On a journey of inspiration

Elise Hamner Alumni, Student Success

Yesterday’s drop-out. Today’s teacher When Lou Rushton hiked into Coos Bay looking for a bus to take south, the 50-state traveler had never heard of this town nor any little towns on the Oregon Coast. He figured Coos Bay was just another step in a long journey. In reality? It was 2002 and Rushton had “crash landed” at Southwestern Oregon …

‘None of us makes it to our goals alone’

Elise Hamner Alumni, foundation

Celebrating Barbara Eells, 2018 Distinguished Alumna If there’s one word that best describes Barbara Eells, it is “determined.” That mindset has guided Eells her entire adult life, starting with her first Southwestern class in 1975. She wanted a college education, no matter the barriers. Over the next decade as she worked full time in a medical office, Eells raised three …

Alum returns to build Health & Science center

Elise Hamner Alumni, foundation

If you’d asked Jesse Schade when he was a basketball playing student here from 1995-97 if he’d ever come back to SWOCC, it’s likely he would have said, “probably not.” Careful what you say. Building a better future Basketball and Coach Tom Nicholls enticed him back again in 1999-2000 and now — déjà vu. Jesse is here as a construction …

Veteran finds path forward

Elise Hamner Alumni, Veterans

It’s not easy for veterans to come back to regular life at home. When Eric Gleason left the U.S. Navy in 2007, he went to work in a casino. Then he worked as a welder until he hurt his shoulder. Unable to work, he was super depressed. His wife (then girlfriend) told him to go to school. “I really struggled …

College honors LaMont Swinson

Elise Hamner Alumni

COOS BAY, Ore. – How do you honor a person who continuously helps young people navigate the world and always gives back to students in an uplifting way? Someone who’s volunteered for more than a decade mentoring college students and coaching K-12 and college athletes? Here’s how:  The college is pleased to announce 2000 graduate LaMont Swinson of Coos Bay …

Drew Jones: Inspiring students

Elise Hamner Alumni

Soccer ruled Drew Jones’ life in high school and ultimately led him on a path to teaching. He came to SWOCC to play soccer, have fun – and learn. He did even more, becoming student body president. “SWOCC helped me figure out the direction I wanted to go and gave me the tools I needed to be successful,” Jones said. …

Dr. Sarah Kidd: Saving salmon

Elise Hamner Alumni

Meet Research Scientist Dr. Sarah Kidd. She started her journey at SWOCC and fell in love with science. Sarah went on to earn a doctoral degree at Portland State University in Environmental Science and Management. “I truly missed the small classes once I moved into the university. Working closely with teachers who are passionate and eager to share their enthusiasm …