Meet Our Faculty

Experienced, Skilled, and Supportive Instruction

At COCC, Medical Assistant faculty are leaders in their field who provide students with knowledgeable advising, hands-on learning opportunities, and professional expertise. View the Allied Health Department directory for a complete list of faculty and staff.

Faculty Profiles

Shannon Waller

Shannon Waller
Associate Professor of Medical Assistant

Like many of her students, Shannon’s career in the medical field is full of twists and turns. “I love getting to know my students and their stories and how best I can support them as they pursue their educational goals,” she shares. “It is so rewarding to see graduates working in clinics, being successful and happy because of the training they received at COCC.”

While Shannon had dreams of becoming a pharmacist, she chose instead to become a pharmacy technician. She figured this would be a quicker, cheaper, and safer path into the medical field, in case she discovered she didn’t love the study of pharmacology as much as she anticipated.

After graduation, Shannon worked at two U.S. Air Force bases and became a trainer for new employees. It was this experience that led to her love of teaching. After returning to her hometown of Bend, Shannon worked at St. Charles’ inpatient pharmacy and as a lab assistant in COCC’s Pharmacy Tech program.

To prepare herself for a teaching career at COCC, Shannon completed the College’s Medical Assistant program after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in special education and a master’s degree in instructional design from Western Governors University. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in education with an emphasis on organizational leadership at Liberty University.   



Marilyn Waller-Niewold

Marilyn Waller-Niewold
Assistant Professor of Medical Assistant

Marilyn began her professional career as a high school instructor in Minnesota, teaching health occupations and child development. To qualify for the state’s vocational educational credential in health occupations, she was required to complete 4,000 hours in a minimum of five different health care settings. This introduced Marilyn to a wide range of health care fields and settings (from neuro-psych support at a VA hospital to medical assisting in an OB-GYN practice to nursing assistant responsibilities at a long-term care facility) and confirmed that her dream of becoming a physician was more than a passing childhood phase. 

Fifteen years after completing her bachelor’s degree in human development education, Marilyn was awarded her doctorate degree at the California School of Podiatric Medicine at Samuel Merritt Health Science University. She went on to complete a two-year residency training program at the VA Medical Center in San Francisco, followed by a 14-month fellowship in diabetic wound care and hyperbaric medicine at David Grant Medical Center, Travis Air Force Base, in California.

“I practiced amputation prevention, wound care, and limb salvage surgery for nine years,” said Marilyn. “I was then recruited by Indian Health Service to start a foot and ankle (podiatry) practice and strengthen the Amputation Prevention Program at the Warm Springs Health & Wellness Center.”

After retiring her medical license to emeritus status, Marilyn decided to apply to COCC as a clinical Medical Assistant instructor. As Marilyn describes it, “I was chosen to interview, maybe because my last name matched the last name of the program director, or more likely it was because I was a clinician with medical assistant and teaching experience.” Either way, her students are delighted she set her sights on returning to a career in education. She's been with COCC since 2019. “Seeing students thrive and discover their strengths is incredibly rewarding.”