Grad Profile: Ruby Van Dyke

Ruby Van Dyke is a 2021 graduate from Santa Rosa, California. Their major is Gerontology: Aging and Older Adulthood.    Why did you choose WOU?  I chose WOU because it is one of two schools in the Northwest (NorCal to Washington) with a bachelor’s in gerontology, and I love the rain more than anything.    [more…]

Grad Profile: Raynie Ehret

Raynie Ehret is a 2021 graduate from Olympia, Washington. She is a Business major with a concentration in Marketing/Management, plus a minor in Spanish with a certificate in Translating and Interpreting.   What has your experience been like as a student in the Honors Program? Yes, I am a part of the Honors Program at [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: Emily Creasy

Emily Creasy is a 2021 graduate from Gladstone, Oregon. She is a Social Science major with a concentration in Political Science, plus a minor in Psychology. She is also WOU’s Honorary Political Science Student of the Year.   What has the experience been like as a transfer student? I transferred from Clackamas Community College. I [more…]

Grad Profile: Lily Collinsworth

Lily Collinsworth is a 2021 graduate from Keizer, Oregon. She is an English major.   What has the experience been like as a transfer student? I transferred from Chemeketa Community College after I earned my AAOT. While it was tough to transition to a university-level workload, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the level [more…]

Grad Profile: Karen Silva

Karen Silva is a 2021 graduate from Rigby, Idaho. She is a Biology major with a Pre-Professional focus.   How has being a Dreamer impacted your journey to and within college?  Being a Dreamer at times made it challenging to go through college, being a first-gen student and trying to figure a couple things out [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: Erin Worley

Erin Worley is a 2021 graduate from Dallas, Oregon. She is an Integrated English Studies major with a minor in Communication Studies.    What has your experience been like as a student in the Honors Program?  I have been involved with WOU’s Honors Program since freshman year, and I have really enjoyed my time in [more…]

Grad Profile: Cheyan Swan

Student in a red graduation robe crouching down and smiling in front of WOU sign
Cheyan Swan is a 2021 graduate from Las Vegas, Nevada. They are a Writing major with a minor in Sociology.    What has your experience been like as a student in the Honors Program?  I’ve spent four years in the Honors Program. Although it’s admittedly a lot of work, this program has offered me so [more…]

Grad Profile: Jenny Rooper

Jenny Rooper is a 2021 graduate from Silverton, Oregon. She is a Pre-Med major.    What has your experience been like as a student in the Honors Program?  Yes, I am an honors student! I’ve really enjoyed the Honors Program here at WOU, especially in comparison to how it’s run at other schools. Though occasionally [more…]

Grad Profile: N.J. Johnson

N.J. Johnson is a 2021 graduate from Scappoose, Oregon. He is majoring in Public Policy and Administration, with a minor in Organizational Leadership. N.J. has also served as ASWOU President, and he has received the title of Public Policy and Administration Student of the Year.   Why did you choose WOU?  I chose WOU for [more…]

Grad Profile: Juliana Cameron

Juliana Cameron is a 2021 graduate from Marysville, Washington. She is majoring in Business with a focus in Marketing, and her minor is Health. Juliana is also an award winner from WOU’s Leadership Recognition Month, where she was recognized as the Don Boderman Volunteer of the Year, as well as being an IFC Committee member. [more…]

Grad Profile: Parker Marson

Parker Marson is a 2021 graduate from Pleasant Hill, California. He is majoring in Exercise Science with two minors in Human Biology and Chemistry.    Why did you choose WOU?  I chose Western because of the success of the track and field team, and I was sold by how beautiful the campus was. The small [more…]

Grad Profile: Emily Beck

Emily Beck is a 2021 graduate from Springfield, Oregon. She is majoring in Psychology, with a minor in Health. Emily is also an award winner from WOU’s Leadership Recognition Month, where she received the Psychology Peer Advising Leadership Award.   Why did you choose WOU?  I chose WOU because it was close to home, affordable, [more…]

Grad Profile: Channing Bushman

Channing Bushman is a 2021 graduate from Morgan Hill, California. She is majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies with concentrations in Special Education and Humanities, plus a minor in American Sign Language Studies. She is also an award winner from WOU’s Leadership Recognition Month, where she was recognized as the Outstanding Residence Hall Association Executive Board Member [more…]

Grad Profile: Natalie Dean

Natalie Dean is a 2021 graduate from Eugene, Oregon. She is an English major with a concentration in Writing, and she is an award winner for WOU’s Leadership Recognition Month, where she was recognized for earning a Leadership Certificate.   What has your experience been like as a first-generation student? I was so nervous to [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: Nick Cabacungan

Nick Cabacungan is a 2021 graduate from Honolulu, Hawaii. He is a Biology major with a concentration in Pre-Professional Studies, plus a minor in Chemistry.    What has been your most memorable class?  The most memorable class has to be Physics with Dr. Schoenfeld. Although his class was tough, he has taught me how to [more…]

Grad Profile: Antonia Scholerman

Antonia Scholerman is a 2021 graduate from Bend, Ore. She is a History major with a minor in Art History. Antonia is also an award winner from WOU’s Leadership Recognition Month, where she was recognized with a Distinguished Student Leader award.   What has been your favorite annual event at WOU?  The Holiday Tree Lighting [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: Lily Gallagher

Lily Gallagher is a 2021 graduate from Independence, Oregon. She is a Psychology major with a minor in Gender Studies, and she is an award winner from WOU’s Leadership Recognition Month, where she was given the Abby’s House Social Justice Award.   What has the experience been like as a transfer student? Yes! I transferred [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: Kaeli Hancock

Kaeli Hancock is a 2021 graduate from Prineville, Oregon. Their major is Bachelor of Fine Arts in Production Training with a concentration in Stage Management.    What has been your most memorable class?  My most memorable class has definitely been History of Architecture and Decor with Scott Grim. We created our own handwritten textbooks with [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…]

Grad Profile: Lauren Gerig

Lauren Gerig is a 2021 graduate from Canby, Oregon. She is majoring in Exercise Science with a minor in Human Biology. Lauren is also an award winner from WOU’s Leadership Recognition Month, where she was recognized for earning a Leadership Certificate.   What has been your most memorable class?  The Anatomy and Physiology sequence was [more…]

Grad Profile: Jennifer Romadka

WOU graduate Jennifer Romadka smiles in her red cap and gown in front of bright pink flowers.
Jennifer Romadka is a graduating Public Policy and Administration student from Beaverton. During her time at WOU, Jennifer has participated in the Honors Program and multiple student leadership positions. What has your experience been like as an Honors Program student? My experience in honors has pushed me academically, personally, and professionally in all the ways [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: Blanca Miranda-Aguilar

Blanca Miranda-Aguilar is an Interdisciplinary Studies major from Arroyo Grande, Calif. As a 2020 graduate, we interviewed her on college memories and lessons learned.   What has your experience been like as a first-generation student? Yes, I am a first-generation student. I was lucky enough to find and get the help of the Multicultural Student [more…]

Grad Profile: Kelsie Greenhill

Kelsie Greenhill is a Public Policy and Administration major with a minor in Spanish. She is from Willamina, Ore. As a notable 2020 graduate, we interviewed Greenhill on her favorite aspects of WOU and fond memories from college.   What has the experience been like as a transfer student? I transferred from Chemeketa Community College. [more…]

Grad Profile: Taylor Dowler

WOU graduate Taylor Dowler smiles in her red graduation cap and gown, and proudly shows off her diploma.
Taylor Dowler is a graduating Political Science student from Portland. She transferred to WOU from Mount Hood Community College, and has actively been involved with numerous extracurricular activities on campus, including Model United Nations and ASWOU. What has your experience as a transfer student been like? I originally obtained my Associates Degree from Mount Hood [more…]

Grad Profile: Kayli Smith

Kayli Smith is an art major with a concentration in ceramics, as well as a minor in art history. Her hometown is Dallas, Ore. As a 2020 graduate, we interviewed Smith about her experience at WOU and her future plans.   Why did you choose WOU?  Ceramics has always been a class that I felt [more…]

Grad Profile: Kranti Budhathoki

Man wearing sunglasses and smiling with blue sky in background
Kranti Budhathoki is a graduating student from Kathmandu, Nepal. He is completing a degree in Business, and has been involved with many campus activities, including PLUS team, Associated Students of Western Oregon University, and working for WOU’s Strategic Communications and Marketing. What has your experience been like as an international student? I loved being here [more…]

Grad Profile: Emily Swart

Emily Swart is an Interdisciplinary Studies major from Salem, Ore., the two focuses of her major being humanities and social science. As an outstanding non-traditional graduate, we interviewed Swart on her most memorable experiences here, as well as her takeaways from college as a whole.   Why did you choose WOU?  I come from a [more…]

Grad Profile: Leah Coyle

Leah Coyle is a Communication Studies major from Portland, Ore., who has also completed a minor in Humanities. As an outstanding graduate, we interviewed her on her WOU experience, including her favorite memories and the lessons she’s learned.   Are you a first-generation student? What has your experience been like? I am the first member [more…]

Grad Profile: Jonny Watt

Jonathon “Jonny” Watt is an Elementary/Middle School Education major with a concentration in Middle School Mathematics. He is a Kansas City, Kansas. As an outstanding 2020 graduate, we interviewed Watt on his favorite aspects of WOU and his future plans for after graduation.   Why did you choose WOU?  I chose WOU because I was [more…]

Grad Profile: Kelly Soto

Kelly Soto is a graduating nursing student from Ontario, California. She transferred to WOU from Chemeketa Community College, where she completed her nursing prerequisites and obtained her Associate Arts of Oregon Transfer degree. As an outstanding WOU 2020 graduate, we interviewed Soto about her college experience and future plans.   What has your experience been [more…]

2020 Delmer Dewey/Julia McCulloch Smith Award: D-Dré Wright

D-Dré Wright ’20 has a penchant for acronyms, especially one that inspired and guided her success at Western Oregon University. Wright recalls arranging three words in her mind when she finally decided she was going to ACE everything in her life – Accept, Change and/or Embrace it. From competing on three intramural athletic teams to [more…]

2020 Delmer Dewey/Julia McCulloch Smith Award: Monica Cerda Ortiz

Woman with a Homecoming crown
As a first-generation and low-income student, Monica Cerda Ortiz ’20 started her freshman year of college feeling powerless and not knowing where she belonged. That quickly changed as she learned the importance of finding campus groups where she felt represented and supported at Western Oregon University. She is grateful for the WOU faculty, staff, students [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…]

Mario and Alma Pastega Award for Excellence in Scholarship Recipient: Kenneth Carano

Family in Greece
Mario and Alma Pastega Award for Excellence in Scholarship winner Associate Professor Kenneth Carano aspires to use his knowledge and status to listen and learn from others’ voices. “Using my white male privilege to be a co-conspirator in working towards giving less-privileged voices a chance to be heard is a critical part of my field’s [more…]

Grad Profile: Erin Ritchie

WOU grad Erin Ritchie smiles in front of red flowers. She is wearing a white floral dress and a brown jacket with matching boots.
Graduating student Erin Ritchie will be completing a degree in Sociology this spring, with a minor in Psychology. Originally from Newport, she transferred to WOU from Linn-Benton Community College, and has been involved with CIP, Abby’s House, and Student Success and Advising during her time at WOU.   Where did you transfer from and what [more…]

Mario and Alma Pastega Award for Excellence in Teaching: Kristin Latham-Scott

Professor dressed for graduation
Western Oregon University Biology Professor Kristin Latham-Scott hopes she engages her students with mind-expanding topics while also providing them the skills to tackle the challenges.  Her dedication, creativity and enthusiasm to create student-centered learning spaces has earned Latham-Scott this year’s Mario and Alma Pastega Award for Excellence in Teaching.  “I hope my students take with them [more…]

Grad Profile: Karina Lopez

Karina Lopez is a Communication Studies major and a Health minor from Independence. As an outstanding 2020 graduate, we interviewed Lopez about her experiences being a first generation student and a leader to her peers in our campus community.   What has your experience as a first-generation student been like? My experience as a first-generation [more…]

Grad Profile: Zoe Noel Cawthon

Zoe Noel Cawthon is a philosophy major from Salem. As a 2020 graduate, we interviewed Cawthon on her most notable memories and life lessons from WOU.   What has been your most memorable class? My most memorable class was Forensic Anthropology with Jerielle Cartales! It has nothing to do with my major, and I took [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…]

Alumni Award of Excellence: Micheal Morgan

Man in a woodworking shop
Dr. Micheal Morgan ’70 has a simple explanation for why he goes above and beyond in everything he does. “It’s innate,” he said. “I was raised to work hard, do a good job, help others and do what’s right.” The recipient of the 2020 Alumni Award of Excellence, Morgan has been a  staunch supporter of [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: April Bradley

WOU grad April Bradley smiles in front of her computer. She is wearing glasses and a dark blue shirt.
April Bradley is a graduating student from Aumsville, Ore., and she is completing a degree in Information Systems. While at WOU, Bradley has served as the family housing apartment manager for Alderview.   Are you a transfer student? If so, where did you transfer from and what has the experience been like? Yes, however I [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: Arianna Stone

Arianna Stone is a Psychology major with a minor in Social Science. She is from Salem, Ore, and originally earned her Associates of Arts Oregon Transfer degree from Chemeketa Community College before transferring to WOU. As a 2020 graduate, we interviewed Stone about her impact on multiple WOU communities, her fondest memories, and her future [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: Salvador Garcia Lopez

Person sitting in a red graduation cap and gown, smiling
Salvador Garcia Lopez is an Earth Science major with a minor in Biology. He is from Portland, Ore. As a 2020 graduate, we interviewed Lopez on his favorite experiences from WOU and his plans for after graduation.   Where did you transfer from and what has the experience been like? In the fall of 2017, [more…]

Grad Profile: Natalie Legras

WOU graduate Natalie Legras smiles in front of a brick wall with green plants below. She is wearing a striped shirt, blue jeans, and a WOU graduation cap.
Natalie Legras is a graduating student who is completing a double major in Information Systems and Humanities, with a minor in Business. She is from Scio, Ore., and has participated in the Honors program while at WOU.    Are you a first-generation student? What has your experience been like? Neither of my parents graduated from [more…]

Grad Profile: Zoe Chan-Tuyub

WOU graduate Zoe Chan-Tuyub stands in front of the Natural Science building on campus. She is wearing a white shirt, black pants, a red graduation cap, and a white stole with multiple cords.
Zoe Chan-Tuyub is a graduating Business student from Sherwood, Ore. Throughout her time at WOU, Chan-Tuyub has participated in many extracurriculars, including PLUS Team, Kappa Delta Chi sorority, and Alternative Break.   Are you a first-generation student? What has your experience been like? My experience as a first-generation student has been amazing. Since I started [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…]

Grad Profile: Eva Batenhorst

WOU student Eva Batenhorst poses for a photograph outside, against a weathered white wall. She is wearing a cream colored sweater.
Eva Batenhorst will be graduating this spring, with a double major in Biology and Dance, and a minor in Physical Science. Eva is from Eugene, Oregon, and has participated in many extracurriculars during her time at WOU, including the Honors program, RHA, and PLUS team. Are you an honors student? What has your experience 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…]

Grad Profile: Megan McAllister

WOU student Megan McAllister smiles in front of an outdoor stairwell. Megan is wearing a bright red shirt.
Megan McAllister will be graduating with a degree in Business. McAllister is from Klamath Falls, Ore., and has participated in the Alpha Chi Omega sorority, as well as the Student Veterans of America club. Are you a transfer student? What has the experience been like? Yes, I transferred from Klamath Community College as a junior. [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: Heidi Benham

WOU student Heidi Benham smiles in front of a wooden wall. She is wearing a gray shirt, red lipstick, and glasses, and there is a green flower in her hair.
Heidi Benham is a graduating student from Dayton, Ore. She is completing a degree in Mathematics, with a minor in Linguistics. After graduation, Heidi is headed to the University of Connecticut. Are you a transfer student? What has the experience been like? I transferred from the Yamhill Valley Campus of Chemeketa Community College. The faculty [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: Sean Tellvik

Sean Tellvik is a graduating English major, with a concentration in Writing and a minor in Humanities. He is from Hillsboro, Ore., and has served an active part of our community through clubs, sub-communities, and working as a tutor at the Writing Center. We interviewed him on his most notable experiences from his years here [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…]

Grad Profile: Caitlyn Nakatsukasa

Caitlyn Nakatsukasa is a graduating student from Honolulu, Hawaii and will obtain a degree in Business with a minor in Organizational Leadership. After her graduation, she is wasting no time and going straight to grad school! Why did you choose WOU? WOU made it very affordable for me to attend and receive a great education [more…]

Grad Profile: Matthew Ciraulo

Matthew Ciraulo is a graduating student from Murrieta, California and will earn a degree in Sociology with a minor in History. Why did you choose WOU? Originally I planned to teach high school history. WOU was brought to my attention as a progressive and reputable education program. Once I got the opportunity to tour the school, [more…]

Grad Profile: Martha Lucia

Martha Lucia is a student originally from Colombia, South America and she’s been living in the United States for the last 19 years. Married, her husband Greg has been her great support, along with her children, Avalon and Ethan, and her brother and family in Colombia. She will receive a B.S. in  Early Childhood Elementary [more…]

Grad Profile: Jocelyn Garcia

Jocelyn Garcia is a first-generation student graduating with a degree in Visual Communication Design and a minor in The Arts.  She has also been recognized on the Honor Roll and the President’s list multiple times. Why did you choose WOU? I chose WOU because of its great art program and community. Since it was very [more…]

Grad Profile: Mandy Abel

Mandy Abel from Sherwood, Oregon, will be graduating from WOU with a degree in Earth Science and a minor in Public Policy and Administration Why did you choose WOU? It was close to home, which was very important to me, had a small average class size, and is a public university so I knew it [more…]

Grad Profile: Jaide Wa’a

Jaide Wa’a, originally from Nanakuli, Hawaii is a first-year student who will be graduating from WOU with a degree in Biology with a concentration on Pre-Medicine and a minor in Chemistry. Why did you choose WOU? I chose WOU because I liked its location in Oregon, the size of the campus, the community, and its sizable [more…]

Grad Profile: Demeter Finch

Demeter is a first-generation honors student here at WOU who will be obtaining a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus in Special Education and Humanities with a minor in Spanish.  Why did you choose WOU? The American Sign Language/English Interpreting program. What do you love most about WOU? The professors and overall elevated level [more…]

Grad Profile: Tristan Aldous

Tristan Aldous, from Drain, Oregon, will earn a degree in Communication Studies with a minor in Organizational Leadership from WOU. Why did you choose WOU? The reason I chose WOU isn’t the reason I stayed. I originally came to WOU because I was a Theatre Arts major and the program here. I chose WOU because of [more…]

Grad Profile: Susana Venegas

Susana Vergas will be leaving WOU with a degree in Social Science with a focus in Criminal Justice and two minors in Forensic Psychology and Spanish. Originally from Salem, Oregon, Susana is a proud first-generation student who attended all her four years at WOU. Why did you choose WOU? Western was my first college choice [more…]

Grad Profile: Ethan Novak

Ethan Novak is a student from Imperial, California who will be graduating with an Elementary Master of Arts in Teaching.  Why did you choose WOU? I chose WOU after listening to a presentation they gave to the Corvallis School District on their brand new eMAT program. It was truly everything I was looking for in a [more…]

Grad Profile: Tiffany Lewis

Tiffany Lewis is a graduating student from Tacoma, Washington. She will be obtaining a degree in Early Childhood/Elementary Education with an ESOL endorsement and a minor in French. Why did you choose WOU? I chose WOU because I knew that I wanted to be a teacher and their education program is nationally recognized! I also [more…]

Grad Profile: Alexis Klatt

Alexis Klatt is a first generation student from Philomath, Oregon who will be graduating with a degree in Early Childhood Studies; Therapeutic care and trauma-informed practices. Why did you choose WOU? I chose WOU because of its small class sizes, student-teacher relationships, beautiful campus, and opportunities within the Education Program. What do you love most [more…]

Grad Profile: Daniel Sampson

Daniel Sampson, after maintaining academic honor roll from spring 2016 to spring 2018, will be graduating with a degree in Contemporary Music with a Jazz and Popular Music Emphasis. He is originally from Newport, Oregon and transferred to Western Oregon University from the Oregon Coast Community College located there. Why did you choose WOU? I [more…]

Grad Profile: Sarah Hughes

Sarah Hughes is a graduating honors student from Salem Oregon who will earn a degree in psychology with a minor in writing. Why did you choose WOU? For the small and welcoming campus. What do you love most about WOU? The small classes sizes are great for learning, but they’re even better for building connections [more…]

Grad Profile: Rachelle Austin

Rachelle Austin, from Keizer, is graduating this June after four years studying Chemistry with a minor in physics. She transferred from University of Oregon. Why did you choose WOU? I chose WOU because I was looking for a smaller town and smaller, more close-knit university.  I didn’t really enjoy having classes of 500+ students and [more…]

Grad Profile: Tyler Jones

Tyler Jones, from Bend, is finishing degrees in Mathematics and Business with a concentration in accounting. Why did you choose WOU? I chose WOU to fulfill my dream of collegiate running as part of the cross country and track team. What do you love most about WOU? I think the campus and class size is [more…]

Grad Profile: Ailyn Angel

Ailyn Angel is a graduating student from Hillsboro and will be obtaining a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus in Humanities and Social Science. She is a first-generation student who transferred from Portland Community College in fall 2017. Why did you choose WOU? I chose WOU because I was initially interested in the Education [more…]

Grad Profile: Jacoby “Coby” Cid

Jacoby “Coby” Cid is a transfer student from Leeward Community College graduating this year with a degree in Visual Communication Design and a full-time position as a digital communication specialist at Maps Credit Union.  Why did you choose WOU? I chose WOU because I came to play football and heard great things about the VCD [more…]

Grad Profile: Libbie Hoene

Libbie Hoene is a graduating student from Lebanon, Oregon and is completing a bachelor’s in Communications with a minor in Organizational Leadership. Why did you choose WOU? I originally picked to come to WOU because I was playing volleyball at here at the D2 level. What do you love most about WOU? I love the [more…]

Grad Profile: Alison Nelke

Alison Nelke is from Albany, Oregon and will be graduating with a bachelor’s in Business with an Accounting concentration, as well as a minor in History. Why did you choose WOU? I was recruited to play basketball for the women’s basketball team, and then I fell in love with the campus. WOU’s Business major with [more…]

Staff Excellence Award: Jeanie Stuntzner

Jeanie Stuntzner
The Mario and Alma Pastega Sta Excellence Award honors a classified or administrative staff member who demonstrates exceptional service to the university. Once nominees are received, a screening committee submits a list of finalists to the president, who then chooses the recipient. Creative Arts Facilities and Program Coordinator Jeanie Stuntzner insists that she uses her [more…]

Excellence in Scholarship Award: Dr. Marie LeJeune

marie lejeune
The Mario and Alma Pastega Award for Excellence in Scholarship honors a full-time faculty member who demonstrates outstanding creative or scholarly accomplishments. Once nominees are received, the Honors Committee votes by secret ballot on whether there will be a recipient that year, and if so, who the recipient will be. The bookshelves, tables and chairs [more…]

Excellence in Teaching Award: Dr. Peter Callero

Peter Callero
The Mario and Alma Pastega Award for Excellence in Teaching honors a full-time faculty member who demonstrates excellence in teaching and relationships with students, both in and out of the classroom. Once nominees are received, a screening committee submits a list of finalists to the president, who then chooses the recipient. When sociology Professor Peter [more…]

Golden Lamp Award: Janine Egan ’18

Janine Egan
From the OHSU School of Nursing, Monmouth Campus, the Golden Lamp Award is based on the American Nurses Association Code for Professional Nurses and the Florence Nightingale Pledge. It is given in recognition of exemplary demonstration of scholarship, leadership, professional commitment, innovative contributions and humanitarian ideals. OHSU School of Nursing’s Golden Lamp Award winner Janine [more…]

Outstanding Graduate Student Award: Alissa McAlpine ’18

Alissa McAlpine
The Outstanding Graduate Student Award honors a student who has demonstrated superior achievements in scholarship and academics, character, leadership and initiative during graduate studies. Last year at this time, Alissa McAlpine was in this same place: at Western Oregon University’s Commencement on a June afternoon. Then, she was gathering her undergraduate degree, a Bachelor of [more…]

Julia McCulloch Smith Award: Sara A. Madden ’18

Sarah Madden
The Julia McCulloch Smith Award is presented to the outstanding female student of the year in the memory of Smith, alumna of the class of 1895, who died in 1930. e award was first presented in 1931. When this year’s Julia McCulloch Smith Award winner for outstanding female graduate, Sara Madden ’18, says she “didn’t [more…]

Delmer Dewey Award: Carter Craig ’18

Carter Craig
The Delmer Dewey Award, presented each year to the outstanding male student, is named for former Dean of Men Delmer Dewey, who died in 1953. The award was first presented in 1954. Like many Western Oregon University graduates, Delmer Dewey Award winner Carter Craig ’18 touts the university’s welcoming nature. For the outstanding male graduate [more…]

Alumni Award of Excellence: Lynn Hamersly ’64

Wayne and Lynn Hamersly
The Alumni Award of Excellence is awarded each year to an alum (living or deceased) for his or her contributions and services to the university and community as well as for his or her distinguished professional work. Lynn Hamersly’s dedication to Western Oregon University—known as Oregon College of Education when she attended—was a positive in [more…]

Grad Profile: Roger Deleon

Roger Deleon
Graduating senior Roger Deleon, from Beaverton, book-ended his college experience at WOU. He started out at WOU in 2010 for two years, then transitioned to community college where he earned two associate’s from Portland Community College, before returning to WOU in fall 2016. Why did you choose WOU? It was cheaper than other schools I [more…]

Grad Profile: Javier Garcia

Javier Garcia
First-generation student Javier Garcia, from Newberg, plans to work in sports marketing now that he’s completed his bachelor’s in Business with a minor in Sports Leadership. Why did you choose WOU? I lost my little brother in a car accident during my senior year of high school. I really didn’t think about college after that [more…]

Grad Profile: Brittany Johnson

Portland native Brittany Johnson, a first-generation Math major with a Math Education minor, is making a big leap after graduation – she’s heading to Nebraska for a Ph.D.! Why did you choose WOU? I was originally an education major, and I knew that WOU was the best placed to be for that. I also wanted [more…]

Grad Profile: Louann Casares

If you asked first-generation student Louann Casares how long it took to complete her bachelor’s in Business Administration and minor in Humanities, she would tell you her freshman year took 24 years and the rest took three. She transferred to WOU from Linn-Benton Community College with credits she earned between 1991 and 2015 and completed [more…]

Grad Profile: Efrain Quevedo-Ramos

First-generation student Efrain Quevedo-Ramos tried a couple of colleges, but found his best fit was close to his home of Dallas, Ore. He’s graduating with a bachelor’s in Business and a minor in Communications. Congratulations, Efrain! Why did you choose WOU? Smaller campus, great atmosphere, and closer to home. What do you love most about [more…]

Grad Profile: Barbara Ettenauer

Not only has Barbara Ettenauer, from Vienna, Austria, completed a master’s in Special Education – she did so in her second language. What do you love most about WOU? I love the beautiful green lawns on campus, the very old sequoia and the library. Why did you choose WOU? My husband is a professor of [more…]

Grad Profile: Brenda Flores

Brenda Flores
First-generation student Brenda Flores, from Stanfield, Ore., developed her interest in advocacy and social change during her time on campus. She earned a double degree in Spanish and Public Policy and Administration, with a minor in Communications. What a combination! What do you love most about WOU? I love how small the classes are because [more…]

Grad Profile: Sophia Dykast

First-generation student Sophia Dykast, from Albany, managed to complete her bachelor’s  in Public Policy and Administration (with a minor in History) in only three years. What an accomplishment! Why did you choose WOU? WOU has a beautiful campus, small class sizes, offered scholarships, and most importantly, had the exact major I wanted. What do you [more…]

Grad Profile: Whitney Gilman

Whitney Gilman
Congratulations to Whitney Gilman, of Salem, for completing her bachelor’s degree in Business with a minor in American Sign Language! Gilman transferred to WOU from Chemeketa Community College and is the first in her family to graduate from college.  Why did you choose WOU? I chose to attend WOU because it is close to home [more…]

Grad Profile: Cody Welty

Cody Welty
Cody Welty, from Boring, Ore. (yup, he says it’s a real place), is graduating with a bachelor’s in psychology and a minor in biology. He’s found a great balance of activities and coursework to set him up for an exciting future. Why did you choose WOU? The moment I stepped on the campus, I knew [more…]

Grad Profile: Cynthia Olivares

With grad school on the horizon, Cynthia Olivares, from King City, is just cooling down from a busy and wild undergraduate career that involved student government, Green Dot, planning events and discovering her potential for leadership. We chatted with Olivares all about her time at WOU. What was your Major? Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus [more…]

Grad Profile: Lila Gardner

Lila Gardner holding a pumpkin
We congratulate Lila Gardner class of 2018! A first-generation student from Beaverton, Gardner will be getting her degree in Gerontology with a minor in Human Biology. Why did you choose WOU? For a multitude of reasons. It was affordable, the promise of small class sizes, my partner was studying here, it wasn’t too far from [more…]

Grad Profile: Jessica McCutchen

A prolific composer and musician, those in the Music department know first-generation student Jessica McCutchen, from Springfield, for her dedicated work ethic and her impact on the WOU music community. We talked to McCutchen about her passion for music, her time as an RA, and the best spot on campus to enjoy a good book. [more…]

Grad Profile: Elisa Moore

Elisa Moore smiling
We congratulate Elisa Moore class of 2018! From Days Creek, Ore., Moore will be graduating with a bachelor’s in Gerontology and a minor in Health. Moore is a first-generation student that transferred to Western from Umpqua Community College. Why did you choose WOU? I chose WOU because it is the only university in Oregon that [more…]

Grad Profile: Emily Carlston

Emily is a first-generation graduating senior from Gladstone, Oregon, who is earning her bachelor’s in Earth Science, minor in Psychology, and a Geographical Information Systems (GIS) Certificate. She has worked for the Newsflash student social media team in Strategic Communications and Marketing for over two years, and  has  held a position as box office attendant [more…]

Grad Profile: Frank Calzada III

WOU intramural fans and players may know referee and supervisor, Frank Calzada, well. Now gearing up for a graduate assistantship in sports management with Indiana State University, Calzada came in to chat about his experiences at WOU before graduation. Thanks once again for meeting with me! What’s your home town? I’m from Santa Rosa, California. [more…]

Grad Profile: April Mathews

April and Marilyn standing together and smiling for a picture
We congratulate April Mathews class of 2018! As a first-generation student, Mathews will be graduating with a degree in Gerontology. She transferred from Chemeketa Community college and is part of Sigma Phi Omega International Academic Honor & Professional Society in Gerontology. She chose WOU because of it’s proximity and appealing price.  What do you love [more…]

Grad Profile: Ashley Chambers

We chatted with Ashley Chambers, a first-generation Early Childhood Education major from Grants Pass (who’s also earning an English Speakers of Other Languages/Bilingual endorsement). Along with sharing her experiences as a Hamersly Library employee, we talked all about her grad school plans, her favorite spots on campus, and the time she accidentally walked into a [more…]

Grad Profile: Aaron Orr

Arron Orr in a plaid shirt on the beach
We congratulate Aaron Orr class of 2018! From Forest Grove, Orr will be graduating with an major in Earth Science, a double minor in Chemistry and Music, and a certificate in Geographic Information Systems. Aaron is not the first in his family to get a degree, as his father feature graduated from University of California-Riverside. [more…]

Grad Profile: Ann Marie “Poka” Matagi

Through her time with Kappa Delta Chi, the Multicultural Center, and the Alternative Break program, Ann Marie (nicknamed Poka) has been a fixture on campus since coming to WOU. We chatted with Matagi about her biggest campus inspirations, her experiences traveling to Honduras and Costa Rica, and much more. Matagi, a first-generation student from Medford, is [more…]

Grad Profile: Emily Pahlke

Emily Pahlke, from Clackamas, Ore. is currently working and studying at Western at the same time. She will be graduating with a Master of Science in Education degree with a focus in Informational Technology as well as an Instructional Design Certificate. Currently she is working in the Richard Woodcock Education Center, advising undergraduate education students [more…]

161st Commencement Address by Senator Jackie Winters

Senator Jackie Winters
This year’s Commencement speaker has been a strong advocate in the state Legislature for Western Oregon University as well as for the surrounding the communities of Monmouth and Independence. Senator Jackie Winters represents Senate District 10, an area that includes Monmouth and Independence as well as a large portion of Salem. She was rst elected [more…]

WOU to Welcome More Than 1,000 Grads at Commencement

Our 161st Commencement Exercises will be 10:30 a.m. on June 16, 2018. Tickets are not required to attend the event, held at McArthur Field and Stadium. More than 1,000 graduates have signed up to participate in the Commencement ceremony, a number that continues to grow each year. Oregon Sen. Jackie Winters will give the Commencement [more…]

Golden Lamp Award: Stacie Chance

Stacie Chance
Stacie Chance, the 2017 Golden Lamp Award winner, took a winding path to get to where she is today, but now that she’s fulfilling her life-long dream, there’s no deterring her from her ultimate goal. The Oregon Health & Science University honoree is focused on supporting the health and wellness of her community. To that [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…]

Mario and Alma Pastega Excellence in Scholarship Award: Dr. Eliot Dickinson

Eliot Dickinson
Politics, Policy and Administration Professor Eliot Dickinson is a master of being in the right place at the right time. Opportunities have presented themselves to him throughout his life, and he never hesitated in spotting the opening. Dickinson, a nine-year member of the WOU faculty, is the winner of the 2017 Mario and Alma Pastega [more…]

Mario and Alma Pastega Excellence in Teaching Award: Dr. Vivian Djokotoe

Vivian Djokotoe
Vivian Djokotoe, this year’s recipient of the Mario and Alma Pastega Excellence in Teaching Award, says she has been lucky through every stage of her life. Although she’s certainly been the benefactor of Fortune’s smile many times, however, it’s clear that good ol’ hard work deserves the lion’s share of credit for her success. Djokotoe [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…]

Delmer Dewey Award: Connor Thompson

Connor Thompson
Connor Thompson, the 2017 Delmer Dewey Award honoree, has an incredible résumé. The chemistry major interned for NASA, researched nanotechnology and worked on a computational chemistry project involving cartridge cases from the Battle of the Little Bighorn. But in discussing the most influential experience he’s had while on the Western Oregon University campus, the hyper-organized [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…]

Commencement Speaker: Matt Utterback ’89

Matt Utterback
North Clackamas School District Superintendent and WOU alum Matt Utterback is this year’s Commencement speaker; it will be the second time that he has had the opportunity to address the audience at a WOU graduation ceremony. Utterback, a 1989 Western Oregon State College – as it was named then – graduate, was that year’s Delmer [more…]

Grad Profile: Ivan Acosta

Ivan Acosta posing for a picture
As a first-generation student, Ivan Acosta has let nothing stand in his way from getting involved and pursuing a double degree. His first degree is in social sciences and his second is in Spanish. The Spanish degree started off as only his minor, but he soon felt it was necessary for him to pursue. By [more…]

Grad Profile: Kaylyn Taylor

This is part of our WOU graduate profile series where we’re featuring students who have been making incredible contributions to the WOU community In this feature, we’re celebrating the amazing accomplishments of Kaylyn Taylor, a psychology major with a minor in Spanish. Kaylyn’s been involved in a lot of different programs during her time at [more…]

Grad Profile: Rosita Olalde

This is part of our WOU graduate profile series where we’re featuring students who have been making incredible contributions to the WOU community One of the first things you notice about Rosita Olalde, though you may not think that it is particularly noticeable at all, is how modest she is. She has a way of talking [more…]

Grad Profile: Laura Miranda

This is part of our WOU graduate profile series where we’re featuring students who have been making incredible contributions to the WOU community Today we’re featuring Laura Miranda, a social science major who made her mark with numerous organizations on campus, including Upward Bound and the Multicultural Student Union. We asked Laura about her time [more…]

Grad profile: Max Norr

Max Norr
This is part of our WOU graduate profile series where we’re featuring students who have been making incredible contributions to the WOU community Senior Max Norr is the creator of “The Record Keeper,” an exhibit and website based on books belonging to Sister Genevieve “Birdie” Lantz. She was a nurse with the American Red Cross [more…]

Commencement Announcer Taking Final Bow This Week

Tom Bergeron reading names at Commencement
Imagine standing on a stage filled with Western Oregon University dignitaries. There are thousands of pairs of eyes watching you, expectant. President Rex Fuller is poised nearby, waiting to congratulate more than a thousand graduates. On the lectern in front of you is an extensive list of strangers’ names, many of which contain a dizzying [more…]

WOU’s 159th Commencement

Congratulations to the class of 2016! Today marks the 159th Commencement for Western Oregon University. Check out some of these interesting stats about our graduating class and stories about many of them. The graduating class of 2016 totals 1,323 individuals that have earned a total of 1,333 degrees. 900 are attending commencement today. 83 percent of [more…]

Mario & Alma Pastega Award in Staff Excellence: Sharyne Ryals

Sharyne Ryals
An unexpected incident led Sharyne Ryals, this year’s Mario and Alma Pastega Award for Staff Excellence recipient, to Western Oregon University. Ryals had always worked in the private sector, and her previous job was at a silicon wafer manufacturer. This industry became an unstable environment to work in, and closed like many other businesses in [more…]

Maria & Alma Pastega Award for Excellence in Teaching: Cheryl Beaver

Cheryl Beaver
Dr. Cheryl Beaver has found a way to balance her academic interests at Western Oregon University: mathematics and education. This year’s Mario and Alma Pastega Award for Excellence in Teaching recipient, she has flourished as a math educator. She and her husband, Dr. Scott Beaver, joined WOU in 2005. Prior to becoming a collegiate educator, [more…]

Julia McCullough Smith Award: Han Vu Gia Nguyen

Han Vu Gia Nguyen
The year before she came to Western as a freshman, Han Vu Gia Nguyen had moved to the United States from Vietnam with her parents. Now, just five years later, this year’s Julia McCulloch Smith award recipient for outstanding senior female is fluent in a new language, achieved significant academic and extracurricular success, and is [more…]

Delmer Dewey Award: John Goldsmith

John Goldsmith
Some students find comfort in classes, some in sports, some in extracurricular activities, while others are happiest with a mix of involvement during their college career. John Goldsmith, this year’s Delmer Dewey award recipient for outstanding senior male, took advantage of as many academic and leadership opportunities as his time and interest afforded. On the [more…]

Golden Lamp Award: Kayla Corwin

Kayla Corwin
There is no traditional route to Commencement, as Kayla Corwin learned. This Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) graduating student has been an undergraduate for nine years. “I had a long road getting here,” she said. Science has always been a strength of Corwin’s. In high school she took an anatomy class and while her [more…]

Alumni Award of Excellence: Dennis Tichenor

Dennis Tichenor
Dennis Tichenor has dedicated his life to serving others. This year’s recipient of the Alumni Award of Excellence, Tichenor has made a lasting impression on the lives of countless children and young adults. He learned that lesson from his parents, who told him, “If you’re going to do anything, give some things back.” He found [more…]

Grad profile: Sarah Duhart

Fully set on going to another college, Sarah Duhart changed her mind last second after being offered a position at the WOU’s Writing Center straight out of high school. She says that she hasn’t regretted her decision one bit because it gave her opportunities she would not have had otherwise. Because of the support provided [more…]

Grad profile: Ashley Baxter

Ashley Baxter
Ashley Baxter Hillsboro, Ore. Community health education major Undergraduate Ashley Baxter is a graduating community health major. Baxter chose WOU because she heard it was affordable and when she toured the campus, she fell in love with the beauty.  “I just knew I’d be happier here at this type of university.” Baxter enjoyed the amount of [more…]

Grad profile: Matt Turner

Matt Turner
Matt Turner Prince George, British Columbia Applied exercise science major Undergraduate Matt Turner is a graduating applied exercise science major. He chose WOU because his academic advisor from Chemeketa Community College suggested it for what he was doing, which at the time was pre-physical therapy. His advisor said that WOU was a great school with smaller [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: Dominik Heidemeyer

Dominik Heidemeyer smiling and and leaning on a fence with ancient Ruins in the background
Many move great distances to attend school, but not many in this year’s graduating class traveled as far as Dominik Heidemeyer. Heidemeyer is originally from a small town called Hülm that is on the outskirts of Goch, Germany. He came to Western because it was close to where he ended up living with his wife [more…]

Grad profile: Kaylee Church

Name:  Kaylee Church Age: 21 Major/Minor: Mathematics/psychology Hometown: Damascus, Ore. Favorite campus event: New Student Week/Wind Down Wednesday Best study spot: Study room in Math building Advice to incoming freshman: “Don’t doubt yourself, go with what you like in your activities and studies.” Affordability is what put WOU on Church’s radar when she began searching for colleges. Out-of-state tuition deterred her from [more…]

Grad profile: Conner Williams

Name:  Conner Williams Age: 22 Major/minor: Humanities/economics Hometown: Molalla, Ore. Favorite campus event: New Student Week Best study spot: Terry House Advice to incoming freshman: “Get involved a little earlier. As a freshman, you can easily get caught up in the mindset of having a college experience as it’s shown in movies, but there’s much more to your time in college.” For [more…]

Grad profile: Shay Guyton

Name:  Shay Guyton Age: 21 Major/Minor: Community health education/psychology Hometown: Hillsboro, Ore. Favorite campus event: New Student Week Best study spot: Floor of residence halls, or study rooms in Hamersly Library Advice to incoming freshman: “Keep doing the things you love. Don’t let other people tell you not to do them. I was hesitant to join things as a freshman, but [more…]

Grad profile: Bella Borja

Bella Borja in her office at PCL smiling
College is never easy especially for those of us that have taken a longer road. Bella Borja is an amazing and personable woman who is graduating in this year’s class of 2016 as a first generation college student. Like many, she has worked her way through college often holding up to two full time jobs [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: Megan Cabison

Megan Cabison
Megan Cabison is graduating from Western Oregon University with a double major in business management and communication studies, and a minor in entrepreneurship. Cabison is from Hilo, Hawaii and chose to come to Western because of the undergraduate exchange program for Hawaiian students. She had never visited the university before move in day, but as soon as she [more…]

Grad profile: Amanda Stevens

University is often where people find their passion and that is no exception for Amanda Stevens. Stevens has a great passion for health and in particular women’s health. She originally came to Western for its nursing program, but soon found that community health education was her true passion after finding it frustrating the amount of [more…]

Grad profile: Sabrina Riggs

Sabrina Riggs
Sabrina Riggs Salem, Ore. Political science major Undergraduate Sabrina Riggs is a graduating political science major. She was born in New York, but with her father being in the Navy, they moved all around the states until he retired. In 2006, she moved to Oregon and has been here ever since. She has been very [more…]

Grad profile: Tuyen Bolton

Name:  Tuyen Bolton Age: 22 Major/Minor:  Interdisciplinary studies with focuses in humanities, social science and health/physical education Hometown: Raised in Eugene / born in Soc Trang, Vietnam Advice to incoming freshman: “Remember that it’s important to maintain a solid GPA throughout college to graduate and get into graduate school and beyond, but they are not [more…]

Grad profile: Hannah Towle

Picture of Hannah Towle
Hannah Towle works as one of our advocate staff leaders as the sexual violence resource coordinator. She has assisted on multiple projects related to the Campus Against Sexual Assault grant associated with Abby’s House. Additionally, Towle has initiated her own projects in the realm of sexual violence prevention playing a key role in the CounterACT Violence campaign [more…]

Grad profile: Emmi Collier

Name:  Emmi Collier Age: 22 Major/Minor: Exercise science/focus in physical education Hometown: Warrenton, Ore. Favorite campus event(s): Home Track & Field meets, WOUMania, and New Student Week Best study spot: Third floor of Hamersly Advice to incoming freshman: “Make friends with new people while at Western! You may come here with friends from high school, but make sure you get out [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: Stephanie Stuckey

Stephanie Stuckey
Stephanie Stuckey is a dedicated, hardworking student who has worked very hard to get where she is today. She exceeds the expectations of others despite the circumstances she has overcome. She took the time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions for us while she was in Florida for the NCAA Outdoor Track & [more…]

Grad profile: Josh Henderson

Josh Henderson
Josh Henderson is graduating Western Oregon University this June with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Anthropology. Henderson is from Salem, Ore. and chose to attend WOU for the campus involvement and the close relationships with professors that a smaller university can offer. His favorite lunch to treat himself to is Momiji’s; his favorite WOU event [more…]

Grad profile: Madison Malot

Name:  Madison Malot Age: 21 Major/Minor: English literature/American Sign Language Hometown: Central Point, Ore.  Favorite campus event: Performance by Dip-Hop rapper WAWA, part of Western Accessibility Awareness Month (WAAM) Best study spot: Rick’s Place or the second floor of Hamersly Library Advice to incoming freshman: “Be more confident and don’t freak out if you make changes [more…]

Grad profile: Elani Elkins

Elani Elkins
Elani Elkins is a 2016 Western Oregon University graduate, graduating with a degree in business. Coming from Albany, Ore., Elkins originally chose WOU because it was close to home and she was interested in the education program. Like many other college students, after taking a few college classes she decided that she was more interested in [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: Emily Peterson

Emily Peterson
Name:  Emily Peterson Age: 22 Major/Minor: Psychology/American Sign Language studies Hometown: Tualatin, Ore. Favorite campus event: Holiday Tree Lighting Best study spot: Beside the piano in the WUC Advice to incoming freshman: “Have fun while you’re at Western, this is your independence. At the same time, be responsible. This school has a lot to offer so set a time to [more…]

Grad profile: Kevin Alejandrez

Kevin Alejandrez
Name:  Kevin Alejandrez Age: 22 Major/Minor:  Sociology/sports leadership Hometown: Independence, Ore. Best study spot: Lounge in the Werner University Center Advice to incoming freshman: “Do your thing! Be honest with what you want from college and go for it.” Growing up in Independence, Alejandrez felt some ambivalence about staying close to home for university and was considering out of state [more…]

Grad profile: Becca Hazel

Becca Hazel standing near a body of water wearing a denim vest.
Becca Hazel Hillsboro, Ore. Community health major Undergraduate Becca Hazel is a graduating community health major. She has been very involved and interested in the community health projects here at Western. She chose to come to WOU because it has the OHSU nursing campus and the really small class sizes. Another reason for choosing Western [more…]

Grad profile: Joleen Braasch

WOU grad Joleen Braasch
Joleen Braasch is a student from Salem, Ore. who will be graduating from Western Oregon University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature. She decided to come to WOU because it is close to home, she liked the idea of small class sizes, and at the time, she was interested in becoming a [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…]