SOU Alumni News Archives

Dan Reese ’92

Alum transitioned from healthcare to wildland firefighting in a long and distinguished career

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. 
Jonas Buser ’04

Alum becomes world leader in chemistry research at Eli Lilly

From Ashland in 4th and 5th grades at Briscoe Elementary to Lincoln, Nebraska and back to Ashland HS for his 1999 graduation, Jonas Buser ’04 never thought he’d end up attending SOU. After his early high school commencement, he made his way to Tahoe to snowboard for a few months then moved back to Ashland to live with his father and stepmother where eventually, he enrolled at SOU. 
Crystal Clarity

Alumna takes broadcast news career to public relations success in Seattle

After growing up in Ashland for all of her life, Crystal Clarity ’00 made the move across Siskiyou Boulevard from Ashland High to SOU in 1996. It wasn’t just easy for her; it was also a great fit that made sense.
Hans Davis ’98 and MAT 00

Alum drawn back to US Navy service after 11 years as an educator

Hans Davis ’98 and MAT ’00 grew up in Van Nuys, California but moved to Vermont with his family to finish his high school years. Right after graduation, he enlisted in the US Navy (USN) and reported to San Diego for his basic training. After completing his basic training and specialization course work as a cook and mess management specialist, he reported for duty to serve on the USS Okinawa, an amphibious assault ship with a compliment of 650 USN personnel and a contingent of 1000-1200 Marines.
Alex Watson ’10

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. 
Jared Zabaldo '94

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. 
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!