Letter from the Editor: Conquering Challenges and Change Whether transferring to university or moving into the workforce, in a short few weeks most of us will change where we live, who we spend time with and what we do for the majority of each day. These changes are even more stark during a pandemic when so much about education and workplaces is uncertain. Change can be refreshing and invigorating, or it can be unsettling and disruptive. Whether you are excited or daunted by graduation and the next step in life, it is vitally important to maintain the same level of commitment that you have demonstratedRead More →

Relationships with Instructors Key to Post-Grad Success “Building a strong relationship with instructors gives them the knowledge to write a recommendation that brings out the student’s strengths” As you graduate and leave behind the exams and due dates of student life, don’t make the mistake of neglecting the relationships you have built with your instructors. Not only can instructors be excellent mentors and good friends, but they can also provide professional recommendations essential to success in higher education that dream job. The form of a professional recommendation can vary from a simple phone conversation between your reference and a potential employer to an official letterRead More →

Automotive Program Downsizing and Reduction in Force Used to Cut Costs The automotive program at UCC is being downsized. Voted by the UCC board of education at the May 13 board meeting, the one year automotive program will remain in place and the Toyota T-Ten and two year automotive degree will be canceled. “This comes from the decrease in enrollment, increase in costs for full time equivalents (FTE) and the decline in need for associate degree students in the automotive program,” Debra Thatcher, UCC president, said. “It is a painful thing to downsize but the auto program is not going away. We feel we willRead More →

Change is never easy, especially rapid, unexpected change. For many of us UCC students, spring term bears little resemblance to winter. Doing classes online requires a new set of skills and tools to succeed, many of which we have had to learn on the fly. Added to the mix is uncertainty about employment and increased demands from having schools closed and children at home. The challenges we face are significant. Now more than ever it is important to keep focus and encourage each other. To that end, I want to remind everyone of three things. First, you are not the only one who may beRead More →

Picture from wikipedia

Organic chemistry trains students to use creative thinking Students who want to change the world start small in Sean Breslin’s Organic Chemistry class. Really small. Carbon atom small. Despite the microscopic subject matter, however, students learn thinking skills in Organic Chemistry class that helps them succeed in medical school. For most people, organic chemistry brings to mind complicated theories about atoms and molecules with little relevance or importance outside of the chemistry lab. However, according to Sean Breslin, an Umpqua Community College organic chemistry instructor, nothing could be further from the truth. But first, what even is organic chemistry? “Organic chemistry is the chemistry ofRead More →

Covid-19 Virus Biology key to understanding virus Ever wondered how something too small to see could send our nation into lockdown? The answer lies in the form and function of the miniscule virus pseudo-organism. What exactly is a virus? When compared to other infectious agents such as bacteria or yeast, a virus is small and fairly simple. Viruses consist of two basic parts: the viral genome and the protein capsid, according to Neal Rote in the textbook “Understanding Pathophysiology.” The virus’s two-part design is very different from the cell, which is the basic unit of life. Viruses are non-cellular infectious agents. A cell composes all other unicellular andRead More →

Owen Cherry/The MainstreamGail Radford shows Alicia Kutz and Kiela Manes how to prepare for sterile procedures. The dental assisting program at UCC brings together some of the key advantages of a community college education: affordability, learning valuable career skills and excellent employment opportunities after graduation. Tamara Loosli is the director of UCC’s dental assisting program. Here she shares some insights on dental assisting and UCC’s program.  What is dental assisting? The trend in dentistry for a long time now has been four-handed operative dentistry. This increases the efficiency and productivity of the doctor. The traditional dental assistant role has been to make sure that theRead More →

Photo provided by Aaron CherryWild fires have an important function in maintaining the healthy and diversity of a forest ecosystem. Fire plays important role in forest ecology Wildfires play a complex role in forest ecosystems. While often perceived by the public as universally destructive, the real picture of the effects of wildfire on forests is more diverse. Fire often performs critical ecosystem functions within the forest ecosystem, but when forests are managed without taking into account the importance of fire within a forest the result if often severe, destructive, and uncontrollable wildfires. Forest management practices play a key role in preventing the deleterious effects soRead More →

Photo provided by Steven NoltNew Hope Amish School was completed six months after the shooting occurred. Fourth in a 6 Part SeriesWest Nickel Mines Amish School: unique story of forgiveness and healing West Nickel Mines Amish School: unique story of forgiveness and healing When a shooting in a one-room Amish school house in Pennsylvania on Oct. 6, 2006 killed five girls and injured five more, the town of West Nickel Mines reacted to the tragedy with a forgiveness, humility and unity rarely seen, especially in the aftermath of a school shooting. The rebuilt school, called New Hope, is a symbol of the values shared byRead More →

Owen Cherry / The MainstreamHoney McNamara stands beside a UCC Foundation Scholarships sign at the Student Resource Fair. Scholarships provide students with alternatives to student loans for financing tuition Attending college is expensive. Often students take out loans to cover tuition, but scholarships offer many students with a better way to pay for college. “42 percent of those who attend college, representing 30 percent of all adults, have incurred at least some debt from their education,” said a Report on the Economic Well-Being of U. S. Households 2017-2018 published by the Federal Reserve. “Adults under the age of 30 who attended college are more likelyRead More →

First year UCC student Isaac Cherry looks out over the Umpqua from the site of the planned Memorial. Oct. 1, 2015 Memorial Funding and Planning Progress The Roseburg community is closer than ever to having a permanent memorial to the victims of the campus shooting on Oct. 1, 2015. Fundraising began at the UCC Legacy ball on Nov. 1 as the next step in the multiyear process of planning the memorial. Each year at the Legacy Ball, a special appeal is made for donations to a specific financial need related to the college. The special appeal at the Nov. 1 ball for donations toward theRead More →

Owen Cherry/ The Mainstream Tratz asks Libby Fregoso (left) and Kylie Merlino (right) questions in Spanish during class. Spanish instructor uses unique teaching method to increase student language acquisition Learning a language can be hard, but it shouldn’t be boring. That’s why Nicholas Tratz, the Spanish instructor at Umpqua Community College, takes a novel approach to language learning. The fundamental difference between standard language teaching and Tratz’s approach lies in the distinction between learning about a language and acquiring a language. “Acquisition is when a student’s mind has actually taken in the words and phrases of language and made sense of them,” Tratz says. “ThisRead More →

Owen Cherry / The Mainstream Chemistry professor discusses common obstacles and success strategies for chemistry students Joseph Villa, who has a doctorate in analytic/environmental chemistry, has been a chemistry professor at Umpqua Community College since 2014. Villa spent 13 years studying chemistry. Here he shares some of his educational story with insights on how to succeed as a chemistry student. What drew you to study chemistry? Up until the 10th grade I was convinced I was going to be a child psychiatrist. That was what I thought I wanted to do. But in 10th grade I took a biology course with a really great teacher,Read More →