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Chemeketa mock trial team holding own with universities

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Chemeketa mock trial team“Chemeketa Community College goes up against the University of Washington.”

“Chemeketa Community College faces Oregon State University.”

“Chemeketa Community College will square off with the University of Oregon.”

A community college in any sort of competition with large, prominent universities of the Northwest is not common. But a group of Chemeketa students have been doing just that and have been holding their own against their university counterparts.

Meet the mock trial team of Chemeketa Community College.

“They’re the underdogs, and they know it,” said Maria Cruse, a political science instructor at Chemeketa and the team’s adviser.

Underdogs still have their days. At the Emerald City Open tournament in early December, Chemeketa received judging victories against teams from Oregon State University and the University of Washington and finished ahead of OSU and University Of Oregon teams in the final standings.

“It definitely puts us in a position where we feel we need to work that much harder to earn the respect of the judges and the other teams,” student Trey Dean of Keizer said. “When it comes down to competition, we hold our heads high and do our best and know we’re at the same level as our university competitors.”

The team showed off their skills to the Chemeketa community during a showcase in the Salem campus auditorium on Jan. 28, a warm-up for the spring national championship season. The team’s regional tournament is scheduled for Feb. 7 & 8 in Boise.

This is the second year of Chemeketa’s mock trial team, birthed out of Cruse’s background as an attorney and what she saw as a need for students taking her courses.

“My idea behind it was I saw students that were exceptionally bright and wanting some kind of extra activity to challenge themselves outside of class,” Cruse said.

In the case of many of those students, including team captain Jesse Thompson of Silverton, participating in mock trial was a completely unplanned experience.

“When I came to school, I came to school because I had nothing to do,” Thompson said. “Then I go to my first class, political science, and Maria Cruse started to bring up these ideas of mock trial and things beyond just school and why you should be in school.”

Delia Rivera, who came to Chemeketa from Southern California, wound up on the team after she walked into the wrong classroom.

“So I just told myself, ‘you know what, let’s try it out one day and see how it goes’,” she said. “And I actually liked it, so I stuck around.”

Mock trial teams at the community college level are extremely rare. Cruse noted Chemeketa is the only community college with a team in the American Mock Trial Association’s local region, which includes northern California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Utah.

Part of the reason for that is simply a matter of the amount of time students are in school compared to universities. Cruse notes teams from four-year schools often have junior and senior students competing, putting Chemeketa at a regular experience disadvantage and having to learn the policy and procedure aspects of mock trial competition in a tighter time frame.

Thompson literally started from scratch last year.

“I remember not even knowing where to begin, like ‘what do I read first?’ None of it made any sense, “ Thompson said. “I hardly knew the difference between defense and prosecution.”

Dean of Social Sciences R. Taylor said another challenge the Chemeketa team faces is the time demands on the team outside of school.

“Many of them have to work, sometimes even more than one job, to support themselves and pay for school,” Taylor said.

Competition is rigorous, and begins in August, when the case students will be using in competitions for the year comes out. The case consists of over 130 pages of documentation and depositions that student will spend months pouring over.

The team spends hours developing theories to be able to prove each side of the case. That’s important, since competitions consist of multiple rounds of head-to-head competition against other schools where the students will take on the roles of both plaintiff and defendant, developing questions for examination, cross-examination and acting as witnesses.

“You have to know your affidavit,” Cruse said. “You have to be able to articulate your team’s position. You have to stay with your team’s theory.”

Thompson said the team meets as a whole or in smaller groups at least four times a week, for several hours at a time. Preparation close to a tournament can include all-day meetings.

“It’s a little more than a part-time job, sometimes,” Thompson said.

But after competition day, Cruse points out, there are important skills students take out of mock trial. These include public speaking and critical thinking. Students are also choosing to stay at Chemeketa to complete their associate’s degrees instead of transferring early to a university, she said.

Dean called mock trial “practice for life”.

“It’s definitely helped increased my active listening skills,” he said. “It also really highlighted my weaknesses as well. I’ve learned areas to put more focus on to become a more successful student.”

College administration have also been strong backers of the team. Taylor traveled up to Seattle to watch the team compete. Executive Dean David Hallett, who like Cruse comes from a law background, said during the showcase having Chemeketa compete in mock trial with the largest universities in the Northwest is a privilege and honor.

“I have deep love and respect for what our students are doing here,” Hallett said. “It means a lot to me personally.”

Personal meaning is seen in Thompson, as competing in mock trial has changed his educational path. He started at Chemeketa without a major and simply wanting to maintain the minimum grades to keep his financial aid, but now wants to either pursue a Ph.D in political science or attend law school.

“It changed every reason why I was in school, let alone where I was going,” he said. “It gave me direction.”

 


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 www.nwccu.org under
Standards and Policies and then Operational Policies or you can call the commission at
425.558.4224.

Previous accreditation reports are published on our website.


MLK celebrated at Chemeketa

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

MLK CelebrationChemeketa’s MLK Celebration on Jan. 29 was an event of music, history and challenges.

The music was courtesy of two local musicians. Rich McCloud is well known as a solo artist in the Salem music scene and provided several acoustic pieces. Chemeketa student Anthony Dixon also performed, doing an a cappella version of freedom song “O Freedom” and a rendition of Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are a-Changin’”. Student Jessica Sabrowski also read a poem.

The challenge was provided by Taylor Marrow, a history instructor at the college. Specifally, Marrow challenged of, after celebrating Dr. King, to get down to doing what he strove for in life.

“We as individuals should accept the challenge of being a leader,” Marrow said.

The event’s keynote speaker, Millie Harmon, provided the history.

Harmon, an Army veteran who was the first African-American to be hired at Chemeketa as a full-time instructor, talked about the many sacrifices women made during the civil rights movement and how many of them are not as well-known as their male counterparts. A point she demonstrated by asking people to name female civil rights leaders.

“By and large, people come up with Rosa Parks and they’re done,” Harmon said.

Harmon talked about more than ten different women who served valuable roles in the civil right movement, including Dorothy Height, Mamie Till, Daisy Lampkin and Mahalia Jackson.

“I submit there are lots of women who had they not been there doing their part, we wouldn’t be where we are today,” Harmon said.

The celebration was sponsored by Chemeketa’s Multicultural Student Services.

 


Nicole Hernandez featured in gallery through Feb. 13

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Nicole Hernandez featured in art galleryThe works of Chemeketa Community College’s artist-in-residence Nicole Hernandez are now being featured in the Gretchen Schuette Art Gallery on the Salem campus.

“Extensions” will be featured in the gallery through Feb. 13. An artist’s reception will be held from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 21 at the gallery, with a talk from Hernandez at 1:30 p.m.

Hernandez is a 2010 graduate of Chemeketa who went on to receive her Bachelor’s in Fine Arts with honors from Oregon State University.

The pieces of “Extensions” are drawn out of Hernandez’s interest in culture’s obsession with hair and its contribution to the female identity in society, she said in her artist’s statement.

“ ‘Extensions’ questions the feminine ideals that are imposed on girls and women, and those which we often inflict on ourselves,” Hernandez said.

The Gretchen Schuette Art Gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For additional information, contact the gallery at 503.399.2533.


Apply now for fall term 2015

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

It’s a new year and you’re on your way to enrolling as a college student. Not sure where to start? Now is the time to begin Chemeketa’s admission process if you plan to attend fall 2015.

 

 

Here’s how to get started-

January-

February-

March-

April-

May-

June-

  • Check your My Chemeketa account and submit any additional requirements for financial aid

July-

August-

  • Register for classes in My Chemeketa
  • Accept your financial aid award letter

September-

  • Attend new student preview day
  • Classes begin late September

Additional enrollment details are available online for transfer and international students.

For more information about admissions call 503.399.5006 or e-mail getstarted@chemeketa.edu.

 


Chemeketa instructor named Wine Person of the Year

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Al MacDonaldAl MacDonald is getting one heck of a retirement gift.

And that’s not referencing his new wine-colored hat.

MacDonald, who is retiring from Chemeketa Community College after 15 years of guiding the college’s viticulture program from its roots, has been named 2014’s Wine Person of the Year by Oregon Wine Press magazine.

A deserved award, as noted by the wine industry reception held at Chemeketa’s Northwest Wine Studies Center in Eola on December 15 to honor MacDonald both for the award and his retirement.

“I’m not sure I can think of anyone else who has had more influence on the practices in our vineyards than Al,” said Betty O’Brien, the chair of the college’s Wine Studies program advisory committee.

MacDonald was the first instructor hired by Chemeketa in 1999 to begin what was then called the Vineyard Management/Winemaking program. Back then, the program was based out of Building 50 on the Salem campus.

Over the last decade and a half, MacDonald has taught numerous students in the management of wine grapes who have gone on to take on roles in the booming Willamette Valley wine industry and beyond. He also saw the program move beyond Building 50 with the development of the Northwest Wine Studies Center, which now houses Chemeketa’s programs in vineyard management, winemaking and wine marketing.

Beyond the classroom, MacDonald is noted for his role as a founding member of the Low Input Viticulture and Enology (LIVE) program, which provides education and input on how to grow wine grapes and produce wine sustainably by reducing the amount of pesticides, fertilizers, chemicals and fuel used in production.

His accomplishments were credited along with his humor and personality, which came to the forefront of when Keebler showed him the gift of a new hat picked up from a Portland haberdashery. MacDonald quickly put it on and gave the audience ample opportunity to snap photos.

In addressing his well-wishers, MacDonald said he “learned more from the students than they ever learned from me” and also put his humor on display once more.

“I’ll still be around,” he said, “but I might not answer e-mail as quickly as I used to.”

 


Sculpture installed at Yamhill Valley campus

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Sculpture installed at Yamhill Valley campusIt’s an albatross, the bird you see in Devin Laurence Field’s sculpture “Inner Strength”.

Field picked the bird because of its ability to travel long distances, representing the idea of “having the strength to go on a journey by yourself”

Now the albatross of Inner Strength has a new landing place – the plaza of Chemeketa’s Yamhill Valley campus.

A crew from the City of McMinnville, members of the McMinnville Downtown Association’s Committee for Public Art, and Field himself worked on Nov. 25 to relocate the 18-foot galvanized steel sculpture from its previous location at the Oregon Mutual Insurance building in downtown McMinnville.

The sculpture is first piece of outdoor art on the campus that opened in 2011, said Holly Nelson, the campus’s dean, joining over 40 pieces of  regionally-created art that decorate the inside of the campus’s two buildings.

Having that first outdoor piece come from a sculptor as accomplished as Field, whose work is on display in places including the Seoul Art Center and the Beijing Olympic Park, is an added plus.

“It’s incredible to think it’s going to be here,” Nelson said, “and to have it from someone that renowned.”

The addition of the sculpture also puts the campus on a literal map – the Downtown Association’s Art Walk map, which provides visitors the locations of more than two dozen works of public art throughout McMinnville.

Nelson said that provides another way for the college to connect with the community of McMinnville and bring visitors to the campus.

Work on getting a sculpture to Chemeketa has been going on for over two years, said Steven Rupp of the Committee for Public Art. The city and the college are both contributing toward the costs of the display, which included installation of a concrete pad and an honorarium payment.

Inner Strength is a good fit both in its design and color matching the campus architecture and its inspirational theme, Rupp said.

“It conjures concepts of honor and integrity,” Rupp said. “And that’s what education is about.”

An event celebrating the sculpture’s addition is planned for the future, Nelson said.


Chemeketa hosts Indigenous People’s Day

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Indigenous People's Day 2014From Bolivia to Canada, the Dakotas to the Southwest to right here in Oregon, Chemeketa’s annual Indigenous People’s Day event, held in the Student Center on the Salem campus on Nov. 19

This annual event is a collaboration between the college and the Performing Arts Club of Chemawa Indian School. Located a couple miles north of campus, Chemawa  is the oldest continually-operating boarding school for Native American students, beginning in Forest Grove before relocating to Salem in 1885.

That students are continuing to practice the traditions and arts of their culture is a testament to the “resiliency of the human spirit,” said Warner Austin, the Chemawa club’s adviser.

“They said our ways would be dead,” Austin said. “Our music and dancing would be gone.”

And there was music and dancing, Chemawa students demonstrating the arts of their cultures, with students naming their tribe and Austin explaining the history of the dancing and music.

Along with the students, the musical group Chayag was on hand, sharing the folklore and music of the indigenous people of the Andes.


Susan Murray receives Crystal Apple

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Susan MurrayDr. Susan Murray’s significant contributions to the community were recognized in Woodburn this month with a Crystal Apple award. The Woodburn Chamber of Commerce hosted the event which was also sponsored by area businesses.

Murray was recognized for 33 years of service that include bold and inclusive initiatives to improve student achievement, timely graduation and increasing access for under-represented students during her tenure as a faculty member, director of high school programs and now as executive dean for academic progress and regional education services.

 


Sign up for closure alerts

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Chemeketa notifies students, staff and the community of closures or delayed openings in a variety of ways, including –