Sheri Rokus

Sheri Rokus has 3 articles published.

Everyday Life Hacks for College Student

in Health by
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 Healthy food choices available at UCC

Cafeteria doing made-to-order

Because college students juggle school work, jobs, relationships and many life stressors, often healthy eating is not a priority. So how can a starving college student make time to eat healthy and keep their growling stomachs from embarrassing them in class? With a few life hacks, including a little planning and preparation, eating healthy can be fun and manageable.

As an added benefit, February is National Heart Health month. Learning to make heart healthy food choices today can lead to a healthier and longer life.

Fortunately, UCC offers many healthy eating choices.

“Often what’s cheap isn’t healthy,” said Melanie Bonney, executive chef and general manager at Loggers restaurant in the student cafeteria. However, Bonney tries to overcome that obstacle. “We offer fresh food at fair prices.” For busy students, the cafeteria offers grab-and-go protein snacks such as nuts, hard boiled eggs, yogurt and cheeses. Berkeley Wellness Center, of the University of California, notes that cheese “is a source of conjugated linoleic acid (CLS), a fat that may have anti-cancer, weight-reducing, and heart-protective effects.” Bonney sells made to order eggs and breakfast burritos, muffins, and biscuits with gravy. For lunch the cafeteria offers two varieties of soups and chili, a salad bar full of fresh veggies and a burrito bar. Pizzas come in flat bread and gluten free options. Veggie burgers come in four varieties: all bean, black bean mushroom, taco style or Italian. Made-to-order entrees are also available. Loggers will cook eggs with only the egg whites, an option that lowers cholesterol. “We aim to please and are happy to prepare special order menu items,” Bonney said.

Loggers is open 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The UCC Bookstore is also expanding their healthy foods and snack choices. “One of our goals is to increase our variety, especially healthy grab-and-go items,” said Debbie Niebaum, food manager and ordering specialist.

The bookstore carries a wide variety of healthy snacks and meals including organic oatmeal, whole wheat bagels, nuts, apples, carrots, Odwalla 100% juice smoothies, protein shakes, V-8, Lean Cuisine meals, deli fresh sandwiches and Amy’s brown rice and vegetables. Some of the grab-and-go snacks include Rocky Mountain popcorn, apple and coconut chips, hard boiled eggs, yogurt and a variety of cheeses. Heart thrive bars are vegan and wheat free.

Currently, Niebaum is working on getting approval to use EBT cards for food and drinks. Other colleges have that in place, and UCC expects that to be happening soon. The store also has a microwave and offers free paper plates, plastic ware and paper cups. Students can bring food from home and use the microwave anytime during business hours, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

UCC student Kaya Maliglig preplans her meals to bring with her to campus. She prepares them once a week, refrigerates them, and puts them in individual servings so they are ready to go each day. Planning ahead saves her money, stress and time. Preparation such as this can help students resist unhealthy choices with empty calories when their stomach starts complaining.

Healthy eating increases energy, improves mental clarity, and promotes heart health. Since “heart disease is the leading killer in America for both men and women,” students should know it is preventable. College students can benefit from fueling their bodies with food that will sustain them while keeping their heart healthy. When students choose to eat healthy food before they’re starving they will prevent those embarrassing stomach rumbles before they turn into a snarling student resembling a foraging beast.

Bookstore working on getting approval to use EBT cards for food and drinks

I Am UCC: UCC student survived being drugged at public event and abducted

in Campus Life/I am UCC by
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    Joy Smith, UCC nursing student, was found nearly lifeless in her totaled car in a remote location. Photo provided by Joy Smith

UCC nursing student Joy Smith was working with a group of volunteers at a wine tasting event four years ago in Portland, Oregon, when she allowed her cup to be out of sight for several minutes. She didn’t consider that doing this was unsafe. Seven hours later, in a remote location, the police found Smith’s near lifeless body in her totaled car. The next morning, she woke up in a strange hospital with no recollection of what happened.

Smith had been drugged.

counseling staff
Counseling staff: Danielle Haskett, Lindsay Murphey, Tony Dicenzo, Kindall Baker, Mandie Pritchard Sheri Rokus / The Mainstream

In 2013, as a newly divorced 32-year-old single mother, Smith frequently volunteered at events in the Portland area. A new chapter of her life was beginning, and she felt confident and invincible. At that time she was attending Mt. Hood Community College and was a leader in student government. Smith had signed herself up to volunteer at a local wine and music festival. The opportunity to assist at the festival seemed innocent and wholesome, so she didn’t tell anyone about her plans. Smith didn’t see any harm that could come of this.

But she was not careful enough.

Having a buddy system in place could have changed the course of Smith’s evening that night and her sense of security for years to come. In 2013, Smith’s sister lived a mile away from her, but Smith hadn’t told her sister, or any of her close friends where she was going that day or when she would return home. If Smith would have had a safety plan in place, her sister could have called the police when she didn’t come home. Instead, no one suspected that her life was in grave danger.

“There is something very unsettling about having a black hole of time where I had no control over my mind or body. It created utter, inner chaos because I lost a piece of myself that I can’t ever get back,” Smith said.

Smith understands that transitioning into young adulthood can be difficult, but she would like college students who want to be independent to consider the safety of their actions.

“We are naive and think we’re invincible, but it’s not true. This crime happened four years ago and I still have no memory of what happened,” Smith said. If Smith could go back in time, she says she would have made different decisions.

Smith’s experience reflects staggering U.S. crime statistics: “Violent crimes don’t just happen to women. Rape is the most common violent crime on American college campuses. One in four college women will be the victim of sexual assault during her academic career. Three percent of college men report surviving rape or attempted rape as a child or an adult,” according to the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center.

College campus crimes have influenced Title IX legislation aimed at gender equality and safety. Lynn Johnson is UCC’s Title IX coordinator. She can inform survivors of their options without mandating legal reporting. In other words, it is the survivor’s decision whether or not he or she presses charges. Johnson supports survivors in a caring and secure environment. “This is a safe place for survivors to come,” said Johnson. She helps educate students regarding their options and can help them set up a plan to promote healing.

Johnson is also the director of the Human Resources Department, and her office is in the Student Center, the first office on the right. She can be contacted at 541-440-7690. Johnson’s contact information is also on the fliers inside of the bathroom stalls on campus at UCC.

Another resource for survivors is the Battered Person’s Advocacy. The Roseburg organization helps survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault with emergency safe shelter, emergency transportation, help with restraining orders, emergency food and clothing, support groups and sexual assault and rape services. For free and confidential services, call 541-673-7867. Toll free number is 800-464-6543. Advocates are on call 24 hours a day and can meet a survivor at a hospital, clinic, or safe meeting place.

According to website Facty Health, the following symptoms can signal depression: enduring sadness, self-loathing attitude, loss of interest in all activities, irritability and isolation, anxiety, loss of energy, disturbed sleep patterns, change in appetite and body weight, reckless behavior and suicidal tendencies. College students are often balancing many high stress activities. When depressive symptoms are present for more than two weeks its important to talk about what’s going on.

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Lynn Johnson, UCC’s Title IV coordinator
Sheri Rokus / The Mainstream

At UCC, three licensed therapists are willing to assist students for free. They provide support and therapy to students that helps with their individual challenges. They listen and help with all the issues faced by college students, not just abuse. Many students are still dealing with the aftermath of the October 1 shooting and need a safe place to talk. To schedule an appointment, students can call 541-440-7900. Their office also contracts with a 24-hour help line run by Compass Behavioral Health. Students can call 800-866-9780 any time to speak with a licensed therapist. Without insurance, a typical counseling session like these would cost between $100 to $150 per hour. Currently, these valuable campus resources are underutilized.

Smith is a survivor who has moved forward with her life. As a Ford Foundation Scholar, she will graduate this year with her R.N. from UCC’s nursing program and a goal to become a nurse practitioner. As one of her coping skills, she chooses a positive word each year to focus on. This year her word is “become.” Smith has incorporated art therapy into her healing by painting her word mantra on a canvas and displaying it in her home.

Smith attributes her ability to move on to her faith in God and support from family and friends which she says was central to her healing. Smith has also had professional counseling and uses music and hiking to aid in her recovery.

Fortunately, Smith doesn’t have any lifelong physical impairments, but others often do. According to counselors, survivors often deal with the emotional impact of their traumatic experiences throughout their lives.

Another key factor for Smith in moving forward has been forgiving herself. She acknowledges that we all make mistakes. “My healing has come from taking responsibility, being accountable, learning from it and never making the same mistake again,” said Smith.

Today, Smith always has a buddy system in place and suggests others do likewise, especially when visiting bars or public events.

“We are naive and think we’re invincible but it’s not true. This crime happened four years ago and I still have no memory of what happened” —Joy Smith, UCC nursing student

Revised February 26th 2017 – updated phone number.

Bluebird Pizza is packed with love

in Campus Life by
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    (Left) Ric and (Right) Tami Webb are new owners of the gourmet pizzeria Bluebird Pizza. Casey Conemac / The Mainstream

The owners of Bluebird Pizza, Roseburg’s brand new gourmet pizzeria, believe in second chances (and for good reason). In March of 2016, Ric and Tami Webb were at a turning point. Ric was in a coma, fighting for his life against pneumonia, heart failure and low blood pressure. Tami was praying for a miracle as she watched her husband lay helpless in the hospital. After five days in the ICU, doctors considered taking Ric off  of life support.

Casey Conemac / The Mainstream

Not knowing where else to turn, Tami turned to her faith. She asked an Elder from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to give Ric a priesthood blessing. Jim Pritchard had never met Ric and Tami, but responded to the request. In the ICU after the blessing, Pritchard left Ric a bluebird in a wire nest with a note that said, “Get well; there is much good yet for you to do! Your unseen brother!”

Six days later, Ric miraculously woke up. A month later, Ric and Tami were baptized as members of Pritchard’s church. Ric then spent two months in outpatient therapy with his second chance at life.

Prior to Ric’s illness, Ric and Tami were ready to make a change. Because they had been working in different states, they had only spent 35 days together in two years. Ric’s miracle inspired them to start a new business together which they called Bluebird Pizza, naming it after the bluebird Ric received in the hospital, a symbol to them of second chances.

For over 30 years, Ric and Tami have had successful careers in the restaurant and music industries. Both were UCC alumni in the 1980s, and music brought them together; Ric is a professional guitarist and Tami is a vocalist. After attending college, they moved to Texas and played in a 80s band called The Touchables.

“We love people,” Ric said. Every person who enters their restaurant gets a hug. They have family-friendly decor and everyone is welcome to pull a guitar or ukulele off the wall and jam out.

“We’re constantly trying new things to keep our customers happy,” Tami said. The pizzas are loaded with toppings. There are no fillers in the meats. Choices include pepperoni, sausage, taco meat

pizza shop shot
have a slice of pizza and stay awhile
Casey Conemac / The Mainstream

, bacon, and chicken. All veggies are gourmet and freshly cut, including tomatoes, cilantro, artichokes, spinach, mushrooms, olives, peppers and onions. They are always adding new toppings and menu items and have created vegan and gluten free options.

Bluebird Pizza, located at Colony Market, 1612 N.W. Keasey, offers large single slices of pizza every day from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for $2.99. Pizza’s range in price from $5.99 to $25.99. They serve calzones, a variety of Italian foods, gourmet beverages and homemade desserts, such as mini cheesecakes, fresh baked cookies and Ghirardelli’s bundt cakes. They have ongoing specials and offer a rewards system to earn free food. Currently, they deliver to businesses; eventually, they plan to offer residential delivery. They recently ran a Facebook campaign where a local family won free pizza every month for a year.


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