Southwestern Board Member Marcia Jensen named 2018 Howard Cherry Outstanding Board Member by the Oregon Community College Association

marcia jensen and patty scott

Dr. Patty Scott, President of Southwestern and Marcia Jensen, Board Member


Coos Bay, OR – Coos Bay, OR – Marcia Jensen, who has served on the Southwestern Oregon Community College Board of Education for over 17 years, and as board chair for seven years, has been named the 2018 Howard Cherry Outstanding Board Member by the Oregon Community College Association.

Jensen was praised by Southwestern’s President Patty Scott who said, “Marcia is a passionate leader and works hard to advance all colleges, not just Southwestern.” During her 17+ years of service on the Board Marcia has helped the College expand its educational services and increase opportunities for students. This includes helping the Board decide to build the Oregon Coast Culinary Institute, Hales Center for the Performing Arts, Student Recreation Center, a Curry County Campus, and expand student housing capacity from 140 to almost 400. Full-time student enrollment during Marcia’s tenure on the Board has increased due, in part, to these board decisions. Marcia serves as a resource for other board members and is also a strong advocate for Southwestern’s many employees. She served as President of the Oregon Community College Association Executive Board (2015-2016) and consistently advocates for community colleges locally, regionally and nationally.

Jensen, a Coos County native, is retired from Weyerhaeuser Company’s Coos Bay Timberlands where she worked as the Executive Assistant to Operations and served as the Safety and Health Information Systems Administrator for her team. Her work included earning the OSHA Voluntary Protection Program recognition award for the Millicoma Tree Farm unit of Weyerhaeuser, making it the first-ever logging company to achieve this national honor.

Marcia attended school in Coquille and received her college education at the University of North Wales at Bangor, Southern Oregon University, and Southwestern Oregon Community College.

Throughout her working career she has actively served the community as a member of many civic organizations; being past president of several, including the Coos Bay-North Bend Rotary Club, Soroptimist International of the Coos Bay Area, Chapters AS and CS of the PEO Sisterhood and Women of Emmanuel Episcopal Church Association. She currently serves as the state representative for Southwestern Oregon Community College on the Oregon Community College Association Board.

The Oregon Community College Association’s Howard Cherry Award recognizes board members, employees and advocates who make a difference. They are named after the late Dr. Howard Cherry, a Portland orthopedic surgeon who was a lifelong advocate for education and community involvement. He served on the Portland School Board, in the Oregon Legislature, and was a founding member of the Association of Community College Trustees.

“Being nominated for the Howard Cherry Award is a great privilege, and to be chosen to receive the recognition is an unexpected honor. I am deeply touched by this gesture of OCCA’s appreciation for my humble service to the community college system of Oregon. Though I never had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Cherry, his dedication to the creation of the community college system here in Oregon has always been a motivational model for me to follow. We citizens of Oregon should be proud that with Dr. Cherry’s legislative support, along with the help of many others, Oregon currently has 17 community colleges across the State serving the educational needs of our students,” said Jensen.

Southwestern Oregon Community College leads and inspires lifelong learning through its campuses on the south Oregon coast in Coos and Curry counties, and through its University Center.