The Lane Community College Foundation is seeking nominations for the 2015 Distinguished Alumni Awards.
At Lane Community College, we are proud of every student. The Distinguished Alumni Awards give us an opportunity to profile students who have gone on to make a difference in their communities, and who have remembered the college along the way.
Each year, we recognize four alumni who completed 30 credit hours at Lane or earned an associate's degree. Nominees have demonstrated achievement in their chosen profession, service to the community, or outstanding contributions to the college.
The 2015 Distinguished Alumni Awards will be presented in August 2015.
Nominations for consideration for 2015 are due by June 30, 2015
2014 Awardees (As a tribute to Lane's 50th Anniversary we honored an alum from each decade)
1960's Honoree Commissioner Bill Dwyer
Bill Dwyer has a long history of service to our community and our state. He has served as an Oregon State Representative, an Oregon State Senator, and also as a Lane County Commissioner.
Commissioner Dwyer moved with his wife and children to Eugene in 1965, just one year after the bond establishing the college was passed in 1964. He recalls the early days of Lane Comminuty College, when classes were held on Monroe Street in Eugene.
Commissioner Dwyer attended Lane for two years in 1968 and 1969, and sees the college as a place that gives students the opportunity to follow their dreams whether they are planning to transfer or join the workforce. For Commissioner Dwyer, the importance of access to affordable education cannot be overstated, he says, "The enemy we all have is poverty. We need to break the cycle." One of his concerns today is the rising cost of education and the disproportionate effect this has on those living in poverty and their access to higher education.
After his time at Lane, he became increasingly involved in politics, chairing the local Democratic Party and eventually running for public office. He says, "Education is important, and throughout my career I was proud to say I attended Lane."
Two of Commissioner Dwyer's children are currently attending Lane Community College. His daughter, Cheryl, received her associate's degree in culinary, and is now working towards an additional degree while his daughter, Linda, is going back to school at LCC this year as well.
Commissioner Dwyer appreciates that Lane, as the community's college, gives people the opportunity for new classes that may not have been offered previously, as well as plenty of opportunities for lifelong learning. He says, "I love the idea that if there was a subject that interested me or if I wanted to teach something that people were interested in, that we could put together a class." Commissioner Dwyer is a lifelong learner and continues to support Lane and the community.
1970's Honoree Doug Koké
Doug Koke, owner of QSL Print Communications, sees Lane Community College as a place for people to better themselves and transform their dreams and interests into a successful career path.
When Doug graduated from high school he began working full-time for his father's business. He wanted to go to college, but it seemed impossible with his schedule. He was delighted to discover that he could take night courses at Lane and fit his classes around his work schedule. This flexibility allowed him to continue his education and set out on the path to achieving his own goals.
Doug took courses in Business Management and has never forgotten the impact education made on his life and his family. His wife, Nancy, received a nursing degree from Lane and his daughter, Keri, attended as well.
Doug feels that Lane is an important part of our community. He says, "Anybody that wants to learn something can go to Lane, you don't have a certain background or a checkbook to qualify." Doug also appreciates Lane's focus on workforce development and course offerings that strengthen his employees' skills as technology evolves.
QSL Print Communications is the print sponsor for Lane Community College Foundation's annual Harvest Dinner. His support of the LCC Foundation over the years has been instrumental in fundraising efforts for student scholarships at Lane.
Currently, Doug is enjoying spending his free time volunteering for various organizations in the community. He serves on the board of directors of the Oregon Club and is involved with the Relief Nursery.
1980's Honoree Dr. Terri Baarstad
Dr. Terri Baarstad, has always found Lane Community College to be there for her when she needed it most. After her first year at the University of Oregon, she wanted a change and enrolled in the Dental Assisting program at Lane. As the first person in her family to go to college, she recalls appreciating the small class sizes and accessibility of the faculty. She completed the program, began working in the field, married, and started a family. After a few years she had a realization, "One day I'm sitting across from the dentist thinking, 'I could do that. I should be over there!'." She began to research what it would take to become a dentist, and continued her journey by signing up for night courses at Lane.
As a single mother with two young children, she faced opposition from some who thought her goal of becoming a dentist was unrealistic. But she had a plan, she mapped out the courses she needed, juggling work and raising her children, and at the end she wrote the words, "Graduate. Be a dentist." She stuck to the plan, finishing her prerequisite courses at Lane and the University of Oregon before finally enrolling in dental school at Oregon Health Sciences University and receiving a Doctorate in Medical Dentistry in 2001.
Now, a successful dentist with thriving practices in Eugene and Springfield, she sees the positive impact Lane has on health professions in Lane County. She says, "The dental assisting and dental hygiene programs are vital to the dental community. Lane graduates are well trained and valuable team members." Her own children both attended Lane and she considers the college to be a place of opportunity-wherever you are in life.
Dr. Baarstad appreciates the value of community service and devotes herself to improving the dental health of those around her. She is passionate about helping young men and women explore a career in dentistry and is an active member of the American Dental Association, the Oregon Dental Association, and the Academy of General Dentistry.
Having attended Lane in both the 1980's and the 1990's, she is pleased to see the effect of the college's immersion within the community, and knows that Lane is a valuable asset to all life-long learners.
1990's Honoree Shirley Andress Tendick
Shirley Andress Tendick started her musical career early, singing and acting in productions at Pleasant Hill High School. She credits Lane Community College with being the stepping stone she needed to start her long and successful career as a singer, actress, and teacher. At Lane she did it all, she sang with the vocal jazz ensemble, acted in three main stage theatre productions, took dance classes, and learned how to audition. She says, "I definitely got my start at LCC. It was a very nurturing environment and the connections I made there led to my first paying gig." Shirley felt valued and encouraged by instructors and appreciates the impact on her career and life that the Lane Performing Arts Program has had.
Shirley transferred from Lane to the University of Oregon where she received her degree in Music Education. She has been a principle with the John G. Shedd Institute for the Arts for 17 years and is a founding member and lead singer of The Emerald City Jazz Kings. For the past 6 seasons has assumed the role of artistic director for The Shedd's Christmas show and the Oregon Festival of American Music's Summer Musical. She manages her own private studio teaching voice. In addition, Shirley has worked closely through the years with the Performing Arts department at Lane. She enjoys her role as a mentor to students and has also assisted with many performance-based projects. She says, "I enjoy doing this, I like to give students the same things that were given to me; constructive criticism and encouragement."
Shirley is not the only member of her family who is a Lane alum. For Shirley and her family being a Lane alum is a multi-generational endeavor--Her mother received a nursing degree from Lane, one of Shirley's daughters graduated from the Dental Assisting Program, two other daughters went to Lane before transferring to the University of Oregon, and her son is a graduate of Lane's culinary program. She encouraged all of her children to start at Lane because of her connection to the college and knowledge of the affordability and quality of the education they would receive. For this talented and deeply rooted community treasure, Lane was a starting point in kicking off an amazing journey that continues to touch and delight her fellow community members throughout the years.
2000's Honoree Dr. Tobias Policha
Dr. Tobias Policha's interest in botany was nurtured from childhood as he and his mother, an avid gardener, worked outside in their garden. After high-school, he worked for two seasons in the field of organic agriculture and became inspired by Seeds of Change, an organic seed company. Tobias recalls, "The work they were doing really peaked my interest in seeds, how they are passed down through generations, how they change, how we collect them, and how we share them."
When Tobias came to Eugene he furthered these interests by getting involved in community gardening and education based volunteer projects- blending his interest in food production and sustainable living in the context of community activism.
Tobias attended Lane Community College for four years, working and volunteering all the while. What he appreciated most about his time at Lane was that all of his instructors knew him by name and there were many opportunities for personal and small group connections. Lane's Sustainable program is very grass-roots and really encompasses what is an important and quickly-growing movement.
One of Tobias's biggest influences at Lane Community College was Gail Baker, a Botany Instructor. He appreciated the creative ways she encouraged students to be more involved and studying out into the field. His time at Lane fostered his passion for botany and prepared him to continue his studies at the University of Oregon. He recalls, "The combination of a supportive environment with small and personal course structures, and opportunities like co-operative education and independent study options prepared me for success. I probably wouldn't have gone on if I had started somewhere else."
And go on he did, in 2014 Tobias received a PhD. in Biology from the University of Oregon. Today he is an Adjunct Instructor at the UofO in the Institute of Ecology and Evolution.