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News Releases
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Western Oregon University serves the community through mentorship (Photo) - 02/22/24

MONMOUTH, Ore. –  Since 1999, Western Oregon University’s Division of Behavioral Sciences has supported Talmadge Middle School students in Independence, Oregon to foster positive mentoring relationships. Juniors and seniors at Western interested in working with youth in the fields of education, social work, and/or counseling, have the opportunity to mentor middle school students and help them develop skills for academic success and emotional and social growth. 

Many middle school students who face socioeconomic, academic, behavioral, or familial challenges are recommended by their school counselor to participate in this program, and the positive outcomes for students in this program are astounding.

Since the program started 25 years ago, parents have unanimously reported that it has had a positive influence on their children. Children who participate in the program show consistent, measurable improvement across several areas, including school attendance, academic work, social skills, and self-esteem. They also become more interested in attending college. One parent observed “The mentor was great and worked with our crazy schedule and truly cared about my child. Well done.” 

Mentees in the program shared that participating in the program boosted their confidence because there was a steady supportive person to talk to, and noted interest in attending Western and giving back to the program by becoming a mentor. A student mentor shared that mentoring had profoundly impacted their life and helped them solidify their desire to pursue a career as a pediatric clinical psychologist.

Assistant Professor of Psychological Sciences and Program Coordinator Brooke Dolenc Knott Ph.D., noted that leading the WOU-Talmadge mentoring program has been the highlight of her time at Western, as it intertwines both transformative growth for students and benefits the local community. “This collaborative effort not only supports local middle school students’ families but also empowers WOU students to go beyond the classroom learning to apply psychological principles in helping their middle schoolers.” Dolenc Nott shares that it is a joy to watch the lasting positive impact that takes place each year for both WOU and middle school students in the program.

Hayley Atkinson, school counselor at Talmadge Middle School expresses her gratitude for the mentorship program which provides intentional and additional positive support and connection to many of the participating students.  She shares that “Middle school years can be difficult for kids to navigate under the best of circumstances, and the WOU mentor program allows us to provide an extra boost of support to some of our kids.” She adds that her favorite part of the program is getting to see the growth in self-confidence and engagement in both middle school students and their college mentors. “Anyone involved in the program cannot help but be positively influenced by it.” 

This program has been a regular applicant to and recipient of Competitive Grant Funding from the Western Oregon University Foundation. Specifically, the award supports social family events and small stipends for mentors to help motivate middle school students’ success and family involvement that strengthens the mentoring relationship.

 

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About Western Oregon University

Western Oregon University, established in Monmouth in 1856, proudly stands as Oregon's oldest public university. Hosting around 4,000 students, Western embodies a mid-sized, NCAA Division II institution, with approximately 80% of its students hailing from within the state. Notably, its diverse student body comprises individuals from underrepresented backgrounds, veterans, and non-traditional learners. Western stands as the preferred campus in Oregon for those pursuing an enriching education within a nurturing, student-focused environment, characterized by faculty-led instruction.  Together we succeed.

https://wou.edu/2024/02/22/western-oregon-university-serves-the-community-through-mentorship/

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Western Oregon University Professor to present on recent expedition to Antarctica - 02/19/24

University Marketing & Communications

Maureen Brakke 503-838-9329

Brittany Kima 503-838-8163

 

MONMOUTH, Ore. –  Western Oregon University Professor of Literature and Writing Henry Hughes, Ph.D., recently returned from an expedition to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia Islands, and the Antarctic Peninsula to experience, study, and report on wildlife, ocean conditions, ice, climate change, travel culture, and ecotourism.

An Oregon Book Award-Winning published author and poet, Hughes travels the globe searching for inspiration for new literary projects, always with a connection to water and fishing. Growing up on Long Island, NY, Hughes shares that fishing and boating are big themes in his writing. He adds that being out on the water fishing offers a time to think about life and culture. He also lived in Japan for three years and in China for two which helped create a more informed global consciousness, helping to guide him in the way he thinks.

Hughes has written and published many poems and stories with seafaring/maritime themes and draws his influence from notable writers such as Herman Melville, Ernest Hemingway, and Annie Prolux. Hughes actively contributes articles to outdoor journals such as Anglers Journal and The Flyfish Journal, among many others. He has also published his autobiography Back Seat with Fish and edited three collections for the Penguin Rand House Everyman’s Library.

Hughes also actively writes for and manages The Write Place, which is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating and supporting literary and artistic projects that examine human relationships with the natural environment. Hughes’ recent experience is logged on this website. One of his English students, Jasper Beck co-edits for The Write Place. Beck won the Peter Sears Poetry Prize last year at Western, which recognizes the best poem written by an undergraduate at Western.

On February 22 at 4 p.m., Hughes will share his experience on his recent Antarctic expedition and lead a discussion on ecotourism in the age of climate change. This event is free and open to the public at Western Oregon University in Room 101 in the Richard Woodcock Education Center (RWEC).

During the 18-day expedition, Hughes and The Write Place Board Member Eugene Jones conducted and participated in onboard seminars and workshops in history, literature, oceanography, glaciology, meteorology, and zoology. They reported on avian flu mortality in South Georgia, ice formations in the Southern Ocean, and humpback whale migration. They also took hundreds of photos and hours of video, filled notebooks, talked, listened, and conducted interviews with passengers and crew members. Read the complete travelogue on the Write Place website.

Hughes notes that one of their guides, Eloisa Berrier, an Argentine biologist had asked them how they felt about Antarctica, and how they felt about the world and themselves. He writes that the experience happened, but “responses to those questions are still evolving.”

Next to his passion for travel and writing, Hughes loves teaching writing and literature at Western and appreciates the small class sizes and the down-to-earth students. He shares that he enjoys watching his students find themselves and that he’s been part of their journeys. “I can see that writing and literature helped guide many students,” Hughes says.

Learn more about Henry Hughes and learn more about the English Studies Department at Western Oregon University.

 

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About Western Oregon University

Western Oregon University, established in Monmouth in 1856, proudly stands as Oregon's oldest public university. Hosting around 4,000 students, Western embodies a mid-sized, NCAA Division II institution, with approximately 80% of its students hailing from within the state. Notably, its diverse student body comprises individuals from underrepresented backgrounds, veterans, and non-traditional learners. Western stands as the preferred campus in Oregon for those pursuing an enriching education within a nurturing, student-focused environment, characterized by faculty-led instruction.  Together we succeed.

Western Oregon University alum and community leader makes a difference - 02/13/24

MONMOUTH, Ore. – Western Oregon University is proud to highlight the accomplishments of former Oregon State Representative and alum Teresa Alonso Leon ‘02. Alonso Leon received a bachelor’s degree in social science from Western and a Master of Public Administration from Portland State University, leading her to a career in public service.  

Leon’s educational journey started when she was young, as she was the oldest of five and had to quickly learn how to delegate responsibilities. As a first-generation student, Western provided the support she needed to develop critical skills to achieve her career goals. 

“When I talk to other first-gen students, I tell them that Western Oregon University is the place that you need to be. It’s a place where you’re going to be able to achieve your goals and help you find the career that you want.” shared Alonso Leon. 

Before starting her own consulting company, Alonso Leon served as a City Council Member for the City of Woodburn and as an Oregon State Representative from 2017 to 2023, which elevated her passion for serving her community. Today, she continues to advocate for higher education, leadership development, and healthcare equity.

Alonso Leon’s story is a testament to Western’s commitment to supporting students. Her dedication to serving her community and others is truly inspirational.  

 

Watch Teresa Alonso Leon share her story 

 

 

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Western Oregon University to be featured in award-winning Amazon Prime show - 02/12/24

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE / Feb. 12, 2024

 

Western Oregon University to be featured in award-winning Amazon Prime show

 

 

University Marketing & Communications

Maureen Brakke 503-838-9329

Brittany Kima 503-838-8163

 

 

MONMOUTH, Ore. – Western Oregon University is featured on The College Tour, an award-winning TV series from Amazon Prime. 

The series focuses on different colleges or universities in the United States in each episode and includes stories of multiple college students’ experiences. Host and Executive Producer of the series is Alex Boylan, who won the CBS series The Amazing Race and spent the last 20 years as an award-winning onscreen personality and producer.  

Filming for Western’s episode took place last September and students were encouraged to audition for the episode. Ten were selected to be featured in the episode, each with unique backgrounds and stories. The episode is compiled into one 30-minute video and is also divided into ten segments, one per student. Each student collaborated on their segment’s script. 

"I am excited that we now have the opportunity to share our unique story with a nationwide audience through this exceptional episode," expressed President Jesse Peters. "Western holds a special significance, particularly for first-generation and historically underrepresented students and those seeking a personalized education that equips them for success in life."

The featured students are Brenda Rocio Martinez, from Woodburn, Justin Conklin, from The Dalles, Hunter Hall, from Portland, Nancy Montecinos, from Sisters, Hannah Rispler, from Gresham, Max Smoot-Brown, from Camas Valley, Keisha Taylor, from Aberdeen, Washington, Aneli Godinez-Martinez, from Hillsboro, Layla William, from Beaverton, and David Echevarria, from Caldwell, Idaho.

Meet the featured students which is now available on Western’s The College Tour website, and will be available for streaming on Amazon Prime on May 28, 2024, in season 11.

 

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About Western Oregon University

Western Oregon University, established in Monmouth in 1856, proudly stands as Oregon's oldest public university. Hosting around 4,000 students, Western embodies a mid-sized, NCAA Division II institution, with approximately 80% of its students hailing from within the state. Notably, its diverse student body comprises individuals from underrepresented backgrounds, veterans, and non-traditional learners. Western stands as the preferred campus in Oregon for those pursuing an enriching education within a nurturing, student-focused environment, characterized by faculty-led instruction.  Together we succeed.


 

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Western Oregon University's Model United Nation hosts annual fundraiser (Photo) - 02/08/24

MONMOUTH, Ore. – Western Oregon University’s Model United Nations (MUN) club hosted its annual International Awareness Dinner last Tuesday.  The event featured keynote speaker Ricardo Pelegrin, Ph.D., professor of History, who recounted his experience emigrating from Cuba to the United States.

The International Awareness Dinner promotes cultural understanding and global awareness among students and the community. Pelegrin shared personal challenges and triumphs, shedding light on embracing diversity and fostering inclusivity in today's global society.

“The MUN club at Western is dedicated to promoting diplomacy, negotiation, and international cooperation. Through our various events and activities, we strive to educate and empower students to become global citizens and future leaders.” shared MUN President Makenna Helseth.

To learn more about Western’s Model United Nations club 

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About Western Oregon University

Western Oregon University, established in Monmouth in 1856, proudly stands as Oregon's oldest public university. Hosting around 4,000 students, Western embodies a mid-sized, NCAA Division II institution, with approximately 80% of its students hailing from within the state. Notably, its diverse student body comprises individuals from underrepresented backgrounds, veterans, and non-traditional learners. Western stands as the preferred campus in Oregon for those pursuing an enriching education within a nurturing, student-focused environment, characterized by faculty-led instruction. Together we succeed.

https://wou.edu/2024/02/08/western-oregon-universitys-model-united-nation-hosts-annual-fundraiser/

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Western Oregon University celebrates Annual Giving Day on March 5 (Photo) - 02/07/24

MONMOUTH, Ore. – Western Oregon University announces its annual Giving Day, Howl from the Heart, on March 5, 2024. Giving Day is a crowdfunding day that allows everyone to financially contribute to the projects they want to focus on.

Since its inception in 2016, the annual Giving Day at Western has raised nearly $1.4M in donations. Funds raised on Giving Day have been used to endow scholarships, support athletics, provide needed resources to student clubs and organizations, and much more. 

This year, members of the Western community will have the opportunity to support over 40 department projects, scholarships, athletic programs, and campus organizations on Giving Day. Each gift, no matter the amount, collectively makes an immediate and tremendous impact on the lives and education of students. 

“One of the great things about Giving Day is that it allows alumni, friends, and supporters of the university to learn about all the amazing resources and organizations on our campus and select which ones they want to support,” shares Dave Beasley, Ph.D., director of annual giving. “Each gift, regardless of its size, is important and is greatly appreciated by the students it helps. I love Giving Day because it’s a chance for us all to help fund the present and future we want for Western!” 

Gifts can be made online on March 5 at givingday.wou.edu, by calling the Foundation at 503-838-8814, or by dropping off your gift in The Cottage on Western’s campus.

For the first time on Giving Day, Western is adding a service component for students. Students will be volunteering their time at community service projects both on and off campus on Tuesday, March 5. More information will be forthcoming.

Join Western Oregon University on March 5, 2024, and be a part of Howl from the Heart. Make a difference and ensure that every student at Western has what they need to succeed.

Learn more about Giving Day and how to contribute. 

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About Western Oregon University Foundation

The Western Oregon University Foundation was founded in 1965 and is the fundraising arm of Western Oregon University. A nonprofit corporation, governed by a volunteer Board of Trustees with IRS 501(c)3 status, the WOU Foundation’s scholarship program includes more than 250 donor-funded scholarships. In addition, the foundation manages nearly 300 funds for academic and student programs. As of 2023, the WOU Foundation has approximately $26 million in assets and a permanent endowment of $22 million.

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Western Oregon University to host Health & Exercise Science career day (Photo) - 02/05/24

MONMOUTH, Ore. – Western Oregon University will be hosting its annual Health & Exercise Science Career Day on February 8. This event invites current and prospective students to explore the exciting opportunities in public health and exercise science.

Students will also learn how these careers can provide opportunities to make a difference in the community. 

Recruiters will be attending the event, representing a wide range of healthcare professions, including County Public Health departments, occupational therapy, physical health professionals, health educators, and local school districts. 

Program schedule:

Location: Werner University Center, Western Oregon University 

Check-in: 9 - 9:30 a.m.

Program sessions: 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Lunch: 12:30 - 1 p.m.

Admissions: 1 - 1:30 p.m.

Meet with recruiters: 1:30 - 2 p.m.

Tour the lab and meet with faculty: 2 - 3 p.m.

This is an incredible opportunity for current and prospective students to explore career opportunities in the public health and exercise science fields. 

To register for the Health & Exercise Science Career Day 

To learn more about Western’s Public Health and Exercise Science department 

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About Western Oregon University

Western Oregon University, established in Monmouth in 1856, proudly stands as Oregon's oldest public university. Hosting around 4,000 students, Western embodies a mid-sized, NCAA Division II institution, with approximately 80% of its students hailing from within the state. Notably, its diverse student body comprises individuals from underrepresented backgrounds, veterans, and non-traditional learners. Western stands as the preferred campus in Oregon for those pursuing an enriching education within a nurturing, student-focused environment, characterized by faculty-led instruction. Together we succeed.


 

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Western Oregon University's Cybercrime Investigations and Enforcement program addresses critical gaps (Photo) - 01/29/24

University Marketing and Communications

Maureen Brakke, 503-838-9329

Brittany Kima, 503-838-8163

MONMOUTH, Ore. – Western Oregon University’s Cybercrime Investigations and Enforcement (CIE) minor is an innovative and hands-on program, that addresses the critical skills gap in cybercrime investigations for businesses and especially public service agencies in Oregon.

The CIE program prepares students to step into investigative roles and combat cybercrime effectively. Crimes such as identity theft, ransomware, financial fraud, online scams, child pornography, data theft, stalking, espionage, and violent offenses can have severe consequences for critical public services and vulnerable populations. 

George Chamberlin, CIE instructor, is also a former FBI cybercrime supervisor. He shares that as cybercrime caseloads continue to rise, law enforcement agencies are facing growing challenges in hiring and training first responders and investigators to manage complex investigations involving cybercrime and digital technology. Chamberlain adds that the CIE program helps prepare students to step into those critical investigative roles.

Emilee Gillespie, the first graduate of the program, recently completed a cybersecurity boot camp and is also preparing for the CompTIA Security+ exam. “It was a wonderful experience to meet so many instructors who have a clear passion for the subjects they teach. They work hard to get you to where you want to be,” shared Gillespie. “I hope students immerse themselves in the program and enjoy the ride.”

Western is committed to equipping students with practical skills and knowledge, aiming to create positive impacts on communities across Oregon and the United States.

For more information about the CIE Minor program. 

 

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About Western Oregon University

Western Oregon University, established in Monmouth in 1856, proudly stands as Oregon's oldest public university. Hosting around 4,000 students, Western embodies a mid-sized, NCAA Division II institution, with approximately 80% of its students hailing from within the state. Notably, its diverse student body comprises individuals from underrepresented backgrounds, veterans, and non-traditional learners. Western stands as the preferred campus in Oregon for those pursuing an enriching education within a nurturing, student-focused environment, characterized by faculty-led instruction.  Together we succeed.

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