Adventure is out there
MA TESOL major Tirzah Allen admits that she has the traveling bug. Immediately after high school she packed her bags and headed to Scotland for a year-long adventure. She worked odd jobs, met people from all different backgrounds and explored a new country. “That time planted the seeds of travel in my life,” Allen says. And it wasn’t long before those seeds started to germinate.
Immediately after she graduated with a BA in English and communication, Allen began researching grad schools.
Living joyfully in the present
Frank Ocampo is busy. He’s pursuing a master’s degree in counseling, interning at a behavioral treatment center for at-risk youth, serving as the head assistant for MU’s commuter program, volunteering at a church and working as a barista at Roger’s Café.
“I feel like I’m running a marathon,” he says. “And right now I’m at mile 24.”
Those two final miles stretch between now and May 2014, when Ocampo graduates. As excited as he is to move towards a career in counseling, he’s careful not to live solely in the future. The same goes for the past.
Feeling at home
Max Olwa might be 9,000 miles from home, but he knows he’s in the right place at the right time.
“I came here from Kenya, but I feel like I’ve always been a part of this place,” he says. “Living in this community is uplifting — the housing is affordable, and the people are open.”
Olwa moved from his home country last year with his wife and two small sons to join MU’s MAGDJ program. After he earns his degree, he plans on moving back to Kenya to implement the development tactics and justice initiatives he’s learned.
Until then, he’s enjoying everything Multnomah has for him. “There are so many resources,” he says. “It seems like my family and I have always lived here.”
Representing the Master Teacher
Bernie Bernardo loves what he does. The MA TESOL graduate teaches grammar, listening, reading, writing and vocabulary at Portland Community College and Columbia School of English. “I like the relationships I can build with my students,” he says. “I can’t directly witness to them. But I’m able to show them that I respect them and can learn from their standpoint.”
The respect that Bernardo has cultivated with his students is paying off. “They tell me that I’m their favorite teacher,” he says. He grins widely as he remembers their kind words. One student told Bernardo that his teaching had made him love English class. Another thanked him for making them feel at home away from their family. And one student told him, “You have been my role model. There is something different about you.”
Putting God’s Word into practice
“I knew I needed my master’s degree if I was going to grow my talk show,” says Diane Moore, former host of a call-in radio show called “Parent Talk.” As a registered counselor, not a licensed counselor, she had reached her peak in the foothills even though she knew she was gifted and willing to scale mountains. She needed credibility and next-level training, so she eventually settled on a master’s in counseling degree.
The course she initially charted to grow her radio show found a new trajectory at Multnomah; the equipping and motivation she received there pushed her to pursue a full-time private practice.