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Category Archives: Community

Renee Couture featured in gallery March 31-May 5

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Renee Couture in art gallery

“When They Fall, They Always Make Noise”, a exhibit featuring the works of southern Oregon artist Renee Couture, will be on display at Chemeketa Community College’s Gretchen Schuette Art Gallery from March 31 to May 5.

An artist’s reception will be held on April 8 from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., with an artist’s talk at 1:30 p.m.

Couture, who is a fine arts instructor at Umpqua Communtiy College in Roseburg, mixes sculpture, photography and installation in her pieces, examining the interconnectivity of capitalism, environment and one’s community.

“Using my own rural community as a starting point, I articulate the complexity and range of the public with their nearby landscape,” Couture said in her artist’s statement.

Couture received her bachelor’s from Buena Vista University in Iowa and her master’s from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Before moving to Oregon, she spent four years working throughout North and South America in various jobs including a camp counselor, wildland firefighter and artisan goat cheese maker. She uses a converted 20-foot travel trailer in her garden as a studio.

The gallery is located in Building 3 on the Salem campus and is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday when classes are in session.

Contact the gallery at 503.399.2533 for more information.

“Practice What You Teach” features faculty art

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Practice What You Teach

The talent of Chemeketa’s art and visual communications faculty will be on display for the next month in the Gretchen Schuette Art Gallery on the Salem campus.

“Practice What You Teach: Chemeketa Faculty Art Show 2015” will be on display in the gallery starting February 18 through March 13.

An artist’s reception will be held at the gallery on the 18th from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.

The gallery, on the ground floor of Building 3, is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.


Chemeketa presidential search produces no finalists

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Chemeketa presidential search produces no finalistsThe Chemeketa Community College Board of Education voted in a special public meeting today to accept the recommendation of its Presidential Search Advisory Committee.  The recommendation of this committee was that none of the applicants for the position who had been interviewed by the committee move forward to a second round of interviews.  By accepting this recommendation, the board has ended the current search for a new president.

The board will discuss next steps during its regular February 18 board meeting.

“We had a strong pool of qualified candidates,” said Ed Dodson who chaired the search advisory committee. “It was the consensus of the committee that no one was a complete fit for our needs at this time.” Dodson also serves as chair of the Chemeketa Board of Education.

The search advisory committee screened twenty-one applications for the position. The advisory committee then interviewed five candidates from the applicant pool.

“The committee’s work reflected exactly the kind of collaboration that makes Chemeketa a great community resource and I am grateful for their willingness to assist the college.” said Dodson.

Members of Chemeketa’s Presidential Search Advisory Committee included representatives from the community, college board members, employees and students.

Committee member Christy Perry said she appreciated the opportunity to participate in the process.

“Our partnership with Chemeketa is really important, and I respect both the process and the determination that the right fit for Chemeketa was not evident in this pool of applicants.”

Accreditation committee visiting Chemeketa April 8-10

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Accreditation committee visiting ChemeketaThe Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities is conducting its year 7 evaluation of how Chemeketa Community College is fulfilling its mission. A committee representing the Commission will visit Chemeketa April 8-10, 2015 to gather evidence to evaluate whether Chemeketa’s accreditation should be renewed. The Commission’s most recent visit to Chemeketa was in 2012.

Members of the public are invited to send comments regarding Chemeketa’s qualifications for accreditation directly to the Commission by March 8, 2015 –

NW Commission on Colleges and Universities
8060 165th Avenue N.E., Suite 100
Redmond, WA 98052
425.558.4224 (Voice)
425.376.0596 (Fax)

Signed statements will be forwarded as received to the Commission, Chemeketa and its
evaluation committee. You may obtain instructions on the website under
Standards and Policies and then Operational Policies or you can call the commission at

Previous accreditation reports are published on our website.

Funds sought for childcare scholarship match

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Funds sought for childcare scholarshipsThe Chemeketa Community College Foundation is hard at work seeking to raise funds to get the most of a major fund-matching opportunity for scholarships benefitting students with children.

Local philanthropist Larry Tokarski of Mountain West Investments has generously offered to match $35,000 in new donations for childcare scholarships this calendar year.

“Helping our students pay for childcare is our biggest fundraising priority,” Chemeketa Foundation Executive Director Nancy Duncan said.

Some large donations have already come in. Jay Hansen of C. J. Hansen Heating and Air Conditioning is providing a $5,000 donation toward the match.

“We know how important it is to help students overcome barriers to getting a college education,” Hansen said.

With a $15,000 contribution from Bob and Nancy Emrick of McMinnville, the Chemeketa Foundation has raised $25,000 toward the match, leaving another $10,000 to go.

If you are interesting in helping the Foundation reach Tokarski’s matching offer, contact the Chemeketa Foundation before the year ends to discuss your contribution.

Want to learn more? View this brief video of Chemeketa students describing the importance of their Chemeketa Foundation scholarships.

Chemeketa presidential search committee announced

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Chemeketa presidential search committee announcedThe Chemeketa Board of Education has appointed 15 people to the committee that will screen applicants for the Chemeketa district president position.

Members of the Chemeketa Presidential Search Advisory Committee are –

  • Christy Perry, Superintendent, Salem-Keizer Public Schools
  • Alex Sanchez, Emeritus Professor, Oregon State University, Community College Leadership Program
  • Kevin Angulo, student
  • Maricruz Reyes, student
  • Elias Villegas, dean
  • Tim Rogers, associate chief operations officer
  • Yolanda Martinez, faculty
  • Patricia Antoine, faculty
  • Charles Sekafetz, faculty
  • Terry Rohse, instructional coordinator
  • Kathy Saunders, department assistant
  • Linda Kaufmann, student services specialist
  • Ron Pittman, Chemeketa Board of Education
  • Ed Dodson, Chemeketa Board of Education
  • Diane Watson, Chemeketa Board of Education

“We are so grateful for the interest and commitment of these committee members,” said Andrew Bone, Chemeketa interim vice president.

College-wide communications invited nominees, and senior executives also reached out to employee and student associations asking them to recommend candidates. The college executive team forwarded recommendations from that pool of candidates to the Board of Education.

The application period for the district president position is scheduled to close January 5, 2015, and the advisory committee will recommend finalists for further consideration to the Chemeketa Board of Education.


Chemeketa hosts “College Nights” Nov. 13

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

From 6 to 8 pm on Thursday, November 13, Chemeketa will host “College Nights,” a free informational event aimed at educating prospective college students on how to choose, apply and pay for college.

Organized by the Educational Credit Management Corporation, “College Nights” will be held in the Building 6 auditorium on Salem’s campus and will include free pizza and soda and a chance to win a $500 scholarship. Free parking will be available; guests can follow signs to park in the purple lot.

More information is available here.

Meet the interim president

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Julie HuckesteinChemeketa Interim President Julie Huckestein not only has extensive community college experience on her resume, she also knows firsthand the challenges many of her students face.

At the age of 18 Huckestein started taking classes towards a legal secretary degree at Linn-Benton Community College,

“I remember being anxious as I navigated financial aid and found my way to classes.”

Life interrupted her education and she never finished that program. Eventually she returned to school, and at the age of 37 she received her associate’s degree then went on to get a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in education policy and administration.

“My beginning at a community college gave me everything I needed to prepare for furthering my education.”

Huckestein started her community college career in the accounting office of her alma mater, Linn-Benton where she worked for 14 years before taking a post in 2001 as director of business services at Chemeketa. She was promoted to Assistant Chief Financial Officer in 2004 and became Vice President/CFO in 2010.

The Chemeketa Board of Education appointed Huckestein interim president this past July. She replaced Cheryl Roberts who took over the presidency of Shoreline Community College in Seattle.

Huckestein says this new role is a chance to put her personal motto into action –

“You must do those things you think you cannot do. You can’t grow if you only do the things that keep you comfortable.”

Huckestein has made a great impression in her new role. In the Chemeketa Faculty Association’s monthly report to the College Board of Education, association president Traci Hodgson wrote –

“She is communicating well… and her respect for faculty is evident in those communications.

With such strong leadership, faculty is looking forward to his academic year as one that will be productive and positive.”

Huckestein’s empathy and rapport come from at least two sources. One source is how she values being kind and careful with other people’s feelings. Another source comes from her life experience. She pointed out in her welcome message to students that the college is made up of many stories and everyone has his or her own to tell.

“My story has two beginnings, one where it ended before I achieved my educational goal and another where I succeeded.”

As she enters the next chapter of her story, Huckestein uses her life experience as ongoing inspiration; telling the Chemeketa Courier student newspaper,

“Every term there’s this general sense of excitement. And that’s what’s great about working at a community college: Every term you get to be with people who want to do something with their lives.”

Veterans Day event scheduled for Nov. 6

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Veterans Day 2014Giving respect and honor to all who have served in the military is the emphasis of a special Veterans Day observation event happening at Chemeketa Community College.

The event is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 6 from noon to 2 p.m.  in the Student Center of Building 2 at the Salem campus.

The program will include presentation of the colors by the All Nations Native American Color Guard and the singing of the National Anthem and the Native American Honor Song by Chemeketa students.

The keynote speaker will be Graciala Tiscareno-Sato, a retired United States Air Force captain who is now a STEM consultant to K-12 school districts and a speaker on environmental entrepreneurship, leadership, innovation and Latino educational issues. Tiscareno-Sato also published “Good Night Captain Mama”, the first bilingual childrens’ book about why women serve in the military, and was honored by the White House in March as a Woman Military Veteran Leader Champion of Change.

This event is co-sponsored by the Chemeketa’s Veterans’ Club, Veterans’ Services, Multicultural Student Services, Presidents Office and the Office of Diversity & Equity.

The college will be closed in observation of Veterans Day on Tuesday, Nov. 11.


Sarah Fagan featured in art gallery Nov. 5-Dec. 5

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Sarah Fagan exhibit in art galleryThe examination of everyday objects is the focus of the newest exhibit in the Gretchen Schuette Art Gallery at Chemeketa Community College.

“Surreal & Real: Recent Paintings by Sarah Fagan” will be shown in the gallery from Nov. 5 through Dec. 5. A reception with Fagan will be held from 12:30 to 2:30 Nov. 5, with an informal artist talk at 1:30.

Fagan is an artist based in Portland. Her paintings “celebrate the order and beauty inherent in manmade objects,” according to information from the gallery. The paintings are done in the tromp l’oeil style, meaning they are two-dimensional pieces that use realistic imagery to create the optical illusion of a three-dimensional piece.

“I present my subjects from an aerial perspective, sans environment,” Fagan wrote in her artist’s statement. “The resulting visual immediacy forces confrontation between object and viewer. Accordingly, I consider the sensual and visual, as well as cerebral, impacts the chosen objects may deliver.”

The Gretchen Schuette Art Gallery’s hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. You can reach the gallery at 503.399.2533.