Southwestern Foundation Congratulates 2023-24 Scholarship Recipients

Southwestern Foundation Congratulates 2023-24 Scholarship Recipients

The Southwestern Oregon Community College Foundation is proud to congratulate the 2023-24 scholarship recipients. Thanks to generous donors, the organization awarded nearly 200 scholarships totaling more than $270,000 for students attending Southwestern for the upcoming academic year.

“Scholarships often make the difference between students pursuing their education or not,” said Elise Hamner, Southwestern Foundation Executive Director. “A scholarship is not just financial aid. Our students tell us that receiving a scholarship inspires them, because they know someone cares about their future and wants them to succeed. That’s powerful.”

Guided by a board of community volunteers, the Southwestern Foundation organized as a nonprofit organization in 1962, the year after the college started. Since then, thousands of students have attended the college using Foundation scholarships. These awards help students achieve their goals, by breaking down barriers and cultivating the next generation of leaders, thinkers and innovators in local communities, the state and around the world.

In addition to Foundation scholarships, the college can potentially assist families of current high school graduates with a cumulative high school GPA of 3.75 or higher with a free two-year tuition waiver worth more than $9,800 to attend Southwestern. This past year, 44 students from the 10 high schools in the college district took advantage of the GPA award opportunity. In total, they saved their families nearly $150,000 in tuition costs.

If you are interested in donating to Southwestern Foundation scholarships visit www.socc.edu/give or call 541-888-7211 for additional information.


2023-24 Southwestern Oregon Community College Foundation
Scholarship Recipients
Adam Bower Scholarship Aurora Duff
Andy Toribio Scholarship Brooklyn Culver
Ann Lansing Scholarship Viridiana Penaloza
Art and Toni Poole Scholarship Raiya Estupinian
Dezi Hazzard
Ryuto Hiramatsu
Matt Howard
Melanie Nielsen
Skylee Pettit
Cadence Wilstead
Barbara Dodrill Scholarship Heather Beaird
Ruby Cardoso
Barbara Emily Knudson Scholarship Katherine Alcober
Barbara Reynolds Scholarship Marcela Mendoza
Baughman Memorial Apprenticeship Scholarship Julia Willis
Bay Area Sportsman’s Association (BASA) Scholarship Ethan Pounder
Bechtold-Laird Health Care Scholarship Vanessa Cardoso
Asa Crusoe
Davey Gayler
Laresa Rowden
Cherie J. Mitchell Scholarship Benjamin McQuaid
Cherish Pride Scholarship Alexandra Graves
Christine Moffitt Science Scholarship Hunter Ciarabellini
Boe Clayson
Harli Crossman
Amanda McDonald
Ashley Pimentel
Chuck Hanners Scholarship Antonio Gallagher
Clyde and Jackie Cherry Memorial Scholarship Nicole Hamby-Freund
Natasha Holmes
Coos Bay Vision Center Scholarship Raynee Woodworth
Coos Bay-North Bend Rotary Scholarship Kendle Langley
Coos County Cultural Coalition Genesis Scholarship Astrid Hesson
Coos County Realtors Scholarship Amber Moodenbaugh
Coquille Indian Tribe Scholarship Minami Miyauchi
CTE Training Scholarship Damon Lynch
Curry Campus General Scholarship Marshall Dickson
Jayme Larson
Rosemarie Springer
Curry Health-Related Scholarship Regina Alvarez
Samantha Mellow
Dean and Jane Muffett Memorial Scholarship Kyla Bailey-Wilson
DeArmond CTE Scholarship Alannah Gee
Sonia Haro
Paige Hoene
Joshua Theis
Adrianna Thode
Dennis and Janet Beetham Family Scholarship Derell Augustine
Aubrey Brooks
Cesarea Haller
Aleczander Hardy
Cameron Miller
Kari Morales
Luke Norris
Shane Sundberg
Ian Wakeling
Donald Ivy Memorial Scholarship Amanda Kapsner
Dorothy Heagy Education Scholarship Erika Smith
Early Bird Scholarship Bailey Ward
Ernest L. Frye-Keizer Memorial Scholarship Alissa McCord
Estella Morgan Memorial Nicole Lehto
Flaxel Family Scholarship Mia Knight
Floyd Ingram Scholarship Archal Devi
Brooklyn Garrigus
Haley Reeves
Forty & Eight Bobby L. Fraser Memorial Nursing Scholarship Jessica Edmundson
Hales Family Scholarship Godfred Amonoo
Jayden Felton
Savannah Smith
Henry F. and Elva H. Hansen Memorial Scholarship Kaitlyn Dubisar
ILWU Local 12 Scholarship Cambree Messner
Jack & Margaret S. Dean Scholarship Natalie Vincent
James Montalbano Scholarship Serenia Church
Heather Howell
Kayla Johnson
Samantha Lucero
Maria Medina
Bailey Pederson
Alan Prater
Carley Sjogren
James Reed VanDuzer IV Scholarship Zachary Warner
John C. Anderson Memorial Scholarship Joane Arzalluz Garzon
John W. Burles Memorial Scholarship Mike Marchetti
Shjon Petersen
Keiser Scholarship for Culinary Excellence Julia Conolley
Maddison Valdez
Erin Williams
Kyle Trust Scholarship Micheline Score
Laker Legacy Alumni Scholarship Avineet Devi
Leonard C. Farr Community Service Scholarship Ryan DeVore
Liberal Arts Scholarship Daniel Messing
Linda Bufton Culinary Scholarship Azul Garcia Ruiz
Linda L. Kallgren Nursing Scholarship Braydon Snoddy
Lisa G. Wampole Memorial Scholarship in Criminal Justice Aneyai Smith
Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Tatiana Edmonds
Nevaeha Florez
Mary, Kate and Cap Sharples Scholarship John Capps
Maxine Smith Scholarship Alyssa Skillett
May Virginia Smith VanDuzer Scholarship Jessica Rivera
Maybelle M. Olson Scholarship Aeryn Jones
Menasha Legacy Fund Scholarship Brandi Anderson
Christopher Gray
Andria Johnson
Ethan Pounder
Paige Speakman
Kimberly Webster
Mike Groben Scholarship Levi Clow
Steven Scruggs
Nancy Douglas Memorial Scholarship Davis Wright
New Beginnings for Tribal Students Scholarship Karli Daugherty
Allie DeShazer
Katelyn Jensen
Tamira John
Cassidy Orr
Opportunity Links! Bandon Dunes Scholarship Liam Trapold
Opportunity Links! Banner Bank Scholarship Bobbi Rangel
Opportunity Links! Johnson Controls Scholarship Jackson Rasmussen
Opportunity Links! Lil’ Bogey Scholarship Abigail Warrick
Opportunity Links! North Point Development Scholarship Ashlee Tims
Opportunity Links! Roseburg Forest Products Scholarship Citlali Gonzalez
Opportunity Links! Scholarship Eduardo Penaloza
Opportunity Links! The Mill Casino-Hotel Scholarship Peyton Kidd
Opportunity Links! Three Rivers Casino Scholarship Trynly Haack
Pacific Orchid Society Scholarship Aurora Parsons
Patricia Benetti Memorial Scholarship Michelle Villalobos
Patricia D. and William B. Smullin Scholarship Garrett Bushnell
Michele Ingle
Presbyterian Church of Coos Bay Memorial Scholarship Kiefer Allen
Summer Jake
Jack Prater
Pringle/Cunningham Scholarship for Curry Student Amy Vick
Roderick H. Morris Scholarship Kalista Bochart
Sandra Martinez & Carrie Kralicek Selfless Act Nursing Scholarship Sarah Williams
Sharon Barnett Scholarship Andrea Pedrini
Sharon Kolkhorst Memorial Nursing Scholarship Natasha Campbell
Karli Kinney
Sheryl Rosenbaum Memorial Scholarship Lee Anna Saunders
Shirley Barton Nursing Scholarship Viridiana Penaloza
Sickels Family Rural College Technology Scholarship Daisy McAfee
Slaney Family Human Services Scholarship Heather Edwards
Slaney Family Scholarship Guadalupe Trujillo
Stephens Family Scholarship Gabe Dresser
Nathan Ward
Steve Shirtcliff CASA Scholarship Brandy Griffin
Student of the Year Scholarship Jessica Pardo
SWOCC Foundation Board General Scholarship Bryce Bales
Kaytlin Burdett
Saron Cruz
Brooke Gray
Melissa Keyes
Hailey Knedel
Kylie Shaw-Kamehaiku
Gabrielle Zellmer
SWOCC Foundation Culinary General Scholarship Christa Jolley
Kale Levanger
Abigail Madsen
Jupiter Nyberg
Mckenzie Palacios
Michelle Riley
SWOCC Foundation General Nursing Scholarship Julie Carr
SWOCC Foundation General Scholarship Julia Anzaldua
Amy David
Emilia Eaton
Claire Eilers
Tori Goodell
Celeste Le
Noa Quintana
Connor Spindler
Rune Van Den Bosch
Emily Walters
SWOCC Foundation: Donna Nichols Scholarship Madelyn Ford
SWOCC Foundation: James Turner Scholarship Emily West
SWOCC Foundation: Judy Ann Mogan Scholarship Miriam Glasband
The Friends of the Curry Public Library James Boyle Memorial Scholarship Samantha Mellow
TymByr Culinary Scholarship Kelsie Thurston
Erin Williams
Uncorking Opportunity! Bandon Dunes Golf Resort Scholarship Autum Burford
Uncorking Opportunity! Carol Holden Memorial Nursing Scholarship Aria Woodruff
Uncorking Opportunity! DB Western Scholarship Monica Thompson
Uncorking Opportunity! Janet Rose Kramer Scholarship Amanda Moulton
Uncorking Opportunity! Reid/Carter Scholarship Alleyna Rohde
Uncorking Opportunity! The Mill Casino-Hotel Scholarship Kimber Privetts
Verena Matthews Nursing Scholarship Alexis Marino
Spencer Spini
Vernon Brecke Memorial Scholarship Jakob Crowder
Vernon C. and Jean G. Sorenson Scholarship Anonymous*
William Lansing Scholarship Erica Evers
Hanalei Warren
William McGuire Scholarship Joane Arzalluz Garzon
Woolridge Myrtle Point Scholarship Allison Storts
Yellow Cab Taxi Scholarship Tia DeLorto
*Note: Some scholarship recipients request their award(s) not be listed publicly. The Foundation respects their privacy by not including them on this list.
Pacific Power grant supports new Agroecology garden lab at college

Pacific Power grant supports new Agroecology garden lab at college

Coos Bay, OR – Pacific Power Foundation has awarded the Southwestern Oregon Community College Foundation a $7,500 grant to support the development of a new instructional food production garden complex.

The garden on the Coos Bay campus is an essential learning component of the College’s new Agroecology career pathway program. Funds also will purchase equipment for students’ use in the garden.

“We are thrilled to get this grant from the Pacific Power Foundation. The garden is a lab for Agroecology students to learn about growing food and food systems. Students also will collaborate with the College’s culinary program, learning how sustainable food production links with business and the food industry,” Assistant Professor Maria Farinacci said.

Agroecology is an interdisciplinary study of the ecology of the entire food system, encompassing ecological, economic, and social dimensions. Teaching focuses on the holistic approach to agriculture that considers not only crop production and yield, but the sustainability of the ecosystem and community. The Agroecology curriculum includes business training for students who want to work in small businesses and farming. Classes and short-term training are designed to assist the region’s farmers and land managers in gaining knowledge and techniques, including enrichment classes for community members.

“The Pacific Power Foundation is honored to support the new Agroecology program and the opportunities it will provide to students. The program aligns well with the foundation’s mission to support the growth and vitality of the communities that we serve.,” said Sam Carter, Pacific Power’s regional business manager.

This instructional garden demonstrates to students how to increase access to healthy food, reduce food insecurity and promote self-sufficiency. Students will gain hands-on experience in sustainable and regenerative practices, and how to create community gardens, or start their own businesses.

“Pacific Power Foundation stepped up quickly to partner with us on this project and turn a wish into reality,” said Elise Hamner, executive director of SWOCC Foundation. “We appreciate their commitment to excellence in education and ensuring faculty and students learn together in a high-quality outdoor classroom.”

For more information about the Agroecology program, go to www.socc.edu/pathways or contact Maria Farinacci at maria.farinacci@socc.edu.


Pictured: Sam Carter, Pacific Power Regional Business Manager; Maria Farinacci, Agroecology Instructor; Dr. Patty Scott, President of Southwestern


About the Pacific Power Foundation

The Pacific Power Foundation is one of the largest utility-endowed foundations in the United States. The foundation was created in 1988 by PacifiCorp, an electric utility serving 1.8 million customers in six Western states as Pacific Power (Oregon, Washington and California) and Rocky Mountain Power (Utah, Wyoming and Idaho). The foundation’s mission, through charitable investments, is to support the growth and vitality of the communities served by Pacific Power. For more information, visit www.pacificpower.net/foundation


About the Southwestern Oregon Community College Foundation

Southwestern Oregon Community College Foundation exists to benefit the College and provide adequate resources to improve every student socially, culturally, economically, and educationally. For more information, visit www.socc.edu/foundation.

New SWOCC Foundation Scholarship to Inspire Next Generation of Social and Environmental Justice Advocates

New SWOCC Foundation Scholarship to Inspire Next Generation of Social and Environmental Justice Advocates

Friends of Jody McCaffree (1960 – 2022) are creating a new scholarship through the Southwestern Oregon Community College Foundation to honor her memory.

Very few people have the courage to dedicate their lives to advocating for social and environmental justice.

Jody McCaffree was one such unique individual. Inspired to serve, Jody spent 30 years of her life as an activist.

She dedicated time to women’s health issues related to hormone replacement therapies, bringing in specialists for education workshops. She was perhaps best known for her research into and efforts to oppose a natural gas terminal and pipeline project through Coos Bay.

Jody passed away in October 2022, after battling cancer. Friends who Jody inspired and worked with over the past 20 years want to honor her memory and activism with a permanent scholarship at Southwestern Oregon Community College Foundation.

Jody studied accounting at Southwestern in the 1980s, maintaining a 4.0 GPA. She went on determined to continue to acquire knowledge, which became the cornerstone of her activism and work.

This scholarship will assist students who have financial need, and who pursue learning related to community justice and health, ecology, economy and sustainability.


Gifts to the the Jody McCaffree Social & Environmental Justice Scholarship can be made in the following ways:

     1) Online at www.socc.edu/give (put “Jody McCaffree” where prompted for where you would like to allocate your donation)

Give to the Jody McCaffree scholarship online here

     2) Via Mail (send check to the following address with “Jody McCaffree” in the memo line)

SWOCC Foundation
1988 Newmark Ave.
Coos Bay, OR 97420

For more information about the SWOCC Foundation and how they help “open the door for opportunity” for local students, please visit www.socc.edu/foundation.

One Man’s Scholarship Mission

One Man’s Scholarship Mission

When you walk into Randolph Hall on SWOCC’s Coos Campus, you can hear laughter. It is hard not to follow the sound right into the Veterans Center to be a part of something good.

One tall, blond-haired man is always right in the middle of conversations there. To folks who do not know Ryan DeVore, he appears to be just another Vet Center work study student. Quiet-spoken. Smiling. 

To those who know him, he’s much more. 

“I’ve become a better person because of Ryan,” Shana Brazil said, as she watched him chatting with two students. “Ryan is so open to everything. Veterans can tell him anything, and he never looks down on them – ever. He never has anything negative to say.” 

Shana is SWOCC’s Veteran Services Coordinator. She’s worked with vets at the college for years. She got to know Ryan a couple years ago. He was one of many disabled veterans coming to school to use GI Bill benefits to learn. Ryan found his way to her office. Shana liked him immediately. She asked if he would be her work-study student. Disappointingly, he said no. Three weeks later, Ryan returned. He asked if the job was still open. 

Ryan and his wife, Jessie Courtright, grew up here and have family here. Ryan felt a connection to the college. Jessie graduated from SWOCC 18 years ago, he said, adding proudly she was the first woman to graduate in welding. Ryan applied to SWOCC in 2022 and got a Foundation scholarship. He is pursuing a science degree, but is working on a bigger mission. He believes his mission will improve the world in small, incremental ways long after he’s gone. 

“I’m dying, you know. Slowly,” Ryan said, as he started telling his story. “I have organ failure.”

It is an autoimmune disorder that manifested as diabetes and Grave’s disease. Slowly, it has overcome his pancreas and now is destroying his liver and spleen. He’s waiting for it to attack his heart or his brain. 

A person could let that eat away at him. That’s not Ryan’s story.  

When he started his work study job, he learned that veterans club students tried to create a permanent scholarship for vets and their families. They made good progress in 2020 fundraising, until COVID killed the effort. 

Ryan picked up the mission. 

“It’s really important to help the soldiers and their dependents. They may be running out of benefits or needing a little extra help,” he said. 

There’s a perception that if you serve in the military, you get free college, free job training. Some do. For others it is more complicated. Many older veterans’ benefits may have expired, or run out just short of the end of their schooling. For veterans with families, the monthly aid often does not stretch far enough. 

Ryan knows personally, the value of a scholarship. It covers the bits and pieces. It eases worry. It helps to know someone cares. 

His goal is to raise the scholarship fund to $50,000. The Vet Center is selling T-shirts. Ryan says he’s hoping to win the lottery. He launched a GoFundMe effort. Donations are trickling in.

“I’m trying to make the world a smarter place. It’s how I deal with my PTSD and ailments. If I’m going to be around, I’m going to try to make everybody’s day better,” Ryan said.

Ryan developed the mindset serving in the U.S. Army from 2002-16, until being medically discharged. He served at Fort Benning, Fort Stewart and Fort Hood. He also did two deployments to Iraq and one to Afghanistan. As a staff sergeant, Ryan watched over his soldiers. He cared for them not only at work, but in their home life and everything. If they needed something, he made sure they were taken care of. 

“He’s brought that into the Vet Center a thousand times more than we ever had,” Shana said. “He just cares about the students. I appreciate it so much.”

Every day, Ryan keeps a candy jar ready for anyone who walks through the Vet Center door. He gets to know each veteran, their spouses, their children. He listens. When they need help, food or a friend, Ryan finds it for them. He connects them with things to do in the community. When some veterans’ car broke down recently, he picked them up and drove them to school. 

“I’m just trying to live forward. I need as much good karma as I can find,” Ryan said, which is why this 42-year-old man’s mission is to finish creating the scholarship fund for veterans. 

“This work-study money I get, it’s going to go to this project.  I am working for free today for kids,” he said.

Now you have met Ryan DeVore. No, he is not just another work-study student. To those who know him, he is a hero.


If you would like to contribute to a permanent scholarship for veterans and their families click ‘Give’ to donate online. Put ‘Veterans Scholarship’ in the notes.


For more information about the veterans program at Southwestern visit www.socc.edu/veterans, call 541-888-7236 or email veterans@socc.edu.

A lifetime of community building . . . Brookings volunteer has ‘a heart for people’

A lifetime of community building . . . Brookings volunteer has ‘a heart for people’

Karen Pringle Cunningham lives in Brookings for all the right reasons.


It’s a beautiful part of the Oregon Coast. There’s a thriving port and scenic harbor. The nearby forest with the ocean is the best crossroads anybody could have. 

And, there’s a community college where she can volunteer to positively impact people’s lives. 

“My whole career was really about community building. That experience brought me to SWOCC,” she said.  

Having worked in Montana and then Central Oregon in philanthropy, Karen learned about the effort to develop the Curry campus in 2009. She wanted to be involved in creating a place where people could pursue their dreams. She soon moved here, taking the job of fundraising to build the Curry campus. Once the mission was accomplished, she signed on as the executive director of the SWOCC Foundation until retiring in 2013. 

With grandchildren in Gold Beach, she and her husband, Hank Cunningham, are here now for good. Through it all, Karen has developed really good friendships in Brookings. She has taken SWOCC’s community education classes such as Better Bones & Balance, and attended workshops on the climate and local food production. She encourages people to take a class or teach one. 

“There is a big group of people who are very excited and supportive of the College,” she said. “I look forward to putting that energy and enthusiasm together, through volunteering with the College.” 

A few years ago, Karen started volunteering as a trustee on the SWOCC Foundation. Through the foundation, she strives to connect with people who want to fund scholarships and inspire others. 

“I have a heart for people, especially older students who want to go to school and do something they dreamed about, or try something different. I also have a heart for those who need a helping hand to get started,” she said.

Karen never expects a payback, but receives one every time she gets a personal thank you letter from a Curry Campus student recipient of the Pringle Cunningham Scholarship. 

Southwestern Oregon Community College recognized by Achieving the Dream as a 2023 Leader College

Southwestern Oregon Community College recognized by Achieving the Dream as a 2023 Leader College

Coos Bay, OR – Southwestern Oregon Community College today announced that it has been designated a Leader College by Achieving the Dream (ATD), a national nonprofit dedicated to advancing community colleges as hubs of equity and mobility in their communities.

Leader Colleges play an important role in accelerating the adoption of effective practices within the ATD Network and across higher education. Leader Colleges are recognized for the quality of their work in whole-college reform, resulting in increased completion rates for all students. Leader Colleges develop innovative ways to work with other colleges to share knowledge and facilitate an exchange of ideas about evidence-based reform strategies.

“Attaining the status of Leader College by Achieving the Dream is a great honor and a recognition of the work we do at Southwestern,” said Dr. Patty Scott, President of Southwestern. “We are grateful for the expert coaches, groundbreaking programs, and national peer network that our partnership with ATD provides. We will continue to work closely with them to support students and build a customized growth plan that addresses the unique challenges Southwestern faces”.

Southwestern is part of the ATD Network, made up of 300+ colleges committed to advancing equity and supporting student success at their institutions and throughout their communities. Southwestern has been a member of the ATD Network since 2012.


Southwestern Oregon Community College is committed to ensuring we meet the educational and cultural needs of our community. We specialize in providing two-year and transfer degree options, professional training, short-term certificates, community enrichment classes, and we are the no. 1 job training organization in our region.

About Achieving the DREAM

Achieving the Dream (ATD) is a partner and champion of more than 300 community colleges across the country. Drawing on our expert coaches, groundbreaking programs, and national peer network, we provide institutions with integrated, tailored support for every aspect of their work — from foundational capacities such as leadership, data, and equity to intentional strategies for supporting students holistically, building K–12 partnerships, and more. We call this Whole College Transformation. Our vision is for every college to be a catalyst for equitable, antiracist, and economically vibrant communities. We know that with the right partner and the right approach, colleges can drive access, completion rates, and employment outcomes — so that all students can access life-changing learning that propels them into community-changing careers.




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