OCCI team win nationals 2019

Coos Bay, OR – Oregon Coast Culinary Institute’s (OCCI) Student Team traveled to the American Culinary Federation’s (ACF) National Convention in Orlando, Florida to compete as the reigning Western Regional Champs. The team was named ACF National Student Team of the Year, and former OCCI student, Reilly Meehan, was named USA Chef of the Year!


Team Members are:

Coaches: Chef Randy Torres, CEC, Executive Director of OCCI

Chef Laura Williams, CEC, Chef Instructor at OCCI


Captain: Brock Mahi

Manager: Vicki White

Bradliegh Best

Marissa Brazell

Grace McKie

Andy Wright

Evan White

Jerry Martinez

Hunter Robbins-Bilow


signature menu item

The field of competition was narrowed to a six-team final event. All teams had one and a half hours to prepare a four-course signature menu. Every element had to be created from scratch. No items on the menu could be prepared ahead of time. Four portions of each menu item needed to be produced for the judge’s scrutiny.


Chef Torres was thrilled with the win stating, “I am so proud of our team, once again they showed the rest of the culinary community that Oregon Coast Culinary Institute is a top ranked culinary school.”   


To learn more about culinary programs at Southwestern please visit www.occi.net or call our admissions office at 541-888-7195.

Southwestern celebrates 58th graduating class

COOS BAY, OR – The Southwestern Oregon Community College (SWOCC) hosts its 58th annual commencement on Friday, June 14, 2019.

The 2019 Class includes 359 graduates from 17 states and 5 countries. Graduates will leave Southwestern with a variety of degrees and certificates in science, business, arts and other fields. One-hundred-seventy-three graduates have earned Associates of Arts Oregon Transfer and 17 earned Associates of Science Oregon Transfer degrees. These students will move on to bachelor’s degree programs; 119 will receive Associate of Applied Science degrees; 133 will receive Associate of General Studies degrees; 105 Associate of Science degrees. In addition, 85 students also earned Certificates of Completion in specialized career technical areas.

Eighteen students have obtained bachelor’s degrees and one earned a master’s degree through the college’s University Center in partnership with the Oregon University System. Some students will receive more than one degree.

“Today’s college graduates are motivated and hardworking. This year, our graduating class even includes 16 co-enrolled high school students,” said President Dr. Patty Scott. “Our graduates come from all over Oregon, the Northwest and the world. They are leaving our college well prepared for additional university training and to go to work in high-skill, high-demand industries. We’re pleased to be celebrating their achievement with families and our community,” said Southwestern President Dr. Patty Scott.

Graduates List

Southwestern’s President Dr. Patty Scott will provide the welcoming remarks and introductions. Board of Education Chair David Bridgham and Faculty Senate Chair Ron Metzger will offer greetings. Student Lakota Robison-Sanada will be giving the Commencement Address to fellow students.
Dr. Scott will present the 2019 Distinguished Alumni award to LaMont Swinson, Class of 2000. Dr. Ali Mageehon and David Bridgham will present and confer the Southwestern graduates. Presentation of the University Center Degrees will be made by Dr. Patty Scott and she will then conclude the evening with the tassel ceremony and the presentation of the Class of 2019.

Sign language interpretation will be provided for the ceremony, which is a ticketed event beginning at 12 p.m. in the Coos Campus Prosper Hall gymnasium, 1988 Newmark Ave. Overflow seating is available in the Hales Center for the Performing Arts, where the event will be shown live on the theater screen. The event will also be streamed live on www.socc.edu by clicking on the red “Event Streaming” icon on the lower right side of SWOCC’s home webpage. 

Students and families can commemorate their college experience or special individuals by purchasing an engraved Legacy Brick that will be permanently placed in the Henry Hansen Union Square on the Coos Bay Campus. Minimum donations for a 4x8-inch and 8x8-inch brick are $100 and $200, respectively. Proceeds of the Legacy Brick project support the Laker Alumni Association annual scholarship. For details, go to www.socc.edu/alumni.

Coos Bay, OR – Two Southwestern students, Bailee McMahon and Isabella Trifilo-Miley completed their term-long journey in the world of solar physics research last Friday with presentations at the Oregon NASA Space Grant Consortium (OSGC) SCORE Symposium hosted by Oregon State University. Both students presented research summary talks and posters at the event, completing their projects. Upon completion, they along with other participating students for OSGC member institutions statewide received their $800 stipend checks in an awards ceremony.

Isabella Trifilo-Miley presented work on the effects of solar magnetic field structure on solar X-ray emission. Her analysis included modeling the solar magnetic field before and after large flare events to locate observational signatures of magnetic field changes and flare energy release. Isabella used a combination of X-ray data from the RHESSI spacecraft, magnetic field data from the Solar Dynamics Observatory HMI instrument, and magnetic field modeling.

Bailee McMahon presented her work on the analysis of spatial and temporal relationships between hard X-ray and ultraviolet emission in solar flares observed by RHESSI and SDO/AIA. Her analysis included comparative time history for X-ray and UV emission for the duration of individual flare events alongside spatial comparisons of flare images in each wavelength. To accomplish her work, Bailee analysis X-ray data from the RHESSI spacecraft in tandem with high resolution UV images taken from Solar Dynamics Observatory’s AIA instrument.

The research opportunities were funded by the Oregon NASA Space Grant Consortium. The consortium consists of 21 affiliate members from 18 colleges and universities in Oregon along with three informal education affiliates. The consortium is headquartered at Oregon State University, but the affiliates cover much of the state.

For more information, contact Dr. Aaron Coyner at (541) 888-7244 or via email at [email protected].

Coos Bay, OR – Dr. Scott Fisher of the University of Oregon Department of Physics and Pine Mountain Observatory returns to Southwestern to shed more light on the wonders of our universe.  His talk “What’s Up Up There? Recent Discoveries in Astronomy” will take place Thursday, June 6, 2019 at 7:00 pm on the Coos campus of Southwestern, 1988 Newmark Ave., Coos Bay, in the Hales Center for the Performing Arts.

In this presentation Dr. Fisher will describe and speak about recent discoveries from some of the largest telescopes in the world. In particular the discovery of Exoplanets – planets that orbit stars that are not the Sun. Along the way he will talk about what it is like to work as a staff scientist at a modern, large-aperture telescope, and how astronomy is taught at a large public university like the University of Oregon. This presentation is full of images and videos that will be presented at a level that is appropriate for all ages and all levels of astronomy knowledge. During the presentation and afterwards, Dr. Fisher will be happy to answer questions from the audience.

Dr. Scott Fisher is a faculty member in the University of Oregon Department of Physics where he teaches introductory-level astronomy courses, runs an astronomical observatory, and serves as the Director for Undergraduate Studies. Scott previously worked at the National Science Foundation in Washington, DC where he was responsible for selecting and funding astronomy programs across the United States. Before his time in Washington, Scott was based in Hilo, Hawaii where he worked as a staff scientist of the Gemini Observatory. At Gemini, he worked as an instrument scientist and as a member of the Gemini Outreach team. Scott's main areas of research is searching for and studying planet-forming disks around young stars and more recently, the evolution of galaxy clusters at high redshift.

For more information please contact Dr. Aaron Coyner, Physics Instructor at Southwestern, at 541-888-7244.