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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’Brian, 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 accomplishes 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 habberdash. MacDonald quickly put it on and gave the audience ample opportunity to snap photos.

In addressing his well-wishers, MacDonald said he “learned more for the students than 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.”


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 library closed Dec. 13-Jan. 4 for system change

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Big changes are coming to the Chemeketa Community College Library.

Starting in early January, the library will be moving to a new search system. This is part of a major cooperative effort of the Orbis Cascade Alliance, a consortium of 37 academic libraries in Oregon, Washington and Idaho that includes Chemeketa.

Having a single shared system will radically change the way Chemeketa patrons search for books, movies, and more.

Two important things Chemeketa library patrons need to know are as follows-

First, your Chemeketa ID card will still be your college library card, but it will no longer work as public library card.  Please get a public library card as soon as possible if you would like to be able to access materials from the CCRLS public libraries.

Second, in order to finish the transition to the new system, the Chemeketa library will be closed from Dec. 13 to Jan. 4. The library will re-open on Monday, Jan. 5.

The library web site has additional information on the transition along with answering frequently asked questions for students, staff and community members.

Enroll today – winter term begins Jan. 5

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Winter term registration is open to all current starting December 2 and to new students December 9.

The winter class schedule is available online or search and register for classes in My Chemeketa. Classes begin Monday, January 5.

If you’re a new student, follow these steps before registering –

Other important things –

  • Textbooks are available at Chemeketa’s bookstore starting December 2
  • 2014-15 parking permits are available and are required at the Salem campus. Permits are available at My Chemeketa and the Public Safety window (Bldg. 2, Salem campus)
  • Review the financial aid deadlines for 2014-15

For more information or help getting started, call 503.399.5000.

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 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 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.


Chemeketa students Trick or Treat for Hunger

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Trick or treat for hunger 2014Aren’t Chemeketa students a little old to be going out trick-and-treating?

Not when those students were out trick-or-treating not for a personal candy stash, but to help their fellow students who don’t have enough food to eat.

Trick or Treat for Hunger is a regular event organized in Chemeketa’s Office of College Retention & Student Life.  Students go out on Hallowen night, in costume, and collect nonperishable food items for the college’s food pantry.

Last year, students collected a little over 300 food items, said Yesica Navarro, the office’s student success project coordinator.

Students collected 957 food items this year, more than three times the amount they collected on Halloween in 2013, said Yesica Navarro, the student success project coordinator in the Student Life office.

Navarro highlighted the increased participation of student groups this year. Those groups, and the areas they visited, were—

  • Multicultural Student Services (Keizer)
  • Associated Students of Chemeketa (Chemeketa area)
  • Student Retention Assistants (Bush Park area)
  • Storm men’s and women’s soccer (West Salem)
  • Phi Theta Kappa (South Salem)

PTK alone collected 414 items, Navarro said.

If you would like to donate money or food, or donate on an ongoing basis, contact Navarro at 503.399.5147.

Veterans honored at Chemeketa event

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Veterans Day 2014Graciela Tiscareno-Sato’s son saw her in her flight suit the night before a Veterans Day event at his preschool and began asking her what all the different patches meant.

After she went about explain what all the different patches meant, he headed off and left with the words “I love you, Captain Mama.” That interaction inspired Tiscareno-Sato to write, “Good Night, Captain Mama” , the first bilingual children’s book about women serving in the military.

Tiscareno-Sato was the keynote speaker at Chemeketa Community College’s Veterans Day event, held in the Student Center at the Salem campus on Nov. 6.

In her presentation, Tiscareno-Sato talked about her background as the child of Mexican immigrants and entering the Air Force, eventually reaching the rank of captain and flying a KC-135 refueling tanker, including being part of an all-female KC-135 crew while stationed in England.

Along with Tiscareno-Sato, the event featured the All-Nations Native American Color Guard presenting the flags of the United States, POW-MIA, and branches of the military.

Chemeketa student Anthony Dixon sung the national anthem, and student Gennifer Walker presented a traditional Native American honor song.

The event was sponsored by Multicultural Student Services, Veterans’ Services, Veterans’ Club, the President’s Office and the Office of Diversity & Equality.

In observation of Veterans Day, the college will be closed on Tuesday, November 11.