Tag Archives: Alumni
Four Linfield alumni returned to their alma mater to host a panel-style discussion to pass on their workplace wisdom and to network with current students.
Peter Fisher of the class of 1995, Joe Murray of the class of 2008, Samantha Lau of the class of 2012 and Brenna Patterson of the class of 2012 comprised the panel.
Fisher is a partner in Human Investing, an investment company based in Lake Oswego, Ore.
“Why I started my own company, I have no idea. You know, I had become greatly disenfranchised with corporate America,” Fisher said. “It was painful for me.”
Fisher began his career with Merrill Lynch, which was considered at the time to be one of Wall Street’s top investment companies.
“My perspective of what it was going to be like and the reality of what it was like, there was a huge delta between those two things,” Fisher said.
“Just sitting in your seats right now, just say out loud, ‘I have no idea what I want to be or what I want to do,’” Fisher said to the students in attendance. “If you can say that and own it, [...] because once you kind of get out of that mind set [of rigidity], you start fielding different opportunities, which can potentially have great significance for you in life.”
Murray is currently employed by Nike as a global merchandising manager for NFL apparel.
Murray said, I recently asked my boss what makes the most successful merchandisers and he told me about the three “C’s.”
The first “C” stands for consumer.
If you’ve perfected and understand who your consumer is, and you know where they shop and why, then the next step is to make that consumer a customer, which is the second “C,” Murray said. Customer is the second “C.”
The final “C” stands for competition. Through this analogy, Murray stressed the need to understand your market.
Moving onto the topic of job searching, “I know there’s that old saying, ‘It’s who you know [as opposed to what you know],’ but nowadays, I think it’s who knows you within your job search,” Murray said, reliving his own experience.
All four panelists stressed the need to stand out and network as opposed to relying on your resume for a callback.
Patterson is currently employed at Ponzi Vineyards as a sales and marketing coordinator.
Patterson interned at Oregon Mutual Insurance during her time at Linfield.
“You’re probably all looking at me like, ‘You work at a winery now, what were you doing working at an insurance company?’” Patterson said.
From her time at Oregon Mutual Insurance, Patterson developed a solid base of business fundamentals from real life experience that she was able to carry over to her current position at Ponzi Vineyards.
“This was really a turning point in my life where I was really figuring out what I wanted to do,” Patterson said. “You definitely won’t know right away.”
Ryan Morgan / Culture editor
Ryan Morgan can be reached at
This year, Craig Singletary, a retired Linfield professor, is hanging up his microphone and no longer working in the public address box during Linfield football games. Singletary began working in the P.A. box the same year the Wildcats’ winning streak began 58 years ago.
Singletary was born and raised in Portland, Ore. He graduated from Lewis & Clark College in 1954, majoring in speech communications while working on music. He played cello and played in the Portland Junior Symphony. Singletary began working in McMinnville at KMCM radio.
“I had a friend in the investment business down here,” Singletary said. That friend helped Singletary acquire a job in the McMinnville area.
“In a small town radio station, you do everything,” Singletary said. “I had a morning show for a couple of years.” Singletary also worked as a director of various aspects of the radio station, music director, program director, etc.
KMCM began broadcasting Linfield games in 1956. Singletary did that for the next ten years.
In 1958, Dr. Roy Mahaffey, who was then the chair of the Linfield Speech Department, approached Singletary about a part-time job at Linfield. Singletary accepted the offer. He taught a broadcast class and a public speaking class.
It was in 1960 when Singletary started his full-time job as a Linfield professor. He taught a variety of classes until his retirement in 1993: argumentation, persuasion, interpersonal communication. At the same time, he still worked on an early morning show for KMCM.
To further his education, Singletary studied at University of Oregon to receive a Masters in radio and television. He then later acquired a Ph.D. in rhetoric and public address from the same university, taking a short leave of absence in 1966.
“I was also a forensics director for five years,” Singletary said. When Mahaffey retired in 1970, Singletary became the Speech and Debate team’s director.
“I was surprised and really pleased to find out they named the high school tournament after me,” Singletary said.
While teaching his class on broadcasting, Singletary realized that students were not receiving much experience at Linfield, so in the early 1960s, he started a radio station here at Linfield, KLIN.
“I felt that it was one way to give the students practical experience,” Singletary said.
The first incarnation of the student radio station had spotty signal because it was carrier current radio station. In 1971, the Federal Communications Commission gave Singletary and the college permission to have an FM radio station, KSLC.
“We didn’t have the facility in the basement of Renshaw then. We had a space in the basement of Pioneer,” Singletary said. “It was nice because students walking to class could look in and see guys working on air.”
In either 1973 or 1974, Singletary was asked to do the PA announcing for the football games. He has worked during every game up until this season. In 2001, he was inducted into the Linfield Athletics Hall of Fame.
“It was getting more complicated with computer screens and everything,” Singletary said. “That is why I decided to retire.”
Singletary has always been a strong voice in his time here at Linfield, and he still hopes to add his voice to football games but not from the press box.
“I will continue to be a fan of the Wildcats in future years and add my voice to the crowd cheering, something I couldn’t do in the press box,” Singletary said.
Gilberto Galvez/Features editor
Gilberto Galvez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
A Linfield College alumnus will present on his year-long teaching experience in Thailand at 3 p.m. April 29 in Riley 201.
Craig Geffre, class of 2011, received a Fulbright scholarship during his time at Linfield that enabled him to begin his work teaching English in Thailand. His presentation is titled “From Festivals to Floods: A Year Teaching in Thailand.”
Geffre will present his experience as an international educator, as well as give students useful information about applying to the Fulbright scholarship program. Fulbright scholarships are highly competitive and are for people seeking funding for international education exchange projects.
The presentation will focus on the highs and lows of Geffre’s experience, as well as the importance of cross-cultural connections.
The presentation is free and sponsored by the Linfield International Programs Office.
Olivia Marovich/Staff writer
Olivia Marovich can be reached at email@example.com
Linfield welcomed a new women’s lacrosse head coach and assistant coach this season.
Alum Samantha Smith, who graduated in 2009, will lead the way with her father, Joe Smith.
Because Samantha Smith used to play on Linfield’s women’s lacrosse, last year when coach Tim Hart stepped down from his position, he emailed her and recommended she apply for the opening. Hart was Samantha’s coach her senior year at Linfield.
“She fits in really well with our team,” sophomore Chas Tittle said. “Both of our new coaches are really great, and they make a good coaching pair.”
Samantha Smith was one of five applicants for the position, and as soon as she was hired, asked if she could choose her father as her own assistant coach.
“When I got this job, it was natural to say okay, he should be my defensive coach,” Samantha Smith said. “We’ve always had that lacrosse connection.”
At the time she was hired, Samantha Smith was coaching for the lacrosse team at Westview High School in Beaverton, Ore., and was upset when she had to quit to be able to coach at Linfield.
“It all worked out though,” Samantha Smith said.
Samantha Smith has been playing lacrosse since she was 12 years old. She started off playing on men’s lacrosse teams because there were no youth women’s lacrosse teams for her to join. Continuing on in high school, Samantha Smith played at Century High School on its JV team. When she transferred to Liberty High School, she started a lacrosse team there and convinced her father to become the head coach.
“He had never played a sport or coached a sport before lacrosse,” Samantha Smith said. “[But] he’s probably one of the best coaches I’ve ever had.”
During practices, Samantha Smith makes sure the players always have their sticks in hand, even during conditioning.
“The only thing I’ve ever really disliked about lacrosse is conditioning,” Samantha Smith said. “We don’t ever put the sticks down [or] run for the sake of running. Our conditioning is part of our scrimmaging.”
Outside of lacrosse, Samantha Smith is working at a special education preschool in Beaverton, Ore., as an assistant teacher. She also recently played on an indoor lacrosse co-ed team, and is planning on joining Portland’s OHANA lacrosse team once Linfield’s season is over.
“I thought I was going to miss playing, but I get out there as much as I can with the girls,” she said.
Samantha is also involved in other hobbies, such as bowling and relaxing with friends, but lacrosse is always a priority.
“Lacrosse kind of consumes my life in the best way possible,” she said. “Lacrosse is my job, hobby and passion.”
Samantha Sigler/News Editor
Samantha Sigler can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
With skeletons and human anatomy contrasted against vibrant shades from orange to blue, Ryan Gerdes’ art evokes themes of life and death. At Linfield, Gerdes, class of ’09, displayed his art on the walls of the student gallery, but now you can find his bold designs on T-shirts.
Gerdes and business partner Kyle Byrd recently launched a screen printing studio from Gerdes’ garage in Portland. The two have been working to set up the studio for six months and have been practicing different methods for screen printing T-shirts and sweatshirts.
“Our studio is called 3Bird Press, and we hope in the next few years to be printing shirts and posters full time,” Gerdes said in an e-mail. “For now, we’re sharpening our skills and saving money.”
As their business grows, Gerdes finds social networking websites immensely helpful.
“With 3Bird Press, we’re networking and experimenting,” Gerdes said. “Facebook is actually an incredible source for marketing. Just maintaining [our photo] album once to twice a week reminds people that we exist, and thus, when [shirt ideas] pop into someone’s mind, we ring in their memory.”
During the beginning stages of launching the studio, Gerdes said he and Byrd have been taking every job they can find to gain experience.
“We’ve printed anything from custom shirts to bachelor party tees, promotional business cards, our own shirts and hoodies — really anything that pops up,” Gerdes said. “For each consecutive shirt we print, we try and push our boundaries, so we’re constantly learning new techniques.”
Gerdes said he finds screen printing an unexplainable amount of fun, a pursuit befitting of his art.
“He has a really clean graphic style, and it lends itself well to screen printing,” Liz Obert, associate professor of art and visual culture and Gerdes’ former adviser, said. “I think he’ll do well. He’s definitely very creative, and I think his design is really accessible.”
Gerdes art is also currently featured in the National Museum of Surgical Science in Chicago. The group gallery show focuses on human anatomy in contemporary art and pop culture.
The show, put on by the blog Street Anatomy, includes three screen printed pieces by Gerdes. He had been following the blog and submitting artwork to it when the blog creator invited him to participate in the show.
“The prompt was very vague: do something anatomical. I did three memento mori screen prints — the Latin theme that is most prevalent in my work meaning: ‘Remember you will die,’” Gerdes said. “I was very flattered to have been invited to show with these awesome established artists that I’d been following on the site for years. I sold a piece the opening night.”
Gerdes works as a full-time contractor for Hewlett-Packard Co. in addition to having numerous freelance clients. Beginning as a passion for creative endeavors, this career path developed through Gerdes’ years at Linfield.
“I’ve always taken solace in drawing, writing and photography, for as long as I can remember. I only realized it could be a career [during my] sophomore year of college,” Gerdes said. “I took a design course with Liz Obert, and it opened the floodgates. I became obsessed; it was all I could talk about and all I wanted to do with my time.”
Gerdes’ art professors remember him as a standout student.
“I rarely work with students who are as passionate and motivated as Ryan,” Brian Winkenweder, Art and Visual Culture Department chair and associate professor of art history and visual culture, said in an e-mail. “Driven by a sharp graphic sensibility, Ryan innately understood how to communicate complex ideas with an economy of means.”
Now an established graphic designer, Gerdes said his work is a perfect fit.
“It’s a very gratifying career; that is to say, it’s really rad to see your logo or poster or [T-shirt] design out and about — to see it in action,” Gerdes said.
For more information about 3Bird Press, visit Gerdes’ Facebook page.
Gabi Nygaard/Staff reporter
Gabi Nygaard can be reached at email@example.com.