Southwestern Alumni Association Honors Former Athletes

COOS BAY, OR - Southwestern Oregon Community College’s (SWOCC) Laker Alumni Association honors former athletes, teams, coaches, and those that have had a large impact on the school and its athletic program. This year’s event will be held on Saturday, June 1, 2019 in Prosper Hall during the College’s annual sports awards (2:00 p.m.). The event is free and open to the public.

One team and two individuals covering a wide range of Laker history will make up the Southwestern Oregon Community College Hall of Fame's class of 2019. This year’s inductees are the 1st Men’s Cross Country Team (1964-65), Rashinda Reed (Volleyball 2000-02), and John Hunter (Northwest Athletic Association Roll of Honor, Class of 1989).

The 1st Men’s Cross Country team was coached by Bill Holmes. As the College’s first athletic director, he also coached both Men’s Basketball and Cross Country before continuing his career at Southern Oregon University where he brought the Men’s Basketball program back to the NAIA national tournament stage on the 20thanniversary of its first appearance. Members of the Cross Country team were Steve Bingham, Larry Haga, Bill Hansen, Ken Matthews*, Mike Orr* and Gary Rother. The team took 3rd place at the 1964 Oregon Community College Athletic Association Championships in frigid 24 degree conditions in Pendleton. Bingham, Rother and Orr finished in the top ten; Bingham took first with a time of 16:20 and Rother a close second with 16:31.

(*The Alumni Association is seeking help in locating some of the team members. Anyone having information on the ones marked with an asterisk (*), can contact the Hall of Fame Committee at or 541-888-7452.)

An Alaska native, Rashinda Reed was an outstanding volleyball player at SWOCC during the early 2000s. She garnered all-Northwest Athletic Conference Second-Team accolades in 2002 before transferring to the University of Georgia, where she played from 2002-2004.

After graduating in 2005 from the University of Georgia with a bachelor's degree in psychology, Reed spent five seasons playing professional volleyball overseas. During that time, she competed for Austria's VC Tirol Volleyball Club (2005-06), Spain's El Algar Volleyball Club (2006-07), Holland's Plantina Longa Volleyball Club (2007-08) and Finland's PislaPloki Volleyball Club (2008-09). She also continued her education, studying anthropology and Hungarian at the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary in 2005 and German at Innsbruck University in Innsbruck, Austria in 2006.

Her coaching career began as an assistant at the University of Southern Indiana (2009 to 2011). While there she mentored one All-American, two all-Midwest Region performers and two all-Great Lakes Valley Conference honorees. In 2010, the Screaming Eagles reached the NCAA Division II Tournament.

Reed also served as an assistant at Binghamton University from 2011 to 2014, helping the Bearcats capture the American East Conference Championship in 2012 and secure an NCAA Division I Tournament berth. She held the same position at Northeastern University for one season.

While on the Binghamton University staff, Reed coached seven all-conference selections, including the conference's 2014 Rookie of the Year and 2012 Setter of the Year. She was also responsible for coordinating the Bearcats' summer camp, leading a staff of 12 coaches, managing the budget and designing on and off-court activities for over 200 campers.

During her time in Binghamton, N.Y., Reed also served as the club director of the Whirlwind Volleyball Club, where she managed 14 coaches and 140 athletes.

Reed spent the 2016 campaign as an assistant coach at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where she guided a Conference USA all-conference honoree and helped manage year-round recruiting. In the summer, she directed the Blazers' highly successful summer camp, which involved 40 coaches and over 800 campers. She also served as the head volleyball coach at Northern Michigan University in 2016-17.

At the University of Illinois, Reed is currently entering her third season (2019) as assistant coach. She has helped lead the team to an NCAA Sweet 16 appearance in 2017, before making the program's fourth-ever trip in the NCAA National Semifinals as the No. 3 overall seed in the 2018 NCAA Tournament and ended the season ranked No. 3 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Coaches Poll. One of the most successful teams in program history, the 2018 squad registered a 32-4 overall record and finished in second place in the Big Ten Conference with a 17-3 mark, with the 32 victories ranking tied for fourth-most wins in school history. Under her tutelage, the Illini middle blockers have been some of the nation's best!

Former Southwestern Dean of Students, instructor and counselor John Hunter was inducted into the Northwest Athletic Association’s Wall of Honor in 1989. From his home town of Caldwell, Idaho Hunter made his way to Oregon earning his college degree in General Science Education at Oregon State University before going on his mission in the Norwegian Mission. Upon returning from Norway he married his wife of 45 years, Deanna. He taught junior high school science, was the 8th grade football coach, and an assistant high school track coach. John and his wife spent 36 years in the local community raising their family in North Bend. He studied and taught in the Counseling Psychology department at the University of Oregon, after which he began a 30-year career as an instructor of psychology, administrator, and counselor at Southwestern Oregon Community College. He was a strong advocate of athletics and the structure, discipline and development it brought to young adults’ lives.

Hunter considered it a privilege to mentor and support young adults as they established their life direction. His service in the community also did not go unnoticed. He served for more than 30 years on the Board of Directors for the Southwestern Oregon Community Action Committee. He was dedicated to discovering factors that contributed to poverty, and with the board, helped establish several innovative programs to help address those issues in the local community. However, John's greatest joy was his family, which now consists of his wife Deanna, along with John and Terri Lynn Hunter, Kim and Dennis Nelson, Brad and Jennifer Hunter, Lynn and James Jutila, Chris Hunter, Ruth and Jason Vollmer, Mary Dickey, Scott and Julie Hunter, and 30 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. While he passed in 2010, Hunter’s dedication to helping people and strengthening the communities he lived is something that is carried on by his family.

We hope you’ll join us for an exciting event to honor our current athletes as well as the 2019 Hall of Fame inductees!

For more information contact us at or call 541-888-7400.


photo of dr. shannon kobs nawotniak    photo of robot Hercules   photo of Broken Lava Tube

Coos Bay, OR  –  Southwestern’s geology lecture series continues when Dr. Shannon Kobs Mawotniak joins us on Saturday, March 16, 2019 at 7:00 pm. Dr. Kobs Nawotniak will present a lecture on "SUBSEA: Robotic Submarines, Underwater Volcanoes, and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life". Dr. Shannon Kobs Nawotniak is a professor of volcanology and the Director of the Honors Program at Idaho State University. She earned her Bachelor of Science from Michigan Technical University and PhD from SUNY Buffalo. She is a leader in the FINESSE (Field Investigations to Enable Solar System Science and Exploration), BASALT (Biologic Analog Science Associated with Lava Terrains), and SUBSEA (Systematic Underwater Biogeochemical Science and Exploration Analog) which are all NASA research projects. These NASA projects are using volcanoes on Earth to understand the Moon, Mars, and Enceladus and whether they could have supported life. Shannon has worked on or visited active volcanoes in seven different countries including: Inyo volcanoes in California, the Los Tuxtlas Volcanic Field in Veracruz, Mexico, Mauna Ulu in Hawaii, and the eastern Snake River Plain volcanic zone in Idaho. Career highlights include being a simulation astronaut and riding a horse through the rainforest up a volcano… with a machete.

Geology Lecture Series talks are free and are held in the Hales Center for the Performing Arts on Southwestern’s Coos Campus, 1988 Newmark Ave., Coos Bay. For those not able to attend in person, this lecture will be Livestreamed and archived, with access from the College's website at  Additional talks in the series for this academic year include:  Dr. Julia Reece (Texas A & M) an Ocean Drilling Program distinguished lecturer on April 13, 2019, and Dr. Stephen Palumbi (Stanford) on extreme life in the sea on May 17, 2019.  Lecture series sponsors include DB Western, The Mill Casino, the Southwestern Foundation and the College. 

For additional information, please contact Ron Metzger at 541-888-7216.

Coos Bay, OR – Southwestern Oregon Community College’s Junior Chamber of Commerce will host “Step Up & Step Out”, a club fundraiser to support the club’s mission to “Build the Bridge between Business and Education”.

This special dinner event will take place on Friday, March 8, 2019 at Southwestern’s Oregon Coast Culinary Institute, 1988 Newmark Ave., Coos Bay. Reservations will begin at 5:00 pm with a final seating at 7:00 pm. The menu will be a Mediterranean feast for $25 per person. Request a gluten free option at time of reservation.

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The students and their club advisor Jessica Engelke are planning a business trip this spring to Portland and Salem, Oregon where they will visit the Capitol, Nike, several marketing firms, and a non-profit organization. Students will also attend a panel discussion with top executives at the Moda Center.

“This takes classroom learning out into the business world, where Southwestern students can network and develop business leadership skills,” Engelke said. “It’s important, because these students are our next generation of entrepreneurial innovators.”

The Junior Chamber is organized around a 4-point mission, to:

  • ·        Create an exclusive portal for opportunities, connections and access to the Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, while providing a multi-tiered platform for professional enrichment and readiness.
  • ·        Develop leaders through volunteer work and community services.
  • ·        Build a bridge between generations and bring the community together by combining education with business development.
  • ·        Influence the future of Southwestern Oregon Community College students through civic and community involvement.

Please call 541-888-7309 for reservations. For more information about the Junior Chamber of Commerce or business classes at Southwestern contact Jessica Engelke, Business Instructor, at 541-297-7263.

Coos Bay, OR – Southwestern Oregon Community College and Executech are co-hosting a Technology Conference. Get answers to your essential Information Technology (IT) questions on topics like cloud storage, cybersecurity, and more!


Executech Technology Conference

Friday - March 22, 2019, 8am – 1pm

Southwestern Oregon Community College

1988 Newmark Ave., Coos Bay

Empire Hall – Lakeview Rooms E, F, G

Cost is $25 per attendee. Seating is limited.

Breakfast and lunch provided.

Register at


Participants select from two separate tracks that run concurrently:

Business Professionals Track: Includes topics like “Business IT Basics”; “What is the Cloud, how can my business use it”; and “Technology planning for the future”. This session is designed for business owners and managers to help you get up to speed on technology issues for businesses large and small.

IT Professionals Track: Include topics like “Cloud & Azure”; “Endpoint & Network Security”; and “Cybersecurity: Managed Detection & Response”. This session is designed for people already working as an IT professional. Take it to the next level!


Thank you to participating sponsors and speakers: CampusGuard, Executech, Secuvant, Sophos, and Southwestern Oregon Community College.

For more information contact Mike Green at Executech ( or Piper Lisseveld, Computer Information Systems Instructor at Southwestern Oregon Community College (

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Technology Career Panel Discussion for students following sessions

Following the sessions, an IT Tech Career Panel Discussion (geared toward high school juniors, seniors, college students, and anyone interested in a career in IT) will take place. Join us for a panel discussion by IT Professionals and Educators. This is a chance for people to explore careers in the IT field. Come learn about opportunities in the tech industry, paths to breaking into tech careers, and skills for success. Panel participants will be telling their individual stories.


Technology Career Panel Discussion

Friday - March 22, 2019, 1pm – 3pm

Southwestern Oregon Community College

1988 Newmark Ave., Coos Bay

Empire Hall – Lakeview Room E

Attendance is Free.


Persons interested in attending must register by emailing Piper Lisseveld at

For more information call 541-888-7456.