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News Releases
Sama_Shagaga.jpg
Sama_Shagaga.jpg
PCC Foundation adds five new board members to its ranks (Photo) - 07/09/24

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Community College Foundation Board of Trustees has welcomed five new faces to its membership.

The new trustees include Abby Coppock (independent consultant), Brigid Flanigan (Tenfold Senior Living), Elaine Charpentier Philippi (M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust), Sama Shagaga (NW Natural), and Rich Truitt (retired, Indian Health Service). The 21-member PCC Foundation board is a volunteer group that leads the foundation and represents a wide range of business and community interests to support student success at the college and beyond.

“It is with great excitement that we welcome our new board members to the Portland Community College Foundation,” said Foundation Board President Kim Morgan. “Their diverse backgrounds, expertise, and passion for education will undoubtedly enhance our mission to remove barriers to education at Portland Community College through the power of partnerships and create a community where anyone can thrive through education.”

New trustees include:

Abby Coppock

She is an independent consultant specializing in organizational transformation, leadership development, team effectiveness, and change management. Prior to consulting, Coppock (Northeast Portland) worked in communications for the City of Portland and in partnership development for a workforce reentry program in Chicago.  

Brigid Flanigan

Flanigan (Southwest Portland) has been developing and managing retirement communities in Oregon and California for 30 years. In her role as founder and principal of Tenfold Senior Living, she manages all aspects of the development process, including market analysis, public approvals, design, financing, construction and marketing. She is committed to urban redevelopment and is a strong supporter of the arts, including seven years on the board at Portland Center Stage.

Elaine Charpentier Philippi

As a senior program officer at M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, she helps facilitate grants for the Trust’s work investing in education, leadership and development across the Pacific Northwest. Having served on a number of boards and committees in Oregon and as the former Executive Director at In4All, an educational nonprofit, Charpentier Philippi (North Portland) said she believes in the power of education and in addressing barriers that individuals, families and communities navigate when accessing education pathways.

Sama Shagaga

A former PCC student, Shagaga (Northeast Portland) serves on the Partnerships and Government Affairs team at NW Natural where he collaborates with local nonprofits, unions and trade partners with a strategic focus on workforce development, energy education and community investment. He is an American Leadership Forum (ALF) Senior Fellow and a current board director for ALF Oregon. He also sits on several advisory groups working with local workforce boards and STEM Hubs.

Rich Truitt

A retired professional engineer, Truitt (Wilsonville) served with the Indian Health Service (IHS) for over 50 years (more than 36 years as a commissioned officer with the U.S. Public Health Service and 14 years as a civilian). During this time, he worked with Indigenous tribes throughout the American West to plan, design and construct safe water supply, waste disposal and healthcare facilities. He also served as an executive member of the governing boards of six federal healthcare facilities and is an active volunteer in the community.

For more on the PCC Foundation Board of Trustees, visit pcc.edu/foundation/who-we-are/board/

 

About the Portland Community College Foundation: Established in 1982, the Portland Community College Foundation is an independent, nonprofit charitable organization and the philanthropic arm of Portland Community College (PCC). The Foundation acts as a catalyst in securing and leveraging individual, corporate, and public support for scholarships, essential wraparound services, and vital educational programs. The Foundation distributes $2.3 million in scholarships annually, ensuring that students in the region have access to an excellent education at PCC and the support needed to succeed, regardless of their ability to pay. For more information, call 971-722-4382 or visit pcc.edu/foundation.

About Portland Community College: Founded in 1961, Portland Community College is the largest post-secondary institution in Oregon and provides training, degree and certificate completion, and lifelong learning to more than 50,000 full- and part-time students in Multnomah, Washington, Yamhill, Clackamas, and Columbia counties. PCC has four comprehensive campuses, 10 education centers or areas served, and approximately 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/

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Jennifer-Ernst-scaled.jpg
Portland Community College selects next Vice President of Academic Affairs (Photo) - 07/03/24

PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland Community College announced that it has chosen Jennifer Ernst as its new Vice President of Academic Affairs (VPAA), effective Sept. 1. Ernst is currently the Vice President of Instruction and Student Services at Yakima Valley College.

As the college’s VPAA, Ernst will serve as the Chief Academic Officer and Accreditation Liaison Officer for PCC. She will provide strategic leadership for the development and implementation of educational programs, curriculum planning, including online learning, workforce development and continuing education. She will also oversee instructional support across PCC’s multi-campus system. The VP of Academic Affairs leads the comprehensive assessment program to ensure alignment with the college’s mission, values, and strategic plan, and serves as the Accreditation Liaison Officer with the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. 

Ernst replaces Katy Ho, who has become PCC’s Executive Vice President.

“I am delighted to join the team that is guiding Portland Community College through its 21st Century transformation,” said Ernst. “I look forward to building amazing learning opportunities for our Portland community in collaboration with our K-12 and industry partners and focusing on equitable student success for all PCC students.”

Ernst brings over 20 years of experience in teaching and leadership in higher education, coupled with a commitment to student empowerment. Her career began as an adjunct instructor at various institutions before she joined the tenure track at Henry Ford College. There, she served as a union leader on the AFT local executive board, department chair for English and Speech, and eventually became the inaugural Dean of the School of Liberal Arts following a major college reorganization.

At Yakima Valley College, Ernst has been instrumental in leading the Guided Pathways transformation, as well as overseeing strategic enrollment management, and equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives. Her work has focused on fostering equitable student success through inclusive pedagogy and a pathways-based care team approach. She has successfully expanded partnerships with K-12 districts, local employers, and higher education institutions. Notably, she facilitated a groundbreaking articulation agreement with Pacific Northwest University School of Dental Medicine, enabling students to enter the dental school with an associate’s degree without needing a bachelor’s degree. Her efforts have also secured millions of dollars in state and federal grants to support student success.

Ernst serves on the Instruction Commission for the Washington State Board of Community and Technical Colleges and was recently elected as a steering team member for the commission. She is also a representative on the review team for state bachelor’s program authorization and Strategic Technology Advisory Committee.

A first-generation college student, Ernst completed her transfer studies at Glendale Community College in Arizona, earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Pittsburgh, her graduate degree from Duquesne University, and her Doctorate of Education in Community College Leadership from Ferris State University. 

About Portland Community College: Founded in 1961, Portland Community College is the largest post-secondary institution in Oregon and provides training, degree and certificate completion, and lifelong learning to more than 50,000 full- and part-time students in Multnomah, Washington, Yamhill, Clackamas, and Columbia counties. PCC has four comprehensive campuses, 10 education centers or areas served, and approximately 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/

Attached Media Files: Jennifer-Ernst-scaled.jpg
Emily Peng.
Emily Peng.
Quick Start To A Career: PCC's on-ramp course gives Emily Peng running start at Intel (Photo) - 07/02/24

BETHANY, Ore. – Bethany resident Emily Peng's journey to securing a position at Intel was made possible by the career exploration and support programs at Portland Community College. 

Peng, originally from Taiwan, decided to make a career change upon moving to the United States with her husband. Armed with a bachelor's degree in Fine Arts and working towards a master's degree in Industrial Design, Peng found herself in Oregon seeking new career opportunities.

Unable to find a job in her field upon arriving in Portland, Peng decided to pivot her employment path. Her journey took a significant turn when she happened upon the Willow Creek Opportunity Center, a hub for career and workforce development, during her daily commute on the light rail. This encounter led Peng to explore the various resources available to her as an immigrant seeking to build a career in a new country.

Peng’s involvement in free English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes and the Explore College and Careers Program for immigrants, refugees, and non-native English speakers provided her with the foundational support needed to find what careers fit her interests. She received assistance with her resume, English conversational skills, and guidance on potential career paths. 

It was during her participation in the Discover Manufacturing: An On-Ramp to PCC, aimed at introducing students to jobs in advanced manufacturing, that Peng found her path to Intel.

“All of the instructors were very nice and supported my journey,” Peng said. “PCC has so many programs and a lot of resources I could access. They deal with a lot of types of students and the staff know what we want, how to help us to register for classes and how to phrase emails to employers.”

A partnership between Intel, Worksystems, the City of Hillsboro and Washington County presented Peng with the opportunity to enroll in the Quick Start Semiconductor Technician Training Program. This intensive 10-day course, designed to equip students with the skills necessary for entry-level positions in semiconductor manufacturing, proved to be a turning point for Peng. With support from instructors and staff, Peng honed her skills, refined her resume, and prepared for interviews specifically tailored to positions at Intel.

“I was really nervous during the interview,” she admitted. “And the interviewers could tell but they were nice, spoke slowly and asked questions. During Quick Start, the teacher would ask particular questions to help prepare us for the interview.”

The program has been the cornerstone of PCC’s advanced manufacturing workforce development. It has attracted Acting U.S. Labor Secretary Julie Su, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and a collection of local and state leadership to tour the lab and better understand the benefits of the program. Quick Start enjoys an impressive 68% job placement rate, and a healthy waitlist. Since it began in late 2022, it has graduated 351 students with 78% of them women and students of color.

“I do believe that what you are witnessing here is something that could be a model across the nation for community colleges,” said Dr. Adrien Bennings, PCC president. “This is one of the many avenues that students can have to engage in the workforce at an early stage and set themselves up for a successful future.”

Another success factor of the Quick Start program is to diversify the semiconductor industry by encouraging underrepresented populations, including women, to consider careers in advanced manufacturing and encourage them through comprehensive support. People like Emily Peng.

“Quick Start instructors are very nice and will stay after class to answer questions,” Peng said. “A lot of people helped!”

For Peng, the journey culminated in a job offer from Intel in technology development. Having completed her ESOL classes and orientation training at Intel, she is now using the scholarship funds available through the Quick Start experience to further her education through PCC’s Microelectronics Technology Program.

“I’d tell potential students to come learn and participate in all of these PCC programs,” Peng said. “I’m really grateful because I did not have a related degree in semiconductors, and I didn’t think I could work at a big company like Intel. But I am!”

For more details on Quick Start, visit pcc.edu/semiconductor

 

About Portland Community College: Founded in 1961, Portland Community College is the largest post-secondary institution in Oregon and provides training, degree and certificate completion, and lifelong learning to more than 50,000 full- and part-time students in Multnomah, Washington, Yamhill, Clackamas, and Columbia counties. PCC has four comprehensive campuses, 10 education centers or areas served, and approximately 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/

Attached Media Files: Emily Peng. , Emily Peng in lab.
PCC's Alchemy lit magazine staff at work, continuously publishing for 50 years.
PCC's Alchemy lit magazine staff at work, continuously publishing for 50 years.
Celebrating milestones: PCC's literary art magazines reach new heights (Photo) - 06/27/24

PORTLAND, Ore. – Two big milestones are happening in Portland Community College’s literary scene. PCC is launching the 50th issue of Alchemy literary magazine and the 40th issue of Pointed Circle. The longevity and quality of these student-produced magazines reflect the dedication of staff and the student talent. 
 

PCC serves as a launchpad for aspiring creatives, with three active literary magazines featuring fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and visual art. These magazines are edited, designed, and produced by student editors across the Sylvania, Rock Creek, and Cascade campuses. In 2023, then Alchemy editor Hannah Rae Whittle was awarded a full-ride scholarship to Smith College.
 

“Serving on these editorial teams has a tremendous impact on our creative writing students, giving them real-world editorial experience that not only serves as actual resume material for writers but also launches a few of them into ongoing editorial work,” said Justin Rigamonti, Pointed Circle advisor and Carolyn Moore Writing Residency Program coordinator. “In fact, all of the PCC alum residents at the writers house have been former editors of one of PCC's lit magazines, and that isn't a fluke—these courses are a doorway into the national writing community, showing our students what publication is all about, giving them hands-on experience with how the literary industry works.” 
 

Alchemy is a 110-plus-page magazine showcasing prose, poetry, and visual art by PCC students and contributors from around the globe. Each year, a Graphic Design Program student designs the cover. The magazine has earned accolades, including a gold medal from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association for its 2015 issue and a silver medal in 2007.

Alums featured in the magazine include U.S. Poet Laureate William Stafford, Gloria Bird (founding member of the Northwest Native Writers Association), Kesha Ajose-Fisher, the 2020 Oregon Book Award for Fiction winner (“No God Like the Mother”). The 50th issue features work from 27 students, 12 alumni, three faculty/staff members and two Carolyn Moore Writers House residents.

Since its inception in 1984, the Pointed Circle has been curated by Cascade Campus students. Staff say it is an innovative, diverse and prestigious anthology for an international readership. The magazine encourages writers and artists of all genres to submit their work, and it is produced by students registered in related coursework. 

The magazine’s 40th issue includes contributions by PCC students, faculty and alumni, and includes selections from the first three years of the Carolyn Moore Writer’s House, including work by award-winning writers Ismet Prcic (winner of the 2013 Oregon Book Award for Fiction), Jae Nichelle (viral poetry star and author of the 2023 collection “Gods Themselves”), and Jose Hernandez Diaz (winner of the 2023 Benjamin Saltman Award).

Then there is PCC’s cornerstone literary center — Carolyn Moore Writers House in Tigard.

Access to top talent is an effective way to inspire the next wave of literary talent. The house attracts respected literary artists from around the country to spend time creating and discussing their craft with students. Resident Poet Jae Nichelle and author Mariah Rigg hosted a cross-genre morning workshop amidst the aroma of coffee and donuts on a recent spring morning. They were discussing writing and doing generative practice with PCC creative writing student Gigi Giangiobbe and a group that joined them.

“The Carolyn Moore Writers House workshop was great,” Giangiobbe said. “We chatted and got to know each other a bit, then discussed a writing prompt and went off in our own corners or patches of grass and wrote. We reconvened and some of us read our piece to the group…It was inspiring. I will definitely be on the lookout for other writing workshops in the future.”

Learn more about other PCC student literary periodicals at https://www.pcc.edu/literary-magazines/

Alchemy and the Pointed Circle anniversary edition are available at the PCC Bookstore for $5. Visit: https://www.pcc.edu/bookstore/

 

About Portland Community College: Founded in 1961, Portland Community College is the largest post-secondary institution in Oregon and provides training, degree and certificate completion, and lifelong learning to more than 50,000 full- and part-time students in Multnomah, Washington, Yamhill, Clackamas, and Columbia counties. PCC has four comprehensive campuses, 10 education centers or areas served, and approximately 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/