SOU teacher preparation programs achieve accreditation

SOU teacher preparation programs receive national accreditation

(Ashland, Ore.) — The seven teacher preparation programs offered by Southern Oregon University’s School of Education, Leadership, Health & Humanities have achieved accreditation from the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation, meeting the Oregon Legislature’s mandate that all programs in the state that offer licenses to teachers or administrators must be nationally accredited by July 2025.

All teacher preparation programs in the state are working through the accreditation process, which at SOU entailed four years of work to develop a 550-page report to AAQEP that details the university’s education programs. AAQEP accreditors made a site visit to the SOU campus in April, and the agency – one of two that is nationally recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation – granted an unconditional seven-year accreditation for the SOU programs in July.

“National accreditation is very beneficial for our graduates, as there are some states and districts that require a new hire to have been prepared by a nationally-accredited program,” said Susan Faller, a senior instructor and accreditation coordinator for SOU’s School of Education, Leadership, Health & Humanities.

National accreditation assures the quality of educator preparation programs through a nongovernmental, nonregulatory process of self-study and peer review. The standards- and evidence-based process is intended to ensure accountability and continuous improvement.

AAQEP – which currently has about 190 member programs in 36 states and other jurisdictions – uses a model that honors local context and fosters innovation and collaboration among institutions.

“Congratulations to all of the faculty, staff and stakeholders of Southern Oregon University who have achieved their goal of national accreditation by AAQEP,” said Mark LaCelle-Peterson, the agency’s president and CEO. “The program’s strong support for candidates and long-standing P-12 partnerships ensure that the teachers it prepares are ready to meet the challenges of today’s classrooms.”

The SOU academic programs that were accredited by AAQEP include four initial licensure programs, two advanced programs and one added endorsement. The initial licensure programs are:

The advanced programs are SOU’s Initial Administrator (principal) License and the Continuing Administrator License; the added endorsement is for the English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program.

“Accreditation by a well-regarded, nationally recognized agency is an honor for the school and the university,” said Vance Durrington, director of the SOU School of Education, Leadership, Health & Humanities. “It demonstrates our commitment to preparing the outstanding educators who in turn will provide positive learning experiences for future generations of our state and region.”

SOU will work during the seven years of the current accreditation to prepare materials that will support the education programs’ annual reports and reaccreditation in 2030.


SOU makes Campus Pride list

SOU on Campus Pride’s “Best of the Best” list for 11th year

(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University has earned Campus Pride’s top ranking for the 11th consecutive year as one of the nation’s top 30, “Best of the Best” LGBTQ-friendly colleges and universities.  Campus Pride is a nonprofit that supports and improves campus life for LGBTQ+ people on campuses nationwide.

SOU is the only Oregon institution – and one of just three in the Western U.S. – to be included on this year’s Best of the Best list. San Diego State University and the University of Colorado at Boulder are the other Western schools on the list.

“At a time when many states are persecuting trans and nonbinary young people, it is critical for colleges – especially institutions in more supportive states – to be sanctuaries for LGBTQ+ students, and the Best of the Best colleges have worked to be places where trans and nonbinary students feel welcomed and included,” said Dr. Genny Beemyn, coordinator of the Campus Pride Trans Policy Clearinghouse.

SOU earned five out of five stars overall on the Campus Pride Index, which ranks universities in each of eight categories: policy inclusion, support and institutional commitment, academic life, student life, housing and residence life, campus safety, counseling and health, and recruitment and retention efforts. SOU drew five-star rankings in six of the categories and four-and-a-half stars in the other two.

“People are willing to learn and understand my perspectives,” a 24-year-old SOU student who identifies as queer is quoted as saying on the Campus Pride Website.

“This is important to me because all stories matter and by sharing more of ourselves it helps others to be more empathetic,” the student said. “SOU, in focusing on inclusion efforts, has helped me to be more authentically me.”

The Campus Pride recognition is meaningful for current and prospective LGBTQ students, particularly during a period of political polarization.

This year’s Best of the Best list is made up of campuses that have done “exceptional work in LGBTQ+ inclusive policies, programs and practices,” the organization’s website said. The Campus Pride Index rates colleges and universities based on self-reporting of factors including non-discrimination statements inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression, gender affirming health care, LGBTQ+ peer mentorship programs, campus safety trainings on sexual orientation and gender identity, LGBTQ-specific major and course offerings, and the presence of LGBTQ and ally student and faculty organizations.

Supportive SOU programs and policies range from academic courses to residential living opportunities to co-curricular activities and groups. For instance, University Housing offers a gender-inclusive living environment in which students may decide whether or not they want gender to be a determining factor in their campus living arrangements. Many SOU majors and minors – including the Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies program – offer courses related to queer studies. The university also offers resources for queer and trans students through its Social Justice and Equity Center, promoting educational outreach, community engagement, and support and advocacy.


Alison Burke presents to United Nations conference

SOU criminology professor presents at United Nations session

(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University criminology and criminal justice professor Alison Burke attended a United Nations conference in Vienna, Austria, last month to present her research on restorative justice to an international panel on crime prevention and criminal justice.

Burke was invited to the 32nd session of the U.N. Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice – one of two policymaking bodies within the U.N. that guide international action on drugs and crime. Resolutions and decisions developed by countries’ delegates provide guidance on crime and justice issues to United Nations member states and to the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime.

Burke and two other criminal justice academics from the U.S. – Stephanie Mizrahi, Ph.D., of California State University-Sacramento, and Angela Henderson, Ph.D., of the University of Northern Colorado – were invited to the U.N. session by Phillip Reichel, Ph.D., a representative of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, an American organization. Their presentations were made to a side panel organized by the ACJS.

The three U.S. criminologists discussed “Amplifying Victims’ Voices to Enhance the Functioning of the Criminal Justice System,” and Burke’s particular presentation was “Harmed People Harm People: Seeing the Offender as the Victim Through a Restorative Lens.”

The three were also invited to participate in other commission sessions as observers.

Burke, who has been an SOU faculty member for 15 years, served in a variety of juvenile justice positions before earning her doctorate from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2008 and shifting her career to higher education. Her research interests include gender and juvenile justice, and delinquency prevention.

She created and teaches the classes for a Certificate in Restorative Justice at SOU, and also serves as a community restorative justice facilitator for the Emerging Adult Program in Deschutes County.

“I was able to apply outcome data from their EAP program to my (United Nations) presentation on incorporating restorative justice practices and show how restorative justice programs can be immensely effective and applicable worldwide,” Burke said.

“And thanks to students who are interested in learning more about alternatives to incarceration and reframing the punitive nature of the current criminal justice system, I get to teach restorative justice classes full of robust conversations, insightful and inclusive discussions, and true community building within the classroom setting.”

Burke was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to lecture and teach a course on women and crime in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2019.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of New Mexico and her master’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Colorado at Denver. She has also studied at England’s Oxford University.

Her work has appeared in publications including the International Journal of Gender and Women’s Studies, the Journal of Active Learning in Higher Education and the International Journal of Law and Psychiatry. She has authored the books “Gender and Justice: An Examination of Policy and Practice Regarding Judicial Waiver,” published in 2009 by VDM Publishing; and “Teaching Introduction to Criminology,” published published in 2019 by Cognella Press.


SOU's 150th anniversary recognized by Oregon Legislature

Oregon Legislature congratulates SOU on 150th anniversary

The Oregon Legislature has recognized the 150th anniversary of Southern Oregon University, moving last week to adopt a resolution that applauds and congratulates the university for its ongoing “service, leadership and contributions to the State of Oregon.” The legislation – House Concurrent Resolution 1 – was signed by Oregon Senate President Rob Wagner in an event attended by SOU President Rick Bailey and SOU Board of Trustees Chair Danny Santos.

150th anniversary event in SalemSOU, which was founded in 1872 as the Ashland Academy, has celebrated its sesquicentennial anniversary throughout the 2022-23 academic year. The institution has been in its current location since 1926, and was known by a total of nine other names before becoming SOU in 1997.

Last week’s resolution was sponsored by State Rep. Pam Marsh and State Sen. Jeff Golden, both of Ashland. It was co-sponsored by representatives Kim Wallan, Zack Hudson, Boomer Wright, Emily McIntire, Ricki Ruiz and David Brock Smith.

The resolution contains 19 “whereas” notations – recognizing everything from the evolution of SOU’s name and focus, to its commitment to sustainability, to the leadership of its graduates – before concluding with a “therefore” statement congratulating “SOU, tens of thousands of SOU alumni and all Oregonians” on the university’s 150th anniversary.

The complete text of the resolution follows:

House Concurrent Resolution 1
Sponsored by Representative MARSH, Senator GOLDEN, Representatives WALLAN, HUDSON, WRIGHT; Representatives MCINTIRE, RUIZ, SMITH DB

Whereas Southern Oregon University (SOU) can trace its beginning to 1869, when local citizens formed the Rogue River Valley Educational Society with the goal of building an academy of higher learning in Ashland, Oregon; and

Whereas in 1872, the first building was completed, and the Ashland Academy officially opened and welcomed its first students; and

Whereas in 1882, the Legislative Assembly authorized creation of a state normal school in Ashland for teacher training, and the school was renamed Ashland State Normal School; and

Whereas in 1895, the school was renamed Southern Oregon State Normal School and was located about a mile south of the present campus; and

Whereas in 1925, the City of Ashland donated 24 acres for a new campus, the present site of SOU; and

Whereas the institution has grown and evolved as a resilient organization with the support of the public over the course of 150 years, including attaining university status in 1997 with an official name change to Southern Oregon University; and

Whereas SOU has prepared future generations of teachers since 1882 and was named the top college for K-12 education degree programs in 2020 by, based on the United States Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System; and

Whereas SOU’s School of Business was named best in the Northwest and was ranked 10th in the United States for MBA programs in nonprofit management by, based on analysis of regional accreditation statistics in 2019; and

Whereas SOU advances and encourages the arts within the institution and in the surrounding community, including Professor Angus Bowmer’s vision that created the world-renowned Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 1935; and

Whereas SOU has fostered creativity education by hosting the annual international Creativity Conference since 2018; and

Whereas SOU proudly implements character-driven athletics programs as a foundation for sportsmanship and athletic accomplishments, and SOU has been recognized twice with the Cascade Collegiate Conference Presidents’ Cup for Academic Excellence, was first in the fall 2018 LEARFIELD Directors’ Cup rankings from the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics and has achieved multiple conference and national championships; and

Whereas SOU has been lauded as one of the most environmentally responsible higher education institutions in the United States and Canada, including recognition as a “Tree Campus USA,” as the nation’s first “Bee Campus USA” and as the nation’s top pollinator-friendly college in the Sierra Club’s “Cool Schools” rankings; and

Whereas SOU has been included in the top 20 list of green colleges and universities by the United States Environmental Protection Agency since 2008 and received the Excellence and Innovation Award for Sustainability and Sustainable Development from the American Association of State Colleges and Universities; and

Whereas SOU achieved the “Gold” level for sustainability from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education and received a Climate Leadership Award at the Presidential Climate Leadership Summit of the nonprofit organization Second Nature; and

Whereas SOU strives to create an inclusive campus community, resulting in it being named one of the nation’s “Best of the Best” LGBTQIA+ campuses for 10 consecutive years by Campus Pride; and

Whereas for 150 years, dedicated faculty and staff have led the way at SOU, continually renewing the university’s commitment to putting students first by building a community of learners who impact their own lives and the lives of those around them; and

Whereas graduates of SOU have become leaders in business, government, academia, the military, science, medicine, education, the arts and every other field of human endeavor; and

Whereas the SOU Board of Trustees received the John W. Nason Award for Board Leadership in 2019-2020; and

Whereas Southern Oregon University has publicly acknowledged that these successes exist within the ancestral homelands of the Shasta, Takelma and Latgawa people; now, therefore,

Be It Resolved by the Legislative Assembly of the State of Oregon:

That we, the members of the Eighty-second Legislative Assembly, commemorate the 150th anniversary of Southern Oregon University and congratulate SOU, tens of thousands of SOU alumni and all Oregonians on this significant public milestone of service, leadership and contributions to the State of Oregon.

SOU grad recognized for higher education research

SOU grad recognized for higher education research

Sabrina Klein, a 2013 SOU graduate with a bachelor’s degree in communication, has earned recognition for her exceptional work in higher education research.

Klein received her Ph.D. from UCLA in 2022, and has been named the second-place winner in this year’s American Educational Research Association’s (AERA) Rural Education Special Interest Group (SIG) awards for her dissertation titled, “There’s More to the Story: An Organizational Analysis of Rurality and Higher Education.”

In her dedication, Klein expressed her gratitude toward her undergraduate advisor, Alena Ruggerio, and the communication department at SOU, citing them as the sources of inspiration and education that have helped shape her success as a researcher. She wrote that “I cherish every heartbeat I spent learning” from Ruggerio.

“The experiences and growth I had in the communication department at Southern Oregon University gave me the confidence and knowledge to articulate my thoughts and turn them into actionable narratives,” Klein said in the dedication. “Thank you to the entire communication department for the exceptional education I received, which has given me so many essential skills that have aided in every aspect of my life.”

She will be honored at the AERA Rural SIG awards ceremony in Chicago in April. The AERA, founded in 1916, is a national research society that aims to promote knowledge about education and use research to improve education and serve the public good. The Rural Education SIG, in particular, provides a forum for scholarly conversation about the lives of rural people, places and their schools through research.

After receiving her bachelor’s degree from SOU in communication and media studies, Klein earned master’s and doctorate degrees from UCLA in higher education and organizational change. She served two years as an academic mentor and three years as a graduate teaching fellow while at UCLA.

Her skills in higher education, qualitative research, nonprofit organizations, youth programs, fundraising, networking, and training make her a valuable asset to the education community.

Klein is described in her LinkedIn profile as an advocate and educator with a demonstrated history of working in the higher education industry, with skills including qualitative research, nonprofit organizations, youth programs, fundraising, networking and training.

SOU will reduce greenhouse gas emissions as a participant in the Better Climate Challenge

SOU joins DOE program, commits to greenhouse gas reductions

(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University has taken a bold step toward sustainability by joining the Better Climate Challenge – a public-private partnership, led by the U.S. Department of Energy, to encourage organizations to decarbonize and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The university has committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 50% within the next 10 years and decreasing its energy intensity by 25%. The reductions will be measured from a 2018 baseline.

“This commitment is consistent with our university’s goal to produce 100% of its own electricity within 12 years through an aggressive build-out of solar arrays throughout campus,” said Becs Walker, SOU’s sustainability director. “By making conscious efforts to operate sustainably, we can also achieve fiscal responsibility and efficiency.

“We can – and will – serve as a leader in conservation and environmental stewardship while at the same time expanding students’ access to our programs by carefully managing our costs.”

SOU is already known for its commitment to sustainability, with initiatives including solar power generation; reduce, reuse and recycling programs; energy efficiency; water conservation; Bee Campus and Tree Campus certifications; and sustainable food production at The Farm at SOU. The university is also a GOLD-rated institution in the Sustainability Tracking Assessment & Rating System (STARS) from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.

SOU is one of at least nine colleges or universities across the country that have committed to the DOE’s Better Climate Challenge, which was launched last March and now has a total of more than 120 partner organizations. Other Oregon entities that have signed on to the challenge include the city of Hillsboro and Bend’s Deschutes Brewery.

Participants in the challenge will help lead the way to a clean energy economy and a better future, according to the program’s website.

As a partner in the challenge, SOU will share its progress and strategies with others to help promote sustainability. The university will work with the DOE and its peer organizations to turn the threat of climate change into an opportunity to innovate and create a better planet.


Financial reporting honor for SOU

SOU earns state recognition for financial reporting

SOU was notified recently that it has received the Oregon Department of Administrative Services’ Gold Star Award for the 2021 fiscal year – at least the fifth consecutive year the university has received the state’s top financial reporting honor under former Director of Business Services Steve Larvick, who retired from that position in June.

“Steve, our rock star, was instrumental in receiving another Gold Star rating,” said Greg Perkinson, SOU’s vice president for finance and administration, in an email announcing the accomplishment.

Larvick retired June 30 after 40 years of service at SOU but was hired back to serve as controller until his successor, Agnes Maina, began work in late October. Larvick is continuing to help with the university’s transition to the Workday core information system.

The state’s Administrative Service Department lists 13 criteria – ranging from verifying funding techniques to preparing and submitting audited annual financial reports – that must be accomplished by specific dates each year for a state agency or university to earn the Gold Star Award.

“Clearly, the Gold Star is a challenge to earn, and its achievement is due primarily to your agency’s diligent efforts to maintain accurate and complete accounting records throughout the year,” said George Naughton, the Administrative Services Department’s Chief Financial Officer, in an email announcing SOU’s most recent award.

The Gold Star Award is Oregon’s equivalent to the nationally recognized Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting, issued each year by the Government Finance Officers Association. Oregon has earned the GFOA certificate every year since 1992, in large part because of the efforts of state agencies to earn Gold Star recognition, Naughton said.

Daniel Henderson inducted into inventors academy

SOU alumnus and Foundation Board member inducted into inventors’ academy

Daniel A. Henderson, a 1984 graduate of Southern Oregon University and emeritus member of the SOU Foundation Board of Trustees, is among 169 innovators worldwide who have been inducted in this year’s class of fellows in the National Academy of Inventors.

Henderson is best known for his patented invention of wireless picture and video messaging used in every cell phone in the world. He has received a total of 31 U.S. patents and his prototypes for wireless picture and video messaging are part of the collection at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History. He received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from New Jersey Institute of Technology in 2011 and was featured as a mobile technology innovator in a 2012 Super Bowl commercial for Best Buy.

Inventors inductee honored in Times Square“It is a true honor to be selected as a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors,” Henderson said. “I am proud to be included in an elite group of distinguished colleagues, scientists and inventors that are so impactful on the great challenges of our time.”

Election as a fellow in the National Academy of Inventors is the highest professional distinction for academic inventors. Members of this year’s class of NAI fellows come from a total of 110 research universities, governmental and non-profit research institutes worldwide. They hold more than 5,000 U.S. patents combined, and include Nobel laureates, members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, and other prestigious organizations.

“This year’s class of NAI Fellows represents a truly outstanding caliber of inventors,” said NAI President Paul R. Sanberg, Ph.D. “The breadth and scope of their inventions is truly staggering. I am excited to see their creativity continue to define a new era of science and technology in the global innovation ecosystem.”

The 2022 class of fellows will be honored and presented their medals at the 12th Annual Meeting of the National Academy of Inventors next June in Washington, D.C.

Henderson has founded numerous technology companies and was formerly with IBM Corporation. He is also an artist, and has had many public exhibitions of his large scale stone sculpture in the United Kingdom, China, the New Jersey Institute of Technology and at SOU’s Schneider Museum of Art.

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon publicly congratulated Henderson in 2003, when his contributions to wireless communications and computing technologies were acknowledged by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. “I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the first commercial use of cellular phones than to recognize you, a developer, an inventor and an Oregonian,” Wyden said.

Then-Sen. Gordon Smith of Oregon added praise of his own in 2007.

“Ever since the days of the early pioneers, Oregon has been a magnet for innovators and trail blazers, and there can be no doubt that you have truly blazed new trails in the fields of wireless technology and digital convergence,” Smith said.

Henderson served as a member of the SOU Foundation Board of Trustees from 2002 to 2014, and has been a permanent, emeritus member of the board since 2018. He also serves on the Board of Overseers, the Dorman Honors College Board and several other boards at New Jersey Institute of Technology, and is engaged in fostering innovation, creativity and diversity in STEM education to benefit society.

Green Film School Alliance membership for SOU Digital Cinema

SOU Digital Cinema accepted as Green Film School Alliance member

(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University’s Communication, Media & Cinema program is one of 16 higher education programs accepted for new membership in the Green Film School Alliance – a collaboration of leading film schools that have committed to industry-level sustainable production practices in their programs.

The GFSA announced its new member institutions on Wednesday, more than doubling its membership to 27 sustainability-minded schools. The organization’s membership now includes colleges and universities in seven states, four countries and three continents – with 10 of them also appearing on the Hollywood Reporter’s Top 25 Film School list for 2022.

“It’s an honor for our young program to be recognized among the most prestigious film schools in the U.S., and beyond,” said Andrew Gay, an associate professor of digital cinema at SOU and chair of the university’s Communication, Media & Cinema program. “This alliance is an outstanding example of  SOU’s commitment to sustainability, our Digital Cinema program’s focus on state-of-the-art production, and SOU’s top-tier opportunities for students.”

SOU’s Digital Cinema bachelor’s degree program launched in 2019 and drew acclaim earlier this year for its innovative, 12-credit spring immersion course called “The Crew Experience.” Student filmmakers in the course spend an entire term learning from faculty and experienced mentors on location for a significant film project.

This year’s Crew Experience cohort produced the short film “Eight & Sand” – which last week became the 25th student project anywhere in the world to be awarded the Environmental Media Association Green Seal. SOU is the sixth university to earn an EMA Green Seal, and the first undergraduate program on the West Coast to do so. The seal is presented to student productions that achieve sustainable production goals identified in the GFSA’s Production Environmental Actions Checklist (PEACHy) for young filmmakers.

Vincent Smith, Ph.D., the director of SOU’s Division of Business, Communication and Environmental Science, said the university’s Digital Cinema Program is a perfect example of hands-on, interdisciplinary learning experiences that have become a hallmark of the institution.

“I am regularly asked to explain why Business, Communication and Environmental Science are in one division,” Smith said. “This is just one of many good reasons why thinking across traditional disciplinary boundaries makes good sense for our future.”

The Green Film School Alliance and its member colleges and universities commit to common sustainability language, standards and tools to reduce waste and lower the carbon footprint of film productions. The organization is supported by the Sustainable Production Alliance and the Producers Guild of America Green.


Carl Green, Jr., to receive SOU's Outstanding Young Alumni Award

Four SOU alumni honored for service

A retired professor and Cherokee Nation member, a current small college president, a U.S. Air Force colonel who commands Oregon’s Air National Guard fighter wing and an Alaskan who has gone from wrestler to civil rights leader all will be honored on Thursday, Nov. 3, when Southern Oregon University recognizes this year’s alumni award winners.

This year’s four award recipients were chosen by the SOU Alumni Association Board of Directors: Helen Redbird-Smith, Ph.D., for the Outstanding Alumni Award; Cynthia Pemberton, Ed.D., for the Alumni Excellence in Education Award; Col. Todd Hofford for the Stan Smith Alumni Service Award; and Master Sgt. Carl Green for the Outstanding Young Alumni Award. The awards ceremony will be at 11:30 a.m. in the Stevenson Union’s Rogue River Room.

Helen Redbird-Smith grew up in Oklahoma, a member of the Cherokee Nation, but moved with her family to southern Oregon shortly after World War II when her father wanted her to attend “Elmo’s school” – a reference to Southern Oregon College under then-President Elmo Stevenson. She graduated in 1951 with a bachelor’s degree in education, then went on to earn master’s and doctoral degrees in anthropology from the University of Colorado. Redbird-Smith returned to Oregon to serve for 30 years on the faculty at Western Oregon University and received an appointment in 1980 from President Jimmy Carter to provide advice and counsel on the issues of Native American students. She still finds joy in learning – taking classes in film, science, Japanese and philosophy – and in honor of her SOU connections has donated to the Hannon Library many of her research papers, monographs, ephemera and documents related to Native American Tribes.

Cynthia Pemberton grew up in Medford and went on to Willamette University, competing as a student-athlete on the swim team and earning bachelor’s degrees in biology and psychology. She worked in Hawaii for the Dolphin Language Institute, then returned to the Rogue Valley as a swim coach for the Southern Oregon Swim Association in Ashland, and while coaching full-time in 1983, completed her master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies at SOU, with a focus on physical education, sports psychology and nutrition. She held coaching and teaching positions at the University of Nevada, Reno, and at Linfield College in McMinnville, before earning her doctorate in educational leadership at Portland State University in 1996. She has held administrative positions at Idaho State University in Pocatello, Dickinson Staten University in North Dakota and Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, and has served as president of Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho, since 2018.

Todd Hofford grew up in Ashland and worked while in high school at the historic Mark Antony Hotel (now the Ashland Springs Hotel). He was placed on academic probation during his freshman year at SOU, then enlisted in the Oregon Air National Guard to help pay for school and bore down academically while commuting between Ashland and Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls, eventually graduating magna cum laude in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration – and a year later, with a second bachelor’s degree in communication. He earned a spot in 1998 at the U.S. Air Force Officer Training School at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama, where he was commissioned as a second lieutenant before entering a two-year pilot program at Vance Air Force Base in Oklahoma. He returned to Oregon – first to Kingsley Field and then to the Portland Airbase as a fighter pilot in the 142nd Fighter Wing. He now serves as commander of the 142nd Wing, overseeing 1,400 service personnel and $2.2 billion worth of aircraft and equipment.

Carl Green, Jr., grew up on Kodiak Island, Alaska, and was the first in his family to graduate high school. He moved to Washington to wrestle in junior college, but returned to his home state and joined the Alaska Army National Guard to help pay for his education. He moved to Ashland to attend SOU and wrestle, transferring to the Oregon Army National Guard. An injury ended his wrestling career, but he concentrated on academics, earning bachelor’s degrees in 2009 in psychology and human communication, with certificates in human resources, mediation and conflict resolution, and nonprofit management. He re-enlisted in the military, this time in the Oregon Air National Guard, then earned a master’s degree in public administration at the University of Oregon. Green has held operations analyst positions at the Bonneville Power Administration and the TriMet public transportation system in Portland, then as an equity officer at TriMet and later at the Regional Transportation District in Denver. He was promoted early this year to interim director of the Colorado agency’s Civil Rights Division.