SOU Alumni News Archives

Kim Rodhes 91'

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.
Esther Holbrook ’97

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! 
Kavinda Arthenayake ’90 & MS ’92

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!
Todd Hofford ’96 & ’97

Alum Goes from Academic Probation to Vice 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.
Molly Troupe ’12

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.
Kelly LaChance ’96

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. 
Luis Sanchez '20

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.

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.
Anne McEnerny-Ogle

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.