Oregon University’s Division of Deaf Studies and Professional Studies (DDSPS) is nationally known to be consistently at the cutting edge of innovation and excellence in its academic programs. Mark Girod ’94, dean of the College of Education, attributes the programs’ success to a dedicated faculty who are committed to access, equity and inclusion for [more…]

Lessons in the lessons: English and General Education

Sundial next to pink flowers
There are lessons within the lessons taught in biology to literature to philosophy classes at Western Oregon University. And each lesson can provide us with guidance, insight and knowledge during this uncertain time. Today at WOU asked faculty to share with students and employees some perspective from their subject matter to help us navigate our [more…]

WOU Alum named National Superintendent of the Year

Man standing at podium and speaking
Congratulations to WOU alum Gustavo Balderas ’90 was just named the 2020 National Superintendent of the Year! This significant recognition speaks to his dedication to Oregon’s youth. Balderas is the son of a migrant family from Mexico who settled in Oregon. Balderas works for the Eugene School District and he’s the second WOU alum to [more…]

WOU Announces New American Sign Language Assessment Service

Group of students in an American Sign Language class
Western Oregon University continues to be a leader in American Sign Language. Our Regional Resource Center on Deafness (RRCD) is the first to offer a nationwide ASL assessment service (called RSLA) in the western United States. The service uses Sign Language Proficiency Interview (SLPI) conducted in ASL to assess the individuals’ ASL skills. The service [more…]

No Child Left Monolingual

Group of four students sitting at a table outdoors and smiling
Dr. Kim Potowski is eager to dispel several myths about languages in the U.S. and promote multilingualism. A professor of Hispanic linguistics at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Potowski is a renowned specialist in multilingualism and the founding director of her university’s Language in Context Research Group.   Potowski will present No Child Left [more…]

Oregon’s Public Universities Contemplate Tuition Increases

A photo of the Western Oregon University sign on campus.
Oregon’s public universities are looking at one major way to stay solvent next year – tuition increases. Some universities are contemplating double digit increases or waiting until May to make their decisions, hoping they may receive more state support. Portland State University is considering tuition increases of at least 14%. Eastern Oregon University in La Grande is among [more…]

WOU in the News: To Improve Teacher Diversity, Salem-Keizer Focusing on Training its Own Students, Classroom Aides

Jessica Zamarron helps students with a math assignment in a bilingual Swegle Elementary School classroom.
Jessica Zamarron was inspired by her first-grade teacher at Swegle Elementary. Seeing Karina Rodriguez, another bilingual Latina, in front of the classroom, Zamarron knew her teacher had similar life experiences. If she had a problem at home or needed advice, Rodriguez was the teacher she went to. “I related to her,” Zamarron said. She remembered [more…]

T.H. Gentle Professorship Goes to Dr. Gay Timken

Gay Timken with past winners of the award and members of the Gentle family
On Thursday, May 17, Physical Education Teacher Education Professor Gay Timken was announced as the 2018-2019 T.H. Gentle Professor. Timken, who has been on the faculty at Western Oregon University for 15 years, will take over the professorship from Deaf Studies and Professional Studies Professor Elisa Maroney, who held the post during the previous academic [more…]

Q&A with information technology student Benjamin Kahn

Ben Kahn
This week, we’re featuring the Information Technology (“info tech”) master’s program for We are WOU: Academics. We’d had a chat with a current student in the program about his experience. Meet Benjamin Kahn ’19 from Seattle who’s currently living and working in Portland as an instructional technologist at the University of Portland. Kahn Why did [more…]

WOU Students Support TEDx Salem Event, Mission

TEDxSalem ASL interpretation
The TED Conference motto is “Ideas Worth Spreading,” and Saturday at the Salem Convention Center, more than a dozen Western Oregon University students will help advance that mission. For the second year, seniors in WOU’s Interpreting Studies program will get valuable, real-world American Sign Language interpreting experience as they share the stage with presenters at [more…]

WOU Master’s Degree from Home? Yes, Please!

Amber Deets
If the idea of attending grad school classes at home while wearing pajamas is appealing, read on. Western Oregon University offers several online master’s degree programs that can completed on students’ own timeline and in the comfort of their own home. The dress code is up to them. One of WOU’s most popular online grad [more…]

Feature: Silent Weekend’s Success a Testament to WOU Reputation in ASL Community

Silent Weekend group 2016
The ninth annual Silent Weekend event took place July 28-30 on campus, and a record number of participants were on hand for the American Sign Language-immersive experience. “(We had) 275 folks signed up from 18 states,” said event director CM Hall. “It’s our biggest year ever.” Hall, who in her regular duties is co-director of [more…]

Alumni Award of Excellence: Betty Komp ’90, ’92

Betty Komp
The 2017 Alumni Award of Excellence winner, Betty Komp, is the embodiment of Western Oregon University’s mission: providing a transformative education. Komp, now a retired Oregon legislator, came to WOU in the late 80s as a 30-something single mom seeking a significant change in her life. She graduated in 1990 with a bachelor’s degree in [more…]

Julia McCulloch Smith Award: Aleisha Douthitt

Aleisha Douthitt
If the ultimate goal of attaining a degree is to get a job right out of college, Aleisha Douthitt, this year’s Julia McCulloch Smith Award winner for outstanding female graduate, is well ahead of the game. The Honors Program student already is putting her bachelor’s degree in elementary education to work; she landed a job [more…]

Outstanding Graduate Student Award: Jennifer Kepka

Jennifer Kepka
Jennifer Kepka has been working for years to make higher education accessible to more people, especially those with barriers to regular classroom attendance. But her work in online educational resources is just one of the reasons this year’s Outstanding Graduate Student Award recipient reaps praise from her advisers and nominators. “Jennifer’s work is more than [more…]

New Mursion software takes teaching instruction to virtual level

Assistant Professor of Education Maria Peterson-Ahmad has been working for months to bring an innovative new education tool to Western Oregon University, and she will unveil the program tomorrow to a group of students, teacher-education partners and anyone who is curious about virtual classrooms. “I’m so excited to show Mursion to everyone,” Peterson-Ahmad said, her [more…]

WOU alum wins National Superintendent of the Year Award

Western Oregon University alumnus Matt Utterback ’89 has won the National Superintendent of the Year Award from the American Association of School Administrators. The award was announced March 2 in New Orleans. Utterback has been superintendent at North Clackamas School District since 2012, and during that time the district has made major gains in graduation [more…]

Child Development Center adds SMART reading program

SMART volunteer Claire Woodruff reads to Marshall and Desmond
After a fall term spent organizing, scouting and preparing, the Child Development Center on Jan. 18 started welcoming volunteers with Start Making a Reader Today for weekly visits to Western Oregon University. The seven SMART volunteers read one on one with children for an hour each Wednesday morning, providing personal attention and sharing their enthusiasm [more…]

WOU in the news: Visiting professor helps music teachers combat student anxiety

A picture of Dr. Diane Baxter
Musicians and music teachers learned about combating performance anxiety on Saturday during a workshop with Dr. Diane Baxter. Baxter is a Professor of Music at Western Oregon University and has performed all over the world. The free public workshop in Hermiston was made possible by the Oregon Music Teachers Associations and Oregon Community Foundation. Baxter [more…]

WOU in the news: Western Oregon opens new education building

Richard Woodcock Education Center
The Richard Woodcock Education Center, new home of Western Oregon University’s College of Education, opened this week. The 58,000-square-foot building is the first multi-story building in Oregon constructed with cross-laminated timber. This is the first time the three divisions of the College of Education will be under one roof, including nearly 100 offices and 23 classrooms. [more…]

WOU in the news: Multi-Story Buildings Going Up Using cross-laminated timber

CLT Promises New Construction Boom in the Future, Pilot Programs Under Development in Oregon Multi-Story Buildings Going Up in Oregon Using cross-laminated timber (CLT). The use of cross-laminated timber (CLT) in multi-story buildings is no longer just something people are talking about. In Oregon, two new buildings that feature CLT are almost complete, and construction [more…]

WOU in the news: Education Center Ready For Debut

Photo of Mark Girod in new building
The Richard Woodcock Education Center is bustling with activity, but not from students — not yet. It’s faculty and staff who are moving into the new building for Western Oregon University’s Department of Education. Dean of Education Mark Girod is excited to have a base of operations for the 800 education majors on campus, as [more…]

WOU in the news: New teachers get hands-on geography lesson

Heidi Wilson and Amanda Mattei
Two teaching graduates from OSU-Cascades returned from their trip to Spain and Portugal last week where they studied physical and human geography with the Center for Geography Education in Oregon at Portland State University. Heidi Wilson and Amanda Mattei received their Oregon preliminary teaching licenses from Oregon State University this summer and participated in the [more…]

Grad profile: Mashael Alansari

Mashael Alansari
Mashael Alansari Saudi Arabia Master’s in Education Graduate Mashael Alansari is a graduating masters student getting her master’s in education. She chose WOU because her close friend studied here before her and talked about classes that were interesting. Her friend then encouraged Alansari to apply. She looked at the program and liked the description of [more…]

Grad profile: Cassie Owens

Picture of Cassie Owens
Cassie is originally from Lakewood, Wash. and majored in American Sign Language (ASL) studies and minored in special education and chose Western Oregon University because of its location which was close to home. While completing her undergraduate degree Cassie was involved in many things to help the campus. She enjoyed that as a small university [more…]

Grad profile: Audrey Loudenback

Name:  Audrey Ramirez-Loudenback Age: 35 Graduate program: Masters of Arts in Interpreting Studies Hometown: Milwaukie, Ore. Favorite campus event: First Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration at WOU Best study spot: First floor study rooms in Hamersly Advice to incoming freshman: “Enjoy the ride. Enjoy the unknown, there’s no way you can predict your path. Go easier on yourself.” Back in 1999, Ramirez-Loudenback [more…]

Grad profile: Nikole Davis

Nikole Davis
Nikole Davis from Salem, Ore. will be graduating from Western Oregon University this June with a major in ASL/English Interpreting and a minor in Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling. Davis chose to go to WOU because of the highly regarded interpreting program and has enjoyed the opportunities for growth and learning the university has provided. [more…]

Grad profile: Tabitha Mortensen

Tabitha Mortensen
Tabitha Mortensen is graduating from Western Oregon University this June with a major in American Sign Language studies and a minor in psychology. Mortensen is from Salem, Ore. and is a full time mother to Zoe and Ezekiel. Her favorite lunch spot in Monmouth is Yang’s, and her favorite study spots on campus are the [more…]

Commencement speaker: Betty Komp

Betty Komp
WOU alumna, Representative Betty Komp, did not start college right after high school. At age 18 she got married and started a family. Seventeen years later she was raising four kids on her own and wanted a life change. It was time to go to college. Komp knew she wanted to be an educator and [more…]

WOU in the news: Western students step into shoes of the homeless

Western students step into shoes of the homeless
Application. Waitlist. Overqualified. Underqualified. Wait in line. These words and phrases were repeated over and over again as students at Western Oregon University took on the personas of the homeless Thursday evening. The university’s Education Club organized the homeless simulation, modeled after a Habitat for Humanity program. The group said they wanted to spread awareness and help those [more…]

Grad Student Profile: Carlee Nelson

Carlee Nelson, an honors graduate and current M.S. in Education (Information Technology) student, is sitting at her desk in the honors office in APSC. Currently serving as the Honors Program Specialist, Nelson works with her advisor Dr. Gavin Keulks in assisting the current honors students as they make their way through the program. “As a [more…]

WOU in the news: Students empowered at conference

Published by: Statesman Journal by: Natalie Pate The Contributing Voices conference held at Western Oregon University on Friday had one message for the students in attendance: Your voice counts. More than 600 ninth graders from the Salem-Keizer School District attended the second annual Contributing Voices conference in Monmouth,where they listened to guest speakers, participated in activities and workshops, [more…]

WOU in the news: WOU wants to grow bilingual teachers

WOU logo
Published by: My Columba Basin MONMOUTH, Ore. – For a decade, Oregon has suffered a shortage of bilingual teachers according to federal statistics. Western Oregon University has decided it wants to help grow its own next generation of bilingual educators. WOU has joined forces with a few public school districts in the state to initiate [more…]

WOU in the news: First class of WOU bilingual teachers start

Published by: Statesman Journal by: Natalie Pate Nearly four dozen students at Western Oregon University started classes this week with the dream of becoming specialty teachers. Working with Central School District in Independence, Hillsboro School District and Salem-Keizer School District, Western Oregon University has created a program to increase the number of new bilingual teachers in the state. [more…]

WOU in the news: Seidel Excited To Make Her Return To Monmouth

Published by: Polk County Itemizer-Observer By: Emily Mentzer Kim Seidel is thrilled to return to Monmouth to work as the principal at Monmouth Elementary School. “I went to Western Oregon University,” she said. “My husband and I met here. We both said if we ever have the opportunity to live back in Monmouth, we’d do [more…]

WOU in the news: From students to teachers

Published by: Albany Democrat-Herald By: Jennifer Moody SWEET HOME — The toughest part about being new teachers won’t be managing classrooms of teens only a few years younger than themselves — some of whom they used to know as fellow students. The real challenge, say Drew Emmert and Ryan Graville, will be learning to call their colleagues [more…]

Gentle Endowment Professor To Restart Book Club

MONMOUTH — Marie LeJeune, associate professor of teacher education, finds it crucial to keep her pulse on what is going on in public K-12 education. “It’s important in my work to continually be connected to what teachers are doing in K-12 schools,” she said. A new endowment for education professors at Western Oregon University, the [more…]

Larson Finds Best In High-School Students

INDEPENDENCE — Teenagers are at that perfect age: nearly adults, but still open-minded to new ideas and fresh perspectives. That’s one thing Roseanna Larson loves about teaching them. “It’s a time of tremendous growth and opportunity to have an impact on kids,” said Larson, 42, language arts teacher at Central High School. Larson was named [more…]

A great play-ce to learn

Anyone who has seen the wonder-filled expression on the face of a child visiting the Oregon Coast Aquarium knows that learning starts long before kids get to elementary school. And, on Saturday, April 25, the aquarium will team up with Western Oregon University to teach parents and educators how play during children’s early years is [more…]

Salem teacher wins $25,000 Milken Educator Award

The $25,000 surprise was written all over Julie Wojcicki-Cleave’s face. Sitting in a school assembly on Thursday, the Hallman Elementary School teacher thought state officials had stopped by for a political appearance. Then Dr. Jane Foley, senior vice president of the Milken Educator Awards, told a gym packed with hundreds of students that a teacher [more…]

WOU Program Earns 5-Star Rating

MONMOUTH — Young Clementine Aldrich stops using her paintbrush on the canvas in front of her, choosing instead to paint her hand. Palms covered in purple, she proceeds to rub them all over the canvas, completely changing the feeling of her piece of art. As the canvas looks more and more like a blob of [more…]

Reedsport grad is new schools chief in Salem

She started her new job as the superintendent of the Salem-Keizer School District on July 1. Before that, she was superintendent of the Dallas, Ore., School District for 10 years. And, back in her past, Christy Perry is a Reedsport graduate. Of course, she was known as Christy Grassl back then. “I graduated in 1984,” [more…]

Why has the ‘public’ faded from public higher education?

Statesman Journal July 30, 2014 by Mark Weiss, Special to the Statesman Journal After spending most of my career working in industry, I am fortunate to have served the past decade in public higher education. What I have seen is both uplifting and heartbreaking. While wealth or intellect all but guarantees some students the opportunity [more…]

Oregon Daycare Providers Trying To Make The Grade

Oregon Public Broadcasting July 24, 2014 by Rob Manning [soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/160234821″ params=”color=ff5500&show_artwork=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]   More and more, education research says for students to succeed, they need a good foundation in their earliest years.  But when kids are two, three, four years old, they’re not at school – they’re usually at home or [more…]

WOU, others question NCTQ review

Polk County Itemizer-Observer By Emily Mentzer July 1, 2014   MONMOUTH — Western Oregon University’s undergraduate elementary education program came out “too low to rank” in The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) 2014 Teacher Prep Review. The review is meant to rank teacher prep programs to provide a guide for future teachers, as well [more…]

Local teacher to get taste of Italy

Gresham Outlook by Lisa K. Anderson June 27, 2014 Gresham resident Amanda Asp will enliven her teaching curriculum in July during a 10-day exploration of sustainability practices in the Tuscan region of Italy. A 2009 Centennial High School graduate who recently received her degree in education from Western Oregon University, Asp is participating in the [more…]

Western Oregon University Class of 2014

Polk County Itemizer-Observer By Emily Mentzer June 10, 2014   MONMOUTH — Anthony Medina didn’t feel like a minority until he started classes at Western Oregon University. His hometown of Gervais, near Woodburn, has a 70 percent Latino population. “So that’s what I grew up with,” he said. “That’s what I thought was normal. I [more…]

WOU ranks high for degree value, graduate employability

Polk County Itemizer-Observer By Emily Mentzer May 20, 2014 MONMOUTH — Western Oregon University ranked 85th out of 1,222 schools in the nation for economic value and employability of its graduates by Educate to Career Inc. (ETC). The ranking is a positive affirmation of Western’s continued focus on student success, said David McDonald, associate provost. [more…]

Child Development Center offers new programs and expands age limit

Girl blowing bubbles
If you asked a member of the Western Oregon University (WOU) community about the sights and sounds they remember most fondly from campus, you’d get a variety of responses. Perhaps the giant sequoia, or the steps leading up to the Instructional Resource Center, or maybe the iconic sculpture in the Werner University Center Plaza. But [more…]

Salem-Keizer schools names Christy Perry superintendent

Statesman Journal By Queenie Wong May 13, 2014 Christy Perry, a longtime superintendent for the Dallas School District, will lead the second-largest school district in Oregon. Salem-Keizer School Board members on Tuesday named Perry as the district’s new superintendent. A contract, which starts on July 1, was also unanimously approved. “It’s a great honor to [more…]

Partnership helps minority students

Polk County Itemizer-Observer By Emily Mentzer April 15th, 2014   MONMOUTH/INDEPENDENCE — Central School District Superintendent Buzz Brazeau has already seen a difference in English Language Development students since partnering with Western Oregon University last year. Last year’s mid-year data showed 60 percent of ELD students hadn’t progressed in their comprehension of the English language, [more…]

Grant focuses on college credit

Polk County Itemizer-Observer By Jolene Guzman April 15th, 2014   POLK COUNTY — Dallas, Central, Falls City and Perrydale school districts, Western Oregon University, Chemeketa Community College and Willamette Education Service District are part of a consortium that received a $500,000 grant to expand college credit opportunities for high school students. Called the Mid-Willamette Valley [more…]

New WOU program looks to train math specialists

Statesman Journal By Geoff Parks April 11th, 2014   Note to elementary mathematics teachers-to-be in Oregon seeking specialized training in their field at Western Oregon University: Meet EMIL. A new Elementary Mathematics Instructional Leader (EMIL) program at the Monmouth school will impart an added measure of specialization to the studies of current WOU teacher-education students, [more…]

Western Oregon University awarded $200,000 in cultural education grant

Statesman Journal By Laura Fosmire April 3, 2014   Western Oregon University has been awarded $200,000 in grant money from the state Department of Education to support teachers in their efforts to meet the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse students. The grant will support Project High Five, a collaborative effort between the university, the [more…]

Funding In Place For Western Oregon University’s New Education Facility

Oregon Public Broadcasting by Rob Manning March 17th, 2014 [soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/140100170″ params=”color=ff5500&show_artwork=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /] Western Oregon University announced Monday it has the money it needs to build a new College of Education. State lawmakers had already approved more than $17 million for a new College of Education facility in Monmouth, but Western Oregon [more…]

WOU’s College of Education interim dean gets permanent position

Statesman Journal By Queenie Wong February 20th, 2014   Western Oregon University’s College of Education officials announced Thursday that their interim dean Dr. Mark Girod will now hold the job permanently. Girod, who also serves as a commissioner with the state’s Teacher Standards and Practices Commission, has been the interim dean of the college of [more…]

Another Oregon university opts for a local board

Portland Business Journal By Matthew Kish January 22nd, 2014   Western Oregon University on Wednesday said it wants to form an independent board of directors. The Oregon Legislature last year passed a bill that OK’d the creation of local boards for the three largest public universities — the University of Oregon, Oregon State University and [more…]

Western Oregon University’s new education building honored

  Statesman Journal  by Tracy Loew December 13th, 2013   Western Oregon University’s new College of Education will serve as a demonstration model for the innovative use of wood products. The building has earned a first-of-a-kind designation under Executive Order 12-16, signed by Gov. John Kitzhaber in October 2012. “Western’s new Education building is exactly [more…]

Grant to help deaf-blind services

Statesman Journal By Geoff Parks The director of the Western Oregon University-based national technical assistance center for deaf-blind children said a recent grant received will help in its mission of improving educational opportunities for those youth. Jay Gense of the National Center on Deaf-Blindness flew to Washington, D. C. last month to accept the grant [more…]

Students teaching students

Photo by Jolene Guzman // Students in Connie Olliff’s third-grade class climb through trees in Dallas City Park during Lyle’s outdoor school. Polk County Itemizer-Observer By Jolene Guzman November 5th, 2013 DALLAS — Red leaves, yellow leaves, flat leaves, thin leaves — plus a few insects and birds — were the stars of Lyle Elementary [more…]

Intern helps city promote tourism

Photo by Aaron Newton // Guadalupe “Lupe” Geronimo, senior at Western Oregon University, is an intern with the City of Independence. Polk County Itemizer-Observer By Aaron Newton November 5th, 2013 INDEPENDENCE — For years, Independence has looked at the feasibility of a wayfinding system to help tourists navigate downtown and see all the city has [more…]

More good news for WOU program

Photo by Aaron Newton Jay Gense is the director for the National Center on Deaf-Blindness at Western Oregon University.   Polk County Itemizer-Observer By Aaron Newton October 15th, 2013   MONMOUTH — The National Center on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB), one of seven centers that make up the Teaching Research Institute at Western Oregon University, was awarded [more…]

Western Oregon University language interpretation program wins award

September 18, 2013 Statesman Journal By Laura Fosmire   The Master of Arts in Interpreting Studies – that is, interpreting English into any other language, signed or spoken — at Western Oregon University has won an award to recognize “outstanding” professional and continuing education programs. The award is formally named the 2013 University Professional & [more…]

PIECE program at Western awarded $1 million grant

By Aaron Newton Polk County Itemizer-Observer The Teaching Research Institute at Western Oregon University was awarded a $1 million grant this month from the U.S. Office of Special Education Programs. The grant will aid 45 students in the Promoting Inclusion in Early Childhood Education (PIECE) program, starting this winter, to receive bachelor’s degrees and early [more…]

WOU awarded federal grant for early childhood education project

By Peter Wong Statesman Journal Teachers preparing to educate preschool children, including those with disabilities, will get help as a result of a $1 million federal grant announced Friday by Western Oregon University. The 45 students will fill a growing need in Oregon schools as early-childhood learning gets a new emphasis under a statewide educational [more…]

Oregon teacher colleges can benefit from the spotlight: Agenda 2013

By Oregonian Editorial Board The Oregonian Don’t judge Oregon’s teacher colleges by the hatchet job performed this week by the National Council on Teacher Quality. The group’s first-ever report on the quality of the nation’s teacher preparatory colleges missed the mark in ways big and small. Yet the findings provide an opportunity to shine a spotlight [more…]

Oregon House OKs community college, university budgets

By Peter Wong Statesman Journal The Oregon House voted today to approve budgets containing more than $1 billion for Oregon’s 17 community colleges and state universities in the next two years. Despite the amounts, community college and state universities have or are likely to raise tuition, which accounts for an increasing share of the financial [more…]

Record-breaking class leaves WOU

By Justin Much Statesman Journal (click for photo album and video) MONMOUTH — Western Oregon University celebrated a record-breaking graduating class Saturday. The class of 2013 had 1,370 graduates, eclipsing last year’s by 141 students. Turnout for the midday commencement was a standing-room only crowd that filled the stadium and McArther Field and spilled into a shady [more…]

WOU plans for June 15 commencement

  Statesman Journal  By Justin Much  June 7th, 2013    Western Oregon University announced that its 2013 graduating class of 1,370 students will be the largest in school history, eclipsing last year’s total by 141 students.   The commencement ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 15, and WOU’s McArthur Field. Event speakers [more…]

WOU-IES partnership paying dividends

  Polk County Itemizer-Observer  By Aaron Newton  May 29th, 2013 WOU student Paola Ramirez Del Valle works with 7-year-old Adamari Rodarte on a piano lesson during a music class at Independence Elementary May 20. // Photo by Pete Strong  MONMOUTH/INDEPENDENCE — Dr. Eduardo Gonzalez-Viana has been building a bridge from Western Oregon University to the [more…]

AHS grad recognized by Oregon university

The Daily Astorian On May 21, at an event attended by family and friends, Matthew Noack, a 2008 Astoria High School graduate, was recognized by Western Oregon University’s Business and Economics Department and received the 2012-2013 Academic Excellence in Economics Award. He was also honored by his professors for his contribution to the learning environment [more…]

Western Oregon University names new dean for arts, sciences

Statesman Journal By Justin Much May 29th, 2013 Western Oregon University announced that Susanne Monahan has been named as the school’s new dean for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Monahan, who comes to WOU from Montana State University, will begin her WOU role in the 2013-14 academic year. She is currently the associate [more…]

Students rally at Capitol

  The Clackamas Print  By Patty Salazar May 1st, 2013   On what would normally be a quiet day on the Salem Capitol steps, last Thursday turned out to be a rather full day. Hundreds of Oregon college students were there promoting funding for higher education; students from all over Oregon attended the Salem rally. [more…]

Academic All-Stars honored

Forty-one students were honored in the 2013 annual Academic All-Stars ceremony Sunday at Willamette University. Photograph courtesy of Thomas Patterson | Appeal Tribune Statesman Journal By Saerom Yoo Mar 19, 2013 A record 41 high school seniors in the Mid-Valley were honored March 3 at Willamette University for their academic achievements and commitment to community [more…]

Western Oregon University Receives Excellence In Diversity Award‏

Written by Albany Tribune Photo taken by Dale Peterson Western Oregon University received the first annual Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. WOU is the only college or university in the Pacific Northwest to receive this honor, and one of [more…]

Key Women Educators recognize WOU prof

Statesman Journal Justin Much Alpha Epsilon Chapter of The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, also known as Key Women Educators, announced that Western Oregon University professor Cindy Ryan was recognized by the National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators. Ryan received the NAECTE/Pearson Outstanding Dissertation Award for her dissertation titled “Head Start Teachers’ Beliefs and [more…]

Report shows Western Oregon University numbers strong

Statesman Journal By Justin Much They’re coming. They’re staying. They’re graduating. That’s the news released Thursday by Western Oregon University in conjunction with the Oregon University System. WOU reported that its enrollment remained near its 2010 school-record level, student retention inched up from one year ago, and last year’s graduating class was the largest in [more…]

WOU literacy prof arranges for book donation to Falls City

Statesman Journal By Justin Much Nourishment is a vital element when it comes to education, just as education is vital for overall well being. Western Oregon University associate professor of literacy education Tracy Smiles is acutely aware of that balance. “The three things we know kids need are health care, good nutrition and books,” Smiles [more…]

Western Oregon University greets new term with accolades and new looks

Written by Justin Much Statesman Journal While the summer-school session and break created a comparative stillness on the Western Oregon University campus, several notable achievements and milestones did emerge. Fall term classes officially began Sept. 24, which sent neophyte freshmen and seasoned upper-classmen scurrying around the grounds to map out their autumn routine. While students [more…]

WOU offers innovative education, Monmouth university stands out several ways

By the Editorial Board Statesman Journal Western Oregon University might be one of the most under-appreciated colleges in the Pacific Northwest. The Monmouth-based university is getting national attention for providing outstanding teaching, increasing graduation rates and delivering an economical yet relevant education. But within Oregon, it’s been easy to take Western for granted while other [more…]

Grads urged to live in moment

Statesman Journal By Justin Much Western Oregon University bid farewell Saturday to its largest graduating class in history. The class of 2012 had 1,281 graduates, and at least 860 of them participated in Saturday’s ceremony. Attendees spilled over into standing room only areas outside the packed McArthur Field and crowded the new gymnasium to watch [more…]

Area’s top educators recognized during Crystal Apple Awards

Statesman Journal By Stefanie Knowlton Ten educators stepped onto the stage at the Historic Elsinore Theatre on Thursday night to accept Crystal Apple Awards for their dedication to students throughout Salem and Keizer. Five teachers, three instructional assistants, a facilities employee and a school psychologist received top honors at the annual Salem-Keizer Education Foundation event [more…]

Oregon University System enrollment hits record-high 100,000 students

The Oregonian By Bill Graves The Oregon University System’s enrollment has soared above 100,000 this fall, a record high and a 3.5 percent increase over last fall, according to the system’s annual October headcount. Most of that increase, however, was in retaining students already in the system. The number of incoming freshmen actually declined by 271. [more…]

Sunday Profile: JinMan Jo

Statesman Journal By Barbara Curtin JinMan Jo found his calling when a college teacher introduced him to the possibilities of sculpture. Now Jo hopes to do the same at Western Oregon University, where he is an assistant professor.”An educator changed my life,” he said. “I want to change other people’s.”A hint of Jo’s determination can be gained from the fact that [more…]

Wilson selected for program

Hattiesburg American By William Carey Nan Parker Wilson has been selected to participate as a Helen Keller Fellow in a federal program targeted to increase personnel to serve school-age children in low-incidences disabilities. The Teaching Research Institute at Western Oregon University, in conjunction with 10 geographically dispersed universities, have created a consortium to improve the [more…]

The gift that will keep on giving: A $2.3 million donation announced Tuesday is largest in WOU history

Statesman Journal By Justin Much A gift to Western Oregon University of $2.3  million — the largest financial gift in the school’s history — ultimately will expand  the capacity for studies in science.It also is said to be critical for the school as it strives to remain on target with its master-plan vision. WOU announced Tuesday that the [more…]

UofO 101st, OSU 138th in U.S. News rankings

Portland Business Journal By Erik Siemers The University of Oregon tied for 101st while Oregon State University tied for 138th on the latest U.S. News Media Group’s rankings of national colleges. The annual rankings, published this week, ranked schools in several categories, including national universities, liberal arts schools, regional colleges, and regional universities. Eugene-based UofO (enrollment: 23,342) was among 10 [more…]

William Rhoades selected as new West Linn-Wilsonville School District superintendent

West Linn Tidings By Linda Hundhammer The West Linn-Wilsonville School District board of directors announced Monday night that William B. Rhoades has been selected to become the district’s next school superintendent. The terms of the agreement will be finalized within the next week or so. “I am absolutely delighted,” said Roger Woehl, current West Linn-Wilsonville [more…]

This week’s winners and losers in the news

Statesman Journal WINNER: Teacher training at Western Oregon University. WOU is a leader in making college courses relevant to what new teachers actually will experience in the classroom. WOU’s College of Education was recognized this week with the Christa McAuliffe Award for Excellence in Teacher Education, presented by the American Association of State Colleges and [more…]

Sound of music fills schools

Polk County Itemizer-Observer By Jolene Guzman DALLAS — Elementary schools in Dallas, at least for a short while, had music classes back on the schedule in the last few weeks. They were led by a familiar teacher. Former elementary music teacher Brian Rebischke spent a week each at Lyle and Oakdale Heights elementary schools teaching [more…]

WOU welcomes artist’s endowment

Polk County Itemizer Observer Article by Craig Coleman Photo by Pete Strong MONMOUTH — Much of the art Alfred Maurice has created reflects where he was and what he was doing at a given point in his life. While serving in the Army during World War II, he would send letters home decorated with sketches [more…]

UWEC special education graduate recognized as Helen Keller Fellow

WQOW 18 News Menomonie  — Lindsey Hegg, a 2009 University of Wisconsin-Stout graduate in special education, has been recognized as a prestigious Helen Keller Fellow for 2010. Hegg, from Woodbury, Minn., is a graduate student in special education-severe and multiple disabilities at University of Arizona, Tucson. Her emphasis is working with individuals who are deaf [more…]

WOU earns excellence award for teacher education program

Statesman Journal By Justin Much Given Western Oregon University’s recent rapid growth, broadening scope of programs and addition of new ones such as nursing, the school’s original mission — education — sometimes seems overshadowed. But it hasn’t escaped the attention of the Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU). WOU was recently named the 2010 [more…]

WOU teaching program earns prestigious honor for college

Polk County Itemizer-Observer By Craig Coleman MONMOUTH — Western Oregon University has added academic programs in the past few years in an effort to make the school recognized as more than just a place for prospective teachers. Still, with more than 3,000 WOU graduates hired as educators in 168 school districts in Oregon during the [more…]

Community Honors 12 Educators With Crystal Apples

Salem-News.com (Salem, Oregon) – Twelve local educators were honored with a 2010 Crystal Apple Award Thursday night during Salem-Keizer’s annual gala celebration of education excellence. The recipients, including teachers at all levels, instructional assistants, a principal, and a district maintenance employee, were chosen from a list of 49 nominees, and honored before a full house [more…]

Western enrollment sets yet another record

Rising enrollment at Western Oregon University has been a trend of late, and school officials want to make sure it remains a comfortable one. WOU’s enrollment increased 10.2 percent this fall, according to data recently released by Oregon University Systems. Of those students, 7.5 percent are full-time equivalent. That increase notches another WOU total-enrollment record, [more…]