Growing up in the Arizona desert, Vance Beach ’11, MiM ’14 had no idea that he would someday make it to a small university in rural southwest Oregon. Attending Dobson HS in Phoenix, Vance excelled in football and track but because of a post-season football staff change
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Basketball brought Sarah ’01 and Obie ’04 Strickler together at SOU. Today, they are dynamic business leaders working to unite the region through education about legal marijuana possession and sale for those 21 years of age and older.
In 2019, Will began the online MBA program at SOU, hoping to continue as a lifelong learner and to keep challenging himself. It worked! “Once I started the program, I was asking myself what was I doing and who am I?
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.