marcia jensen and patty scott

Dr. Patty Scott, President of Southwestern and Marcia Jensen, Board Member


Coos Bay, OR – Coos Bay, OR – Marcia Jensen, who has served on the Southwestern Oregon Community College Board of Education for over 17 years, and as board chair for seven years, has been named the 2018 Howard Cherry Outstanding Board Member by the Oregon Community College Association.

Jensen was praised by Southwestern’s President Patty Scott who said, “Marcia is a passionate leader and works hard to advance all colleges, not just Southwestern.” During her 17+ years of service on the Board Marcia has helped the College expand its educational services and increase opportunities for students. This includes helping the Board decide to build the Oregon Coast Culinary Institute, Hales Center for the Performing Arts, Student Recreation Center, a Curry County Campus, and expand student housing capacity from 140 to almost 400. Full-time student enrollment during Marcia’s tenure on the Board has increased due, in part, to these board decisions. Marcia serves as a resource for other board members and is also a strong advocate for Southwestern’s many employees. She served as President of the Oregon Community College Association Executive Board (2015-2016) and consistently advocates for community colleges locally, regionally and nationally.

Jensen, a Coos County native, is retired from Weyerhaeuser Company’s Coos Bay Timberlands where she worked as the Executive Assistant to Operations and served as the Safety and Health Information Systems Administrator for her team. Her work included earning the OSHA Voluntary Protection Program recognition award for the Millicoma Tree Farm unit of Weyerhaeuser, making it the first-ever logging company to achieve this national honor.

Marcia attended school in Coquille and received her college education at the University of North Wales at Bangor, Southern Oregon University, and Southwestern Oregon Community College.

Throughout her working career she has actively served the community as a member of many civic organizations; being past president of several, including the Coos Bay-North Bend Rotary Club, Soroptimist International of the Coos Bay Area, Chapters AS and CS of the PEO Sisterhood and Women of Emmanuel Episcopal Church Association. She currently serves as the state representative for Southwestern Oregon Community College on the Oregon Community College Association Board.

The Oregon Community College Association’s Howard Cherry Award recognizes board members, employees and advocates who make a difference. They are named after the late Dr. Howard Cherry, a Portland orthopedic surgeon who was a lifelong advocate for education and community involvement. He served on the Portland School Board, in the Oregon Legislature, and was a founding member of the Association of Community College Trustees.

“Being nominated for the Howard Cherry Award is a great privilege, and to be chosen to receive the recognition is an unexpected honor. I am deeply touched by this gesture of OCCA’s appreciation for my humble service to the community college system of Oregon. Though I never had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Cherry, his dedication to the creation of the community college system here in Oregon has always been a motivational model for me to follow. We citizens of Oregon should be proud that with Dr. Cherry’s legislative support, along with the help of many others, Oregon currently has 17 community colleges across the State serving the educational needs of our students,” said Jensen.

Southwestern Oregon Community College leads and inspires lifelong learning through its campuses on the south Oregon coast in Coos and Curry counties, and through its University Center.

Coos Bay, OR  –  Southwestern’s geology lecture series continues when Dr. Frederik Simons joins us on Friday, November 30, 2018 at 7:00 pm. Dr. Simons will present a lecture on “Through the Ocean to the Mantle: Under the Seas with a Fleet of Floating Seismic Robots”. Dr. Simons comes to Coos Bay as a distinguished lecturer Lectures Series. For nearly two decades, the IRIS/SSA lecture series has enabled world-renowned scientists to travel and speak to public audiences about cutting-edge earthquake and seismologic research.

Dr. Simons is a geophysicist at Princeton University. Usually from the safety of his office, he analyzes data from digital global seismic networks to study the physical properties of the interior of the solid Earth, and from gravity satellite missions to weigh the ice sheets melting off its surface. To help increase seismic station coverage around the globe, he has been leaving his comfort zone by prototyping floating earthquake recorders in the oceans, and is now promoting the next big push in earth observation through the international initiative "EarthScope-Oceans". Simons joined the Princeton faculty in 2006. He is also an Associated Faculty member in the Program in Applied & Computational Mathematics and serves on the Executive Committee of the Program in Archaeology. Between 2010 and 2013, Simons was the Dusenbury University Preceptor of Geological & Geophysical Sciences. Previously, he was a Lecturer at University College London, a Princeton Council of Science & Technology Beck Fellow and a Department of Geosciences Hess Post-doctoral Fellow. Simons received a Ph.D. in Geophysics from M.I.T. and his M.Sc. in Geology from the KU Leuven in Belgium, of which he is a native.

In the last few decades, seismologists have mapped the Earth's interior (crust, mantle, and core) in ever increasing detail. Natural earthquakes, the sources of energy used to probe the Earth's inside via seismic computerized tomography, occur mostly on tectonic plate boundaries. Seismometers, the receivers of earthquake wave motion, are located mostly on dry land. Such fundamentally inadequate 'source-receiver' coverage leaves large volumes inside the Earth entirely unexplored. Here be dragons!  Placing seismic stations on the ocean bottom is among the solutions practiced successfully today. But there are exciting alternatives. Enter MERMAID: a fully autonomous marine instrument that travels deep below the ocean surface, recording seismic activity (and marine environmental data), and then reporting it by surfacing for satellite data transmission. This presentation will discuss a century of Earth imaging, a decade of instrument design and development, and the challenging – and wet – places that our scientific journey has taken us.

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, all lectures are Livestreamed and archived, with access from the College's web site at  Additional talks in the series for this academic year include:  Dr. Lucy Jones (The 14th Annual Cascadia Anniversary Lecture) on January 25, 2019; Dr. Shannon Kob (Idaho State) on undersea volcanoes and the search for extraterrestrial life on March 2, 2019; 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 is pleased to welcome Andrew Greenberg of Portland State University, faculty mentor for the Portland State Aerospace Society (PSAS), as our first Physics and Astronomy lecturer of the year on Saturday December 1, 2018 at 7:00 pm in the Hales Center for the Performing Arts. Mr. Greenberg will detail the project that the PSAS team has undertaken to create Oregon’s first satellite. What is OreSat? What is its mission? How do students and community members from across the state get involved with communicating with a satellite in space? This talk will give insight into what goes into launching a small satellite and why scientifically we should still conduct experiments from space.

Andrew Greenberg is the Chief Technical Officer at The TOVA Company. At Portland State, he primarily helps operate the Laboratory for Interconnected Devices, a rapid prototyping lab. He also serves as a faculty mentor for the Portland State Aerospace Society, a student engineering project group in the Masseh College of Engineering and Computer Science.

For more information of this event, please contact Dr. Aaron Coyner, Physics Instructor, at (541) 888-7244 or email This event is free and open to the public and takes place on the Coos campus of Southwestern at 1988 Newmark Ave., Coos Bay.

Coos Bay, OR –  The Southwestern Physics Experimental Atmospheric Research (SPEAR) student group will be conducting a high altitude balloon launch from Henry Hansen Square (the quad) on the Southwestern Coos campus (1988 Newmark Ave., Coos Bay), Friday, November 16, 2018. The students will be collecting meteorological data and tracking the balloon as it ascends. The data will be used to help the students gain insight into the behavior of our atmosphere, and the effects of upper atmosphere temperature and humidity variations on our surface weather.

Launch activities will begin at 2:00 pm. Those interested in viewing the launch are welcome to contact Dr. Aaron Coyner at (541) 888-7244 or to obtain more information.