Tuesday, August 28, 2012

From Boxer to Broadcaster

Trotter '12 with her parents during Commencement 2012
By Molly Jean Trotter '12

During the spring of 2012, I applied for reporting jobs at more than 70 news stations. I heard back from a few, but nothing regarding getting a job. 

In the spring, I took an electronic journalism class from Grant McOmie '75, from KGW's "Grant's Getaways" and Jeff Kastner to learn the ins and outs of the broadcast journalism world. By taking that class, I really learned what it is like to be a "backpack journalist" I filmed, reported, edited and produced my own story.

Before spring break, Grant called Rick Howard, the news director and Ktvl, News 10 in Medford, Ore. Rick and I scheduled an interview during spring break, where I had the chance to visit the station and meet a few faces. The interview lasted all of 20 minutes, so I thought nothing of it.

On May 3, I received a call from Rick Howard offering me a three year contract with Ktvl. You can imagine my excitement.

For someone who didn't go to a school with a big journalism department, like U of O and ASU, I was so excited that they offered ME a job! I knew all my hard work had to pay off, but I didn't know how long it would take for someone to notice.

Currently, I am a daily reporter at Ktvl and I cover every topic out there. On Friday nights, starting August 31, I will be covering high school football and basketball in the winter.
Trotter '12 hard at work at the station

I love my job! I work about nine hours a day, but those nine hours are packed full of filming, reporting, editing and writing scripts for my story for the newscasts that day. It is a lot of work, but every day is a new day and I am continually getting better at it. You have no idea how good it feels to pick a major, go to school for it and get out in the real world to use those skills and actually LOVE your job. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Even though Pacific doesn't have a broadcast journalism department, I did what I could as a journalism major and taking film classes to get where I am today. I will always be grateful for the connections I have made at Pacific.

My ultimate goal is to be a sportscaster at ESPN. I cannot wait for my job to take me somewhere big someday. 

Trotter '12 was a journalism major at Pacific and also enjoys photography, volleyball and outdoor recreation. She describes herself as a "sports junkie" and that ESPN never leaves her television! More more information on KTVL you can visit the website, www.ktvl.com.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Education to Activism

By Garrett Russell '08 

Russell '08 during his first cross country trip
 An education in multiple forms is a gift of magnitude to any individual seeking to find their own path. My education at Pacific University gifted me more than the role of being a student, or graduate. I discovered I was a traveler, globe hopping with Ellen Hastay's service learning journeys in the great corners of this planet. I found a passion for studying cultural cause and effect throughout history and my own generation by cooking and walking the streets of Europe with Cheleen Mahar's anthropology travel course.

My education inside and outside the walls of Forest Grove propelled me into a world of connecting the dots in both my own life and the web around me. My miles on foot, bike, ship and plane traveling the U.S. and globe since graduating four years ago has supplemented a foundational process, which has me creating films and web series about the connective human experience in both painful destruction and triumphant solution. Turns out that we are magnificent beings of limitless potential.

From the most ignorant, hateful, malicious and unhappy individuals I have met to the iconic joy spouting, innocent, smiling and surviving poverty-stricken child, there is goodwill somewhere within us. I know this sounds like new-age rhetoric, but all it took to create great patriotism in my spirit for the land, people and being of this beautiful, volatile nation was a simple bike ride for a passionate desire to get those without clean drinking water, an option to a new way of life.

I, who once cracked jokes at the plight of spandex-laden cyclists, or even worse, cycle tourists (with their giant pannier bags and ridiculous bright tractor reflectors) found myself to now be one of them. My dear friend and confidant and photographer, Brittany App and I set off on an unsupported trip from San Diego, Calif. to St. Augustine, Fla. The journey was a total distance of over 3,200 miles with over $15,000 dollars raised for clean water and sanitation in Africa and Asia thus far.

As a tribute to the stories of the magnificent individuals we met along the way, of each region and its water abuses and successes and to highlight the vibrant way of life it has been traveling by bicycle, I directed and edited the short episodic web series, "Water Tension."

This series is my humble piece of the puzzle in our conversation of making positive changes and enacting direct and compassionate solutions into our daily lives and culture for the betterment of the children of seven generations from now. The issue of water is a basic, elemental right to all living beings and connects us all to other issues in this world involving the physical, mental and spiritual well-being of our connected future outcomes.

We are one giant family on this floating orb that sports a Dr. Seuss-like plethora of animals, cultural, geological and environmental diversities. Breath it all in. There are a billion different causes with billions of us strong and waiting to act. It is about taking that education, opportunity, passion, frustration and even apathy, and taking action in this moment. For the sake of your own well-being, for the connected plight of those we care about and the life you claim to want to live, we need to let our differences remain frivolous and stride towards seeing our similarities with celebration and understanding.

It may not be a crazy long bike ride. It may not be a documentary. We all have different forms of expression for change, but unless we all start expressing a lot, soon and with open minds, ears and hearts, that seventh generation and our kids will have a life on this earth in which the beauty may be harder to innately experience.

Pass it on. This is a fine generation of young people on this daily-shrinking digital earth, with an hourly-expanding consciousness. Let us do something about expressing who we truly are and where we would like to end up. Let us each choose our own way to make a gracefully, powerful mark on this collective experience.
Visit Russell's website "Cycling for Water"

And so, I ride on. I currently am 500 miles into what will hopefully be a 15,000 mile bicycle trek that has myself and my partner, Sara Miller ’11, following the four approximate borders of the United States. We started in Northwest Washington and are in western Montana on our way east on our first leg to Bar Harbor, Maine. We serendipitously ride for the cause of clean rainwater and healthcare for the very indigenous I met in the Ecuadorian rainforest with Ellen Hastay on a Pacific travel course in 2007.

The communities we ride for consist of strong and beautiful peoples who have inspired my drive toward activism through film and connecting people to promote peaceful solutions. In solidarity with their fight to save their lands and offspring from pollution created by an American company Texaco/Chevron, we are riding in hopes that our cause will connect with other's causes and that a positive movement of service and revolution will dictate the path we move down together. Cheers to clear skies, fair winds and memories worth having. Peace be your journey.

Russell '08 is the director of GBR Productions, "Giving Untold Stories a Voice." He was a film and video production and anthropology major at Pacific University. In the spare time he has, he is a musician and gardener. He is the middle child from a large multi-ethnic family and enjoys life activities from jumping out of planes to knitting scarves as gifts. Follow Russell's adventures on his blog: http://cyclingforwater.com/blog/

Monday, August 06, 2012

Boxer 'Ohana on Oahu

By Logan Okita '06  

Pacific alumni at the Oahu Boxer 'Ohana Reception on 7/20
I recently attended the Oahu Boxer 'Ohana Reception for alumni, parents, and friends of Pacific University. It was held at Kapiolani Community College as a part of the Hawaii student registration weekend festivities.  What a great event!  
There was a great turn out with a wide range of participants. It was great to see so many new faces! The food was prepared by students in KCC’s culinary arts program, a great group of current students shared about their experience at Pacific, we heard about the new business school opening, and played a fun BINGO game related to Pacific. Can you find someone at your next Pacific gathering who has touched Boxer, met their significant other while in college, and rode the 57 (TV Highway) bus? The prizes for the games were handy Pacific gear like a blanket, a portfolio, and tumblers. A group of us had so much fun that we went out afterward for more dessert to end the night.
Now I may be biased because I helped with some of the coordination by contacting alumni from the Class of 2000 to the Class of 2012 along with several other alumni and parent volunteers, but these events are always a lot of fun. 
Each year, we work together to promote the January and July events to encourage others to attend and get to know more about what is going on at Pacific. When I first attended one of these receptions, I was scared about not knowing anyone, but I remembered what I loved the most about Pacific, no matter what your relationship with the person or your age, everyone is a part of the family. Everyone at the events is welcoming. 
Okita '06 and her mom after Honolulu Marathon in 2011.
You run into parents of your friends who want to know what you have been up to, classmates that you’ve lost touch with, and in July, professors who impacted your life and career or are now teaching your favorite course. Both events are a great way to hear about what is happening at Pacific, what has changed since the last time you were in Forest Grove, and what the plan is for the future. They are also a great opportunity for networking to build your client base because who wouldn’t want to support someone else from Pacific?
I enjoy getting phone calls from the students during Phonathon, especially when I can answer their questions about teaching in Hawaii and encourage them to come here to teach. While I wish I could give more to Pacific to financially support what they do, I have found I can give back by volunteering for these events. 
I hope if you graduated since 2000 and live on Oahu, you receive my emails about the events, come out to the January and July events to represent your class, and have joined our Hawaii Pacific Young Alumni group on Facebook where we post about things happening at Pacific and arrange our own happy hours to catch up.  I’m looking forward to seeing even more alumni, parents, and friends at the next event!

Okita '06 teaches second grade at Fern Elementary School in Kalihi, Hawaii and will start her seventh year this fall. She majored in Education and Learning with a minor in Psychology and she went on to earn a Master's of Education in Curriculum Studies from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, doing craft projects, and exercising (walking, turbokick, and boot camp).