Community College Spotlight

OCCRL's Community College Spotlight series highlights graduates and attendees of these institutions who are leaders in their field across all fields. The interviews amplify how community colleges are gateways for anyone at any time in their lives, at any place.

Enjoy the interviews! 

    Meet Our Interviewees


Peter Bahr
   Graduate of Solano Community College

     "Nothing about my start in life or my early college experiences hinted at
where I would be now or what I would be doing

Brian Becker
   Attendee of College of Lake County

     "After spending a year attending community college, I returned to my alma mater to complete my degree. Immediately afterward, I began my professional journey at the U of I."

Jewel Bourne
   Graduate of Santa Monica College

     "Attending a community college changed my entire life."

Erin L. Castro
   Graduate of Kirkwood Community College

     "While attending community college was a critical part of my educational journey, I also think it's important to be real about the transition to a four year-institution. My transfer experience was difficult."

 H.M. Kuneyl
   Graduate of Lone Star College-North Harris

     "I consider myself a community college success story."

Stacey Robinson
   Graduate of Fayetteville Technical Community College

     "To this day, I'm grateful the staff I worked with allowed me to use that camera and that Shane (Booth) taught my last class before graduating. Every time I teach an evening course, I think to myself I'm doing this for students like me who needed a professor like Shane."

Sarah Rodriguez
   Graduate of Trinity Valley Community College

     "My experiences at Trinity Valley Community College set in motion my current career as an associate professor of engineering education at Virginia Tech, where I have an active research agenda focused on the promise of community colleges as transformative pathways for STEM students. I am forever indebted to my home community college."

     Marissa Vasquez
   Graduate of Southwestern College

     "Norma and David were tag-team counselors for a learning community called the Puente Project. The program’s culturally relevant design and curriculum promoted self-reflection, fostered critical thinking, and broadened the possibilities of continuing my education outside of San Diego."

     Keith Wood
   Graduate of Jefferson Community College

     "I want to offer words of encouragement to anyone who is on the fence about taking courses at a community college."

  Andy Woods
   Graduate of Parkland College

     " I would love to combat the stigma that junior college isn't a worthy option for the first two years of college."