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Ex-PCC student wins third place in Berkeley Prize essay competition

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Carol Bellows, a former PCC student and current University of Oregon student, won Third Prize Team by the annual essay competition the Berkeley Prize this summer. Bellows and her teammate, Sebastian Rake, will receive $500 each. There were eight finalists from all over the world in the 2006 Berkeley Prize Essay Competition.

Bellows enjoyed a 30 year career in the performing arts in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles before returning to college. With a husband and two elementary school-aged daughters in tow, she moved in 2003 to Eugene to pursue her degree in landscape architecture at the University of Oregon.

She holds a certificate in healthcare garden design from the Chicago Botanic Garden, and is interested, among other things, in therapeutic landscapes, cultural landscape preservation and restoration, and the ways in which our society’s evolving family structures are affected by spatial patterns built into our cities and suburbs. After graduation in 2007, she hopes to pursue a career in urban design and planning, healthcare design — and to once again have a really nice garden.

Bellows used research she began in a writing and sociology learning community as a basis for the project that won her the prize. She credits the PCC learning community she took Spring 03, titled “Bowling Alone” about the loss of community, for “giving me the initial time and space to think and research the topic in the first place; it has been the deepest research and writing of my academic career so far.”

That learning community combined Linda Warwick’s Writing 123 research class with Jan Abushakrah’s Sociology 205 social change and institutions class. Bellows’ original paper, “Separate Spheres,” proposed that houses and structures in cities be built with enclosed common spaces, so that the entire community could oversee others’ children.

Bellows and Rake’s essay can be read here at the Berkeley Prize Web Site.

About James Hill

James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, has been the Communications Specialist for the Office of Public Affairs at Portland Community College since November of 1999. A graduate of Portland State University, J... more »

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