COOS BAY, Ore.  Southwestern Oregon Community College is honored to welcome Mitzi Loftus back to Coos County for a special talk and exhibit. Ms. Loftus spent three years in a wartime internment camp in Tulelake, California during World War II and will be speaking about her experiences. Please join us for her presentation on May 27, 2018 at 7:00 pm in the Hales Center for the Performing Arts, on the Coos campus of Southwestern Oregon Community College, 1988 Newmark Ave., Coos Bay.

Ms. Loftus’ presentation is part of Graham Street Production’sArchitecture of Internment: The Buildup to Wartime Incarceration, hosted by Southwestern’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. The traveling exhibition highlights the role of Oregonians in the decision to incarcerate 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry, of whom more than two-thirds were U.S. citizens. The display includes documents from 1941 and 1942 advocating for the exclusion and incarceration of Oregonian Japanese Americans, blueprints of potential assembly centers and internment camp locations such as racetracks and fairgrounds, and letters from Japanese Americans expressing their outrage about the injustice of internment. Southwestern will be hosting this exhibition from May 14 to May 28, 2018 in the Empire Hall Lobby. Ms. Loftus will bring the exhibition to a close with her personal reflections on wartime internment.

Mitzi Loftus was born in Hood River, Oregon and graduated from Hood River High School. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Oregon in 1954 and a master’s degree in 1960. She married and had three sons, all of whom graduated from Marshfield High School. Ms. Loftus has a remarkable teaching record, spanning multiple continents and several languages. She taught at Creswell High School for three years and in 1957 received a Fulbright award to teach English as a Foreign Language in Japan. She went on to teach French in Eugene in 1960 and began substitute teaching in Eugene and Coos Bay/North Bend for the following 30+ years, punctuated by a three-year interlude from 1969 to 1971 when she and her family lived in Germany. Ms. Loftus moved to Ashland in 2006, where she currently resides. Ms. Loftus has published a memoir of her life as a Japanese-American in Oregon titled, Made in Japan and Settled in Oregon.

For more information on the exhibition and Ms. Loftus’ presentation, please contact Sara Keene at 541-888-7127,

Mitzi Loftus Flyer

Walk, Jog or Run to Fight Pancreatic Cancer

Coos Bay, OR – Southwestern Oregon Community College’s Junior Chamber of Commerce is hosting the 6th Annual Bear Claw’s 5K Your Way and Health Fair benefiting the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.

Beginning at 9 a.m., Saturday, June 2, 2018 the 6th Annual Bear Claw’s 5K Your Way – walk, jog, or run – will take place at Southwestern Oregon Community College located at 1988 Newmark Ave., Coos Bay. Students, faculty, and community members will gather to raise awareness for pancreatic cancer, and to promote health and fitness in the community. Since the first Bear Claw’s 5K and Health Fair the group has raised over $10,000 for Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. Southwestern’s Business Instructor, Jessica Engelke, who lost both her Father, Jim “Bear Claw” Engelke and Grandmother, Eleanor Mateski to Pancreatic Cancer has made a lifelong pledge to continue raising money and awareness towards this deadly disease. Engelke stated that the National Cancer Institute reports that pancreatic cancer is on the rise in the United States and there will be an estimated 55,400 new cases in 2018, with only an 8.5 percent survival rate after five years.

If you would like to learn more about the 5k or inquire about a table at the Health Fair contact Jessica Engelke at 541-297-7263.

The Health Fair and registration begin at 9:00 a.m. in Henry Hansen Union Square (the quad). The 5k starts at 10 am. Participation is FREE, $5 suggested donation to The Pancreatic Action Network. For additional information e-mail

Bear Claw's Flyer

The Junior Chamber is organized around a 4-point mission, to:

  • ·Create an exclusive portal for opportunities, connections and access to the Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, while providing a multi-tiered platform for professional enrichment and readiness.
  • ·Develop leaders through volunteer work and community services.
  • ·Build a bridge between generations and bring the community together by combining education with business development.
  • ·Influence the future of Southwestern Oregon Community College students through civic and community involvement.

Student Veteran’s Center Grand Opening!

Coos Bay, OR – Southwestern Oregon Community College is proud to announce the grand opening of the new Veterans Center on Southwestern’s Coos Campus, 1988 Newmark Ave., Coos Bay. We would like to extend a warm invitation to our local community members to stop by, meet our student veterans, and enjoy some refreshments on Tuesday, May 15, 2018 from 12 pm to 4 pm, in Coaledo Hall, Room 5.

The center was developed with funding received from the Campus Veteran Resource Grant Program. Southwestern’s veteran’s department renovated and remodeled Coaledo 5 and it’s now a comfortable and safe area that supports our student veterans while they fulfill their educational goals.

In addition to new computers, furniture, appliances, and supplies, the center is very welcoming and is significant in its therapeutic offerings for veterans suffering from PTSD and other disorders. The center is also unique in that it offers a full view of the outdoor space, Henry Hansen Union Square (the quad) from inside a quiet building, creating a perfect environment for veterans to study, relax, and reconnect with fellow veterans. 

For more information about how Southwestern serves veterans please contact Shana Brazil, Veteran’s Services Coordinator, at 541-888-7236,

Photo of observatory and night sky   Scott Fisher


Coos Bay, OR – Southwestern Oregon Community College is pleased to welcome Dr. Scott Fisher, Director of Pine Mountain Observatory and physics faculty at the University of Oregon, to Southwestern on Wednesday May 16, 2018 at 7:00 pm in the Hales Center for the Performing Arts, 1988 Newmark Ave., Coos Bay. Dr. Fisher will present a lecture illustrating the wonders of our vast universe with visuals from observatories such as Hubble Space Telescope and Oregon’s own Pine Mountain Observatory. The goal of the lecture will be to connect everyone to the Universe we inhabit through the use of an easy-to-grasp scale that relates the actual size of the Universe to the audience.

Once we have our new perspective in mind, Dr. Fisher will move into a discussion of one of the most exciting recent discoveries in all of astronomy – the existence of Exo-planets. Exo-planets are planets that are known to orbit stars other than the Sun, as of late 2017 we have confirmed that over 3500 planets live outside our Solar System. Along the way our speaker will be very open to questions from the audience and is up for a round of "stump the astronomer" with anyone that attends the event.


For more information please contact Dr. Aaron Coyner, physics instructor at Southwestern via phone at (541) 888-7244 or email