SOU Alumni News Archives
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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!
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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.
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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.