Ann Harris named CGCC ‘Open Campus’ coordinator


For the Hood River News

Oregon State University Extension Services has had a presence in the community for many decades, but OSU has decided to bring its Open Campus program to the Columbia Gorge as well.

Ann Harris, newly hired Open Campus coordinator, said the initiative is one that facilitates new ways the university can “reach out and partner with existing community organizations and educational institutions to work toward three main goals: college and career readiness, degree completion, and professional and economic development.”

“No one entity is going to make those things happen,” Harris said. “The purpose of Open Campus is to coordinate efforts to enable students to meet as many markers of educational success as they can.

“The typical student isn’t the just-out-of-high-school norm anymore,” Harris said. “It’s adults going back to school who have families and other commitments to keep them busy. We need to meet people where they are and provide them with what they need to meet those graduation requirements.”

Harris said her role in all of this boils down to connecting with the communities of The Dalles and Hood River to determine area needs. She will be assisted by an educational council comprised of county leaders, who will help “identify key areas that will further the efforts of the program.”

“It’s all based on the concept of bringing the wealth of educational opportunities offered by the university and sharing them with the rest of the state. If you can’t come to Corvallis to benefit from OSU’s resources, then we’re making sure that a good portion of what’s offered at Corvallis can come to you, with staff like myself helping to coordinate everything so that it really works for you.”

Harris said this process involves a wide range of services, including helping students know what to take in order to get a transfer degree to OSU with the least amount of time and money spent.

Although new to her position with OSU, Harris is by no means a stranger to the Gorge or CGCC. After receiving a master’s degree in social work from UC Berkeley and returning to the workforce herself, Harris said she “saw a lot of people whose full potential just wasn’t being realized.”

So, after going back to school and making the career switch to education, Harris dedicated seven years as a career and academic advisor for CGCC students.

Online bachelor’s degrees from OSU, Harris said, can potentially save a lot of money if a student chooses to attend a community college like CGCC for their first few terms before transferring to an online college or a four-year institution, while simultaneously allowing them to maintain their local connections and not be forced to relocate.

The program could also benefit older adults seeking to enhance their abilities to meet the needs of today’s employers with non-credit courses that focus on skill building and career management.

For details about Open Campus, contact Harris at 541-386-3343, ext. 228, or

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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