AAWCC Oregon Chapter Winter 2022 Newsletter

Our mission is to inspire, champion, and celebrate the talents within each of us.

President's Message


Acting on ah-ha moments

Many of us enjoyed a fantastic Fall Conference just a few weeks ago! Adrienne did a great job of bringing together engaging keynote speakers and a broad range of breakout topics. 

Every year, following each conference, someone comes up to me to let me know this was the “best conference!” This really reflects the value of providing the right information at the right time, and how that is different for each of us.

The 2022 Fall Conference resonated with me in this way — it changed my life. It is a subtle change, but something that is very meaningful to me. As we were all together listening to Saliym talking about the power of words, something started to move in me. I got goosebumps. I related Saliym’s words to my experience and new ideas came to mind that I just wasn’t finding before. I still need to do the work…but I got the tools and inspiration to do that work! This is going to change my life.

We never know when these “ah-ha” moments will come for each of us but I encourage you to keep an open mind and seek opportunities to engage with others. This will expand your mental toolbox and deepen connections within your community. 

The new year brings new members to our state board. Please join me in welcoming new AAWCC Oregon board members:

  • VP-Fall Conference - Samantha Piers-VanderPloeg, MHCC
  • VP-Special Projects (Mentoring Program) – Alyson Lighthart, PCC
  • VP-Communications – Amanda Blunt, LCC

Thanks to outgoing board members, Adrienne Ochs, VP of Fall Conference, and Marsha Sills, VP of Communications for their service to the board and our members. Lynn Irvin, VP of Special Projects, will continue in her role for through June 2023 to help with the transition and relaunch of our mentoring program.

-Teri Olsen, AAWCC Oregon President


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Ambassadors Update


AAWCC Oregon President-Elect Lori Wamsley collaborates with campus chapter ambassadors across the state. She shares this reflection and 2023 goals. If you would like to learn more about AAWCC Ambassadors or would like to become the Ambassador for your institution, contact Lori Wamsley.

During the holiday season, I like to reflect on the past year and think about what I'm grateful for. This year, I am grateful for our fantastic AAWCC OR Ambassadors! This group met every other month via Zoom to share successes and struggles on their campuses related to their AAWCC work, as well as in their roles working at a community college during challenging times.  

This year, the Ambassadors volunteered at our Summer and Fall conferences, encouraged colleagues to participate in AAWCC conferences, and shared information about AAWCC elections and awards. Our conferences, and more importantly, our association, would not have been as successful this year without your essential contributions.  

Thank you, Ambassadors, for your ongoing efforts to stay connected with colleagues, provide inspiration to others, and support leadership development in women. I wish you all a happy and healthy new year and look forward to working with you in 2023! 

Campus Ambassadors Round-up


Special thanks to our campus ambassadors for their work creating engagement and professional development opportunities for their campus members. Ambassadors shared a few updates about ongoing work and 2023 plans.

  • Blue Mountain CC - Velda Arnaud
  • Central Oregon CC - Lisa Chitwood
  • Chemeketa CC - Wendy Baker
  • Clackamas CC - Teresa Robertson
  • Clatsop CC - Stephanie Homer
  • Columbia CC - Courtney Judah
  • Community Colleges and Workforce Development - Kasena Dailey
  • Klamath CC - Shannon Childs
  • Lane CC - Amanda Blunt
  • Linn-Benton CC - Kim Armstrong
  • Mt. Hood CC- Felisha Brewer
  • Oregon Coast CC - Kathleen Andrews
  • OCCA - Katie Archambault
  • Portland CC- Cheri Maas-Anderson
  • Rogue CC - Donna Plummer
  • Southwestern Oregon CC - Anna Cole
  • Tillamook Bay CC - Britney Noel
  • Treasure Valley CC - Gina Roper
  • Umpqua CC - Joy Yori


Chemeketa Community College had a Coffee Hour, which provided a great opportunity to learn about AAWCC from current members. We are planning a January Lunch and Learn with a guest speaker. The focus is on goal setting and growth opportunities both in the AAWCC and at Chemeketa. Submitted by Wendy Baker


The Lane chapter had an amazing conversation with your new president, Dr.Stephanie Bulger and she is so supportive of the work we are doing.  Here is a list of events we're planning for early 2023:

  • Lunch with the President - Jan.25
  • Women's History Month Event - First week in March 
  • LCC Spring Conference breakout session - May 5
  • Lunch and Learn events 

Submitted by Amanda Blunt.


The LBCC AAWCC chapter has been working diligently on silent auction baskets thanks to the prompting and seemingly tireless efforts of our President Jo Ann Yonomura. Baskets are auctioned during the LBCC end-of-term celebration with proceeds supporting our student scholarship fund. The event involves the efforts of many AAWCC members. We also raised a record amount in our AAWCC Assistance Fund to support the LBCC Thanksgiving Food drive! Our LBCC AAWCC members (pictured right) enjoyed a wonderful time at the Fall Conference, where awards were received, relationships were built, and the beauty of reconnecting in person brought pure joy to those that were able to attend! Submitted by Kim Armstrong.  

The Rewind

Fall Conference Recap

Thank you to all who attended our Fall Conference, "Back to Basics: The FUNdamentals of AAWCC" at the Embassy Suites in Tigard. We had just under 100 people attend in person, and it was a delight to see each and every one of you! 

The two days were filled with inspiration, learning, networking, and celebration. We were inspired by our speakers: Celia Núñez, Ineda Pearl Adesanya, and Linda Gerber, all of whom shared their personal stories about leadership, self-care, and finding ways to reconnect with each other. We learned from a variety of sessions that taught us how to: appreciate ourselves and others, ask the right questions, take care of our financial lives and brain health, and how to connect to our best selves for growth. 

We had many opportunities to network with each other through OILD and Ambassadors sessions and during meals. During the awards luncheon, we celebrated members for their service and dedication. Read more about the honorees below.

In short, it was an amazing two days together and we truly appreciate each of you who attended and are sharing what you learned with your campus colleagues. We will be using your feedback to help us plan future conferences. We hope to see you at our Summer Conference, in July, at the Oregon Gardens Resort.

The 2022 Carolyn DesJardins Award recognizes a member who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and made a significant contribution to community colleges. Our 2022 honoree was Samantha Piers VanderPloeg, Mt. Hood Community College.

The 2022 Oregon Excellence Awards celebrate individuals whose accomplishments made a difference for women at their community college. Our 2022 honorees included:

Megan Cogswell,

Chemeketa CC

Bhaktirose Dawdy,

Mt. Hood CC

Jessica Engelke,

Southwestern Oregon CC

Marci Johnston,

Linn-Benton CC

Heidi VanBrocklin,

Portland CC

Angelica Woods,

Rogue CC


2023 Board of Directors

Looking ahead ...

The AAWCC Oregon Board of Directors wishes everyone a safe, healthy and restorative winter break! How will you recharge and plan for the new year? Our board will meet for an in-person planning retreat in early spring to discuss our 2023 goals for creating opportunities for connections and professional and personal growth for our members.

See you in 2023!

  • President - Teri Olsen
  • Past President - Donna Lewelling
  • President-Elect - Lori Wamsley
  • VP Fall Conference - Samantha Piers-VanderPloeg
  • VP Summer Conference - Amber Fultz
  • VP Finance - Lisa Fletcher-Gordon
  • VP Records - Lauren Smith
  • VP Communications - Amanda Blunt
  • VP OILD - Sydney Frost
  • VP Membership and Registration - Kristina Holton
  • VP Web Development - Lydia Rediske
  • VP Special Projects - Alyson Lighthart and Lynn Irvin
  • National AAWCC Representative - Cherie Maas-Anderson 
  • President Emerita - Karen Magnuson
  • Ex Oficio Members - Cam Preus, Mary Spilde
AAWCC Oregon Website

The AAWCC Oregon Chapter newsletter is an official communication from the Board of Directors in support of the chapter's mission. Contact Vice President of Communications, Marsha Sills (sillsm@lanecc.edu) for corrections. This edition was published on March 31, 2022.

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