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. 

Alum’s military service leads to an entrepreneurial spirit and a burgeoning business

Jared Zabaldo ’94 grew up between the towns of Central Point and Rainier in Oregon and Kelso, Washington, with the dream of someday serving in the military. At a relatively early age, he had heard about SOU because of his years in the Rogue Valley. He graduated Kelso HS in 1989 but moved to the Rogue Valley and started school at SOU the fall of 1990. 

Alumna’s collaborative life philosophy learned at SOU, pays dividends in Hollywood

Spend a few moments listening to Kim Rhodes ’91 and words like love, passion, creativity and collaboration, all come to the forefront. Raised in southeast Portland, Kim found out about what was then Southern Oregon State College (SOSC), through her guidance counselor at Benson Tech High School, then travelled to Ashland for an open house and immediately fell in love with the campus and the community. “I knew right away that this was the place for me so I didn’t even bother applying to another college,” she said.

International Programs and Students at SOU Spurred Alumna’s Travel to a Career in Europe

It’s not often that young people who grow up in Ashland want to stay home and attend SOU for their college education. But Esther Holbrook ’97 made the decision to stay home after graduating Ashland High School and earning a full academic scholarship to her choice of any state school. With six kids in her household, finances were tight so she decided it would be best for all if she stayed in her hometown. After all, three of her siblings, Stacie Lynn Holbrook-Krieger (‘89), Bradley Christopher Holbrook (‘89) and Trish Whitehouse (‘04) also decided to stay and become SOU alums! 

Alum’s Journey from Sri Lanka to SOU, Changed His Life Forever

Born and raised in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Kavinda Arthenayake ’90 & MS ’92, is one enthusiastic Raider. Kavinda heard about Southern Oregon State College through a high school friend, applied, then received an admissions letter directly from Admissions Director Al Blazak. A few months later, Foreign Student Advisor Bob Bennett picked him up at the Medford Airport. Kavinda had never seen SOSC’s campus – that lack of knowing the campus would change however, in a few short weeks!

Alum Goes from Academic Probation to Commander of an F-15 Air Force Fighter Squadron

Todd Hofford ’96 & ’97 grew up in Ashland and spent many hours working at the historic Mark Antony Hotel while in high school. He started out as a dishwasher and moved on to become the number one chef working for current SOU business professor Dennis Slattery ’96 and MBA ’98, after being trained by world famous Chef Christophe Baudry, who was the Executive Chef at the hotel for several years.

Alumna Becomes the Youngest Master Distiller in the United States

After growing up east of Portland in Troutdale and graduating from Reynolds HS in 2008, Molly Troupe ’12 knew that Southern Oregon University would be in her future after visiting a couple of preview days for schools where she could find a program to become a forensics anthropologist. With the great reputation of SOU’s chemistry program, she knew it would be the perfect fit.

Alumna’s Heritage Was Honored at SOU and Now She Leads in Native American Education

Kelly LaChance ’96 grew up in rural Siletz, Oregon, a very small coastal community west of the upper Willamette Valley. She is a citizen of the Confederated Tribes of the Siletz and is proud of her Shasta and Dakubetede heritage, where her ancestors lived in the Ashland and Jacksonville area since time immemorial. 

Local Alum Perseveres to Graduate in 2020 then Serves those Less Fortunate in the Rogue Valley

Luis Sanchez grew up in the Rogue Valley and graduated from South Medford HS in 2009, working part time at Rogue Credit Union (RCU) along the way. His SOU journey began right after graduation but he didn’t finish in four or five years as he had planned. However, he persevered and stayed with it for the better part of a decade to earn his degree, proudly becoming the third in his family to earn college degrees, all from SOU. Growing up, his father Luis, Sr. ‘09, worked graveyard shifts and went to SOU in the mornings, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice in 2009. That same year, his sister Bea Sanchez Goldman ’09 graduated from SOU with a bachelor’s in psychology.