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…]