Mainstream digital editor aspires to help with bioengineering degree

Published by Rachel Arceo on

Peyton Manning, The Mainstream’s digital editor and graduating engineering student, has been an asset to many peers, co-workers and professors on UCC campus. His resourcefulness and pragmatic presence has been invaluable.
Mason Ramirez / The Mainstream

Graduating engineering student and The Mainstream’s digital editor Peyton Manning has a quiet and reserved demeanor that may make it easy for many to underestimate him; do so at your own peril.   Manning doesn’t have to be loud to be a recognized force on campus.

Manning makes plans

“The movie ‘Vice’ has this quote about a quiet man that in some ways reminds me of Peyton,” said Melinda Benton, associate professor of communications and Manning’s student media advisor.  “‘Beware of the quiet man, for while others speak, he watches, and while others act, he plans.’”

At 21-years-old, Manning is part of a generation of young adults who seem to strive to be social media influencers and often only work to help the community if there is a camera on them. Some people make a show of their desire to help people; Manning makes a plan.

Manning spent the last three years at UCC solidifying his educational direction, pivoting from various types of engineering throughout the years to bioengineering. He graduates this June 16 with his AAOT, transferring to Oregon State University and preparing to major in bioengineering.

His interest in bio-engineering stems from his desire to be involved with the medical advances that can help improve health. “I think the future of medicine should and will involve things like engineering new approaches to common medical issues or developing synthetic organs. I want to help people live healthier lives without the risk of transplants or lack of donors,” Manning says.

Manning finds home in The Mainstream

Before fall of 2020 in the middle of COVID lockdown, Manning was weighing his educational options.  Having graduated that summer as a valedictorian of Roseburg High School and accepted into both Oregon State University and University of Oregon, he still had no idea of what he wanted to do.

Peyton Manning spends 30 hours a week in dedication in pursuit of his future at OSU. Manning strategically utilizes time management in dividing his time between work and studying.
Mason Ramirez / The Mainstream

On top of many AP classes, involvement with the RHS marching band color guard and theater, Manning was also involved with high school journalism. It was through this involvement that Manning received a letter of introduction from UCC’s student media advisor, Melinda Benton.

Benton’s letters informed prospective students about UCC’s student media program and available merit positions which pay for 12 credits through work and assignments.

Manning thought, “Why not just see?” and reached out to Benton, scheduling a Zoom interview that would change his life.

“I still hadn’t decided if I was going to U of O, but when I met Melinda she sold me on the benefits of starting at UCC and paying for it with the merit position.  She pointed out we get way more one-on-one attention from our instructors, it’s closer, and much cheaper here.”

“So, basically, Melinda convinced me to stay,” Peyton says with a small smile. “I’m so glad I did though.”

Manning joined the Mainstream as a reporter but quickly moved to the position of digital editor, managing the website, which he has managed to do for the past two years while holding his demanding STEM course load.

“Journalism has been the most influential aspect of my time here,” Manning says. “I learned how to communicate better, developed marketable skills and, on top of that, it feels like a family.”

“The Mainstream has people of all types, and we form a bond even if we aren’t all friends; we learn to work together, and we all offer something different,” Manning says.

Manning lets pragmatism pave his way

Manning admits the merit award offered to him was the driving force in his decision to remain in Roseburg.

“I am pragmatic by nature,” Manning says. “Money kept me here (at UCC).”

“I’ve efficiently covered all my prerequisites, earned merit scholarships and saved money by being here.  I’m thankful for it all.”

Manning acknowledges that his pragmatic thinking helps him thrive through difficult classes like Physics and Organic Chemistry, but multiple people believe his strength as a student involves much more than pragmatism.

Manning gets recognition

“Peyton is definitely on the quieter side, and when he does speak, it’s with insight and a purpose, or kindness, often kindness. I really respect this characteristic in Peyton,” Benton says.

Benton is not the only instructor to be impressed by Manning.  In fact, he was nominated for three outstanding student awards this year, including one for his work in journalism, one for chemistry and one for calculus.

Peyton Manning, a current employee at Rogue Credit Union, shows a strong work ethic in his interaction with fellow students. He has worked on campus for over a year developing connections with UCC students and staff.
Mason Ramirez / The Mainstream

Associate professor of sciences and Manning’s chemistry professor Sean Breslin believes Manning’s work ethic coupled with his imagination and resourcefulness is remarkable.

“When something doesn’t come easy to him, he is dogged about working to figure it out,” Breslin says. “As a teacher that is something I believe will lead to success because every single person, no matter how intelligent you are, the only way you are going to excel is with a strong work ethic.

“Also, Peyton has a certain creativity or maybe a natural curiosity that I feel is very important in life.”

Benton also believes Manning’s goal-oriented work ethic will lead Manning to the success he deserves.

“In spite of going through hard times himself, Peyton never wallows, “Benton says. “He just plans and pushes himself toward his goals.  Like so many other students, he carries an immense load, but I think what helps him keep going is the knowledge that following his plan is going to put him where he wants to be in a few years.  I bet Peyton’s intelligence, kindness and work ethic will take him exactly where he wants to go.”

Mainstream editor finds Manning’s friendship invaluable

Manning’s instructors are not the only people who have been heavily impacted by Manning’s presence and dedication.

Manning’s close friend and managing editor for The Mainstream, Savannah Peterson, shares much in common with Manning, including the growth he has gone through in his time at UCC and their future school, Oregon State University.  Even though they both attended RHS, their bond developed first through their work on The Mainstream.

“We have watched each other change in ways I never thought possible,” Peterson says. “He gets what I’m going through; he is the one person in my life that is going through the exact same stress as I am with moving away, finding a place to live, working, and taking hard classes. I am thankful to have grown with him, and I am thankful that he and I will be venturing to OSU together.”

Peterson admits Manning’s supportive presence has meant so much to her over their years of working side by side. “All I need sometimes is a shoulder to rest my head on. Without saying anything, he has always been there for me through that,” Peterson says.

The Mainstream will miss you Peyton Manning.

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