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Without them, the school wouldn’t be the same

By Mike Boni

In order to keep a well oiled machine running, all of its parts must perform effectively. Like a machine, Chemeketa requires the best out of its employees to deliver to its students the best education possible. We at The Courier interviewed three employees of the college who have helped to make Chemeketa the quality institution that it is.

Theresa Yancey, a Reference and Instruction Librarian at Chemeketa has been a librarian for over 18 years and says that one of her favorite parts of the job is being able to help Chemeketa students succeed.

“The library is a hub of activity on campus. We are lucky to have so much contact with so many students,” Yancey said.

“We provide referrals to other services on campus and really try to be a place where students want to spend time and feel comfortable asking questions, even if they aren’t exactly sure what the question is.”

Mary Schroeder, an Instructional Technology Assistant and Student Tutor Supervisor at Chemeketa, remembers when she first started working at the college, and the feeling of relief the job provided.

“I began my career at Chemeketa’s Salem campus in October 1985, when my husband returned to college,” Schroeder said.

“He was a full-time student at Chemeketa, and we had four children under the age of 8. I felt fortunate to get this 20- hour- per- week job, which helped pay my husband’s tuition, provide health insurance for our family at a low cost, and still give me time at home with our children.”

Over the last 30 years Schroeder’s title has changed, but her passion for the job has not.

“My career at Chemeketa Community College is very fulfilling. Being closely involved in our students’ learning process and their successes has been rewarding. My supervisors have encouraged and supported me in pursuing all my professional goals,” she said.

Susan Powers, Assistant Director of the Gretchen Schutte Art Gallery, has worked for Chemeketa for just over a year. In that year she has done much to keep the art gallery up and running.

“I assist in all matters of keeping the gallery and all in motion,” she said.

“Corresponding with artists, making arrangements for future shows, cleaning, organizing, painting, schlepping, all trying to keep up with Deborah Trousdale’s vision as gallery coordinator.”

Powers said that while this may be hard work, she enjoys seeing the impact art can have on students.

“Sometimes we’ve had students visit the gallery for the first time and be moved by the work or ask questions about a piece. (The gallery) offers a public space for Chemeketa and the community at large to engage art, to think about ideas, to pose questions and to see art in their surroundings. As a public institution this is an endeavor I find invaluable.”

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