Marcia Jensen — who has served on the Southwestern Oregon Community College (SWOCC) Board of Education for over 17 years, and as board chair for seven years – has been named the 2018 Howard Cherry Outstanding Board Member by the Oregon Community College Association (OCCA).

OCCA’s Howard Cherry Award recognizes board members, employees and advocates who make a difference. They honor the late Dr. Howard Cherry, a Portland orthopedic surgeon who was a lifelong advocate for education and community involvement.

SWOCC President Patty Scott said, “Marcia is a passionate leader and works hard to advance all colleges, not just Southwestern.”

During her 17 plus years of service on the board, Jensen saw college expand its educational services and increase opportunities for students including helping the board decide to build the Oregon Coast Culinary Institute, Hales Center for the Performing Arts, the Student Recreation Center and the Curry County Campus, according to SWOCC officials.

Full-time student enrollment during her tenure on the board has increased due, in part, to these decisions.

She currently serves as the state representative for SWOCC on the Oregon Community College Association Board.

“Being nominated for the Howard Cherry Award is a great privilege, and to be chosen to receive the recognition is an unexpected honor,” Jensen said. “I am deeply touched by this gesture of OCCA’s appreciation for my humble service to the community college system of Oregon. Though I never had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Cherry, his dedication to the creation of the community college system here in Oregon has always been a motivational model for me to follow.”

A Coos County native, Jensen retired from Weyerhaeuser’s Coos Bay Timberlands where she worked as the executive assistant to operations and served as the safety and health information systems administrator for her team.

Throughout her working career, she actively served the community as a member of many civic organizations including the Coos Bay-North Bend Rotary Club, Soroptimist International of the Coos Bay Area, Chapters AS and CS of the PEO Sisterhood and Women of the Emmanuel Episcopal Church Association.

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