Chemeketa Courier

Chemeketa baseball team takes two against Clackamas

By Matt Rawlings

Even though the Storm don’t have a shot at making the NWACC Playoffs, the team’s mentality on the diamond didn’t waver.
“Our goals haven’t changed since the start of the season,” coach Nathan Pratt said.
“We want to be playing our best baseball at the end of the season, and that is what we have been doing.”
The Storm took both games of a doubleheader on Saturday, winning the first game 6-3 and taking the second game 5-0.
Despite committing four errors in the opener, the Storm got great pitching performance from freshman Alex Emerson.
Emerson threw eight innings, giving up seven hits and only one earned run as he helped lead the Storm to victory.
“Alex did a great job rolling ground balls and just getting outs for us today,” sophomore second baseman Jake Reynolds said.
Freshman third baseman Brendan Shaffer went three-for-four with a double and two runs scored, and sophomore first baseman Garrett Mills went two-for-four with a two-run homer.
Freshman right fielder Jake McGraw and sophomore left fielder Jon Munson also added two hits.
The Storm started threatening in the bottom of the first, stringing together three base hits.
But they came away empty after Mills was thrown out at the plate after a two-out single by McGraw.
After giving up two hits in the first inning, Emerson settled down in the top of the second when he retired the side in order.
Emerson also retired the first two batters in the top of the third, but Clackamas then started a two-out rally on two infield singles, two walks, and a Chemeketa error, producing two runs before the Storm was able to stop the bleeding.
But Chemeketa came back with two runs in the bottom of the third, thanks to a two-run homer by Mills, which tied the score.
Emerson kept Clackamas off the board and off the bases in the top half of the fourth and fifth innings.
Emerson did give up a leadoff single in the top of the sixth, but he was able to get the next three batters on groundouts.
The Storm erased the 2-2 tie in the bottom of the sixth when they broke out for three runs.
Schaffer doubled to the right-center field gap, and freshman designated hitter Noah Westerhuis reached base on an error by the third baseman and stole second to move into scoring position.
Munson then stepped to the plate with runners on second and third and two outs. After working the count to full, he laced the payoff pitch up the middle for a base hit that scored the go-ahead run.
After Munson advanced to second on an errant throw by the center fielder, freshman catcher Hector Ferrer hits a Texas-League single into left field, scoring Westerhuis and Munson, making the score 5-2 Storm.
Emerson gave up his first earned run of the day in the top of the seventh, but he was able to get out of the inning with limited damage.
In the top of the eighth, Emerson faced an incredibly tough task with the bases loaded and nobody out.
He then forced the Clackamas nine-hitter to fly out to shallow right field and, thanks to a great throw by McGraw, the runner on third was unable to tag up and score.
Emerson next faced Clackamas leadoff hitter Josh Combs. Combs swung at the first pitch, producing a bouncer back to Emerson, who threw to his catcher for out No. 2. Ferrer then threw to first baseman Mills for out number three.
The 1-2-3 three double play got the Storm out of the inning unscathed.
Chemeketa got an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth on a bunt hit by Schaffer and a single to right-center field by McGraw.
Emerson then was replaced by sophomore closer Seth Heckel, who shut down Clackamas in order in the top of the ninth to seal the victory.
In the second game, sophomore pitcher Bradley Bearden pitched a complete game shutout, striking out six and only giving up four hits.
The Storm, despite having just four base hits, used eight Clackamas errors to manufacture five runs.
Four of those runs came in the sixth inning, thanks to singles by Mills and freshman second baseman DJ Harryman and an RBI double by freshman catcher Jake Branham.
The Storm close out the season with a double-header on the road against Lane on Thursday. The first pitch is at 1 p.m.
“We would obviously much rather be heading to the playoffs but are still going to cherish the spoiler role and compete our guts at,” Reynolds said.

In: May 15, 2013 | | #

State pressures force Chemeketa’s tuition to increase, Chemeketa officials respond

By Travis Loose

On March 27, Chemeketa’s Board of Education voted unanimously in favor of a $6 per credit hour tuition increase to begin at the start of summer term, 2013.

Chemeketa’s administration recommended that the board approve the increase because of growing statewide pressures to achieve Oregon’s 40/40/20 goal.

The 40/40/20 goal is a result of the 2011 Oregon Legislature’s Senate Bill 253.

The bill states that by 2025, 40 percent of adult Oregonians will have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher, 40 percent will have earned an associate’s degree or post-secondary credential, and 20 percent or fewer adults will have earned a high school diploma or GED.

Patrick Lanning, the college’s chief academic officer and president of Chemeketa’s Yamhill Vally Campus, said, “The Ggvernor’s 40/40/20 goal is being seen nationally as the biggest aspiration for any state. The only way I can really see Oregon achieving that goal is to make major investments in K-12, colleges, and universities.”

As a result, Chemeketa’s administration recognized the need to increase and improve the services that are offered through the college so that graduation rates will meet those state goals.

Greg Harris, the college’s dean of marketing, said, “In order to accomplish [this goal], more resources need to be applied to the systems, the services, and the technologies that help students to accomplish that.

“However, the state doesn’t seem to be willing to provide us with the funding to provide students with those systems, those services, or those technologies. So, we have to look for alternate revenue sources.

“Unfortunately, the only one we have any control over is the fee we charge for bettering education.”

Cheryl Roberts, Chemeketa’s president, said, “Why we’re doing this is really based around student success — helping all the students that pay their good money every quarter to have the services and the classes they need in place to support them. … It was about investments.

“We’re looking at over a million dollars of investment into our students. That’s huge.”

What the investments will be, exactly, remains a looming question.

Roberts cited budget laws as the reason for the lack of specifics.

“Some of this cannot be revealed until April, when we bring it before the budget committee, because they have to be the first people to read it,” Roberts said. “We haven’t even told our board because they’re part of the budget committee.”

Lanning provided some additional insight as to what students can expect.

“The tuition and fee increase will support some faculty positions where we’ve been spread thin, or areas that have seen significant enrollment increases. We are also looking at staff investments in areas that directly support students in classes/labs and areas like advising,” he said.

“The investment in technology will also provide students, faculty, and staff better access to student information and allow students to get their own information, like degree progression, without needing to wait in line.”

Chemeketa officials agreed that students would be excited about the investments that their tuition increase would provide, whatever they may actually be.

“The Academic and Student Services areas have always focused on student success. This increase won’t cover all the needs, but it will make a difference. We are fortunate at Chemeketa to have a dedicated faculty and staff,” Lanning said.

In: March 13, 2013 | | #

The old professor takes his students on daily trips around the world

By Brad Bakke

It’s 8:45 a.m. In a dimly lit hallway in Bldg. 8 outside of Room 121, a half-dozen students are on the floor, debating events that happened more than 2,000 years ago, long before Christ walked the earth.

Class won’t begin for another 45 minutes, but the students are excited enough about the topic to gather early and share their thoughts and ideas.

One of them, Timothy Strange, explains that the students of Dr. William Smith’s Greek/Aegean class often arrive well ahead of the scheduled time.

“This is typical,” he says of the student gathering. “We have teachers all the time walking by going, ‘Why are there 15 students out here? What’s going on?’ We’re here just waiting to absorb him; we’re just listening for every word he says, just to catch it.”

So the question becomes, are the students drawn to the class … or are they drawn to the man who teaches it?

Turns out to be a bit of both.

”He has personal experiences; he has been to most of these places,” Strange says of Smith. “He has direct knowledge what he is teaching. You can see it, from the Lemon Forest in Greece to Yucatán; he breaks it down to where you really understand it.”

Inside Room122, with 35 minutes before the class begins, Smith stands at the white board with a marker in his hands, the room momentarily devoid of students, the board already half-full with notes.

His well-worn brown leather satchel sits open on the table next to the podium, with papers spilling out the top. A quick glance provides a sneak-peek at some of the artifacts that will help to shape the day’s class. Among them: a piece of alabaster from the ancient Greek palaces of Crete.

Smith is dressed in his signature blazer, studying his notes. He is tall and lanky with salt and pepper hair. His face resembles weathered leather, with well-earned character lines a prominent feature.

His students each pick up on a different characteristic.

Stephanie Hamel, a pre-nursing student, says, “He is Mr. Grandfather of knowledge. I can just imagine being his grandchild: ‘Grandpa, can we talk about …’ ‘First let me grab some popcorn.’ He would be the perfect grandpa.”

Student Aubrey Rodgers says, “He is the cowboy archaeologist/anthropologist. … You could tell right away, he is so tanned; he spends weeks and weeks out in the desert sun. … He has these experience lines – a sundried face; the old cowboy face that you don’t get from reading books.”

Student Dave Leaton says, “He is different from others teachers. What he teaches, he has lived. He has lived in most of those places, where most other anthropology instructors have not, and he has done these things and been there. ”

While the descriptions vary, the students are in overwhelming agreement that the instructor’s passion drives the man and bring them to his classes well ahead of the starting time.

The students call him Dr. Smith, often with a hint of reverence. And they are happy to sing his praises.

Leaton says, “Instead of just getting a degree in something and deciding that they want to teach it, Dr. Smith is different. He has the fire and passion to pass on his knowledge. And if you listen to him, you will learn things about people, other societies, and countries – about their past and the future – that you didn’t have any understanding of before.”

Rodgers says, “He kind of seems like almost a crazy old man because he is so passionate about his subject. Who else spends every summer wandering around old ruins?”

Muriel Michael, an anthropology student, says, “It’s clear, very clear, that Dr. Smith is passionate about his subjects. … He can relate ancient things to contemporary events or between cultures. He makes you realize that there is a much bigger picture. It makes me pause and look at things in more of an attempt to understand, rather just making assumptions about who people are.

“He kind of reminds me of Indiana Jones’ father.”

Smith says that his passion was ignited at an early age when he was introduced to a variety of cultures and different ethnicities.

“Early on I developed an obsession for old things and a respect of old things. And I developed a respect for ethnicities,” he says. “I grew up in a very multi-ethnic neighborhood: Mexicans, Greeks, Italians, and Japanese – those were my friends.

“And so I was exposed to different languages, different cultures, and different religions right away. And that was very instrumental. My parents’ lesson to me was to enjoy these differences in diversity – not to be threatened by it because they weren’t threatened by it.”

Smith’s father played a significant role in the future instructor’s early development.

“My dad’s respect for Native American things is probably what got me into it – coming eye to eye with a mummy who was thousands of years old,” he says.

“As a boy I went to the Los Angeles County Museum. I will never forget seeing my first mummy. I must have been 5 years old. I was on a school field trip … it was a school field trip,” and he adds this last line in a whisper, as if he’s returning to his time as a boy in California.

“I was so little. The mummy was in a glass case; I was eye level. I remember the rest of the class being taken away. I lingered alone with the mummy.

“I don’t know the identity of the mummy, but it was Egyptian. That Started it. And then I was made aware that I was part Native American through both of my parents, my dad especially.”

Fishing excursions to México also were a part of the mortar that paved the eventual path of Smith’s passion.

“I traveled to Mexico as a boy with my dad and uncles on fishing trips,” he says. “That changed me considerably. Part of the time I was on my own – all alone. Part of the time was driving all night, getting to these places to fish.

“I remember that as being very influential on me and how nice people were to me, out in the middle of nowhere.” Tiny little villages with “little stores and other things – I just never forgot that. That encouraged me to go back.

“Then later on, I started going back to México all the time, to Yucatan. And I started studying the Mayan language, the written language, the hieroglyphics. Written language is a big part of my thing.”

An early introduction into taboo culture also quickly became a part of Smith’s passion.

“I grew up on a cock-fighting ranch in eastern Oklahoma in the 1950s … spending my summers there until I was 13.”

He often hung around his father’s older brother, who was the brains behind the cock-fighting operation. And he can talk for hours about his experience with the birds.

“I fell in love with those chickens; I only have good memories of that. It really was a cultural thing,” he says.

“The preparation of those birds, the athletic training, and the nutrition: The people were much more careful about the chicken’s nutrition than they were about human nutrition. They had a conditioning parlor where they exercise: whole rooms, even a whole house, just for the chickens. … The chickens looked so macho. “

The interesting thing about Smith is that he can make the connection from fighting cocks to the ancient Greeks in the squeak of a marker on a white board.

“Even in my childhood experiences I see a lot of analogies,” he says. “The Greeks were into the fighting chickens … and giving gifts of roosters and even hens. And there are other places where chickens are important.”

The cobblestones of Smith’s pathways were laid during his days of traveling the globe.

“I bicycled all over Europe – lived in Greece, England – and México’s Yucatán. I traveled extensively in those places. I lived in the Southwest, where I went to the University of Arizona. I lived in Hawaii, in a Filipino village near Pauwela on Maui for months,” he says.

“I lived in Europe for three years. I lived on Crete. … Living in Europe really affected me. Mostly Greece, but I traveled all over Europe. But I stayed in Greece, on Crete and the islands.

“The Greeks had a tremendous effect on me in terms of academics and a respect for the past. The Greeks were totally aware of their own venerability, their worthiness. They were aware that everybody else in the world, especially the Europeans, was aware of that [history]. And it affected them, no matter how poor or rich they were.

“Even a poor fisherman knows that he is a Greek and knows about his past, and so he walked with pride.”

Smith says that his time in the Yucatán living with the Mayans drew parallel lines for him to Greece and fed his passion on all levels: the archaeologist, the cultural anthropologist, the linguistic anthropologist.

“I was learning about Mayan nomenclature about bees. At that time I had been a Greek scholar and had seen some similar words,” he says.

But he developed Malaria, and that brought another revelation. With the malaria came fever, weight loss, nausea. Smith says that he’s still slightly affected by it today.

“The Mayans rejected the idea of Malaria. They say [it happened] because I was messing with the bees. They said, ‘You and that beekeeper did not apologize to the bees for the ones you killed when you were taking honey.’ We were supposed to apologize and go through a whole ritual, and we did not do it enough.

“That is why they also said I got sick, because I was a … foreigner. I was white; I was not Mayan.”

Smith’s command of languages is impressive. He has expertise in ancient and modern Greek, Spanish, Maya Yuchatek, and Cholan.

“I probably have a 500-word vocabulary of Sanskrit and vocabularies in many endo-European languages. And Hawaiian: I probably have a 400-word vocabulary. I don’t claim to speak it. Spanish was my first language. Greek is my favorite.”

Smith always seems to return to his core beliefs with enthusiasm.

“My goal in terms of applied archaeology/anthropology is to reveal the glorious past of every culture and to cause respect to come to that, no matter how humble the culture,” he says.

“For instance: Hawaii the Heiau, the old temples – they are just piles of lava rock. Some people would say that we need to build a hotel here, so let’s just bulldoze that. Oh no; that needs to be protected.

“Every culture deserves to have its history and pre-history protected: people, architecture, sacred sites, places, all this.”

Despite all of his travels, all of his expertise, his focus now remains on Mexico.

“My emphasis around here is México, revealing the glorious past of México, which many people do not realize,” he says.

Class is minutes away now, and the students begin to file in and take their seats, anxious to absorb Smith’s passion and discover the jewels of the past that he will reveal to them on this day.

Smith’s exuberance and passion for the past, cultures, and people enthralls his students, which in turn continues to draw them back.

Leaton said, “He is driven by love: love of mankind, thirst of knowledge, love of what he does. He literally loves learning and teaching the cultural aspects of anthropology from the beginning to the end.”

Strange said, “People retake his class, even after passing, paying just to be around him. He is so enthusiastic, knowledgeable, passionate, caring, direct, and professional. He is quite a person, quite a teacher.

“At times it’s almost as if you have to hold up a sign saying, TIME. He is so passionate, wanting to give you your exact minute’s worth. You basically have to stop him.”

In: March 13, 2013 | | #

Chemeketa wins its first NWACC title since 1998

By Matt Rawlings

The Chemeketa men’s basketball team had a great deal to overcome.

The team had lost its final two home games of the season.

Its starting point guard, Rodney Nelson, went down with an ankle injury.

Teammate and friend-to-all Malcolm Mattox collapsed during practice and had to be hospitalized, his season over.

The Storm also faced a 21-point deficit in its semifinal game against Big Bend on the way to the championship.

But in the end, Chemeketa still came out on top.

Sophomore post Trevor Phillips led the Storm with 21 points in the NWACC championship game, and sophomore guard Jordan Batey added 14 points as Chemeketa defeated the Edmonds Tritons, 84-79.

Sophomore guard Calvin Molan chipped in 13 points for the Storm in the title game.

“This team is not all about one guy. Everyone on our team is able to step up, make plays, and help us win,” coach David Abderhalden said afterward.

“I have so much love for this group of kids. And even though we struggled at times, I am so proud of how hard we fought and competed, and how mentally tough we were.”

That mental toughness came into play in their semifinal game.

After winning its first two games of the NWACC tournament, held this past week in Washington, the Storm was down by 21 points with seven minutes to go against Big Bend.

“It was a struggle for us for 33 minutes,” Abderhalden said, perhaps understating the depth of the hole that Chemeketa was in at the time.

But the Storm put on a full-court press that stifled Big Bend.

Chemeketa, which forced 21 turnovers during the course of the game, initiated a couple of key stops, hit a couple of threes, and went on a 27- 5 run to end up with a thrilling win.

Batey and sophomore wing Jacob Begin had key steals for the Storm, and sophomore wing Gavin Kauffman hit huge three-pointers down the stretch.

Defense was the key, however.

“The press really messed them up,” Kauffman said. “It was crazy … probably the funniest game I have ever played in.”

Begin hit the three that put the Storm on top by one point with 40 seconds to go, and Big Bend, facing a smothering defense, couldn’t get a basket in its final possession.

Chemeketa took the victory, 66-65, and moved into the final bracket.

But the Storm couldn’t celebrate for long because it was set to play Edmonds in the championship game 24 hours later.

The Storm had a slow start to the title contest; in fact, it didn’t score in the first four minutes of the first half.

But Phillips finally got Chemeketa going by scoring 9 of the team’s first 11 points, and effective defensive play gave the Storm a 1-point lead.

Edmonds, however, responded with an 8-0 run and was quickly back on top by 7 points.

But freshman guard Andrew Saba brought the Storm back with a three-pointer and, moments later, a reverse lay-up to cut the lead to 2 points midway through the first half.

A runner from Kauffman, a lay-up by Phillips, and threes by Batey and Molan then put the Storm on top.

Edmonds began to heat up from the field, however, and they surged back to tie the game as time was running down.

But another three by Molan and a put-back by Phillips gave the Storm a three-point advantage as the teams took a halftime break.

Momentum shifted once more as Edmonds came roaring out of the box with a 14-2 run to start the second half.

But Begin forced an offensive foul that changed the momentum of the game.

A mid-range jumper by Begin, a jump-hook from freshman post Brad Prazeau, and threes by Saba and sophomore guard Jonny Howard put the Storm back into the lead again.

The game went back and forth for several minutes as both teams traded buckets and struggled to get defensive stops.

Edmonds started to heat up from the three-point-line, but the Storm kept punching back.

Batey converts a three-point-play, and he did so again midway through the second half of a backcourt steal.

Then Begin connected on a short jumper and came up with a steal and a flashy pass to Batey for the lay-in.

The Storm still trailed by one with minutes left, but the players had another rally left in them.

Begin hit a three-point shot from the left corner; it was followed by a mid-range jumper by Kauffman.

Then a deep bank-in three-pointer from Molan as the shot clock was winding down put the Storm up by 6 at the two-minute mark.

But Edmonds wasn’t about to give up. A 7-0 run gave them the lead back with one minute to play.

Chemeketa called a timeout to set-up a play that worked to perfection. Howard was able to beat his man off the dribble and get the bucket with 40 seconds remaining.

The Storm then produced two stops in a row, and Batey hit four straight free throws down the stretch as Chemeketa clinched the title game.

“It was so awesome to win because of all the adversity we have overcome this season,” Molan said.

“Our goal at the start of the season was to win the NWACC title, and it was so great to play for each other and achieve that goal together.”

The Storm also had three players make the all-tournament team.

Molan was selected to the second team, Batey was named to the first team, and Phillips was named tournament MVP.

In: March 13, 2013 | | #

The Associated Students of Chemeketa: A primer

By Matt Rawlings

When Pablo Brito came to Chemeketa in 2010, he admittedly didn’t know anything about student government.

But thanks to Peter Starr, Chemeketa’s civic engagement coordinator, Brito is at least a little more knowledgeable in that department today.

Brito is a member of the Associated Students of Chemeketa, known in college shorthand as student government.

The group’s purpose, according to an ASC brochure, is to be “the voice of Chemeketa students by serving on the Chemeketa Board of Education, the Oregon Community College Student Association, the Presidential Advisory and Diversity Council, and other standing committees.”

Starr, who also serves as the adviser to the group, was initially responsible for bringing Brito into the ASC fold.

Brito says, “I was doing homework by the office when Peter approached me. We started talking, and then he asked me if I wanted a job as an ASC. I sat through an interview, filled out an application, and got the job.”

According to Starr, “Every spring we go through the hiring process to fill the positions we need. I want the best and brightest this school has to offer.”

Each member of the group has a specific job to perform. Starr assigned Brito to the role of student activities coordinator.

“I had no idea what I was getting myself into,” Brito says with a chuckle.

Brito is mainly in charge of student projects, such as forums and surveys, lobbying for students’ rights, the Book Exchange program, helping with student clubs, and coordinating the various student fairs each term.

He also is in charge of operating the Food Pantry, which provides help to students in need.

“The pantry consists of mostly food, but it is basically there to supply items that students are in need of,” Brito says. “We don’t want students’ lack of essential items to hinder their success in school. If they need help, we want to help them.”

Starr says, “Ninety percent of the pantry is food. We provide lots of canned and boxed food, and we have just started to supply dog food for people’s pets.

“Even though the pantry is mostly food, we do have things likes coat drives and school-supply drives through many donations. We also provide toiletries, like soap and toothpaste.”

Besides his individual responsibilities, Brito and the 10 other members of the ASC also are in charge of the student government operation around campus, which focuses on student forums and surveys, as well as lobbying efforts.

Starr says, “One of the things ASC members do a really good job of is voter registration. We were able to register a ton of students to vote this year. Our purpose was to educate students why voting is vital.

“I also thought our ASC members did a great job of informing people about candidates without misinforming or angling the information.”

Brito says, “We try to focus on local politics that are usually education-based. Our job is basically to fight for students here.”

The student government members tackle a variety of political issues during the course of a year.

For example, the college recently proposed a mandatory parking fee for all students, regardless of whether they owned a car or drove one to school. Even students who took online classes and never came to the Salem campus would have been affected.

But thanks to a petition and a vote by the members of the ASC, the proposal was not pursued.

“There was a general outcry of students who were very upset about this rule,” Starr says. “So the ASC and many other students worked together to show their dislike of this new proposal, and the administration pulled it back.

“I have never seen that before. It was a great moment of victory, the way that people found purpose and were aggressive in a civil way. I also have to credit to the administration for seeing the students’ side of the argument and coming to a logical conclusion.”

In that case, at least, “We were put in a position to lead,” ASC member Aaron Tagabuel says.

“When I started working here, I did not think I was very capable. But I learned that if we have a unified voice, people will listen to us. We held a lot more power than we thought.”

The right leadership skills seem to be a requirement for this line of work.

“Leadership skills are crucial, which really became evident in the parking fee process,” Starr says.

Brito says, “Leadership skills are key, and you can’t be afraid to take action if nobody else is going to make the right thing happen.”

Starr says that he looks for these key qualities when he brings on new ASC members.

“I look specifically for people around campus who are involved with community service and can handle their responsibilities,” he says.

And the members of the ASC seem to be a big fan of their boss.

“He is a no-nonsense kind of a guy, but he is a joker at the same time,” Tagabuel says.

Brito says, “He is a really good mentor, and he is one of the chillest guys you will ever meet. The other day we played hackie sack for 20 minutes with our boss. Who else does that with their superior?”

Look at the picture of the ASC members on the group’s brochure and you’ll see peopleof many different races and ethnicities.

“I absolutely love the diversity we have, and it’s completely unintentional,” Starr says. “It really is reflective of the college. We always find common ground, no matter race or religion.”

ASC students get federal work study credit for being a student government member. Students get compensated either through a tuition wavier or are paid an hourly rate.

Starr tries to get 13 students each term to be a part of the ASC if there are roles open. He says that student government provides good training for bigger roles, bigger jobs, and even a leg up in the next step in your education.

Brito is planning to attend Portland State University next year. Tagabuel is looking at Western Oregon.

Brito says, “I hope to get involved with student life at PSU because I have had such a good experience with ASC here.”

Because ASC members are concerned about lobbying for students, Brito and Tagabuel say they want to make sure that students’ voices are heard.

On Mondays, for example, the ASC runs a Pizza and Politics session where students are given a chance to speak up about the issues that are going on around campus, from fees and tuition policies to events and social concerns.

“We want to try to be as approachable as we possibly can to make students feel comfortable talking with us,” Brito says.

“We really encourage more students to come to the Pizza and Politics event to discuss their opinions. … And most people like the free pizza.”

The meetings usually begin at 12:30 p.m. on Mondays, once or twice a month.

ASC members, and the positive work that they perform around campus, have been noticed by Chemeketa students and staff members alike.

“ASC members are really dedicated to help out others, and they show great willingness to do community service,” Victor Velasco, the International Students ambassador, said. “But I believe that the best thing that they do is reach out to students that are in need.”

That is the main reason why the student government members do what they do.

“The beauty of serving on this staff ultimately is being concerned with students who are in need,” Cameron Crusical, the Community Service representative for the ASC, says.

Brito says, “Our co-workers and the people we meet are so cool, and I love that they have the same heart for helping people as I do.”

More information about the student government program at Chemeketa is available by contacting Starr at, or by phone at 503-365-4764.

In: March 06, 2013 | | #

Chemeketa Writes presented the writings and travels of William Sullivan

By Chantelle Gemmill

“Writing is like sex. First you do it for love, then for friends, and finally for money.”

The quote has been attributed to many different authors through the years. Everyone from Moliere, the French writer in the 1600s, to Virginia Woolf, an English writer during the early 1900s, has had their name associated with it.

It now can be attributed to another author as well; William “Bill” Sullivan used it as his opening line during his event on Feb. 7.

Sullivan, a local author of 17 books, was showcased this term by Chemeketa Writes, a program provided by the college English Department that encourages students to write and gives them the opportunity to meet and work with various published authors.

Thursday’s event was a chance to meet Sullivan and hear about the experiences that he has had during the course of his writing and traveling.

The son of a Statesman Journal editor, Sullivan grew up with writing in his life. But he also knew the stress that went into newspaper writing and journalism, and he did not want that kind of life.

“I wanted to go the creative and freelance route. So I got a creative writing degree from Cornel,” he said.

He was not naïve, however. Sullivan said that writing “does help to keep the day job. There are not a lot of opportunities out there, and freelance writing can be just as stressful as journalism.”

Choosing a sort of backup career, Sullivan decided to teach German to high school students. He and his wife were hired by the Sherwood School District, which is just south of Portland. He was a high school teacher, while his wife taught in the elementary school.

But just before the school year began, German was turned into sophomore English and Sullivan ended up being slightly miserable.

Sullivan’s wife, whom he credits as being a patient woman, made him a deal. They had just enough money in their savings for Sullivan to try freelance writing for seven years. And if he had not made any more by then from his writing, he would have to get a job, even if that meant working the checkout line at Kmart.

Two years in, Sullivan produced his first novel: a historical fiction, detailing the life and adventure of one of the Pacific Northwest’s most interesting Pony Express riders.

But no publisher wanted the book, which is something that is not all that uncommon: “An unknown book by an unknown author. No one wanted to take that on,” he said.

And so he was forced to start writing as a freelance journalist, providing occasional articles for various newspapers. It was not lucrative.

Sullivan said, “For every article you’ve published, you’ve written five more. And when you do get published, you only get about $50.”

About this time, Sullivan decided to take a hike across all of Oregon. He would start at the most western point on the coast and end at the most eastern point on the border of Oregon and Idaho.

Spending three months in the library doing research, Sullivan figured that the trip would cost $250. He contacted the newspaper in Eugene, and the editors agreed that they would sponsor the trip if Sullivan would write three articles while on his adventure.

The trip lasted about two months and totaled $1,000. Sullivan said that he experienced a variety of mini-adventures during the hike. He had his life threatened by pot growers, became deathly ill from poisonous mushrooms, and was forced to hike 40 miles a day to outrun October snow storms.

The articles that he produced were a success.

Toward the end of the seven-year deal that he made with his wife, Sullivan finally got a book deal for the entire story of his hike across Oregon.

Listening for Coyote details his journals and experiences in hiking across the state.

He said the advance that he received from the publisher was an astonishing $25,000; the book became one of the 100 most significant in the history of the state.

Ultimately, Sullivan was able to keep writing.

Sullivan became known mostly as “that hiker guy,” and so he continued to write books and articles on hiking and traveling through Oregon.
Sullivan and his wife next decided that they wanted to build a cabin in the woods on land that his father had purchased in the Oregon Coast Range. The land has no connecting road and can only be reached by a mile and a half hike.

The couple set out to build the cabin with hand tools and wood that was found on the property.

Part way into the project, they discovered why the land had been so inexpensive: The previous owner was murdered on the property, and ghost stories suggested that he still haunted the place.

Sullivan and his wife were determined to solve the murder mystery and sought out the seven surrounding families of the area, all of whom had a possible motive.

Sullivan subsequently wrote a memoir about the land and the 25 years that his family has enjoyed the property. Toward the end of the memoir, Cabin Fever: Notes From a Part-Time Pioneer, readers are surprised to learn that the mystery is solved, even if the names are changed.

A Chemeketa Success

The Chemeketa event was successful, according to the students and staff who were present. Students were able to purchase Sullivan’s books and got the chance to have them signed.

Seven students who were particularly interested in Sullivan and his nature writing attended a writing workshop Feb. 9.

Sullivan said that he “wanted to write fiction, but ended up writing mostly nature stuff because it sells well and can actually be a lot of fun.”

Sullivan began the workshop explaining that there are two types of non-fiction nature writing.

“There are travel narratives, which tend to have an overall plot. And then there are guide books, which you can still learn a lot of different skills that will help make your guidebooks more readable.”

For writing travel narratives, Sullivan pressed the need for a story arc.

“You must start out with a storm threatening,” he said. “Make sure your narrator is in want of something, and then throughout the narration there should be obstacles. But ultimately at the end the storm passes.”

With examples from his books, Sullivan shared how important it is to hook the reader while also describing everything with detail.

Sullivan also encouraged the use of similes and metaphors: “It’s true you can overdo these, but they can also be fun to do. It’s really important you make sure you use the right metaphor for what you are talking about, though.”

Sullivan also encouraged working people into the story, even if you don’t think that travel writing is about people. “People are huge. How can there be nature writing if not for people?”
He said.

According to Sullivan, there are a variety of ways to write and sell guidebooks.

Sullivan said, “People want to read these types of things, but there aren’t enough writers, especially in newspapers,” which are always on the lookout for monthly or weekly nature columnists.

For this type of writing, he said that it was especially important to research in advance. “You must become an expert in everything about your topic. Otherwise, your readers might feel cheated,” he said.

Sullivan said that the best form of research involved actually going to the places you write about, taking a journal to recording how things look, smell, sound.

“Just because something is accurate doesn’t mean it’s readable,” he said. “Details are what really make your writing sellable.”

Steven Wolfe, a geography instructor at Chemeketa, said he attended the workshop so he that could help make his writing “less academic and more interesting.”

Wolfe said, “I’d really like to write books on the geography of Oregon and maybe even a college text book on the subject, but I need to focus more on my writing to do that.”

He said he was confident about his knowledge of the state’s geography, but he does not often write with a descriptive tone.

“I don’t tend to paint an image verbally with my writing,” Wolfe said. “This workshop has been ultimately a good experience, even if it was a little intimidating at first. I enjoyed getting the feedback that I did in this setting. It definitely makes me want to do more.”

Bill McCoy, a Chemeketa student, said he attended because he has a “love for nature and a love of exploring nature, and I want to become better at describing my experiences to family and friends.”

Sullivan said he was glad to share his knowledge and passion with those present.

“I get to go hiking for a living. I really enjoy it,” he said.

Additional information about Chemeketa Writes readings or workshops is available by contacting English instructor Jan VanStravern at A new author and set of events is featured each term.

In: April 29, 2011 | | #

Respect found in Veteran’s Lounge

Veteran's Lounge

By Candace Hill

In the late summer of 2012, Chemeketa Veteran Services decided to create a special place for the many veterans who are students at the college.

The result is a new area called the Veteran’s Lounge.

The lounge is located in Bldg. 2-223. It is described as a place for veterans to connect with other service men and woman.

The lounge includes furniture such as a desk, couch, and loveseat, and a new coffee maker and microwave oven.

Future plans call for the additions of a computer and a mini-fridge.

Cindy Ramey, a second-year Chemeketa student, is one of the users of the lounge.

Ramey was in the military for nearly eight years, serving two tours in Iraq.

She said she only recently discovered the Veteran Lounge but liked the idea of using it.

“I love that we have a place to go to get away from the chaos of other students. Sometimes it is too much to be around so many people where it can get be really loud,” she said.

“I love that I can go into the lounge [and] do my homework in peace and quiet.”

Chemeketa was recognized recently for its commitment to veterans.

GI Jobs magazine recognized the college as a Military Friendly School. The award places Chemeketa in the top 15 percent of schools nationwide

Chemeketa was one of 11 Oregon community colleges that were recognized for this award.

The Veteran’s Lounge is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every Monday through Friday.

Lupe Reyna from the Chemeketa Veteran Services said that students who were looking for more information could contact the Veterans Department in person at Bldg. 2-200 at window 11, by phone at 503-399-5004, or by email at

In: February 13, 2013 | | #

Chemeketa Softball 2013 season preview

The Chemeketa Storm softball team is looking to bounce back from a disappointing season last year in which they had an overall record of 8-26 (4-16 against teams in south division).

The team will take the field with 11 freshman and 5 returning sophomores.

Key departures:

• Shortstop Gecy Bowman who led the Storm in batting average (.396), homeruns(8), and was second in runs batted in (21)

• Pitcher Kristina Meza who had the lowest earned run average in the team last season (4.67)

Key Additions:

• Freshman Infielder Kelsey Linn from Dallas high school. As a senior at Dallas Lynn had a .972 fielding percentage and 187 putouts. Lynn also hit .424 at the plate with a .511 slugging percentage and had eight doubles and 36 RBI.

• Freshman pitcher Emilie Leach who was a second team all-star selection as a senior at Sprague last year.

Key Players:

• Sophomore pitcher Carrie Bess who led all Chemeketa pitchers in wins and strikeouts while having an ERA of 6.24.

• Sophomore third basemen Danielle Upton who had 4 homeruns last year and an RBI of 21.

Marquee Matchups:

• Wed, Apr 10 vs. Southwestern Oregon the top team in the South division last season.

• Sat, Apr 13 vs. Clark. Storm split the season series with Clark 2-2 last season.

In: February 13, 2013 | | #

Financial aid process requires an early start and great care

By Andrew Wettlaufer

With all of the bureaucratic hoops that students have to jump through to get financial aid, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed – especially for first timers.

It wasn’t all that long ago that the lines on the first day of the winter term went right out the Financial Aid Office door and down a hallway.

The college reported that throughout 2011, nearly 27,000 applications were processed by the 10 staff members who work full time in the financial aid office.

This translates to 2,700 applications processed for each employee.

According to Kathy Campbell, the college’s dean of financial aid, said, “The U.S. Department of Education continues to try and shorten the application process.” Consequently, most students who apply online get immediate feedback on their application.

“With current economic conditions across the U.S., many more people have been unable to obtain employment, and the number of people returning to college for more training has increased the number of applications for colleges to process,” Campbell said.

According to Financial Aid Office statistics, the amount of applications that the college receives has been increasing annually in the double digits during the past five years.

Students often must make numerous fixes on their forms, and there’s a lot of back-and-forth that can slow the process down to a dull crawl, something that Campbell said she was looking to avoid.

Add the small troubles that can plague applicants into the mix, such as using old tax figures or forgetting to fill out a certain area, and it’s easy to see how the notorious beginning-of-the-term lines form.

Campbell said that the best way to prevent problems in advance “is to apply early each year.”

“Completing a FAFSA in January is the best way to ensure that (students) will have an award letter by the time they register,” she said.

Campbell said that once a student completes the FAFSA process – a form that’s prepared to see whether a student qualifies for financial aid – the information is sent to several federal databases for matching, including Social Security, Selective Service, Homeland Security, and the IRS.

“After this,” she said, “the data gets sent over to colleges, where it’s up to staff to collect and review any documentation needed from students that the federal government requires prior to awarding any financial aid.”

Andrew Bone, Chemeketa’s executive dean, said that students should be careful during the application process.

“Financial aid can help a student a great deal, but be careful with loans,” he said.

The reason is that they can add up quickly and take a long time to repay.

According to Campbell and Bone, a total of 10,091 Chemeketa students were awarded $78,348,866 in financial aid from all sources during 2011-12.

Of the $78 million, $43,849,037 was from student loans. The remaining money involved grants, scholarships, tuition waivers, and federal work study funds

Campbell said that students also can check My Chemeketa for scholarship information.

In: February 06, 2013 | | #

Flags help represent Chemeketa’s growing diversity

By Joshua Barber

The flags that hang from the roof of Bldg. 2 represent the nations of students from other countries who are attending Chemeketa.

Teter Kapan, who works in the International Students Center, said, “We are continually being able to represent a bigger more global community. We started off with just 30 flags in 1991, we then had to reconfigure because we recorded 30 more. Now, we are re-configuring them again because we have 90 to hang.”

Many of the international students who attend Chemeketa indicated that they were proud to have a reminder of their homeland on display at the college.

Eduardo Barone, an Italian student from Abruzzo, said, “This may sound stupid, but seeing the Italian flag every day as I walk to my first class in Bldg. 2 gives me a warm feeling. It says to me that I am truly welcome here.”

Barone is studying business communications and has been at Chemeketa since 2010.

Fumiko Akiko, a Japanese exchange student from the Gifu Prefecture, said, “It is not only nice to see my flag hung, but all the flags hung together. This represents unity among countries.”

Akiko is a mathematics major, with a minor in linguistics, and has been at Chemeketa since 2011.

John Morrison, a U.S. student from Salem, said, “It’s nice to see a bunch of other nation’s flags hung. It makes me feel like I’m going to a school that seriously values diversity.”

Morrison is majoring in Spanish and has been at Chemeketa since 2009.

About 22 percent of the world’s nations were represented at Chemeketa during the fall term. The total number of nations in the world today is 196.

While Chemeketa currently has 90 flags on display, it has about 110 in storage, waiting for a student to enroll from those nations.

In previous years, the flags were attached to the sides of the walls in Bldg. 2 that surround the upper level pathways overlooking the Food Court. They were moved to the ceiling during the fall term because there was not enough room to comfortably display the current number of flags, Kapan said.
The U.S. flag was hung on a separate column, away from the display and slightly lower than the flags that hung from the ceiling.

Not everyone was happy with the arrangement. College officials reported that they received complaints from students and staff who indicated that the American flag was not displayed prominently enough.

Andrew Bone, Chemeketa’s Executive Director, said, “There have been numerous complaints, some stating that Chemeketa does not value Americans. These conclusions are not true. It was an accident that the American flag was placed lower than the others.”

The original U.S. flag in the display was quickly removed until it could be replaced with one that was larger and hung higher.

The college also has to follow official American Flag Protocol for hanging the flag in a display with the flags from other nations:
“When flags of two or more nations are displayed, they are to be flown from separate staffs of the same height. The flags should be of approximately equal size. International usage forbids the display of the flag of one nation above that of another nation in time of peace.”

International students who have noticed that their nation’s flag is not represented are urged to contact Kapan at the International Students Center in Bldg. 2 in the International Students Center, which is down the hall from Public Safety.

In: February 06, 2013 | | #