COVID-19 Response and Reopening

Keri Donovan

What did you study while you were at COCC?

My AA degree was in Liberal Arts. I took the general requirements for the subjects I needed. Most of my electives usually had heavy writing involved, like Fiction, History, and Poetry. I also got interested in CGI programming and spent some time at The Broadside as an editor.

What is your career now?

I am an instructor of reading and writing for the Humanities department of COCC!

What does a typical week in your position look like?

A week in the life of this instructor includes a whole lot of reading and writing. I read my learners’ work, my colleague’s notes, and current teaching topics through various educational magazines. Writing feedback for my learners on assignments to help them advance in their writing deserves a time slot. Creating and grading assignments, preparing for assessment, refining and redefining methods of communicating with learners, communicating with colleagues, and sharing the information gathered to start it all over again takes up much of the rest of the week.

What are the most valuable skills you gained while in college?

The first essential skill would have to be time management, without which I would never have made a habit out of learning. I also learned to research. First, I studied topics we would write about in class, then I started researching on my own, whatever topic interested me. I was hooked! Researching a topic was one of the most valuable skills I acquired in college (thank you, Stacey Donohue, and the Barber Library). Learning how to determine whether a source was credible and applicable to a project is something that I continue to use regularly.

How are the skills you learned in writing, literature, film, or humanities classes relevant to your career and life today?

My current career is that of an Instructor of Humanities at Central Oregon Community College. I use all of the skills I acquired during my education and in my continuing education. See, instructors are also forever learners, so working at a school is like doing what I love in an environment that perpetuates learning – learning that we can share.

What is your advice for students taking writing, literature, film, or humanities classes?

There are worlds to explore in writing, literature, film, or any of the humanities classes that provide a deeper understanding of the world. It is uniquely broad enough to include almost any topic you consider attractive. Ask questions about everything. Be brave!

What is your advice for community college students?

Community college is unique in that the strength lies in the “community” aspect. My advice to new students is to get involved in campus activities. Find groups to participate in, keep in touch with a few fellow students from each of your classes, network and make this part of your community. It is a great place to build a foundation.