Friday, January 18, 2013

The story of an Oregon-to-Arizona Transplant

By Brandon Porter '09 

Upon my graduation from Pacific in December of 2009, I embarked on a life-changing journey down to the Desert Southwest, more specifically, Flagstaff, Arizona.  Having never been to this outdoorsy mountain town, I didn’t know what to expect.  I was greeted by a monsoon my first day in town, followed by a winter that included snow measured in feet per week.  Putting it lightly, this was a novel experience for this Oregonian.

However, I have adjusted well and am glad that my journey at Pacific led me to where I am today.  I received me Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Pacific, and I am the perfect example of how the well-rounded education I received as an undergrad has allowed me to thrive in a very different field than the one I studied for.  

I am currently the Assistant Coach for the Northern Arizona University Women’s Soccer team (Division I Big Sky), as well the Public Relations and Marketing Manager for a local non-profit organization.  Degree and profession sound somewhat unrelated?  You would be correct.  But the variety of knowledge that I gained at Pacific allowed me to be a quick learner, organized, and accountable.  Which I believe are traits more valuable than being trained for a specific career path, and things for which I am grateful that Pacific developed in me.

I am glad that I was offered the opportunity to submit something for the blog.  It is nice to feel connected to my college years.  I plan on visiting very soon, and hope to drop in on The PAC (now the Stoller Center), swing by and see Vicki McGee and Andrea Stewart, my former coach, Jim Brazeau, and meet any new staff in the the athletic department.  I hope Heide Island is slowly taking over the world in the Psychology Department, one cleverly delivered (albeit sometimes inappropriate) joke at a time.  And I want to make sure that Pacific knows how much its alumni care about its future.

I now reside in Flagstaff as an Arizona resident with my dog, FIFA, and have gotten used to the lack of water, the high elevation (7,000 feet above sea level, wheez...), and pumping my own gas (sigh).

I know there have been lots of changes to Pacific University, but this Oregon-to-Arizona transplant is proud of where I came from, and I am hopeful for the future of my alma mater.  GO BOXERS!

Porter '09 was a psychology major at Pacific University as an undergraduate and also a member of the men's soccer team for four years. He works for the Northland Hospice and Palliative Care along with being a soccer coach. 

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