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Why are you thankful for working at Lewis & Clark?

November 24, 2014

Because there are so many benefits to working at Lewis & Clark, there was no shortage of employees willing to share their favorites. Below is just a sample of the many reasons faculty and staff are thankful for working at Lewis & Clark:

Kimberly Campbell, chair and associate professor of teacher education

I am thankful for working at Lewis & Clark because I am surrounded by insightful colleagues and students who push my thinking and inspire me with their passion for and commitment to creating schools where all students are known, challenged, and supported in using their minds well. 

Murray Cizon, executive assistant for the dean of the graduate school

The free dissemination of knowledge and culture as an employment benefit? Borrowing privileges at Watzek Library may be the best-kept secret on campus, at least in terms of staff perks. Unlike the larger municipal libraries in our community, books borrowed from Watzek can be held for an entire semester (with certain exceptions). Plus, you can check out items from other regional colleges and universities via the Summit network. Does that new bestseller have 100+ holds at the county library? Odds are you can get it from Watzek or an affiliated library in a matter of days. CDs and DVDs, too.

Julio de Paula, professor of chemistry and program chair of biochemistry and molecular biology

I’m most thankful for how we find ways to work well together—even though sometimes we disagree, and sometimes we disagree strongly. Yet we always find a way to work together for the benefit of our students.

Carol Doyle, associate professor of professional mental health counseling

I am thankful that I work at Lewis & Clark College for many reasons – I am thankful that this week I looked out the of CPSY office window and was fortunate to see a baby deer, with 6-8 inch antlers, just standing on the grass. I am thankful that I work in an environment that that happens. I am thankful for my colleagues, the faculty and staff in Counseling Psychology and the Graduate School in particular, as well as everyone I have gotten to know across all three campuses.  I am thankful for their unique perspectives, interests, and commitment, and above all, I am thankful for the way that they care for their students. Mostly, though, I am thankful for the students I get the opportunity to work with.  I am thankful for their dedication, their intelligence and their passions, their desire and choice to work as counselors, therapists, and school psychologists in a way that creates change and promotes healing in the world.

David Ellis, vice president, secretary and general counsel

There are so many reasons that I am thankful to be in the position I am in at Lewis & Clark, but right at the top of the list is the people—students, faculty, and staff—whom I get to work with. A great example is Valerie White, our ombuds. She is such a great, neutral resource for our people when they are grappling with an issue, and she has helped shape my thinking more times than I can count. So, yeah, it’s the people (and the tennis courts, of course).

Moira Domann, purchasing manager

I am thankful for SOOOO many things here! I am thankful for the educational benefits that have allowed my three daughters to get amazing college educations! I am thankful to be able to meet so many talented Lewis & Clark students and to work with caring, committed faculty and staff. (I also do love the nine percent retirement contribution from the college, which is for all employees.)

Amy Dvorak, sustainability manager

I am thankful (as are many here!) for the incredibly beautiful and vibrant environment we work in. Specifically, the trees, trails, and critters we encounter every day and our community’s care for these areas.

(Photo taken in Riverview Natural Area, hiking with tour participants from all over the United States in October 2014)

Kirby Gnerre, data management assistant

I am SO grateful for Lewis & Clark’s offer of half-priced pre-taxed bus passes. I use my bus pass on a daily basis—not only for commuting to work, but for adventures and exploits all over town. The combination of Portland’s phenomenal bus system and L&C’s discount makes getting up to campus as seamless as possible. Thank you Lewis & Clark!

Morgan Grether, director of new media

I think truly everyone who considers themselves part of the Lewis & Clark community is thankful for our facilities here. Faculty, students, staff, alumni: we all appreciate the great work that Michel George and his staff in facilities services do here. Our buildings are lovely, clean and well-maintained; our grounds are breathtakingly gorgeous. It’s easy to be proud to be here. And hey, nobody throws a better summer barbecue than they do!

Hanna Neuschwander, director of communications

For me, the beauty of this place is one of my most beloved “benefits.” I try to take a short walk every day—circling the old Corbett orchards and eating blackberries off the vine, venturing to a view of Mount Hood or Mount Saint Helens, stopping to appreciate the trillium along a path, roaming through the neighborhood, or pausing on one of the bridges over the ravine to watch the water. It’s time I use to slow down and think about the big-picture questions of my work. If I’m having a tough or frustrating day, it helps me find peace and be a better colleague to my coworkers. And just as often, it’s time just for me. I get as much satisfaction from a walk through the woods at lunch as I do from my 401(k) plan. How many people can say that they work in one of the most beautiful places in America? How many people get to go to work every day somewhere this magical?

Deanna Oothoudt, associate director of marketing

I’m thankful to work at Lewis & Clark because of Pamplin and the community there. I’ve made amazing friends bonding over workouts with my coworkers.

Natasha Richmond, assistant director of law admissions

I am thankful that Lewis & Clark’s holiday schedule allows employees to have the time from Christmas through New Year’s off. This often coordinates with public schools’ winter break schedules, which allows families with small children, like mine, to truly enjoy quality time together. It is also a long enough break to allow for travel and visits to family to be meaningful and worth the trip! Allowing employees to have this time off demonstrates L&C’s dedication to family time and quality of life.

The employee-fitness classes are also one of the top things I love about working at Lewis & Clark. I am a busy mother of two working full-time, and for me, the employee-fitness classes are the ONLY opportunities I have to work out on a regular basis. In addition to exercising my physical body, I am also connecting with my colleagues from the three different campuses on a much more casual, informal, and fun level.

Billy Walker, executive assistant to the vice president and treasurer

I love the way Lewis & Clark provides me with work-life balance. I enjoy our beautiful campus, fun coworkers, and the exceptional benefits the college offers. I love that we get a 100 percent vested 403(b), a nine percent employer contribution, health insurance with options, several paid holidays, and vacation and sick leave that is unheard of in the for-profit world. People who know me also know that I love food, so another benefit I enjoy on campus is Bon Appetit. I love the food so much that I have brought—on several occasions—my whole family and many friends to campus just for lunch (and I live in Vancouver).

Sarah Warren, assistant professor of sociology

I am thankful for working at Lewis & Clark because of all of the wonderful people here, both colleagues and students. I’m also constantly amazed by what a beautiful place this is.

Janice Weis, associate dean of the law school

I am thankful to work here because I am surrounded by a beautiful setting, which is inspiring for environmental law work, and get to work with remarkable students with a passion for environmental issues.


To read more comments from thankful faculty and staff, go to this story from November 2012. For a complete list of employee benefits, go visit HR’s website.