woman smiling in the outdoors

Jessie Scott, WOU Alumnus

Political Science Major

“I transferred to WOU at the start of my Junior year, and that is also when I decided to change my major. Rather than pursuing biology I switched gears completely and began my journey towards a Political Science degree. I am extremely glad I chose WOU and this major. All of my professors and peers have been fantastic and I have learned so much. Politics can be a bit of a controversial subject, but what I have come to learn is that they are related to everything and everyone, daily. A career in political science will grant me the opportunity to improve the quality of life for people while allowing me to always grow and learn from new experiences. I look forward to a future focused on international studies and finding ways to incite positive changes wherever my explorations take me.”

woman smiling in the outdoors

Jessica Martinez-Medina, third year

Public Policy and Administration major | Spanish and Organizational Leadership minor

“I am very passionate about public service, social justice, and helping others. I seek to provide equity and justice for all people. Before I started WOU I knew that I wanted to assist my community and through my experience I learned that Public Policy and Administration was the perfect way to do that. This major has given me the flexibility to learn more about what public service really means and the opportunity to make life-long connections. Overall, the program has allowed me to grow as a person and has motivated me to continue to empower and help our communities.”

Richard Daughters, WOU Alumnus




woman smiling in the outdoors

Erika Gutierrez, WOU Alumnus

Public Policy and Administration major | Psychology minor

“If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place”. –Nora Roberts

“I am a first generation student with two immigrant parents who have instilled in me the importance of having an education from a very young age. They have always encouraged and supported my decision on what I’ve wanted to study as long as it was something that I truly wanted. I was able to learn and expand my interests through this program. From my very first political science class, I was convinced that Public Policy and Administration was the right major for me. Every professor inspired and motivated me to do well in class. I am very appreciative to the Politics, Policy, and Administration Department for offering this scholarship and picking me to be a recipient. Thank you.”


woman smiling in the outdoors

Timothy DeMichele, WOU Alumnus

Public Policy and Administration major | Philosophy minor

“I am currently a construction superintendent for a large construction company in Hawaii, Arita Poulson General Contractors. I am in charge of completely renovating the pharmacy at Maui Memorial Medical Center. I am working on my Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification through PMI. It is my goal to become a PM at my company this summer.
Receiving an education from Western Oregon Political Science Department has been a significant benefit to my career and understanding of the world.”

Jill Gentry, WOU Alumnus 

   “I have been working for the State of Oregon Human Services for over 6 years. I am now a Family Coach at the South Salem branch where I get to use my knowledge and experience to directly support families receiving cash assistance move toward their own self-sufficiency goals. Receiving the scholarship was such an honor and it really helped me bridge the gap between my financial resources and financial needs to earn my degree, which has allowed me to get the job I ultimately wanted.”




woman smiling in the outdoors

Anthony Medina, WOU Alumnus

Public Policy and Administration major | Sociology minor

“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 Public Policy and Administration program at Western, I have been able to grow personally and professionally.”

Following his time at Western Oregon University, Anthony obtained a MA from Stanford University in 2015. He has now started working for the Department of Administrative Services in the Chief Financial Office as an Assistant Budget and Policy Analyst. His main job duties involve the drafting of the Governor’s Recommended Budget and presenting agency budgets in his portfolio to the legislature.



Sharyne Ryals, Administrative Assistant

Division of Social Sciences

503-838-8288 | or e-mail: ryalss@wou.edu | Location: BELL 231