Alumna is the Forest Health Specialist for the Entire State of Arizona

Born in Wenatchee, Washington, the daughter of two retired US Forest Service employees, Aly McAlexander ’12 later grew up in Christmas Valley, Oregon, graduating high school in a class of 13 students.  Her journey to SOU began her freshman year in high school with her English classes’ annual trips to Ashland to see performances at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.  “I knew growing up in a small rural area, I didn’t want to go to a huge school where I could potentially become a number.  So, after eating lunch on campus one year during one of our visits to Ashland, I thought SOU would be a good fit for me,” she said.

Alumna Retired from Teaching then Became First Female Mayor of Vancouver, Washington

Anne McEnerny-Ogle was born in Medford but her family lost their business when the Interstate 5 viaduct was built so they moved to Eugene where she graduated from South Eugene HS. Her favorite math teacher there was a Southern Oregon College (SOC) graduate and passed on some encouragement and advice about Ashland and the SOC campus. Anne did a tour on campus and in Ashland and loved the small-town environment and the beautiful campus nestled in the foothills of the Siskiyous.  

Alum’s Rich Experience in Life Pays off for Local Citizens in Need

Michael Robinson II ’06 was born into an Air Force family so as a youngster, he lived in North Carolina, Greece, southern California and in Okinawa, Japan. As a sophomore in high school in Okinawa, he attended Kadena HS with over 5,000 students of American military personnel. When his father was getting ready to retire as an Air Force jet engine mechanic, they transferred to Travis Air Force Base outside the Bay Area in northern California. There, he excelled in football playing a variety of positions on offense and defense and played in the East- West Shrine game as a senior. He received recruiting interest from Langston University in Oklahoma but chose to stay local and played at Solano Community College (SCC) in Fairfield. 

Alumna’s Miss America Title Has Helped Shine Spotlight on Female Composers

Born in Portland but raised in North Carolina during her formative years, Katie Harman Ebner’s MMC ’17 return to the Portland metropolitan area would pay dividends for her throughout her life. Katie graduated from Centennial HS in Gresham in 1999 then moved on to the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, to pursue a degree in biology, with a minor in music.

Alum Takes Passion and Prowess for Science to Leadership Roles in the US Forest Service

Ian Reid grew up in the upper Willamette Valley in the town of Silverton. He didn’t know much
about SOU until he attended a summer football camp at Raider Stadium the summer of 1991.
He fell in love with the campus, the Siskiyous and the small-town atmosphere. It was not too
far away from home but was far enough away from home!

Alumna Makes SOU a Stepping Stone for Teaching Psychology

Noelle Lopez ’16 took a road trip to Oregon and Washington with her brother her senior year at Acalanes HS in Lafayette, CA, that encompassed several campuses but what she found in Ashland with its small-town atmosphere and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, stayed in her heart. Initially, she decided to stay at home and attended Diablo Valley College (DVC), with 30,000 students, her first two years, earning her associate’s degree in psychology.

Criminology Alum Fights Two ‘Lifetime’ Fires in the Past Two Years

Jimmy Johnson ’06 grew up in Klamath Falls but his family settled in Medford at age ten and he proceeded to graduate from North Medford HS in 2000. Initially, he did not know what he wanted for a career but being that he came from a family with law enforcement ties, including his father, who was an Oregon State Police (OSP) officer, he began to take criminal justice courses at Rogue Community College (RCC). In 2001, he accepted an offer from the Jacksonville Fire Department (JVFD) to become a volunteer in exchange for them paying for tuition at RCC.

Alumna from Colorado Found Her Niche in SOU’s Outdoor Program

Hayley Weak ’19 grew up in the mountain town of Gunnison, in western Colorado.  Her father was a career National Park Service employee so she loved the outdoors and natural landscapes from an early age. Though she loved western Colorado, she knew that she wanted to attend college somewhere else, but with outdoor opportunities and natural beauty in mind.

Young Alum Helps Start Non-Profit for the Arts in Chicago

Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, Daniel Chávez ’16 journeyed with his family as a toddler to the US, making Coos Bay, OR, home. While his original motivation to pick up the saxophone may have been to impress his crush, Daniel was quickly captivated by learning to create music and a life-long passion began. During his high school years at Marshfield HS, He showed promise as a musician early on and earned a position playing clarinet with the Oregon Coast Lab Band, as their youngest member. His time with this experimental band for young artists provided him his first opportunities to interact with seasoned musicians and perform often in professional settings.

Alumna’s Sociology Program Experience Built a Foundation for Teaching in Higher Education

Theresa Walton-Fisette ’93 grew up in Union City, CA, then later, Minden, NV, where she graduated from Douglas HS. Her path didn’t lead directly to Southern Oregon State College but in the end, her experiences here meant everything to her.