March 25, 2013

Professional Paths

Our young graduates use their liberal arts education to launch impressive careers.
  • Aukeem Ballard talks with his students. (Photo by Christoper Onstott)
    Christopher Onstott-Copyright 2012

Lewis & Clark students do more than survive after graduation—they thrive.

Young alumni who have found fulfilling work or are enrolled in graduate programs share how their liberal arts education prepared them for life beyond college.


Aukeem Ballard BA ’11, MAT. ’12

Major: Communication (now known as Rhetoric and Media Studies)
Occupation: Middle School Teacher, Portland Public Schools

Through my degree in communication, I had to become a researcher, an avid writer, a social scientist, a proficient oral communicator, and a rhetorician of sorts. All of which are assets when teaching students. I am called on regularly in my job, in my professional networks, and committees outside of work to support efforts to strengthen lines of communication among and between groups and individuals.

Leah Scott-Zechlin BA ’11

Major: Economics
Occupation: German Merchant Risk Investigation Specialist, Amazon

My education is very much the base for my strength in both quantitative and qualitative areas, which has allowed me to be very versatile in the jobs I chose to apply for. The chance to be involved in whatever one chooses at a small liberal arts school was so valuable to me. As I’ve seen in the “real world,” foreign languages are so important, and the faculty who devoted time to help me, a student not majoring in their department, allowed me to continue to develop my strengths. 

Chris Scheffler BA ’10

Major: Physics and Computer Science/Mathematics
Occupation: Circuit Edit Technology Development Engineer, Intel Corporation

I believe my liberal arts education put the focus on me as a person, not just me as a scientist. A well-rounded education at school and off campus taught me to be successful in work and my personal life. I might have my job because of my science background, but other skills such as writing, communicating with others, and public speaking are just as important.

Fitz Ryland BA ’10

Majors: Studio Art
Occupation: Community Organizer, Collective Agency

Lewis & Clark taught me to be inquisitive, adaptive, and hardworking. Collective Agency is a democratically organized shared office and event space. I first got involved in Collective Agency having been asked to hang a piece of art in the space. The organizational positions and policies are democratically decided by membership. So, when the year-long term of the Main Community Organizer expired I ran for the position and was elected. In about a year I went from hanging art here to running the place.

Irena Bierzynski BA ’11

Major: Chemistry
Occupation: Brewer, Lompoc Brewing

Once I decided that I was interested in pursuing brewing straight out of college, I went to 3CE and asked if they could help me meet industry professionals. As it turned out, the counselors already had ties to brewers at Bridgeport and Lompoc, two well-known breweries in the area. During the application process, my employers were impressed by my knowledge of chemistry, which provides a good base for understanding the science of brewing. 

Guiseppe Baffaro BA ’11

Major: Economics
Occupation: Mortgage Broker, Premier Mortgage Resources

In this business, you have to be able to adapt to different situations and be willing to learn and change things along the way. Communication, organization, and social skills are all very important in my business. It always helps when two of the four managing partners graduated from Lewis & Clark!


Career and Community Engagement Alumni and Parent Programs