On the road to UCC: New HNSC faculty share their stories
Campus has new staff on campus in the Health, Nursing and Science Center, HNSC. Lace-Ann Rowe, assistant professor and forestry program director, Lisa Edens, anatomy and physiology professor and Andrea Thompson, full time nursing faculty are our new staff.
Rowe comes from a long line of people who have been in the forestry industry. She first took interest when her brother convinced her to join their high school’s Forestry Club. “I absolutely loved getting to throw axes, climb poles, learn how to identify trees. I always thought it was so much fun when we were hiking, and my friends would ask me what kind of tree we were around,” Rowe says, “So, just getting to experience forestry in a whole new way and kind of like make it my own rather than something my grandfather and my brother and my dad did made it very personal to me.” While in the club Rowe would learn that she loves teaching others and sharing her knowledge of forestry.
This sparked her to get her Forestry Engineering degree at Oregon State University. Rowe completed student teaching for the last couple of years at the high school level, but this is her first year teaching her own class.
As a “student teacher,” Rowe taught while supervised by an experienced teacher who gave her feedback. “You also get to read activities, go on field trips with students, whatever your time allows and whatever your teacher allows. It’s called cooperative teaching, and they just oversee everything that you’re doing, basically,” Rowe says, “(The teacher) gives you as much or as little of the classes as they want.”
In spite of help from the experienced teacher, Rowe found that she kept hitting a wall with her teaching. Rowe wanted to infuse her teaching with the nitty gritty that she had experienced at Oregon State University but found she could not do this at the high school level because she couldn’t get as deep into content. Rowe then saw an application for a UCC position and decided to apply.
Now Rowe is very excited to get to know everyone and help build the program with the industry professionals so that we can get UCC students out the door and into jobs, or out the door and to Oregon State University and into a career that they actually like, Rowe says.
Edens, who has been part-time on campus since 2019, is now working full-time this year. Currently Edens has her PhD in molecular and cellular life sciences from the University of Wyoming. She will be teaching anatomy, physiology, microbiology, sometimes genetics and sometimes Biology 101. Before teaching, Edens thought that she wanted to be a physician. “After I graduated with my bachelor’s, I went to medical school and realized that that wasn’t really what I wanted to do, but I still really enjoyed science,” Edens says. “It’s just kind of my jam, I guess. And so, I decided to go get my PhD. And while I was doing research, I realized how much I liked teaching.”
While getting her doctorate, Edens did a couple of internships where she taught. “If you want to teach at a university, you’re really more 70% research and 30% teaching,” Edens says. “And community colleges are really the only place where you can really focus on teaching.”
Edens decided to come to campus to connect and share her love for the sciences. “I love being on campus now,” Edens says, “I feel a lot more connected to the school as a whole and the students being in person as opposed to remote, and I’m really looking forward to being able to continue to develop new courses and get a better understanding of what my students need.”
Thompson currently works for Mercy Medical Center just working casual part time in labor and delivery, Thompson says. She came from the Portland area and has taught at multiple nursing schools in Portland: OHSU, University of Portland, Clark College and Linfield College.
Nursing wasn’t the first thing Thompson thought she would be doing later in her life. Before nursing, Thompson was a ballet dancer and taught it for the majority of her life. This is where she found her love of teaching, and it wasn’t until after she had her twins, which were her third and fourth children, that she considered becoming a labor and delivery nurse. “A few years later I decided to go ahead and start my pre reqs for nursing school and just worked my way through the pre reqs and through the program,” Edens says.
While in the nursing program, Edens watched the nursing instructors teach the class and thought to herself, “I want to do that someday. I know I need to get experience first, but I want to. I want to teach!” Edens says.
Outside Edens’s busy schedule of teaching and nursing, she loves to spend time with her family, travel, and working for Kaplan.
Kaplan is an organization that does test prep for different career fields. “I have the opportunity to travel to different states in the country to work with nursing students to help prepare them for the NCLEX (National Council of State Boards), which is the nursing exam, the licensure exam that new graduates take after they finish school to get their license.”
Eden offers advice to nursing students or those that would like to pursue the career field of nursing, “I’m always telling the students, when you get to that place where it just feels so hard, and you don’t know if you can continue, keep pushing through that because you will make it through. If you keep working hard,” Edens says.
If you’d like to contact any of the faculty about their programs or courses, their contact information is…
Lance Ann Rowe, LaceAnn.Rowe@umpqua.edu
Lisa Edens, Lisa.Edens@umpqua.edu
Andrea Thompson, Andrea.Thompson@umpqua.edu
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