Entries by kuriyamf

Elmo’s School: Dr. Helen Redbird-Smith’s Journey through Education

A love of learning is in her bones, said Helen Redbird-Smith ’51, member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and a professor emerita of Western Oregon University. “Cherokees are notorious for education. We are driven by wanting to know,” said Redbird-Smith. Though she is long retired, Redbird-Smith still finds joy in learning and education, taking classes in film, science, Japanese, and philosophy.

Non-traditional alumna’s hard work and remarkable achievements pay off for healthcare patients

Carrie Kirkley ’16 took the long road to SOU after growing up in Sacramento, CA, but her accomplishments as a non-traditional alumna are second to none. Carrie’s father was battling cancer for seven years about the same time Carrie’s first son was born in 1997. Sadly, her father passed two years later when she was nineteen but the hard work, dedication and compassion of his nurses, inspired her for a lifetime. 

Alum applies SOU and United Nations experiences to his university teaching in Japan

Mark Cogan ’04 grew up in Gold Beach on the Oregon Coast and attended and graduated Gold Beach High School. His first full time job right out of high school was as Webmaster for Wind Tracks magazine, which covered windsurfing on the Pacific coast and across the country. Before pursuing higher education, he worked for a country living magazine, followed by a year at the Medford Mail Tribune as a Publications Specialist.