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She has the highest batting average, highest slugging percentage, highest on base percentage, has started the most games, holds the record for the most home runs and is tied for most games played among numerous other Linfield softball records. Can you guess which 2012 graduate holds these records? If you answered Staci Doucette, you were correct.
Linfield alum Staci Doucette was recognized for her outstanding accomplishments, while playing at Linfield College. She was awarded the Ad Rutchman Small-College Athlete of the Year Award on Feb. 10 at the Tiger Woods Center on the Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, Ore.
Keisha Gordon, a basketball player at George Fox University and Junia Limage, a runner at Concordia University were the other nominees for the female Athlete of the Year category.
Doucette knocked the other nominees out of the park as Jay Locey, former head coach of Linfield football (1996-2005) and current Oregon State University chief of staff, announced her as the winner.
“It was truly an honor to win the award, and to even be mentioned with some of the other nominees and award winners of the evening,” Doucette said.
She was a standout among the other athletes at the 61st Oregon Sports Award ceremony. Some of her career accolades include 73 home runs, 259 RBIs later and four-time All American.
She was happy to celebrate her accomplishments with her family at the Oregon Sports Awards. Softball has always been a big part of her life, and she has her parents to thank for that. Both of her parents played slow pitch when they were younger, so Doucette has been around the game since she was very little. Her parents rarely missed her games.
She is also grateful for the support she has received from her coaches and teammates through the years. Her coaches pushed her to think about her swing mechanics and game strategies.
“I’ve had some pretty amazing coaches, namely my summer ball coach, Tom Bequette,” she said. “Obviously, [Coach] Jackson was a huge influence, as well. Also, my Linfield teammates did a great job of pushing me, and the rest of the team, to work hard every single day.”
One of her greatest contributions to the Linfield softball program was her positive leadership. She led Catball to a second place finish at the National Tournament.
“The atmosphere of Linfield softball is amazing,” she said. “The Catball philosophy has always been to do things right, not only on the field but off of it as well. We have very high standards for ourselves, and we’re often our harshest critics. Seeing how hard everybody works every single day is pretty amazing.”
As Doucette has transitioned from a college athlete to a college graduate, she has continued to commit herself to Linfield softball. Since her move to McMinnville in December, she has been serving as the assistant coach for her former Catball teammates.
“I think softball will definitely always be apart of my life,” Doucette said. “I expect to coach for quite awhile. I’m definitely going to take some time off from playing for now, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I pick it up again in a few years.”
Doucette feels honored to be apart of the Linfield softball tradition and is thankful for her family, coaches and teammates.
“I couldn’t have done any of this without my teammates, so thanks you guys.”
Sarah Mason can be reached at email@example.com
In the same office that so many students and administrators have gone to over the years seeking help, advice or just a friendly ear, there now hangs a plaque in recognition of excellence.
Last weekend, at the West regional National Association of Campus Activities Conference, Dan Fergueson, Director of College Activities, received the Shelley K. Bannish Award for Outstanding Staff Adviser, which is given out each year to a nominated adviser at a college, community college or university in one of the 11 participating states.
Fergueson said that he has attended this conference 20 or 30 times, and the award came as a complete surprise to him.
The award is a huge honor, with more than 50 schools attending the conference. The receiver of the award is nominated by students and administrators from their school, who submit letters of support.
Senior Nicole Bond, vice president of programming, has been to the conference three times and said that she had the idea to nominate Fergueson last year. She approached students and staff about writing letters of support earlier this fall, and soon enough, she had eight letters from both his students and colleagues.
As an adviser to the Cabinet, LAB, senate, the activities council, cheerleading program and a track coach, Fergueson is greatly involved on and off campus, making him a well-known, reputable leader at Linfield.
“I think everybody on campus knows him just because he does so many things. He helps with RA’s, he’s a track coach, he’s on the sidelines of football games, he’s spread into so many different areas and everybody has a positive opinion of him,” Bond said. “I think that he’s really seen as approachable, and he’s really well-known among other administrators, and I think many of them see him as their window to the students because he has such a good relationship with other students. He achieves that level of friendship better than any other administrator.”
As an active leader on campus, Bond has worked with Fergueson for four years now and said that having him as an adviser has made her better at what she does.
“I really like how he makes us feel like we have ownership of what we’re doing,” she said. “We feel like we’re running stuff, and we feel like we’re the people in charge. I feel like I get most of the credit for LAB events, but it wouldn’t be possible without him. He’s just kind of that unsung hero.”
She said that outside of him being there as an adviser, Fergueson is also a friend to her as well as many students on campus.
“He’s a really good listener, and sometimes my job can get stressful so he’s had to listen to me vent plenty, and I think that’s true for a lot of other ASLC leaders,” Bond said. “He’s not just an outstanding supervisor, he’s also there for advice and is always a good sound board.”
In his 11th academic year at Linfield, Fergueson still has not forgotten what brought him into this field of work. He said that he simply wanted to “help students have a similar experience I did.”
As a highly involved student in college, he wants to help students develop and learn outside of the classroom. It is in this dedication to his students’ experiences that pushes him to continue doing what he can for others.
“It’s the students that keep you passionate about the job,” Fergueson said. “It’s what makes you keep coming back each day with a smile on your face, knowing that you’re helping inspire hope for these students but also helping them learn and grow.”
Jeff Mackay, associate dean of students, discussed this same dedication to his students in the letter of support he wrote in order to nominate Fergueson for the award.
“With all of the work that Dan does for our profession and NACA, he does not forget the real reason he is here and that is to enhance the student experience,”
Mackay wrote in his letter of support. “A true educator, Dan sees the vast opportunities to teach outside of the formal classroom. He not only sees the Activities Office as a programming body for students but as a learning laboratory.”
Because of his commitment to his students, Fergueson said that having many of the letters and nominations for the award come from those students he works with made the experience that much more gratifying.
“It was a very humble experience for me to be awarded an award that I knew my students had a big part in,” he said. “It’s one thing to get an award from the association, when it’s colleagues nominating you, but it’s different when the folks that you actually work with day to day go out of their way to do it. It was a bit overpowering in some ways to know that students took time to write letters and to campaign in some ways to get me that award. It was a pretty special day.”
While Bond said she was incredibly excited for Fergueson to receive the award and the recognition he deserves, she hopes that all students are able to see the amazing resource that they have in Fergueson because he has shaped so many students’ experiences in more ways than one.
“We as students should feel very honored to have access to such a great adviser,” Bond said. “We are lucky to have someone as kind, hardworking, calm, experienced and fun as [Fergueson]. He has made my time as a student leader not only more pleasant, but a better learning experience as well.”
Andra Kovacs/Senior reporter
Andra Kovacs can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Creativity from the heart and a love for words paid off for a Linfield College graduate.
He was awarded with the 2011 Whiting Writer’s Award on Oct. 25 at a ceremony in New York.
The award, established in 1985, is a $50,000 prize that is given annually to 10 emerging young writers in all genres.
Shane McCrae, class of ’02, has been writing poetry since he was a teenager.
“I started writing poetry when I was 15, and I’ve been doing it ever since. I really got into it during college,” he said.
McCrae studied creative writing at Linfield. He has also studied at Harvard Law School and is currently working on a Ph.D in English at the University of Iowa.
Writing poetry is something that comes naturally to McCrae. He writes about things that have importance to him and his life. He writes about experiences and observations.
Some of his poems have been about his family, his personal struggles and his own racial identity.
“In a general sense, they’re usually about things that have happened in my life or maybe some of them are about religious issues or have to do with history,” he said.
His work is described as lyrical, personal and autobiographical.
Previous winners of this award include authors, such as Kim Edwards, Mary Karr, Michael Cunningham and Tobias Wolff. They were all emerging writers when they received the award, and are all now bestselling authors.
McCrae hopes to be as successful, but still enjoy writing.
“Success, I guess, is kind of hard to define. For me, I can be successful if my poems are reaching out to people or if people are finding them helpful. I guess it would be nice if I could find a job I love through my work. The kind of success I want is to work with other people and still love it,” McCrae said.
McCrae has published multiple works, including a full length collection that came out earlier this year called “Mule.”
His poems have appeared in publications like “The Best American Poetry 2010,” “The American Poetry Review” and other journals.
He describes writing as a kind of self-reflection.
“What I love about writing is probably just the act of writing, itself,” McCrae said. “You feel like all your senses are working together to create something new. It’s a very personal experience, and it’s a good feeling.”
The award will further propel his success and make him more well-known.
McCrae is looking for a teaching job and plans to continue writing.
Kelsey Sutton/Copy chief
Kelsey Sutton can be reached at email@example.com.
Area Director for Clubs and Activities Josh Merrick was not expecting to receive the Dave Hansen Senate Outstanding Service Award, which the Associated Students of Linfield College Senate awarded him at its meeting May 16.
“I was thinking they were going to vote for Susan [Hopp], so I was pleasantly surprised,” Merrick said. “It was very sweet.”
Senators bestow this honor on students, faculty and staff members who have gone “above and beyond the call of duty,” Director of College Activities Dan Fergueson said.
ASLC President junior Rachel Coffey nominated Merrick for the award.
“He reaches out to all students. Residence Life says the same thing; people from Senate say the same thing. I feel like that’s a common theme,” Coffey said.
Besides Merrick, other nominees for the award were Janet Peterson, interim director of Academic Advising, associate professor of health and human performance and exercise physiology lab supervisor; Dean of Students Susan Hopp; ASLC Vice President of Programming junior Nicole Bond; and freshman Michelle Herrera.
Fergueson said he met Merrick when Merrick, class of ’07, was a sophomore. He said that Merrick has become an exceptional student affairs professional.
“As a student [Merrick], I think we saw it in him, but I don’t think he would ever have thought he would have gone on this career path,” Fergueson said. “Josh has been a tremendous mentor not only to his RAs but to the folks he works with here.”
Merrick also goes the extra mile when dealing with students. He advises Cube Club and plays on intramural sports teams to form relationships with students, Fergueson said.
“I think [he’s] a good role model for students,” Fergueson said, explaining that Merrick immerses himself in student life outside of the confines of his job description. “You can be more than an employee somewhere; you can get involved in the community.”
Freshman James Rogers, who knows Merrick through Residence Life and Senate, said Merrick goes out of the way to talk with students.
“He’s really caring, passionate and you could be in a horrible mood, but [there’s] something about him — he makes you feel better about yourself, about the situation, about the day,” Rogers said.
Jeff Mackay, associate dean of students/director of Residence Life, said Merrick is committed to student life and growth outside the classroom.
“I think he truly understands the value of those experiential learning opportunities that students can have,” Mackay said.
But to Merrick, building bonds with students is just part of the work.
“For me, the best time about this job are those relationships I get to build with students,” Merrick said. “People in this line of work don’t do it for the money; we do it because we think we’re doing something good and we enjoy spending time with students.”
After graduating with a major in history in 2007, Merrick worked for Auxilary Services (now part of Facilities Services) for a year while his wife, Kelly Merrick (formerly Kelly Copeland), class of ’08, was a senior. He has held his job in Residence Life for the past three years.
Merrick said he met his wife during lunch in Dillin Hall during his sophomore year.
“Then we got married here this past summer in front of the president’s house, so Linfield’s kind of a special place for both of us,” he said. “It’s hard to really articulate the meaning that Linfield has had in my life, and I probably won’t really know until I’m gone.”
The award marks the end of eight years in the “Linfield laboratory,” as Merrick called it. Now, he’s brewing other career ideas — literally.
“I want to be the next in line of great Linfield brewers,” Merrick said. “What better place to do that than in Portland?”
He said his dad has been home brewing beer since Merrick was 16 years old, and his dad gave him a starter brewing kit one year for Christmas. Last January Term, Merrick even audited Associate Professor of Chemistry Brian Gilbert’s Art & Science of Brewing course.
But no matter where his career takes him, Merrick will be remembered by many at Linfield.
“I haven’t necessarily met someone so kind and outgoing on staff at Linfield,” Rogers said.
“It’s going to be different in a lot of ways. I’m going to miss seeing him,” Fergueson said.
Kelley Hungerford/For the Review
Kelley Hungerford can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.