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News Releases
Michael D. Reese Hangar
Michael D. Reese Hangar
PCC names aviation hangar after foundation benefactor (Photo) - 02/14/17

NORTHWEST PORTLAND, Ore. -- One man's love of flight will help others soar in their own academic pursuits.

The Portland Community College dedication of the Michael D. Reese Hangar on Saturday, Feb. 11 meant much more than a new name on a structure. Reese's widow Patricia and family wanted to honor his legacy and create opportunities for Aviation Maintenance Technology students. Their $270,000 donation to the PCC Foundation will create an endowment, which will fund two full-ride scholarships each year.

"It excites me that this philanthropic naming represents a first for PCC," said Foundation Board President Marion Levitan. "The naming of the East Hangar will serve as a powerful symbol of the impact private donations have on public education."

The naming affects the East Aviation Hangar in Building 6 at the college's Rock Creek Campus (17705 NW Springville Rd.). On hand were generations of the Reese family along with friends and representatives of the college's aviation programs. Among aging Beechcraft and Cessna aircraft, the Reese family talked about how Pat was excited to have the hangar bear her late husband's name and be able to create pathways to success for the students who train in it.

"She wants the money to go to where the need is," said her daughter Susan Chizum, a retired school teacher who spoke on her mother's behalf of the reasons why she made the donation. "She wants it to change the directions of students' lives, give them hope and opportunities through scholarships, and to honor our dad."

Michael Reese began his career with Standard Oil and opened his own service station in 1956. He expanded his businesses to include German Auto Parts, Gateway Body Shop, various real estate acquisitions, and Western Wrecker Sales, which he continued to operate until his passing in 2010.

In his spare time, Reese picked up the hobby of flying at an airpark in Sandy. Once he earned his pilot license and various ratings, he purchased a variety of aircraft like a Piper Tri-Pacer, two Super Cub seaplanes, a Twin Aztec, a Super Stinson on floats, A36 Bonanza, two Beechcraft Barons, a Bucher, a Widgeon, a King Air, a Cessna 172, and a helicopter.

The money from the donation is needed for the students studying and training inside the hangar. The total cost for the eight terms required to complete the Aviation Maintenance Technology program is about $16,000. The program is the only one of its kind in Portland and helps supply the region's aviation maintenance workforce, like at nearby Hillsboro Aero Academy. It operates in a modern, 26,000 square-foot, two-hangar complex with 15 aircraft used exclusively for instruction, including five helicopters.

Beaverton's Joe Adams is a PCC aviation maintenance student who recently earned his airframe and power plant certificate. Adams, who also has his pilot's license, hopes to use his new aviation maintenance skills to join humanitarian missions around the world.

His story illustrates why donations by benefactors like the Reese family are so important for students to succeed in college. Adams needed three different PCC Foundation scholarships to earn his certification from the program. The money helped him not only pay for classes but buy critical tools he needs to be an aviation mechanic. And, thanks to the scholarship money, Adams didn't need to work longer hours at his job to make ends meet.

"This program requires a substantial time commitment," said Adams. "It's a FAA hours-building program where we're required to be here in class five hours a day. If we miss one day in a four-week period we cannot pass the class. It's been a great thing to receive these scholarships because they take the pressure off financially and have allowed me to spend more time with my family."

Adams' speech put a big smile on College President Mark Mitsui's face.

"The pathway of opportunity runs right through Portland Community College," he told the crowd. "For generations, we've helped students achieve a better life and communities thrive."


About Portland Community College: PCC is the largest post-secondary institution in Oregon, serving more than 78,000 full- and part-time students. PCC has four comprehensive campuses, eight education centers or areas served, and 200 community locations in the Portland metropolitan area. The PCC district encompasses a 1,500-square-mile area in northwest Oregon and offers two-year degrees, one-year certificate programs, short-term training, alternative education, pre-college courses and life-long learning.

Visit PCC news on the web at http://news.pcc.edu/

PCC to host 'Day of Remembrance' to mark 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066 - 02/10/17

SOUTHEAST PORTLAND, Ore. -- The month of February is a time to celebrate love and the enduring human spirit. Yet on Feb. 19, 1942, the country reacted in opposition to these values: President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, an act born of fear that sent more 120,000 Japanese-Americans to internment camps during World War II.

Portland Community College acknowledges this painful moment in history and reaffirms its tenets of inclusion and opportunity for all. The college invites the community to an event that supports a vision where all people, regardless of origin, are able to equitably access and create a successful future.

DATE: Tuesday, Feb. 21.

TIME: 2-4 p.m.

LOCATION: Community Hall, Southeast Campus (2305 SE 82nd and Division). An exhibit will be held in the Great Hall, Mt. Tabor Building.

DETAILS: The afternoon offers an historical snapshot of the events in 1942 that led to this executive order. Of special note is a panel comprised of several community leaders who will address such topics as the rhetoric of hate that leads to fear of "the other"; environmental conditions that create this psychological mindset; and similar parallels to today's public discourse. Panelists include the following, with the session being moderated by John Farnum, Ph.D., PCC philosophy instructor:

* Peggy Nagae, Portland-based attorney who successfully argued for reparations to families affected by EO 9066.
* Wajdi Said, president and co-founder, Muslim Educational Trust.
* Harry Anastasiou, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Conflict Resolution program, Portland State University.
* John Shaw, Ph.D., history instructor, PCC.
* Lynn Fuchigami Longfellow, Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center.

Other community influencers confirmed to participate in the day include Mari Watanabe, executive director Partners in Diversity and program director, Leadership Portland, Portland Business Alliance; and Sho Dozono, local businessman and civic leader.

The event also features personal testimonials, stitching part of a senninbari -- an amulet or good luck piece that was common in the internment camps and conferred courage and immunity from injury, and a proclamation about a "preferred future" for the community at large. A reception immediately follows.

Finally, an historical display in partnership with the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center will grace the Southeast Campus Great Hall and include photos, texts and artifacts from that era. The exhibit will be on display through the week of Feb. 27.

The event is open to the public and free of charge. Parking is $2 for a two-hour permit.

For more information about "A Day of Remembrance," visit http://www.pcc.edu/about/events/eo9066/


About Portland Community College: PCC is the largest post-secondary institution in Oregon, serving more than 78,000 full- and part-time students. PCC has four comprehensive campuses, eight education centers or areas served, and 200 community locations in the Portland metropolitan area. The PCC district encompasses a 1,500-square-mile area in northwest Oregon and offers two-year degrees, one-year certificate programs, short-term training, alternative education, pre-college courses and life-long learning.

Visit PCC news on the web at http://news.pcc.edu/

Media Advisory:PCC to host hangar naming for foundation benefactor - 02/02/17

WHAT: Media are invited to the Portland Community College dedication of the Michael D. Reese Hangar. This event is not open to the public.

WHEN: 11 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 11.

WHERE: Campus East Aviation Hangar in Building 6, Portland Community College's Rock Creek Campus, 17705 NW Springville Road.

WHO: Michael D. Reese began his career with Standard Oil and opened his own service station in 1956. He expanded his businesses to include German Auto Parts, Gateway Body Shop, various real estate acquisitions, and Western Wrecker Sales, which he continued to operate until his passing in 2010. Reese was an avid flyer, purchasing many aircraft like a Piper Tri-Pacer, two Super Cub seaplanes, a Twin Aztec, a Super Stinson on floats, A36 Bonanza, two Beechcraft Barons, a Bucher, a Widgeon, a King Air, a Cessna 172, and a helicopter. He had numerous flight ratings, which included air transport, commercial, and multi-engine seaplanes. His flight activities were based at Sandy's McKinnon Airpark.

WHY: His widow Patricia Reese wanted to honor Michael's legacy and continue to celebrate his life by donating a significant gift to support scholarships for PCC's Aviation Maintenance Technology students. The pledge of $270,000 and Michael Reese's love of aviation led to the PCC Board of Directors renaming the east aviation hangar at Rock Creek in his honor.

PROGRAM: Speakers include PCC President Mark Mitsui, Patricia Reese and Rock Creek Campus President Sandra Fowler-Hill. Following remarks, college leaders will unveil a special sign dedicated to Michael D. Reese's legacy.


About Portland Community College: PCC is the largest post-secondary institution in Oregon, serving more than 78,000 full- and part-time students. PCC has four comprehensive campuses, eight education centers or areas served, and 200 community locations in the Portland metropolitan area. The PCC district encompasses a 1,500-square-mile area in northwest Oregon and offers two-year degrees, one-year certificate programs, short-term training, alternative education, pre-college courses and life-long learning.

Visit PCC news on the web at http://news.pcc.edu/

Girls take part in a recent workshop in game making at the Sylvania Campus
Girls take part in a recent workshop in game making at the Sylvania Campus
PCC gets $2 million to create mentor programs for women, minorities studying tech and manufacturing (Photo) - 01/24/17

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Thanks to two large federal grants, Portland Community College is doing its part to address the issue of increasing access to the sciences for underrepresented students.

This fall, the college has won nearly $2 million in grants from the National Science Foundation's Scholarships Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (S-STEM) program. The money will help PCC grow the educational opportunities for area low-income women and minority students in targeted programs. PCC was awarded $879,337 for its Mentoring in Manufacturing Technology Program (MeMT), and earned an additional $997,253 for the Realizing Engineering Technology Achievement (RETA) Project. Both five-year grants are focused on retention and success for these students, and help them pursue high-tech degrees and employment.

Having the same college get two of these grants from the NSF is a huge accomplishment.

"When it was announced, I was thrilled for our students," said Dorina Cornea-Hasegan, who will run the MeMT project and serve as the coordinator of the new Rock Creek Campus Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) Lab. "Not many of these proposals get funded across the nation, so PCC really won the lottery twice in 2016."

Grants Target Women, Minorities

The MeMT project at Rock Creek (17705 NW Springville Road) is targeting students interested in the Microelectronics Technology, Solar Voltaic Manufacturing Technology and Automated Manufacturing Technology programs. At the Sylvania Campus (12000 SW 49th Ave.), the RETA project will aid Electronic Engineering Technology, Civil and Mechanical Engineering Technology, and Machine Manufacturing Technology students.

Both campus projects will supply scholarships, provide intensive advising, use industry personnel and alumni as mentors, and create guided pathways to degrees in these fields. The result of these grants is to boost the number of qualified workers, and to improve the diversity of the workforce within these fields.

"We'll implement some best practices in these programs and share with faculty on ways to support women and students of color," said Tara Nelson, RETA project lead and chair of the Civil and Mechanical Engineering Technology Program at Sylvania. "There will be training for faculty, an improvement in our marketing material and web site, increased tutoring, and development of hands-on activities in the classroom."

Nelson's project, which started last September, is in the process of awarding a total of 104 one-year scholarships to students. An additional six one-year scholarships will go to graduates who enroll at Oregon Institute of Technology.

Looking to Increase Student Numbers

At Rock Creek, Cornea-Hasegan's project started in early December. The MeMT project will provide 80 one-year scholarships to students completing an associate degree in Microelectronics Technology, with an additional eight one-year scholarships going to graduates transferring to OIT.

Cornea-Hasegan said her program aims to increase the percentage of females enrolled in microelectronics from 18 to 25 percent over the next five years. Other benchmarks include increasing the percentage of minorities from 25 to 35 percent, retaining more than 90 percent of the scholars in the program to completion of the microelectronics degree, and ensuring employment for all of the graduates in the semiconductor industry.

In addition, Rock Creek's project will implement a successful mentoring model that is based on scholar, faculty, alumni and industry participation adapted from the University of Maryland- Baltimore County's Center for Women in Technology.

"That is the whole purpose of these grants - to encourage enrollment, and improve retention and graduation rates for these student populations in fields that are traditionally less attractive to women and minorities," said Cornea-Hasegan. "We'll concentrate on strategies that have proven successful across the country and we'll add to the knowledge base of what works here at PCC."


About Portland Community College: PCC is the largest post-secondary institution in Oregon, serving more than 78,000 full- and part-time students. PCC has four comprehensive campuses, eight education centers or areas served, and 200 community locations in the Portland metropolitan area. The PCC district encompasses a 1,500-square-mile area in northwest Oregon and offers two-year degrees, one-year certificate programs, short-term training, alternative education, pre-college courses and life-long learning.

Visit PCC news on the web at http://news.pcc.edu/

powwow7.jpg
powwow7.jpg
Important dollars raised at annual powwow (Photo) - 01/23/17

SOUTHWEST PORTLAND, Ore. -- There was more to the 18th annual "Wacipi" ("They Dance") Traditional Powwow than drumming and dancing last Saturday, Jan. 21, at Portland Community Colleges's Sylvania Campus (12000 SW 49th Ave.). This year, organizers of one of Portland's largest powwow gatherings raised almost $4,000 for Native-American scholarships and student success at the college.

Each year, it attracts people from all over the region who celebrate Native American culture and tradition through a free community dinner, regional dancers and drum groups, and local Native vendors. The money raised from the powwow benefits PCC's Native American Scholarship Fund.

"This is an important ceremonial gathering that acknowledges and celebrates the diversity of the Portland area and in particular Native American culture," said PCC President Mark Mitsui. "Our powwow focuses on Native American youth and student success, which sets our powwow apart."

Honored guests included master of ceremonies Bob Tom (Confederated Tribes of Siletz and Grand Ronde), whip man Ed Goodell (Confederated Tribes of Siletz), co-host drums Bad Soul and Shute Number 8, and head dancers Dietz and Rose Peters.


About Portland Community College: PCC is the largest post-secondary institution in Oregon, serving more than 78,000 full- and part-time students. PCC has four comprehensive campuses, eight education centers or areas served, and 200 community locations in the Portland metropolitan area. The PCC district encompasses a 1,500-square-mile area in northwest Oregon and offers two-year degrees, one-year certificate programs, short-term training, alternative education, pre-college courses and life-long learning.

Visit PCC news on the web at http://news.pcc.edu/