Meet a few of our alumni

Here at Western Oregon University, we value students’ opinions, and we have found the best way to accurately describe the WOU experience is through student voices. Below you will find some student and alumni testimonials about their time in the Politics, Policy and Administration Department at WOU.

Click Here to view the winners of the Politics, Policy, and Administration Department’s Outstanding Student Awards and more!

Get to know us

woman smiling in the outdoors

Brittany Kasim

’20

School had never been easy for me but attending WOU the last four years has been an incredible experience. Being part of the Political Science program helped me prepare for my journey in the government work field. From joining  Model UN to field trips to reservations with Professor Henkels, there was never a moment I felt alone during my academic journey…

It’s rare  to come across a community that cares about the outcome of your future, and I’m very grateful to have experienced minds with WOU.”

Erika Gutierrez

Erika Gutierrez

’17

“I have greatly benefited from the program not only from the knowledge I gained, but also the skills that I’ve learned and strengthened. The program was set-up in a way that allowed me to feel confident in the material and build upon previously learned information. The professors made sure that we knew they were available to discuss any questions we might have regarding class or the program… As I continue my journey in furthering my education, I am taking my experience from this program to make sure that I am continuously striving to reach my full potential.”

woman smiling in the outdoors

Travis Van Horn

’14

“My PPA professors helped point me to the courses that aligned with my interests, offered helpful insight behind different career paths, and provided great experiences such as hearing from representatives at the Oregon State Capitol to the activists that helped save the Falls City Falls & Michael Harding Park. My professors also helped me make the most of the internships … including working with the campaigns that spearheaded ballot initiatives for the freedom to marry in Oregon and California, fundraising for local and statewide progressive candidates, and coordinating a non-profit’s lobby day in Washington, DC. My time in Monmouth … served as the most important springboard for my move to Washington, DC … where I was able to receive a graduate degree in political communication from American University and … (interned) … in the office of U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and leading public affairs firms. I’m so thankful to the entire WOU community … that has helped me build my dream career with some of the leading public affairs and strategic communications agencies in the country.”

woman smiling in the outdoors

Anthony Medina

’14

“I grew up in a small rural farm-working town that was predominantly Latino. I, along with many of my other classmates, were first in our families to go to college. Through the PPA program at Western I have been able to grow personally and professionally.”

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Lindsay Bauman

’13

“I think the public policy program at WOU is really great and I learned so much. I think the opportunities I have gotten are a direct result of my education…”

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Tayleranne Gillespie

’13

“I was immediately drawn to Western Oregon University because the campus felt like home to me. I declared my major before I even started my first term, and I never changed my mind.”

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Erin Focher

’12

“I enjoyed how personal my learning experience was within the public policy and administration major and all that goes along with that; the small class sizes, the more intimate professor involvement in students’ academic careers and the wide variety of knowledge that PPA encompasses.”

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Tiffany Partridge

’12

“Model United Nations…was a wonderful experience both educationally, as well as getting involved on a more personal level with other students from both WOU and other universities.”

woman smiling in the outdoors

Derek Olson

’11

“Growing up in a small rural town gave me a strong incentive to learn more about the world. WOU’s political science program and staff helped to encourage my budding curiosity about the world and with that encouragement I studied abroad for a semester in my junior year.”

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Cameron Wolf

’07

“As a military officer, my education in political science has helped to make me a better leader by giving me the tools to better understand the world around me.”

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Ethan Choi

’04

“I valued WOU because of the small campus environment, approachable professors, and the variety of extracurricular activities available on campus. I was an active participant in WOU’s Model United Nations…”