Two MHCC Students Honored as All-Oregon Academic Team Scholars
Posted April 30, 2012
Each year, two Mt. Hood Community College (MHCC) students are selected for the All-Oregon Academic Team by the Oregon Community College Association. This year's honorees are Meadow Geddes and Ryan Lindquist.
The award recognizes outstanding students for their academic achievement and commitment to service. In April, all 38 scholars were honored at a brunch in Salem and greeted by Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber at the State Capitol Galleria. They are now eligible to apply for more than $350,000 in private scholarships, as well as transfer scholarships to four-year Oregon colleges, both public and private.
Geddes has made a remarkable journey in her 31 years. As the first person in her family to progress beyond high school, she says, "My commitment to academic excellence has never wavered." That commitment was confirmed last year when she was awarded the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation scholarship, and continues with her four terms on the MHCC President’s Honor Roll.
Geddes' decision to enroll in the Physical Therapist Assistant program at MHCC grew from positive personal experience as a patient and from her attraction to the idea of preventive healthcare. With two months to go before graduation, she already has a job lined up at a physical therapy clinic.
Geddes, who holds a bachelor’s degree in English, has taught preschool and English as a Second Language (ESL). She's now a mother, teaching on a daily basis, and finds satisfaction instructing her physical therapy patients how to support their personal wellness.
Social and political issues are important to Geddes. She helped organize a Greenpeace protest to stop deforestation of the California redwoods, and was a student group leader at a Nevada nuclear test site protest. More recently, she supported the Portland Central American Solidarity Committee, and was a class representative for the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Oregon.
In 2008, Lindquist was facing some serious challenges: the loss of his long-term job, along with its health insurance, and his wife's major medical issues. They decided that his best course to a good career was higher education, specifically in business. He chose MHCC because the tuition is affordable and he heard good things about the instructors.
Both school and income have tested the hard-working couple's resourcefulness. They and their son have moved several times, including a stretch with her parents, ending up at an apartment complex that employed her as a manager and him as a handyman. As Lindquist puts it, "I now have intimate knowledge about how to fix plumbing issues."
In 2010, Lindquist was almost ready to transfer to Portland State University to finish his business degree. But his chemistry professor, Dr. Joyce Sherpa, encouraged him to change to a science major, a path he finds very satisfying. He won a Physical Science division scholarship and has been on the President's Honor Roll for four terms.
Lindquist continues to average 20 hours per week at his handyman job, as well as tutor in the MHCC Learning Success Center and volunteer for a children's science class. He's been accepted by the University of Oregon, and eventually hopes to earn a doctorate and pursue a career in medical research and development.
Geddes and Lindquist both appreciate the way that MHCC launched them into academic success. Lindquist might be speaking for both of them when he says, "I have met some very amazing instructors who believed in me and showed me that I can be and do something significant."
By Deborah Wessell