SOU faculty bring family approach
Business professor Curt Bacon first met Sachta, whom he describes as “a brilliant student,” but his mentorship with the family achieved critical mass when Sohana arrived at SOU. She was in the Accelerated Baccalaureate three-year degree program that Bacon directs and needed to meet with him regularly.
“Suddenly I had both in my classes, or office hours, and I began to tease them a little about boyfriends and being sisters,” he said.
“Eventually, I became their ‘American Dad’ – I guess the conversations moved from school to life and the future, and I was there when their family was half a world away.”
The student-professor relationships were strong, but they weren’t exclusive to Bacon.
Sachta remembers business faculty member John Kinard inviting international students to holiday gatherings “because they didn’t have any place to go.” She served as vice president and then president of the International Student Association during her time at SOU – along with the Student Senate, and her work in the International Programs office – and fondly recalls the potlucks, craft-making, movie nights and fund-raising to give other international students opportunities to travel around Oregon.
“Who would know SOU had 120 students from 40 foreign countries?” she said.
Sachta and Andy have planned an upcoming trip to Japan and reached out to about 20 former students living there.
“They said, ‘Let’s have an SOU reunion in Japan,'” she said.
It was another business professor, Mark Siders, who connected both Andy and Sohana with a master’s in international management exchange program through the Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft (University of Applied Sciences) in Germany.
“I genuinely learned a great deal from my MBA program that I apply to my practical life in my business,” Sohana said. “And through the dual degree program, I got the opportunity to do my second master’s in Germany, which was a wonderful experience.”
Andy said the exchange program added dimension to his overall SOU experience.
“I had a brief time at SOU, but for me, it was the relationships with professors,” he said. “I loved the MBA program here, a lot. The classes were small, so that allowed for great discussions.”
“I established great friendships here, in just a short amount of time.”