“I thought I was retired.” –Ron Stribling, UCC graduate Ron Stribling is not your average UCC student; he’s been married 60 years, has five sons, lived during WWII and at 81 years of age, he is graduating from the welding program with an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree. Most would deem it unusual for Stribling to return to school after all this time, but after being laid off from his job in 2016, it was his only way forward. Welding has always come natural to him. As a child, he’d watch his father weld. He had “always been around welding,” so it was aRead More →

Priscila Lopez, ASUCC senator and Spanish Club representative, developed a profound respect for her family and heritage at an early age. One of three children born to immigrant parents, she had a first-hand view of the difficulties Hispanic Americans face and the determination that is required to overcome them. “My parents came from Mexico in the mid-’80s,” she says. “They worked hard, had my brother, and got their citizenship that they worked very hard for.” She gets a little misty-eyed as she recalls her humble but loving childhood. “There were days we didn’t  have very much,” she says, “and I remember how much they struggledRead More →

   There is little to nothing that the director of student services thinks she “has” to do. She does, however, “get” to do exactly what she loves with exuberance.     April Hamlin doesn’t proceed through her days with of a sense of obligation, but rather a buoyant joy, the infectious kind that brightens a space and likely the days of many students and co-workers. This would seem counter-intuitive for someone who, in fact, has a virtual laundry list of roles to play and things to do on campus. “So far this morning,” she says, “I’ve been working on a grant that provides services forRead More →

debra thatcher

Dr. Debra Thatcher never expected to land into the position of a college president while in her studies as an undergraduate student. “I never dreamed of being president of anything,” Thatcher said. A passion from her childhood, Thatcher initially intended to earn a degree in music at the private school she first attended. “In elementary school, the big thing was that they went around to all the third and fourth graders and said, ‘we have all these instruments, which one would you like to try?’” Thatcher said. She first chose the flute and when eighth grade rolled around she decided to upgrade to the bassoonRead More →

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. In 2013, as a newly divorced 32-year-old single mother, Smith frequently volunteered at events in the Portland area. A new chapter of herRead More →

big smile

Joy, Adversity, and Inspiration Jared Norman’s road to UCC nursing program Halfway through a year-long backpacking trek a few years ago, Jared Norman realized his calling.  He knew that becoming a pediatric oncology nurse would be his career path. To clarify, the practice of pediatric oncology deals with treating children with cancer.Read More →