- Copyright, Steve Hambuchen
Associate Vice President for Admissions
California (San Francisco County), New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont)
0615 SW Palatine Hill Road
Portland, OR 97219
Hometown: Portland, OR. It’s not where I was born but I have lived here since I was 10 and it is definitely home.
Favorite spot on campus: There are these wonderful study tables on the second floor of the Watzek library that I love. Each one is a little alcove with a table and a window that looks out at the pathway between the library and J.R. Howard Hall. They have this enclosed feeling that I find so comforting. It’s a great place to do some serious work.
Little-known fact about me: Although I consider Portland home, I was born in Southern California and am the 8th generation in my family to have been born there. My ancestors helped build the missions along the California coast and were involved in the founding of Los Angeles. I absolutely love Portland but a tiny piece of my heart will always belong in California.
Piece of advice for students in the college search process: I believe that the college experience is what you make of it. Being focused on particular elements is not as important as being focused on your own success. Look for a college where people believe in helping you with the process of discovering your passion. Look for schools less willing to promise you specific outcomes and more inclined to open your eyes to opportunities you never considered before. This is a journey - one that continues long after you get an undergraduate degree - and if you are not prepared to be open to new ideas you could miss out!
Favorite place to spend time in Portland: I went to high school in downtown Portland and in those days I loved to visit the Rose Garden at Washington Park. Both the Rose Garden and Multnomah Falls make me feel very Portland-y. But I also love the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. I worked there during high school and have spent many hours there in recent years with my two young children.
If I was stranded on a desert island, I would want these three things: For obvious reasons I would want a net and flint (to catch fish and then to make fire so that I could cook them). For my sanity, I require the complete works of Jane Austen.
If I didn’t work in Admissions, I would be: A carpenter? I love the creative process, and seeing something that I made with my own hands. I knit and sew, but I have always had this desire to build with wood. When I was younger I would draw plans for picket fences, windmills, and playhouses. If I had my way I would invest in the tools necessary to build things by hand and I would undertake the projects that I sit around planning in my head. I currently have a treehouse in mind for my kids. It’s been on my to-do list for the last couple summers and, at this point, I just hope to build it before they go to college!