Southwestern hosts Summer STEAM Academy for Teens

Southwestern hosts Summer STEAM Academy for Teens

COOS BAY, OR – Southwestern Oregon Community College invites 7th to 12th grade students to join us for four days of hands-on “Natural Disaster” activities with STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) professors and student researchers. Our summer STEAM Academy will run from Monday, August 12th through Thursday, August 15th, 2024, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. We’ll begin each day in Umpqua Hall’s lecture room (184) on the Coos Campus (1988 Newmark Ave., Coos Bay).

A cool escape room, a guided hike at the South Slough Reserve, watching “Force Five!”, a weather Discovery Dome planetarium show (a digital theater space that immerses students on an adventure) are just a few of the awesome things we have planned!

Lunch, snacks, and transportation for the field trip will be provided. The cost is $50 per student. Spots are limited to 15 so register soon. Scholarships are available.

For more information, registration, and scholarships contact Krystal Hopper Meyers, STEAM Pathways Assistant, at 541-888-7416, or krystal.hopper@socc.edu.


Laker Youth Basketball Camp 2024 – June 17-18

Laker Youth Basketball Camp 2024 – June 17-18

Coos Bay, OR – Southwestern Oregon Community College (SWOCC) athletics is pleased to host a two-day 2024 Laker Youth Basketball Camp on June 17-18 at the Recreation Center gymnasium. This camp is a fantastic opportunity for young athletes to develop their skills, make new friends, and enjoy the game under the guidance of experienced coaches.

The camp schedule for both days is as follows:

  • Athletes just completing 1st – 3rd Grade: 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
  • Athletes just completing 4th – 8th Grade: 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

The registration fee for each camper for both days is $60. Payment is accepted at the door and checks should be made out to SWOCC Basketball.

Pre-registration is encouraged (on-site registration will also be accepted). To pre-register:

  1. Complete the 2024 Laker Youth Basketball Camp Form
  2. Complete the Basketball Hold Harmless Form

For any additional questions, contact SWOCC’s head women’s basketball coach Heather Weber at 541-391-3494 or email heather.weber@socc.edu.

Don’t miss this opportunity for your young athlete to learn basketball skills from SWOCC basketball coaches and players! Sign up today and join us for two days of learning, skill-building and a lot of fun on the court.

Southwestern Oregon Community College celebrates its 2024 graduates

Southwestern Oregon Community College celebrates its 2024 graduates

Southwestern Oregon Community College’s 2024 Commencement Ceremony will take place on Friday, June 14, 2024, at noon in Prosper Hall on the Coos Campus, 1988 Newmark Ave., Coos Bay.


Southwestern is proud of the 2024 graduates! This year the College is pleased to honor a total of 401 graduates, from 24 states and eight countries.

Degrees being awarded are:

  • 163 Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer
  • 96 Associate of Applied Science
  • 48 Associate of General Studies
  • 52 Associate of Science
  • 100 Certificates of Completion (one year)

Southwestern also congratulates 15 local high school students who acquired their associate degrees at the same time they were completing their high school diplomas.

Guest attendance at the ceremony is by ticket only. The celebration can be viewed live via Southwestern’s YouTube channel.

Additional information for graduates and their families can be found on the Graduation web page.


Graduating Class of 2024

 GH = Graduating with Honors, 3.75 GPA        PK = Member Phi Theta Kappa        V = Valedictorian, 4.00 GPA 





Southwestern Oregon Community College announces Chef Reilly Meehan as the 2024 Distinguished Alumnus

Southwestern Oregon Community College announces Chef Reilly Meehan as the 2024 Distinguished Alumnus

Coos Bay, OR – Southwestern Oregon Community College is pleased to announce Reilly Meehan is the 2024 Distinguished Alumnus. Meehan graduated in 2011 from Southwestern with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Culinary Arts.

The Distinguished Alumni award recognizes individuals who demonstrate significant contributions to their professions, communities, or academia.

“Being chosen as the 2024 SWOCC Distinguished Alumni is a high honor and I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to continue to represent SWOCC and OCCI for years to come,” Meehan said.

“I was given the opportunity to pursue a career that not only allows me creative expression but also freedom and a space for individuality – all thanks to the nurturing nature of the staff and teachers I crossed paths with during my time as a student here. I look forward to seeing what this year’s graduates have to bring to this world and will continue to push myself to be the best role model I can for future graduates from this amazing program.”

The world first noticed Chef Reilly Meehan as an award winner. He won Best Young Chef in the World 2011 at the Chaines Des Rotisseurs Jenunes Comms competition in Istanbul, Turkey. That year at age 21, he was the first American to win the award – and the youngest award winner. He followed it up with awards in 2019 and 2022 – ACF Chef of the Year and Americas Global Chef Challenge champion.

Chef Meehan also is a natural teacher. An online mentor, he inspires people who are into food and non-foodies to get into food. This TikTok influencer has 391,000 people following his culinary video posts. Nearly 200,000 people follow him on Instagram.

“Reilly encompasses the best of both worlds,” says Executive Chef Randy Torres. “You can tell he has classical training with Old World style, but with a very modern approach. Fresh ideas. Inspirational. And really, he is inspirational to all genres of people from grandmas to Master Chefs.”

Meehan grew up in Central California. He first connected with Chef Torres as a high schooler during a culinary institute competition in San Jose. He enrolled at the school to learn from Chef Torres, who put together a competition team. Meehan learned and excelled. First competition he won a gold medal.

Torres soon moved to Oregon Coast Culinary Institute. In 2010, he began building the Youth Competition Team for the 2012 Culinary Olympics. Wanting to be on Torres’ team, Meehan followed him to Coos Bay to finish his studies. In 2011, he graduated and worked his way to fame.

Chef Meehan has worked at The Ritz Carlton, San Francisco’s famed The Bohemian Club and owned a restaurant. Now, as a private chef, Meehan jets between Phoenix and Southampton, N.Y. During moments of down time, he inspires thousands of people worldwide as an iconic, charismatic social media culinary teacher.

“Why he’s gaining success in his social media endeavors is his approachability and his overall demeanor,” says Torres. “Reilly’s a welcoming person and you belong in whatever he’s doing. He’s a black tie and T-shirt all rolled into one. He’s a complete package. You can have a beer with him or a glass of champagne.”

It’s very rare to ever see that in a chef. That’s why Southwestern is pleased to celebrate Chef Reilly Meehan as 2024 Distinguished Alum, and especially this year on the 25th anniversary of the Oregon Coast Culinary Institute at Southwestern.

Southwestern Students Recognized for Academic Honors Winter Term – Academic Year 2023-2024

Southwestern Students Recognized for Academic Honors Winter Term – Academic Year 2023-2024

Coos Bay, OR – Southwestern Oregon Community College announces the names of students who excelled winter term for the 2023-2024 academic school year. These students are being recognized with placement on the college’s Dean’s List (DL), Honor Roll (HR) and Academic Excellence (AE) list.

•    Academic Excellence – students must receive a GPA of 4.0 in at least 12 credits

•    Honor Roll – students must receive a GPA between 3.5 and 3.99 in at least 12 credits

•    Dean’s List – students must receive a GPA between 3.0 and 3.49 in at least 12 credits


Southwestern hosts “Juneteenth: Honoring the Black Freedom Struggle,” a presentation by Taylor Stewart – June 18

Southwestern hosts “Juneteenth: Honoring the Black Freedom Struggle,” a presentation by Taylor Stewart – June 18

Coos Bay, OR – In celebration of Juneteenth, Southwestern Oregon Community College invites the public to a free presentation “Juneteenth: Honoring the Black Freedom Struggle” by Taylor Stewart, founder of the Oregon Remembrance Project. The presentation will be held at Southwestern’s Coos Campus (1988 Newmark Ave., Coos Bay) at 2:00 pm on June 18, 2024, in Umpqua Hall, Room 184. This is a free event and everyone is welcome.

Juneteenth, officially Juneteenth National Independence Day, is a federal holiday in the United States celebrated annually on June 19 to commemorate the end of slavery. For the past four years, Taylor Stewart has been at the forefront of Juneteenth celebrations across the state of Oregon, lending his expertise and passion to the cause. Stewart’s first time working on a Juneteenth celebration was in 2021 in Coos Bay.

Stewart founded the Oregon Remembrance Project in 2018 to memorialize Alonzo Tucker, Oregon’s most widely documented African American victim of lynching, which occurred in Coos Bay in 1902. For the presentation, Stewart will share his experience in helping to organize Juneteenth events across the state, what excites him most about these events, and how communities can carry the spirit of Juneteenth forward beyond its annual observance. Light refreshments traditional to Juneteenth celebrations will be provided free of charge.

Tune in to the presentation from anywhere via our YouTube channel at: https://www.youtube.com/@SouthwesternOR/streams.

For more information contact Forrest Akers, Director of International Recruitment and Academic Partnerships, at 541-888-7185, forrest.akers@socc.edu.



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