Jackson first experienced Lewis & Clark College through the six week Summer College for High School Juniors program in 1984. He had a life-changing experience living and learning with people from vastly different backgrounds and parts of the western states. LC became an obvious and necessary choice when applying to college. Initially planning on a biotechnology law trajectory with a focus on philosophy and biochemistry, his path wound its way to graduating with a major in philosophy and minoring in chemistry and communications. Outside the classroom, he participated in speech and debate, was the local board chair for OSPIRG, and nominated to head the judicial board.
After graduating from LC, Jackson briefly volunteered at the newly formed Center for Ethics at the Oregon Health Sciences University. He was then part of the Portland launch team for Starbuck’s as they started expanding out of the Seattle area. Following this, he moved on to sling coffee and cook at the Cup and Saucer on Hawthorne where he acquired a skill he cherishes to this day: how to make a decent omelette. Then, what had long been a hobby became a career starting with Oregon Health Sciences University, then Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield, Enron, back to Regence, and finally, IBM, where he has been an IT architect since 2010 with a specialty in storage area networks. His philosophy and communications background has made him very successful in the technology field as a presenter in small groups working on solutions or presenting to larger groups at tech conferences. IBM has also afforded him the opportunity to do volunteer work in the local and global community. He’s participated in STEM outreach, leading science workshops at a local elementary school. In 2017, IBM sent him to Mexico City in the Corporate Service Corps to spend a month working with the National Museum of Anthropology on a team of 14 IBMers from around the world working on four different projects.
He lives in Portland with his wife, Toni, who grew up in Ashland and is connected to LC as a host during one of the first Waseda University Summer Programs while she was attending Southern Oregon University (then SOSC), subsequently going to Japan to teach English. They share four children and one grandson. Together, they enjoy cooking and traveling and would love to get back into ceramics and biking.
Jackson continues to enjoy video and tabletop games; perhaps even more so as an “adult,” and hopes to leverage creative problem solving and collaborative decision making skills from these hobbies in his work on the Board of Alumni and as the Portland and Southwest Washington Alumni chapter president.