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Community College Scholars to be Honored by Governor in Salem
Photos and Story by James Hill
Who: Thirty-eight student scholars selected from all 17 community colleges in Oregon. Two from each campus (PCC has three main campuses.) They range in age from 18 to 55. Majors range from welding to English literature. Selection processes at all campuses were based on academic excellence, community involvement and contributions to the learning environment on campus. What: Gov. John Kitzhaber will honor the scholars in his office. Each student will receive a personalized plaque from the governor. In addition, each student is eligible for a $1,000 scholarship to one of 21 public and private four-year institutions. After the awards ceremony, students and invited guests (including state legislators) will have a luncheon at the Mission Mill Museum three blocks from the Capitol. "This honor is reserved for only 38 students out of a statewide student body of more than 390,000 people,"said Andrea Henderson, executive director of Oregon Community College Association. "These students and their families should be extremely proud. Oregon’s community colleges are proud of what these students have already accomplished and we look forward to their future contributions to Oregon."When: Tuesday, April 17, 11:30 a.m. Where: Governor’s ceremonial office, State Capitol, Salem. Details: PCC’s six scholars represent the diversity that is at Portland Community College. They are: Sylvania Campus – Heather Kimberly, age 20 and a Portland resident, plans to transfer to The Evergreen State College and earn a degree in English. "I spent half of my childhood homeless and by age 12, I had no interest in school,"said Kimberly. "How I have managed to change my life, go to school, quit using drugs, and make a place for myself in the world is very important to me."When she returned to school, she said she "fought hard to catch up on everything I had missed."Teresa Brandt, 30, is a Portland resident and is transferring to PSU for a degree in English with the goal of becoming a teacher. Teaching pre-school led her to classes at PCC in the early childhood education program and eventually to full time studies and study overseas in Barcelona through the college’s Study Abroad program. Cascade Campus – Tammy Lucky-Kuettel, 38, and a resident of Portland, is following in her youngest son’s footsteps as a PCC graduate and will transfer to Pacific University and major in business. She spent 14 years as an emergency dispatcher for Port of Portland Police before returning to school. Denice Willette, Cascade Campus scholar and also a Portland resident is 35 and is transferring to George Fox University to major in business management. A student leader and reporter for the school newspaper, Willette earned the national student leadership award in fellowship from Phi Theta Kappa, the national honor society. Rock Creek Campus – Loradona May, who lives in Aloha, will transfer to Western Oregon State University and major in education. She began attending PCC in 1998 after high school, volunteers as a Sunday school teacher and earned a scholarship from the Oregon Public Employees Union. Kitty Kircher, is earning a degree in welding and has a perfect 4.0 GPA. She says she is following a dream she has had since high school, to become a "lady welder. Somewhere within this now shy and quiet woman, a teenage girl shouts, ?Watch me now, I am gonna show you ?’"Kircher, a Sherwood resident, is a member of the American Welding Society.