Claire Oliveros, director of the TRiO Students Support Services at Portland Community College Cascade campus, will be the commencement speaker for Western Oregon University this Saturday, June 15. More than 1,370 Western Oregon students will listen to her speech, the highest number of graduates ever at the university.
Oliveros is a WOU alumna who graduated in 1995. She came from a first-generation, low-income family and made it to college with the help of an admissions counselor from WOU. After graduation, she worked as a multicultural admissions counselor for WOU then spent the summer working with the residential summer programs for TRiO Upward Bound. She came to PCC to serve as the Sylvania Campus’ Multicultural Center coordinator for many years before switching to her new role at Cascade.
Oliveros has a master’s from Portland State University and a doctorate from Oregon State University. She has worked in higher education for the past 17 years.
“My student activities and involvement at Western was the catalyst of where I’m at today,” she said in Western Oregon’s media announcement. “It helped me pursue higher education as a career, and lead me to obtain advanced degrees, which allows me to serve as an administrator and an instructor. It’s been challenging and so rewarding to work in higher education, and I know I wouldn’t be doing it if wasn’t for people at Western who believed in me.”