Entries by kuriyamf

From GED to PhD; alumna blossoms as a clinical psychologist for veterans

Tammie Ellington ’16 was raised in rural Washington and is a member of the Chinook Indian Nation of Bay Center, Washington. She then attended Camas HS for three years but left to attend an alternative school to earn her General Educational Development (GED) in 2007. She was married soon thereafter, had children then subsequently, became a single mom after her divorce. She moved to Medford in 2012, then attended Rogue Community College (RCC) while raising three young children. “I was very proud to attend RCC and raise my babies at the same time. I was the first in my entire family to go to school beyond high school,” she said. 

Psychology alumna finds her happy land in the world of oligonucleotide chemistry

Susan Ramos-Hunter, PhD ’10 grew up in the northern California town of Placerville, amidst the rural rolling hills and oaks of the Sierra foothills. She attended public schools through the sixth grade, then was home schooled for the rest of her education. At age 16, she began taking college courses because she did not have the opportunity to earn college credit like students attending high schools. She visited numerous schools trying to find the right fit, including UC Davis, Sacramento State and Humboldt State. After visiting Ashland and SOU, she found the right conditions for developing her higher education.

Music grad leads from the front providing opportunities for his students

Raised in Simi Valley, California, Scott Kneff ’99, made his way to Oregon his senior year in high school to look at the University of Oregon (U of O). Both of his parents were U of O graduates so it made sense to check out the campus and programs. Finding that the campus and number of students were too big for his comfort, he visited Ashland and SOU’s campus. “It was a no brainer for me to fall in love with Ashland and SOU. I was a student that didn’t want to feel lost on a large campus,” said Scott. Opting to save money and earn credits, he attended Moorpark Community College for his first two years but eventually, Ashland beckoned.

Grad alum helps find opportunities for people of color in the natural sciences career world

For Greg Wolley MS ’81, traveling to Ashland and arriving at what was then called Southern Oregon State College (SOSC) was a big change from his undergrad experience in the bigger city environs surrounding his undergrad alma mater, UC Berkeley (Cal).  Growing up in his East Bay city of Richmond, CA, most of his nature experience consisted of grassy vacant lots awaiting development and a stormwater outlet his friends called “the creek”, which surprisingly held a thriving population of frogs and tadpoles

Alum filled big shoes at Zappos

The first sentence in Fred Mossler’s ‘90 entry in Wikipedia includes the words business executive, fashion guru, and philanthropist. He has also been called a customer experience expert, digital visionary, and serial entrepreneur. But it is Mossler’s humble roots in rural California that keep this wildly successful original shoe guy of Zappos.com grounded.

Alum transitioned from healthcare to wildland firefighting in a long and distinguished career

Dan Reese ’92 grew up on cattle ranches in Nevada and Wyoming and developed an interest in emergency services after he witnessed the teamwork and cohesion of state firefighting personnel on private land. After graduating high school in 1983, he immediately went to work to earn his Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certification. He also became a seasonal firefighter with the Nevada Division of Forestry as he began his studies at Northern Nevada Community College (NNCC) in Elko. 

Alum becomes world leader in chemistry research at Eli Lilly

From Ashland in 4th and 5th grades at Briscoe Elementary to Lincoln, Nebraska and back to Ashland HS for his 1999 graduation, Jonas Buser ’04 never thought he’d end up attending SOU. After his early high school commencement, he made his way to Tahoe to snowboard for a few months then moved back to Ashland to live with his father and stepmother where eventually, he enrolled at SOU. 

Alum drawn back to US Navy service after 11 years as an educator

Hans Davis ’98 and MAT ’00 grew up in Van Nuys, California but moved to Vermont with his family to finish his high school years. Right after graduation, he enlisted in the US Navy (USN) and reported to San Diego for his basic training. After completing his basic training and specialization course work as a cook and mess management specialist, he reported for duty to serve on the USS Okinawa, an amphibious assault ship with a compliment of 650 USN personnel and a contingent of 1000-1200 Marines.

Alumna transfers to SOU for family and now practices law locally

Alex Watson ’10 first found about SOU because both of her parents met at the university in the 1980s. She attended Ashland schools for most of her formative years, graduating high school as an AHS Grizzly. Initially, she went to the University of Oregon (U of O) to get away from home. She had never considered SOU, being that it’s right across the street from AHS. But while attending U of O, she found that she was coming home to Ashland almost every weekend. More and more, the thought of attending SOU, made more sense and she got comfortable with the idea.