Southwestern to Offer Study Abroad Program

COOS BAY, Ore. – Southwestern Oregon Community College students will have the opportunity to participate in a study abroad program within the criminal justice or history programs during spring term of 2018-2019. This is the first study abroad program for Southwestern’s criminal justice students. The College is partnering with Clackamas Community College for this exciting opportunity.

The course, titled “Criminal Justice in the United Kingdom”, will examine the English and Irish criminal justice systems from the 1100’s until today. Students will travel to Ireland on June 10, 2019. While in Ireland they will have lectures by Irish professors on the Irish legal system and the civil rights issues of Northern Ireland. They will tour the Dublin courts, Kilmainham jail, and see the bogs and bog bodies as part of the National Museum. The students will then travel to London where they will have lectures by English lawyers on the history and current court system of Great Britain. Students will also have an opportunity to observe court proceedings in the Westminster Magistrates Court, the Royal Court of Justice, the Old Bailey, the Court of Appeals, and the High Court of Justice of England and Wales. A lecture and tour on the social history and investigation of the “Jack the Ripper” case is planned, as well as tours of old English prison sites including the Tower of London, the Clink prison museum, and the currently operating Her Majesty’s Prison Wormwood Scrubs.

Students will need to cover travel expenses and obtain a passport prior to departure. Planning and fund raising for the trip will occur throughout the 2018-2019 school year. Any business, organization or person interested in attending the class or assisting financially to help students to attend are asked to contact Gary Will, Criminal Justice Instructor at Southwestern at 544-888-1571 or by email at

Coos Bay, OR  The Music Department of Southwestern Oregon Community College is proud to present a series of concerts during the week of June 3 through 10, 2018. Retiring Director, Ida Jo Gates, is proud to expand upon the usual end-of-term offerings and hopes that everyone can attend all of the concerts. 

Sunday, June 3: The Community Choir, under the direction of David Aaker, will perform several classical choral works at 2:00 pm at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church (1290 Thompson Rd., Coos Bay). There is no cost to attend the concert, and the choir cordially invites all of the community to come and enjoy their musical offering.

Monday, June 4: Individual students from the studios of Southwestern music instructors will be present a recital at Hales Center for the Performing Arts (1988 Newmark Ave., Coos Bay) at 7:00 pm. The teachers represented are Dana Childs, Ida Jo Gates, Sarah Kimball, Lynne Kuhn and Heather Williams. There is no cost to attend the concert.

Tuesday, June 5: “Ida Jo & Friends” – in a re-creation of a concert series that Ms. Gates has produced in California, Arizona and Coos Bay (Spring, 2010), selected students will join her on stage at Hales Center for the Performing Arts at 7:00 pm. There is no cost to attend the concert.

Wednesday, June 6: “Jazz Night” – the Southwestern Jazz Band, under the direction of Cameron Jerde, and the Vocal Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Ida Jo Gates will present a variety of jazz standards (and a few vocal surprises). The Jazz Band will be joined by three dancers from Ballet Pacific. The concert will be held at Hales Center for the Performing Arts at 7:00 pm. There is no cost to attend the concert.

Sunday, June 10: In collaboration with the Southwestern Music Club, the Oregon Coast Music Association will present Stephen Moeckel, violin and Paula Fan, piano in a fundraising benefit concert. Mr. Moeckel is the concertmaster of the summer festival orchestra. He and Ms. Fan are world-renowned performers, and together their collaboration is called Duo Amabile. The concert is being held at Hales Center for the Performing Arts at 3:00 pm with a pre-concert talk by Mr. Moeckel at 2:00 pm. Tickets are $40 each or $75 for a family, and can be purchased at the door or in advance by calling 541-267-0938 or on the web at

Ms. Gates cordially thanks Southwestern and the community for all the support she has received over the years at the college, both as a part time instructor and as head of the department this past year. “Our south coast community is full of talented student-musicians, and it has been an honor to help guide them in their musical endeavors and adventures!”

Diversity in the Workplace talk by Cass Averill

COOS BAY, Ore.  Southwestern Oregon Community College proudly welcomes Cass Averill, Board President, Founder and Administrator of Trans*Ponder, to speak about Diversity and the Workplace. His presentation will take place on May 31, 2018 from 6:00 – 7:30 pm on the Coos campus of Southwestern, 1988 Newmark Ave., Coos Bay, in Eden Hall. 

Cass Averill is a computer security specialist by profession and a transgender activist by passion. He founded Trans*Ponder in 2012; has organized countless events catered to spreading support, education, and awareness for the trans/gender diverse communities; and works hard to keep the “T” in the LGBT an active part of the conversation. Mr. Averill is also a sexual orientation and gender identity advocate in the corporate sector. He was the first person to publicly transition on the job in his fortune 500 global corporation, advocated for (and ultimately received) transgender-inclusive healthcare, instituted guidelines for how-to transition within the company, implemented all-gender single-stall restrooms, and continues to author and advise on transgender/transition related policies and procedures. Mr. Averill attends the Out and Equal Workplace Equality conference annually to remain contemporary with what is happening politically for LGBTQIA people in the professional/corporate sector. He works with organizations to provide gender diversity awareness training, policy and procedure consultation, and promotes the inclusive treatment of transgender employees and clientele. Mr. Averill holds a Bachelor’s degree in Information Assurance and Security from Capella University.

Mr. Averill’s discussion of how to promote a climate of inclusivity in the workplace is free and open to all!

For more information on the exhibition and Mr. Averill’s presentation, please contact John Bacon ( or Sara Keene ( / (541-888-7127). 

TransPonder Flyer

COOS BAY, Ore.  Southwestern Oregon Community College is happy to partner with the Coos History Museum and the community to host a creative writing contest for high school and Southwestern students. Poetry and short fiction entries will be accepted, and prizes will be awarded to first, second, third place and honorable mention winners for both categories.  Winners will have an opportunity to read their work at Oregon Author Day in the Coos History Museum on October 13, 2018.  The contest submission deadline is Thursday, May 31, 2018.  

For more information, please download the contest flyer and submission guidelines or contact Amy Pollicino at