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This content was published: December 31, 2018. Phone numbers, email addresses, and other information may have changed.

Top-10 Countdown: Readers respond to stories on student completion, celebration

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And, we continue the most read stories of 2018. Here are the five most viewed features from the year!

Dental KGW interview.

No. 5 – A Catch of a Lifetime

In early 2017, Dental Hygiene student Kayla Roxey spotted an abnormality on a patient’s face during a community clinic. Using the skills she learned from the program, Roxey reported the issue to her supervising faculty after completing an examination of his mouth and face. By catching melanoma early enough, it saved the life of patient Shawn Montgomery. In the spring of 2018, after his many surgeries, we brought them back together to reminisce about that amazing ordeal.


People at PCC Job Fair interacting.

No. 4 – Seeking Employment

The college is big on training a qualified workforce to help close the skills gap in Oregon. But PCC also helps local job-seekers and students find employment through the popular PCC Job Fair at the Cascade Campus. Every April, 1,000 job-seekers and employers come to the college to connect.

Sonja climbs wall.

No. 3 – Getting a Foothold

In between her international rock climbing exploits, 17-year-old Sonja Johanson earned a prestigious, national award from the Distributed Research Experience for Undergraduates Program. She was paired up with a highly touted faculty at Portland State to conduct computer research, which helped her transition on to a four-year program. Johanson proved no matter how old you are, you can attend PCC and pursue your dreams.

Happy graduate holds her degree.

No. 2 – It’s a Panther Party!

The 56th commencement ceremony was the college’s biggest party of the year, attracting thousands of people to the Memorial Coliseum for the big year-end event. Inspiring stories of completion and student success filled the rafters of the historic venue as attendees cheered on the graduates to their next big steps in their journeys.

Nursing hug.

No. 1 – Finding Closure

The top story of 2018 is an emotional one. When ITT Tech abruptly closed its doors in 2016 it stranded hundreds of local nursing students. However, PCC stepped in to establish an emergency program to guide these students to completion. In April, the final cohort graduated, ending the teach out. These graduates, many of whom never thought they’d get their degrees after the ITT debacle, received their nursing pins at the celebration. The whole evening put an exclamation point on how PCC is there to support the community.

About James Hill

James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, is the Public Relations Manager at Portland Community College. A graduate of Portland State University, James has worked as a section editor for the Newberg Graphic, Wo... more »