Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Student Profiles

PCC sociology student inspired to earn Masters

A former student of Rowan Wolf’s (Glen) will be starting her Masters Degree program in the fall in Public Health Planning at PSU. She is the first person in her family to ever attend college. She comes from a family who were sharecroppers, and as a child she worked in the field. Coming into PCC, she hoped to complete her AA. She showed exceptional writing ability and I encouraged her to pursue that. Soon I found Glen contacting me regularly and I became her mentor.

Glen graduated from PCC and moved on to PSU. Regularly she emailed, called, or came back to visit. Her goals had changed significantly from getting an AA to getting a BS. Then she came to talk with me about graduate school, and soon after that, her acceptance into the graduate program at PSU.

It has been an honor to be part of Glen’s process and growth. It has been inspiring for me to watch her belief in herself grow to the point that she is now preparing herself to be a policy maker. She is well aware that she is not the usual person in that position, but she is also well aware of the importance of herself, and other silenced and unrepresented voices, to take a seat at the table.

Award winning social change essay begins at PCC

Former PCC student Carol Bellows and her teammate Sebastien Rake, both currently students at the University of Oregon, were awarded a third place prize in the 2006 Berkeley Prize for Architectural Design Excellence Essay Competition for their team entry essay, "People to Know, Places to Grow: Children in Downtown Eugene."  The other seven finalists were from China, Uganda, Scotland, Pakistan, Iran, Australia and Singapore.

Carol credits the Learning Community she took Spring 03, titled "Bowling Alone" about the loss of community, for "giving me the initial time and space to think and research the topic in the first place;  it has been the deepest research and writing of my academic career so far."

That learning community combined Linda Warwick's WR 123 research writing class with Jan Abushakrah's SOC 205 Social Change/Social Institutions class.  Carol's original paper, "Separate Spheres," proposed that houses and structures in cities be built with enclosed common spaces, so that the entire community could oversee others' children.

Sociology program helps connect ideals with reality

"By my second year in college, I had still never been exposed to the study of sociology. I was interested in both philosophy and psychology, but wasn't sure if either fields would direct me towards the humanitarian type career I wanted in the future. Enter sociology. By my first introductory course, I knew I had found my calling. Sociology was the perfect bridge between psychology and philosophy, a study with direct focus on society and people. Sociology resonated with my fascination for people, sparked my interest in patterns of societal behavior and thought, and generally made me confront assumptions about the world I had never thought twice about. I was especially caught by the ideas about socialization. Sociology is a field anyone can use to deconstruct their immediate and broader realities in an attempt to better understand the world we live in." -Jasmine Smith, former student of Kim Smith