As the fall 2016 semester comes to a close, The Beacon Editorial Board would like to take this opportunity to recognize a few phenomenal Pilots we find particularly inspiring for the impact they have made on the University of Portland community.
Senior mathematics major Parkes Kendrick has a perfect GPA. That sentence would be impressive, even if there wasn’t so much more to add. Kendrick played three years of Division I soccer as a Pilot, but has since transitioned to running and is now a part of Women’s Track and Cross Country team. In her first season of track last spring, she qualified for NCAA regionals when she ran the fourth fastest time in the country. This fall, she helped her team to qualify for their first ever NCAA National Championship, but decided not to attend the meet in Indiana because she was a national finalist for a highly competitive Rhodes Scholarship and was given the opportunity to interview for the scholarship on the same weekend in Seattle. Kendrick’s impressive resume doesn’t end there — she is also very active in community service. In addition to service trips and other volunteering, she recently spearheaded an initiative for a feminine product hygiene drive here on The Bluff. Despite juggling all of this, she still makes time to smile at everyone she sees.
Environmental science professor Ted Eckmann is well known across campus for his interesting courses, tough exams and vast knowledge of economics. Yet Eckmann’s greatest contribution to campus is outside of classroom walls. He has ongoing projects studying air quality and pollution in North Portland, and promoting change here on The Bluff. He can be seen along side his many students in bright orange jackets organizing tripods and studying all kinds of environmental elements. This semester he is teaching six courses and two labs. In his spare time, Eckman is the adviser for UP’s College Ecology Club and an advocate for the at-risk Sequoia trees outside Howard Hall.
Suzy Clemens has been wearing a Bon Appetit apron in the Franz Hall basement since before college was even on your radar — you were still probably running around a playground with scraped knees or at best gossiping in a middle school hallway. Although she is originally from Germany, Clemens has been in Portland for longer than most of the class of 2019 has been alive. Clemens has found joy and a sense of family in her seemingly mundane occupation. The students and faculty she gets to interact with at UP are the highlights of her day. And although she no longer has a taste for bagels, she says, “I’m not going anywhere.”
Nick Carlin Voigt:
Coach Nick Carlin Voigt is new to The Bluff, but his name is already well-known. He brought in the No. 17 ranked recruiting class in the country and his first season has been one for the books, as he just coached the Pilot men’s soccer team to its first West Coast Conference win since 2007. He graduated from Kalamazoo College where he played four years of Division III soccer, and has since coached at George Mason University and most recently at UCLA.
A University of Portland sophomore philosophy and political science double major and Honors Program member, Sitara Nath spent time at the U.S. capitol this summer training for Friends Committee for National Legislation. Her focus is immigration reform, and as the daughter of immigrants from India, Naths understands the importance of this issue. Nath previously told The Beacon that she is not interested in public office, but is not ruling out future work with policy.
A business professor at UP since 2005, Gary Mitchell has not let his two encounters with cancer stop him from living a full life. Mitchell practices taekwondo and hapkido, plays the saxophone, knows 22 programming languages, is married with two children and is currently co-writing a textbook.
Hannah Griffiths Boston:
Junior forward Hannah Griffiths Boston turned heads this fall on the women’s soccer team. Where she only scored two goals in her first two years as a Pilot, she scored seven goals in the first nine games of the season. Griffiths Boston attributes her success on the soccer field to feeling more confident in general, and she told The Beacon just how much “coming out (as gay) and being more comfortable publicly” really helped with that.
Active Minds Treasurer and the man behind the MEN-tal Health initiative, Jimmy Sheldrup has spent his time at UP working to continue to prioritize the open dialogue surrounding mental health. Sheldrup is particularly interested in making sure that the men on campus know there is support available should they need it. Sheldrup feels passionately about breaking down the stigma that surrounds mental health problems, and works tirelessly with Active Minds to create avenues of discussion and make a difference on The Bluff.
Margaret Trout, Director of the University of Portland Health and Counseling Center, organized a screening of the documentary film “The Hunting Ground” combined with a panel event on campus. Trout’s dedication to student health and safety, especially in regards to sexual assault prevention and victim after care, is making a difference in how women are treated on this campus. She is adviser of the new Students Against Sexual Assault club on campus that was started early this semester by juniors Abby Sherman and Katie Reinig.
CPB Director, Vice President of the Mock Trial club and Dutch Bros mega fan are just a few titles that describe junior Organizational Communication major Jacque Nelson. You can easily spot her most hours behind her desk in the ASUP office working tirelessly to put on dances, legendary Rock The Bluff concerts or even working on her latest research paper. As part of the Mock Trial team on campus, she hauls in awards from competitions as well and also helps mentor young members on the team. She takes no time off, spending her summers traveling the world as a camp counselor for Camp Adventure and volunteering her time to watch over children on military bases. A multitasking champ, she makes juggling life, school and work look easy, all while maintaining a hilarious twitter account.
Brian Doyle is nothing short of a campus celebrity, and for good reason — in addition to being the editor of the University’s Portland Magazine, he is an author whose works are known all around the world. He is a husband and father of two, with a poetic voice that captures audiences and flows as smoothly as his literature. His essays and poems have been published in The Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s, Orion, Commonweal, the Times of London, the annual Best American Essays, Best American Science and Nature Writing and Best American Spiritual Writing anthologies, among others. Doyle is a nine time nominee of the Oregon Book Award, winning this year for his 2015 novel “Martin Marten.” His most recent book “The Kind of Brave You Wanted To Be” was published just last month.
Doyle recently informed The Beacon that he has been diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor. He underwent surgery to reduce the size of the tumor last week, has been discharged and although he is now at home recovering with his family, remains a hero and role model in the UP community.
These are only eleven of the awesome people the The Beacon has had the opportunity to get to know throughout this semester. We look forward to continuing to share the stories of amazing people on The Bluff when we return for spring semester.
It’s time to start jotting down the resolutions, Pilots.
If you really want a new and improved 2017 you, ditch the workout routines and diet crazes and start looking to these amazing folks as an example. We can all take a few pointers from all eleven of these Pilots who continue to better themselves and their communities.