chemeketa students

Category Archives: Students

Meet alumna Fabiola Regla Ramos

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

When you think of reasons that might prohibit one from reaching their educational potential, what comes to mind? Do language barriers, domestic violence, family obligations or homelessness make your list?

For Fabiola Regla Ramos, it wasn’t one but all of these setbacks that slowed her progress—but she refused to let them break her spirit. Now Fabiola is a role model for those experiencing similar obstacles and, perhaps more importantly, for her son and daughter.

Born and raised in Comala, Colima Mexico, Fabiola was brought to the U.S. against her wishes at the age of 14. Though she spoke no English, she was placed into mainstream classes due to a lack of school resources. It wasn’t long before she failed her classes, dropped out of high school and ran away to elope with her boyfriend.

But life didn’t turn out how she had hoped. “I suffered domestic violence for many years,” Fabiola recalls. “First at the hands of my own father, then in foster care and finally at the hands of my husband.” When her ex-husband turned his physical abuse to her son, Fabiola gained the courage to leave and take a chance at a better life for her children and herself.

For nine months, Fabiola and her kids were homeless, living in a shelter while her divorce was finalized. She took this time to find a job and a place to live, finding work as a waitress. While she enjoyed the job, she quickly discovered it couldn’t support the needs of her family.

“I started thinking of ways in which I could improve my opportunities,” says Fabiola. “I wanted something more, but I wasn’t sure what exactly. I only knew I wanted a job that had a purpose. My drive was to create a better future for my kids.”

Her local Worksource office changed her life, helping her build a resume and connecting her with a program that paid for her GED classes and a CNA certification at Chemeketa. She took the leap and returned to school 10 years after she had dropped out.

“When I started taking GED classes I had the choice of taking them in Spanish, but I wanted to challenge myself and took the classes and the exams in English,”says Fabiola. “I knew that learning how to write and read in English was essential in order to provide my kids with a better future.”

It took nine months for Fabiola to obtain her GED and CNA through Chemeketa. She credits the support of counselors, staff, tutors and teachers for helping her change her life.

“I had a wonderful experience and felt like I was a part of something big for the first time,” Fabiola recalls. “I had tasted knowledge and I was hungry for more.”

She went on to earn her associate degree and is now enrolled at Western Oregon University planning to earn her bachelor’s degree in psychology in the spring of 2016.

“I was once an adolescent who felt out of place and had no hope or dreams for the future,” Fabiola recalls. “Now I have become a better parent and I have a job that serves a purpose, a job that allows me to help people in a position I once was.”

Fabiola works as a teacher assistant for the Spanish GED for Chemeketa’s Dallas center and volunteers as an advocate for equality and human rights at Voz Hispana and she was selected as a guest speaker for Oregon’s 2015 GED Summit. Her five-year plan includes getting a master’s degree in Social work, buying a home and starting a savings account for her kids’ college education.

“I am thankful and proud of the opportunities I seized and I look forward many more to come,” she says. “I will never forget that all it took was to take a chance, a chance to go back to school to obtain a GED. Knowledge set me free—and there’s no stopping me now.”

Events planned for National Campus Sustainability Month

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Chemeketa sustainability

While the leaves may be brilliant shades of orange, there’s lots of reasons to be green this October as staff and students collaborate with community organizations to celebrate National Campus Sustainability Month.


Upcycle Drag Show
Wednesday, October 21, 12-2 pm
Building 6, Auditorium

Chemeketa’s Facilities department, Sustainability and Triangle Clubs and ASC team up to host the Upcycle Drag Show. Dresses made from upcycled materials by art students and local artists will be on the catwalk. Come for the fashion, stay for the pizza and cake.

Repair Fair and Share
Wednesday, October 21, 5-7 pm
Building 2, Student Center

Chemeketa will host local repair gurus during the Repair Fair and Share. Bring in your bike, small appliance, instrument or fabric item to learn how to troubleshoot basic repairs.

Click here for the event flyer.

Make a Difference Day
Thursday, October 22

Chemeketa students will hit the parking lots to paint storm drains with “No Dumping, Drains to River” stencils, which promote watershed health.

College and career fair Oct. 26

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Student at college and career fairSalem area students and their families are invited to attend the annual college and career fair held at Chemeketa Community College on Monday, October 26. This event is presented by The Inspire Foundation.

To be held from 6 -8 pm in Building 7 on the Salem campus, the college and career fair is a free event with free parking.

This event, which has taken place for more than 25 years, welcomed more than 2,000 visitors in 2015. Chemeketa and more than 80 other colleges and industries will be on display to showcase their offerings to students and their families.

Workshops on applying for college, searching for scholarships and applying for financial aid will be offered. The Inspire Foundation, Salem-Keizer Public Schools and Chemeketa will offer door prizes for elementary, middle and high school students. Currently enrolled Salem-Keizer high school seniors will have a chance to win one of several scholarships toward college tuition.

To learn more about the event, contact Kathy Moore of The Inspire Foundation, at or 503.581.1466 ext. 316.

Chemeketa hosts vigils supporting UCC on Oct.7

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Vigil for Umpqua Community CollegeCommunity colleges statewide are holding vigils in support of Umpqua Community College students, faculty and staff on Wednesday, October 7 starting at 5 pm.

Chemeketa will gather at 5 pm at each location below. The program will start at 5:05 and end at approximately 5:30 pm.

The ceremonies will include lighting of candles, reading the names of those who perished and a moment of silence. There will also be time for individuals to write cards and sentiments to be sent to Umpqua.

Vigil locations (All vigils start at 5:05 and end at approximately 5:30 pm)

  • Salem: Native American Healing Garden (between Buildings 8 and 9–watch for signs)
  • Brooks: Outside Building 1 by flagpole
  • Dallas: Outside front entrance, under the overhang
  • Woodburn: Grassy area off of the Commons/Dining Room
  • Yahmill: Outside

This program is intended for the Chemeketa community of students, faculty, staff, board members and supporters; all are welcome to join in honoring and supporting Umpqua.

President Julie Huckestein says, “I realize that this may be a difficult time for all of us as we continue to hear stories of the victims, their loved ones and the Roseburg community. It is unsettling and sad. Please seek out support through our advising and counseling department or through human resources. Please continue to be in support of each other. That is how we are at Chemeketa.”


New Student Preview is Sept. 25

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

New Student Preview September 26Students new to Chemeketa Community College, along with family members, are invited to attend New Student Preview  Sept. 25 on the Salem campus.

The day will begin at 9 a.m. in the Building 6 auditorium, with check-in and a presentation designed to give new students tips for being successful in the transition to higher education.

The remainder of the morning will offer a number of different student success workshops, focusing on topics such as studying abroad opportunities, finding jobs, library and tutoring services, college life and beyond.

Following lunch, students will have the ability to purchase textbooks, get their student ID, check out student clubs and more.

For more information on the New Student Preview, call Advising & Counseling Services at 503.399.5120 or email

Changes to Chemeketa Wi-Fi network

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Changes coming to Chemeketa Wi-FiTo provide better service to wireless users, Chemeketa’s Information Technology will be turning on user authentication for the college’s Wi-Fi network during the weekend of Aug. 21-23. After this change, students and employees will be required to log in through a webpage with their My Chemeketa username and password to use college Wi-Fi.

To connect to Chemeketa’s Wi-Fi network after the change:

  1. Connect to the Wi-Fi network of your choice (CCCEmployee for employees, and CCCStudent for students)
  2. Enter the Wi-Fi network passphrase
  3. You should get redirected to a login page
  4. Use your My Chemeketa username and password
 to log in
  5. You are connected

Note: Most devices will either redirect you automatically to the login page, or alert you that additional actions are necessary to connect to the Internet. If this does not happen, browse to a non-secure site and you should be redirected to the login page.

Should you have any issues getting connected, please contact the IT Help Desk at 503.399.7899.

Engineering student awarded Ford Family Scholarship

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

From groundskeeper to Ford Scholar, Jesse Ulibarri’s college experience has been one of tremendous growth – and he’s not stopping anytime soon.

A homeschooled student raised in Silverton, Jesse felt well-prepared academically and developed a deep interest in math and science. Despite his love of learning, the idea of attending a large public college was intimating and Jesse wasn’t sure he was ready.

It took two years working at water system company and as a landscaper to realize he didn’t want to be a laborer or serviceman all his life.

“I like working with my hands but I was bored. I wanted to put my math and science skills to work,” Jesse recalls. “I heard Chemeketa’s Engineering program would give me a good head start at a degree and career in the field.”

Jesse credits Chemeketa for not only surpassing his expectations but for providing experiences that prepared him for the next chapter of his educational journey – transferring to Oregon State University’s College of Engineering with a Ford Family Scholarship.

Jesse is one of 120 students selected to be a Ford Family Scholar, an honor that will pay for 90% of the cost to attend OSU. “I was really excited to hear I was a recipient. It’s quite a bit of stress release. I won’t have to work as much which means I’ll have more time to dedicate to school,” says Jesse.

He firmly believes his scholarship writing class and his job as a Chemeketa tutor set him apart from the thousands of other applicants. “Tutoring for over two years helped show the Ford Family Foundation that I enjoy working with people and that my values line up with theirs.”

Jesse will enjoy the camaraderie of other Chemeketa engineering students who’ll transfer alongside him this fall, a group he’s grown to consider his extended family. He plans to continue tutoring math, science and engineering privately, believing that the best way to learn something is to teach it.

When asked what he’d tell someone in his former position, who felt stuck or unsure of their next steps, Jesse offers encouraging words.  “Aim high,” he urges, “Pick something you’re decently good at, come up with a plan. If it’s too much it’s not the end of the world.  You just have to start.”


Design collaborations benefit nonprofits and students

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

While the classroom is a prime place to learn the tools of a trade, it’s the hands-on projects that give our Visual Communications students important hands-on experience working with clients, meeting deadlines and budgeting.

Each year, Chemeketa’s Visual Communications students work with local nonprofits to produce materials. Some of this year’s clients included–

  • Marion-Polk Food Share
  • McMinnville Short Film Festival
  • Open Food Source software
  • Salem Audubon Society logo
  • 4Him2Day Children’s Cancer Research Foundation
  • Chemeketa Community College programs including Chemeketa Press, Chemeketa Reads, Chemeketa Writes, Soapbox Poetry, Sustainability and developing a school mascot.

The newly renovated Visual Communcations studio space helps propel the student/client experience to another level. Private meeting and presentation rooms and modern facilities encourage collaboration while Mac labs, personal lockers and larger work spaces helps students excel at their craft.

“I really like the functional photo lab,” says Rowan Wright who graduates this year with his AAS in Graphic Design. “The facilities are less crowded and more accessible, allowing students to work independently.”

Originally from Victoria, British Columbia, Rowan plans to freelance in Salem and Portland while searching for a job in a medium-size firm. He credits the Visual Communications program for re-igniting his interest in the profession.

“I encourage anyone considering graphic design to go for it and give it your all. I didn’t think it was an accessible career, but this program trains you to get up to par,” Rowan says as he pauses to greet an admirer of his portfolio. “Now I feel ready.”

Visual Communications Portfolio Show June 4

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

All are welcome to join us for the Visual Communications Portfolio Show – an opportunity to view the culmination of projects created by talented emerging artists and designers graduating from Chemeketa’s Visual Communications program.

The Portfolio Show will be held Thursday, June 4 from 4 to 7 pm in Building 4, Room 2225. Free parking will be available during the event; guests can follow signs to park in the purple and yellow lots.

For more information call 503.399.5070.


2015 Graduation set for June 16

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Chemeketa’s 58th annual graduation ceremony will be held at 6 pm, Tuesday, June 16 at the Oregon State Fairgrounds Pavilion (2330 17th Street NE, Salem). Free parking is available in the lot off Sunnyview Road near 17th Street NE. Tickets are required.

Nearly 800 students of post-secondary degree and certificate programs, Winema High School and high school equivalency and general equivalency programs will be awarded diplomas.

More information on the 2015 graduation can be found here or by calling 503.399.6588.