Member Profiles

Send In Your Profile

If you are an AAWCC member and would like to be profiled, please fill out this questionnaire and email it to Melissa Aaberg along with a photo.

Profile Index

Thank you to these members who have shared some of their backgrounds, interests and insights with us.

Nickie BlasdellKate Dins

What is your job at PCC?
Safety and Risk specialist, claims.
What job did you do prior to coming to PCC?
Paralegal
What challenges (work/personal) have you overcome?
Being a single mother of two boys. Raising and guarding them. Both graduated!
What motivates you?
Life, laughs, and smiles. Other people's life journeys.
What book is on your nightstand?
Fifty Shades of Grey
Would you recommend it?
Yes—to some!
Do you have a favorite movie?
Bridget Jones Diary and Sex in the City
What's a goal (work or personal) you have recently achieved or are working towards? We'd love to hear about it if you want to share.
Going back to my roots to decorate cakes, cupcakes, and baking. Baking is my passion as I worked with my father for years in our donut shop!

Melissa Aaberg

What is your job at PCC?
Web Content Specialist, Web Team
What job did you do prior to coming to PCC?
Office Manager & Web Designer
What challenges (work/personal) have you overcome?
Getting my BA and finding a career that would allow me to use said English degree!
What motivates you?
My family, giving back to my community, and a personal desire to do my best
Do you have a favorite movie?
The Big Lebowski, Alien, Milo and Otis
What's a goal (work or personal) you have recently achieved or are working towards? We'd love to hear about it if you want to share.
Selling my first house and purchasing a "forever" home with my husband

Bethy Annsabethy annsa

What is your job at PCC?
I am an Employment Specialist working with students enrolled in Career Pathways (short-term certificates that lead to jobs and/or a degree).
What job did you do before coming to PCC?
I ran the ASPIRE program and the GEAR UP grant at Marshall Campus in the Portland Public Schools. My job was to increase college awareness and preparation, and manage a mentoring program that helped students with all the steps of getting into college. I fairly often run into former students of mine at PCC SE Campus – it's so fulfilling to know I helped them get here!
What challenges (work/personal) have you overcome?
My position with PPS ended when our GEAR UP grant ended – during the worst of the recession. I went through a tough and emotionally battering job search before landing at PCC. The upside is that I know what I'm talking about when I help students with their own job search.
What motivates you?
I'm driven by the life-changing impact my work has upon my students. Many of my students have overcome hardships I couldn't imagine, and yet they are here, smiling, eager, and ready to work. I can't think of a better encouragement to me to bust my buns on their behalf.
What book is on your nightstand?
The 4-Hour Body by Timothy Ferriss.
Would you recommend it?
It's blowing my mind! So yes, I would.
Do you have a favorite movie?
That's a very tough question to answer. My favorites include: Fried Green Tomatoes, Amelie, Sucker Punch, Up, Fight Club, Fiddler on the Roof, Dirty Dancing, The King's Speech, Office Space, and Everything is Illuminated.
What's a goal (work or personal) you have recently achieved or are working towards? We'd love to hear about it if you want to share.
In addition to my full-time work role at PCC, I'm also a full-time student taking EMT classes and other prerequisites for the Paramedic program. One day I hope to be a Paramedic and a PCC Instructor. In the meantime, I'm enjoying the heck out of both work and school.

Kate DinsKate Dins

Dr. Kate Dins is dean of the Arts & Professions Division of Portland Community College’s Cascade Campus. From both her professional experience and post-graduate research, she brings a strong workforce development perspective to the administration of her division, which encompasses a broad array of disciplines, ranging from business administration and multimedia to professional music and trades education.

Prior to taking over the Arts & Professions Division, Dr. Dins was PCC’s director of workforce development programs, and oversaw the dislocated workers project for Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham, Ore. Both positions helped to hone her thinking on the subject of “chunking” community
college professional-technical programs to create pathways to degree completion. This thinking came to
fruition in her doctoral research, and now forms the backbone of her division’s professional-technical
organization at Cascade Campus.

Dr. Dins received her baccalaureate degree in Psychology and Sociology from the University
of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, and her master’s degree in Educational Policy, Foundations, and
Administration from Portland State University. She earned her Ph.D. in Education from Oregon State
University in 2006 and serves as an adjunct professor for OSU’s Community College Leadership
Program. She resides in Northeast Portland, Ore.

Chrissy Randall

Chrissy Randall
What is your job at PCC?
Administrative Assistant II for the Math, Manufacturing & Transportation Division at the Rock Creek Campus.
What job did you do before coming to PCC?
I was the Sr. Financial Aid Specialist/Veterans Certifying Official for Linn Benton Community College. Prior to that I was a Administrative Assistant for the Developmental Education Department at Umpqua Community College.
What challenges (work/personal) have you overcome?
I tend to be shy so I make it a point to go to events and meet new people to get me out of my comfort zone.
What motivates you?
My three girls motivate me to be the best person that I can possibly be so I am always a good role model.
What book is on your nightstand?
Kitchen Confidential
Would you recommend it?
No
Do you have a favorite movie?
I love "chick flicks". My favorite is The Wedding Date.
What's a goal (work or personal) you have recently achieved or are working towards? We'd love to hear about it if you want to share.
I'm working on being a healthier me, NOT losing weight!

Christina Day

Christina Day
What is your job at PCC?
Budget Manager in Financial Services
What job did you do before coming to PCC?

I have been working in Washington County local governments for about 20 years as a financial planning/budget manager. Past employers include Clean Water Services, Washington County 9-1-1, and Washington County.

What challenges (work/personal) have you overcome?
I think being a working mom is a challenge in itself. Aside from the difficulty in not being able to go to all their daytime school activities (field trips, reading hour, classroom helper), the logistics can be pretty incredible some days! I won't say I've overcome all these challenges, but I feel like I've managed to attain a little more balance most days, and I wouldn't trade either of my jobs for anything!
What motivates you?
My faith and my family. I have two daughters and I want them to grow up knowing that they can do or be anything their heart desires, so I work hard to set a good example at home and work.
What book is on your nightstand?
Right now, I have "Amazing Gracie" – a story about the dog that inspired the guys who started Three Dog Bakery.
Would you recommend it?
I haven't started it yet, but soon! One of the benefits of riding the bus to work is the extra time for reading!
Do you have a favorite movie?
My favorite movie of all time is Out of Africa, followed closely by my go-to movie…Sense and Sensibility with Emma Thompson.
What's a goal (work or personal) you have recently achieved or are working towards? We'd love to hear about it if you want to share.
A work-related goal is to complete a Master's degree, and I'm hoping to start in the next year. Personally, I would like to learn to quilt! My daughter and I are taking a class this term, I'm excited to see how it goes!

Roxanne Hill

Roxanne Hill
What is your job at PCC?
Instructors and Department Chair for ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages), Southeast Campus.
What job did you do before coming to PCC?

EFL(English as a Foreign Language) Faculty—Texas A &M University in Koriyama, Japan. 

What challenges (work/personal) have you overcome?
I think I have overcome being disappointed when I try to help a student succeed in a class but the student still doesn’t pass. I now embrace two facts. First, a student’s success is not primarily dependent on my efforts, and, second, the show isn’t over. The student can try again later and succeed.
What motivates you?
Learning itself motivates me both personally and in my work world. I like learning new things, which is why I choose friends who know and are good at different things. I also get a buzz off of teaching when the students are engaged and making discoveries. I almost can’t sit still after a good class.
What book is on your nightstand?
Ruth Reichl, "Tender at the Bone".
Would you recommend it?
I’m only about 40 pages into the book. It’s fun and easy, so it’s a nice bedtime read after a busy day. I heard her speak as part of the Portland Arts and Lectures series recently. In general, I recommend reading books of people you’ve seen in person or heard speak. It makes for a more whole picture and adds a little depth to the reading.
Do you have a favorite movie?
It’s a tie between Napoleon Dynamite and Princess Bride. Yes, these really are my favorite movies! I own them, and I’ve seen them many times.
What’s a goal (work or personal) you have recently achieved or are working towards? We’d love to hear about it if you want to share.
My most current goal is to get to the point where I am taking nothing home from work at the end of the day and on weekends except my purse and empty lunch containers. I want to keep work at work and home at home.

Kat Arno

What is your job at PCC?

I have worked for PCC Sylvania since 2005. I began my adventure here as a student working as the Managing Director of Finance for ASPCC. After obtaining my AS from PCC, I was hired as professional staff for ASPCC as the assistant to the Student Leadership Coordinator, Cami Bishop. In 2008, I was promoted to the Dean of Student Development office at Sylvania as the assistant to Diane Mulligan. I remain in this same position to this day and love working for the college.

What job did you do before coming to PCC?

Since the late 1970’s I worked as a professional ski bum at several Utah ski resorts. I worked my way up from being a lift operator to management. Of course, my main job responsibility was to ski at least five days per week! Let me tell you, it was rough! If you believe me, when I say it was a bummer to ski so much, than you are nuts.

What challenges (work/personal) have you overcome?

One of the biggest challenges of my life has been to obtain a bachelor’s degree in business. Life keeps throwing curve balls and I don’t seem to be able to reach the goal. However, I will never give up, even if it takes me to until I am 92.

What motivates you?

My beloved English Bulldog Daisy and Amazon Parrot Bella; without their love and friendship, life would be boring. They don’t care how late I come home, are always happy to see me, don’t care what I look like and love me unconditionally. I must say, I have never found a relationship with a human that felt the same.

What book is on your nightstand?

“Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” by Dee Brown

Would you recommend it?

Definitely I would recommend this book, but with caution. It is a non-fiction historical account of the late 19th century Native American wars with the United States. It is graphic, depressing and does not have a happy ending. However, I feel it may be one of the most accurate accounts of the way native peoples were abused, lied to and murdered almost to extinction. It was difficult for me to read the book cover to cover because what happened in our history broke my heart. My caution is if you can handle such a depressing description of that era in this country’s history. FYI, the HBO movie that was released in 2008 is nothing like the book.

Do you have a favorite movie?

I have several favorite movies. I don’t think I could ever pick just one. I love happy endings, love stories, smart comedies, action without bloody violence, dramas, live theatre and most of all, I am a Trekie! Count me in to see anything pertaining to the Star Trek franchise.

What’s a goal (work or personal) you have recently achieved or are working towards? We’d love to hear about it if you want to share.

Besides completing my degree before I die, my goal is to travel to every one of Oregon’s Vineyards that will let me taste their exquisite artful bounty. If I finish that goal, maybe I will try Washington state’s vineyards too. On a more serious note, I love helping people and being a nerd. If I can use my nerdiness to help others, that is even better.

Cherie Chevalier

Cherie Chavalier
What is your job at PCC?
Associate Vice President for Finance.
What job did you do before coming to PCC?
Chief Financial Officer for Springfield, Missouri School District. I was responsible for Finance and all Administrative (Support) Services.
What challenges (work/personal) have you overcome?
Raised two children who are now wonderful adults; moved from Washington to Missouri to Oregon - lots of culture change!
What motivates you?
Being productive, making a difference in both work and personal areas, people.
What book is on your nightstand?
I love mysteries. Dick Francis is my favorite author. However, I read a wide variety. Currently I'm reading a book on the ph factor and how it relates to health, a mystery novel, and a book of daily devotionals.
Do you have a favorite movie?
I like movies with happy endings, family oriented. One of my favorites is Enchanted April.
What's a goal (work or personal) you have recently achieved or are working towards?
Becoming a Baldrige Examiner last year, and joining PCC this year. Getting into Higher Ed has been a several year goal.

DeAnne Hardy

DeAnne Hardy
What is your job at PCC?
I wear a few different hats my title is Assistant Career Services Coordinator. This title includes Student Employment & Cooperative Education Specialist and Job Fair Co-Coordinator
What job did you do before coming to PCC?

Prior to PCC? Hmmm…. I have three prior to PCC jobs, because I have come and gone that many times. I worked for the Urban League of Portland when I got my first job with PCC which was with Steps to Success at the Portland Metro Workforce Training Center. Then I taught English for a University in Huauchinango, Puebla Mexico “Universidad de la Sierra”. When I came back I worked at GoalPost through PMWTC. Then I left and taught English at Tec de Monterrey Campus Hidalgo - in Pachuca Hidalgo Mexico. When I came back I worked out at Washington County Workforce Training Center for WIA. Phew! I also have some side jobs I used to teach Tribal Belly dance for PCC Community Ed and now I teach Zumba for Community Ed and a couple other places too.

What challenges (work/personal) have you overcome?

A work challenge was making the transition from being an AP in a workforce development program and becoming an AP on campus. Even though the skill sets are nearly the same within these positions it was hard to get people to see that. I believe a number of other people who have made that transition have encountered the same thing. I took a .5 position so that I could get on a campus, it was that important to me. I had always wanted to work with students on a campus. One of my current challenges is balancing work, family (2 little boys age 6 & 4), household responsibilities, my little side job and wanting to go back and get my masters degree. I’m sure I’ll make it happen, its just coming up with the right equation to balance it all. I’m constantly playing with the figures.

What motivates you?

I have always wanted work that I find fulfilling, so that is one of my major motivators. I am also very motivated by social justice or maybe the motivation is injustice and have always tried to figure out how I can have any kind of impact when it comes to oppression of people. I think those are two of my underlying motivators that have been part of me for a long time. A newer motivator in my life would be my two boys.

What book is on your nightstand?

He he he…. Several children’s books including the book “Everything you ever wanted to Know” by Google (children’s book). The Nanny Diaries, which I started and didn’t like and there it sits and the book “The Hundred Secret Senses” by Amy Tan which is really good!

Would you recommend it?

I guess I answered part of this…The Amy Tan book yes… and the Google book for children, it has projects to go with the different things you learn about in the book.

Do you have a favorite movie?

I’m not one for watching movies repeatedly; there are only a few that I have, so I guess those are my favorites. Como Agua Para Chocolate, West Side Story, The Color Purple, Labyrinth, Get on the Bus and The House of Spirits.

What's a goal (work or personal) you have recently achieved or are working towards?

In August of 07 I took a training to become a Zumba teacher and afterwards I decided I wanted to teach Zumba, which is fitness dance and if you know me you know I’m not slim, not only that I’m about 40 pounds overweight. So to have the goal of teaching fitness dance may not seem typical. However it was my goal so I started with Tualatin Valley Park and Rec and I had to audition which was really scary…super scary especially facing the possibility of rejection and part of it could be because of my weight (which is something I’ve struggled with my whole life). It is really interesting how I get cheerleaders in my life at the times I decide to do scary stuff (like when I went to live in Mexico and didn’t speak Spanish). My aerobics instructor and friend at the gym was my cheerleader she really encouraged me to do it, so I did. And I got the job. Then I contacted community ed to purpose this new class, once again a little scary. Then my aerobics instructor at 24 hour fitness said I should teach for them. I thought why not. I found this even more frightening then the other audition, because of the stigmatisms and stereotypes I have associated with gyms. When the Coordinator came in she sized me and with a disappointing tone said “oh you’re DeAnne”, not a good start. However, I put on a smile and went for it. Well she stopped me half way through the second song “muevelo” a student favorite. She said she had seen enough and gave me a test to take. I ended up giving her the test back and said that I answered what I could. I knew I didn’t get it and sure enough I didn’t. Then I got a lead on Bally Total Fitness and I’m not sure why but I went for it again. Many friends couldn’t believe it, since I had the other bad gym experience. I remember being out in my car taking deep breaths to calm my nerves and I had gotten some feedback from my Aerobics instructor friend so I followed that. Well, this audition went so much better and the coordinator was super real and nice and I’ve been teaching for them since June of 08. At one point I had the goal of teaching Zumba on my own, however after realizing how much time and money it would take to market, I reevaluated that goal. Currently, I teach four classes a week, when they are all in session.

Meryl Lipman

Meryl Lipman
What is your job at PCC?

PR/Community Relations Manager, Rock Creek Campus.

What job did you do before coming to PCC?

Worked for 5 years as an employment specialist for PCC Steps to Success Non-Native Employment and Training, helping connect Russian and Somalian refugees with jobs, internships, ESOL classes and training opportunities. Before that I taught cultural competency for the Belarusian Institute of Culture in Minsk, did project coordination in Russia, and spent 5 years in tourism marketing and development in Oregon, Washington and California.

What challenges (work/personal) have you overcome?
  • Earning a masters degree in writing over four years, simultaneously working full time and helping my dad take care of my chronically ill mother in another state.
  • Deciding for personal, medical, and socio-political reasons not to have children.
  • Becoming a smart, safe, advanced level skydiver.
What motivates you?

The multitude of opportunities available to live life to the fullest and make a positive difference.

What book is on your nightstand?

The World Without Us by Alan Weisman and Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama.

Would you recommend it?

I’m fascinated by both but more involved in The World Without Us.

Do you have a favorite movie?

Three foreign films: Window on Paris (France/Russia), The Gigolo (Italy/Russia) and Life is Beautiful (Italy). Two American: The Shawshank Redemption and What Dreams May Come.

What’s a goal (work or personal) you have recently achieved or are working towards?

To sell my book, a family memoir structured around my most interesting parachute jumps, entitled Confessions of A Naked Skydiver.

To be wise and serene.

To be productive and successful while remaining humble and grateful.

To find the love of my life. :)

Jennifer Piper

Jennifer Piper
What is your job at PCC?
Sports Facilities Supervisor
What job did you do before coming to PCC?
Head Softball Coach, Physical Ed. Instructor, Fall Intramural Coordinator
What challenges (work/personal) have you overcome?
Remodeling my 1920’s Bungalow
What motivates you?
The synergy of people working together.
What book is on your nightstand?
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable
Would you recommend it?
I would highly recommend it.
Do you have a favorite movie?
Something’s Gotta Give