• The Commuter: September 2022

    The Commuter: September 2022
  • Meet the New Editor: Leah Biesack

    Meet the New Editor: Leah Biesack


    Most of my life, I’ve stood by the unpopular opinion that summer tends to overstay its welcome. It’s a buzzy, flashy season that takes everyone for a ride, but rarely, if ever, provides any sort of sustainability. Or even just stability. It’s steamy, it’s exciting, and it leaves just as soon as we carve out a routine with it. That’s a tough relationship in which to feel secure. Even as a kid, come August, I was antsy to move on into the solidity of the school year. The routine, the organization, the reliability that September promised checked all the boxes of what I was looking for. So I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t swooning a bit to be back to class.

      This year I am thrilled to have the privilege of being the new Editor-in-Chief of LBCC’s very own Commuter. I’ve had the pleasure of being a regular contributor, as well as the Arts and Entertainment editor for this esteemed publication for the past year and a half, and I’m beyond excited to explore some new avenues with this school year’s latest iteration. While you’re reading this online, it’s important to know that we’ve shifted our format from a weekly newspaper to a printed monthly magazine. My goal is to center the publication around the people who make up our institution, compiling their voices, their stories, their questions and ideas into a tangible, treasurable, printed package. The intention is to get to the heart of it all, to showcase our student body and all they embody, to feature our faculty and how their individualism outside of academia has been integral inside the classroom. I want to emphasize the creativity running the veins of our school, and spotlight the places and ways we can see the creativity in areas not traditionally considered of the arts. Whether a newspaper or magazine format, whether online or on printed paper, our publication remains very much for the students, and completely by the students. And to all our loyal online readers like you, breathe easy — this website will still be running like butter, so LBCC’s current events and reports will always be just a few clicks away. While there may be some overlap in stories from the magazine to the website, the publications themselves will be quite individualized — what you find in one, you likely won’t find in the other. The magazine is a once a month deal, while the website will offer new stories every week. In other words, these publications will hold hands, but maintain their own personalities. (Talk about couples goals.)

      Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t pen a very well-deserved applause and encore to last year’s EIC, the great Dakota Gange, who led the way of the weekly with aplomb. 

      I’m so excited to connect with you all through both our new medium, and our tried and true one. Finding the story and cultivating a way to share said story with others is just about my favorite thing to do, so this opportunity is of the pay dirt variety. To all returning and new students alike, welcome back and forward to LBCC. We’re thrilled you’re here.

  • Welcome Day Brought All the Fun

    Welcome Day Brought All the Fun

    This year’s Welcome Day was an exciting one of orienting new students to the clubs, programs, and resources of LBCC. Students were able to get a feel for the campus layout while meeting faculty, classmates, and even local and beloved llama Cesar. While the day boasted sweet treats and fun prizes, I think it’s safe to say just being back on campus was a highlight in and of itself.

  • Roadrunners Sweep Saints

    Roadrunners Sweep Saints

    ALBANY, OR – The Linn-Benton Volleyball team defeated Mt. Hood Community College 3-0 on Wednesday, Sept. 21.  

    The Roadrunners improved to 16-1 on the season, and 3-0 in the NWAC South Region. The Saints fell to 6-5 on the year, and 1-2 NWAC South Region. 

    The Roadrunners bounced back strong after suffering their first loss of the season against Columbia Basin Community College. 

    The Roadrunners took the first 25-15. It was a slow start for the Roadrunners who found themselves up only 11-10 early in the first set. After a Mt. Hood timeout the Roadrunners came out firing, taking the rest of the set and only allowing five more points. The Roadrunners finished the first set with 14 kills on 26 attempts(.423). 

    The Roadrunners took the second, and third set 25-14, and 25-13 respectively. Roadrunners Taya Manibusan led the way with a team high 11 kills on 22 attempts, followed by teammate Kennedy Kantola with 8 Kills on 21 attempts. 

    “Coming off a loss is always hard, and you have that thought in the back of your head, but I think we just washed it.” Kantola Said. “That’s not the team we are, and we just did our job today, so it feels good.” 

    Next up the Roadrunners travel to Roseburg to take on Umpqua Community College, on Friday Sept, 23 at 1140 Umpqua College Rd, Roseburg, OR. 

    “Honestly as a team it’s just trust, have confidence in ourselves and keep working hard in the gym,” Roadrunners Grace Boeder said.

  • LB’s Civil Discourse Program: Braver Angels Debate on Oregon Measure 114

    LB’s Civil Discourse Program: Braver Angels Debate on Oregon Measure 114
    How should Oregonians vote on measure 114? A Braver Angels online debate

    LBCC’s Civil Discourse Program will be hosting its next Braver Angels debate on Thursday, October 6th from 1-3pm. The proposition is: Oregonians should vote “Yes” on Measure 114. Measure 114 is the Changes to Firearm Ownership and Purchase Requirements Initiative. Voting “Yes” would add limitations on firearm purchases within the state of Oregon including permits issued by local law enforcement, photo id, fingerprints, safety training, and a criminal background check. Voting “No” opposes the ballot initiative and maintains the current restrictions on firearms in Oregon. Click the imbedded link for more information on Braver Angels debates.

    Registration is free and required on this Eventbrite page to receive the event’s Zoom link. The webpage also has information on what a Braver Angels debate is and how it promotes civil discourse. All are welcome to attend and participate!

    More info on Measure 114:

    KGW article

    Complete text of the initiative

    Ballotepedia page

  • CTE Students Get Welcome Day Surprise, Financial Support

    CTE Students Get Welcome Day Surprise, Financial Support

    On Wednesday, Linn-Benton Community College welcomed students back to campus ahead of their first day of class for LBCC’s annual Welcome Day. But a few students got an extra surprise before they left.

    Nine LBCC students enrolled in Career and Technical Education programs learned that Northwest Oregon Works was helping sponsor them. Each student found out that this academic year they would be receiving $5,000 for education support, a $100 gas card, and a 200-hour paid internship for their area of study that will provide them with an additional $3,000.

    “The work-based learning they are getting is going to be huge,” said Amy Burbee, LBCC Cooperative Work Experience Coordinator. “The fact that we are able to pay them a fantastic wage while they’re going to school, so they don’t have to worry about paying their tuition bill, is amazing.”

    These students all participated in LBCC’s CTE Signing Day last year. The annual ceremony is designed to honor students who are entering a technical field and to emphasize the importance of their career choice. On the day of the event, high school students are celebrated by their friends and families, college faculty and staff, industry partners, and potential employers.

    “I wish I could do it for all 48 of our incoming CTE Signing Day students,” said Burbee. “And who knows? Someday I just might be able to.”

    The students who are receiving financial support from Northwest Oregon Works are:
    ● Abby Carleski, Automotive Technology – Adair Village
    ● Colt Gullberg, Machine Tool Technology – Blodgett
    ● Charles Justice, Culinary Arts, Nutrition & Food Systems – Corvallis
    ● Marc LeRoux, Mechatronics – Corvallis
    ● Ian McElmurry, Mechatronics – Corvallis
    ● Abran MonRoy, Welding & Fabrication Technology – Corvallis
    ● Oliver Rothe, Mechatronics – Corvallis
    ● Miguel Ruiz, Heavy Equipment & Diesel Technology – Corvallis
    ● Logan Carter, Welding & Fabrication Technology – Philomath

    All of the students who participated in CTE Signing Day last year received a $200 gift card to the bookstore to
    help with their first term of textbooks thanks to a Future Ready Oregon grant. In total, the 48 students who
    participated in CTE Signing Day are receiving almost $90,000 in financial support.

    Here are the other CTE Signing Day students who received scholarships:
    $2,500 Mid-Valley STEM CTE HUB Scholarship recipient:
    ● Colby Hill, Practical Business Management – Albany
    $1,000 Skilled Trades – 3M Transformational Scholarship recipients:
    ● Abran MonRoy, Welding & Fabrication Technology – Corvallis
    ● Charity Bowers, Industrial Pipe Trades, Fitting & Welding – Halsey

    –News Release Courtesy of LBCC News Service

  • Join our team! Come work for The Commuter

    Join our team! Come work for The Commuter

    Wanna get together? We’re really nice and fairly cool and we’d love to hear what you have to say. Not big on journalism but love to journal? Perfect. Are you a STEM major with major opinions? Let’s hear ’em. Like writing about 80’s film? Local animals? Snack hacks? Maybe you have a hefty folder of flash fiction on your laptop, just dying to be published and printed. Drop us a line.

    We’d love to meet you, read you, and support you. Think your ideas might be too weird or too niche for submission? Even better. The Commuter is an award-winning publication because of our wide range of contributions and our unique contributors. So reach out. We’ll be staring at our email inbox in the meantime, not an ounce of chill to be had. Join the team today! 

    Contact Editor-in-Chief Leah Biesack at commuter@linnbenton.edu

  • “Jurassic World Dominion”: Review of Franchise Finale

    “Jurassic World Dominion”: Review of Franchise Finale

    “Jurassic World Dominion” is the latest film in the franchise, marking the final film in the “Jurassic World” trilogy, the sixth main entry in the overall “Jurassic Park” franchise and the final installment to nearly 30 years of stories. Director Colin Trevorrow returns to the helm to close out the series in a finale that’s sure to please old and new fans alike.

    The film picks up four years after the events of 2018’s “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.” As Lewis Dodgson (Campbell Scott) seeks to take advantage of global instability caused by dinosaurs roaming the earth, the story unites Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) and Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) with series veterans Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and Dr. Ellie Sadler (Laura Dern) in a 146-minute globetrotting adventure that’s been eagerly anticipated for ages (the film was initially slated for release in the summer of 2020, but was one of many productions delayed by the novel coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic).

    On a budget of $185 million, the film maintains the raw thrills and impressive special effects that helped make the series a summer blockbuster staple ever since the first “Jurassic Park” film in 1993. Taking place everywhere from Montana to Malta to Dodgson’s compound in Italy, Trevorrow shows off a wide range of familiar dinos and new threats (including a swarm of bioengineered locusts). Recognizable dinosaurs such as the Tyrannosaurus rex and Velociraptors are joined by newcomers such as the Pyroraptor and the Gigantosaurus (the latter of which the filmmakers have described as the dinosaur equivalent of the Joker).

    With the film making another record run at the box office, “Jurassic World Dominion” is a solid end to this run of the series (and a far better ending to its trilogy than 2001’s much-maligned “Jurassic Park III”). As a potential end to the franchise, it’s a finale 65 million years in the making.

    Starring Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Justice Smith, Omar Sy, BD Wong and Campbell Scott with Jeff Goldblum, Laura Dern and Sam Neill

    Directed by Colin Trevorrow

    Rated PG-13

  • LB’s Civil Discourse Program: Where Controversy Gets Cordial

    LB’s Civil Discourse Program: Where Controversy Gets Cordial

    Welcome to LBCC!  As you explore all that our college has to offer, I’d like to provide some info on a co-curricular program many former students report as being a highlight of their college experience.  

    LBCC’s Civil Discourse Program aims to create opportunities for individuals with different viewpoints to come together and discuss controversial topics in a respectful manner. We do this with online debates, point/counterpoint op-eds, and our civil discourse whiteboard. In each of these activities, we make a good-faith attempt for authentic perspectives to be expressed, understood, and examined by others.  Disagreement and debate often occur, but with a constructive spirit. The focus isn’t on defeating an opponent or point of view, but instead on sharing honest thoughts and reactions. Exchanges are about understanding, not persuasion. 

    College can often feel lonely and stressful. Having a group to spend time with outside of the classroom can make it much more enjoyable. I’ve watched friendships develop between students who likely wouldn’t have had much interaction without our program. Seeing people find a kind of community they previously couldn’t imagine is one of my greatest joys as an advisor. 

    I also love observing students develop into leaders through our work together. Past members have collaborated with national organizations to create, organize, and facilitate civil discourse events at LBCC. Many have reported that the skills they developed through our program have helped them become successful in their current professions.

    It’s a shame that, far too often, people feel they can’t talk about controversial topics without being attacked. If there’s any place in society where people should actively discuss, debate, and explore hot-button issues, it’s on a college campus. While it can feel like a risk, it often results in a reward. We invite you to join us!

    If you’re interested in joining Civil Discourse or simply learning more, contact Mark Urista at uristam@linnbenton.edu.

  • Career and Technical Education at LB

    Career and Technical Education at LB

    Career and Technical Education, or CTE for short, is education that combines both academic and skill-based learning designed to prepare students for a wide range of high-skill, high-wage, high-demand careers without the requirement of a four-year college degree. 

    With the soaring cost of college tuition — $9,400 per year at public universities (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2022) — many students are looking for more inexpensive ways to enter the skilled workforce. For many of these students, CTE is the answer.

    CTE includes traditional trades programs such as welding, machine tool technology and automotive technology. But it also includes programs many people wouldn’t consider trades, like graphic design, dental assisting, and culinary arts. The extensive amount of programs available makes CTE a highly accessible route to high-paying careers for many students.

    CTE has been a cornerstone of education at Linn-Benton Community College since its inception in 1966. According to the course catalog for the 1967-68 school year, the largest course offerings fell under the Automotive Mechanics program. Today, LBCC offers a wide range of CTE degrees in the following areas:

    Health Occupations (Nursing, Medical Assisting, Radiology Technician, Occupational Therapy, and Dental Assisting)

    Graphic Arts


    Computer Science

    Business Management 


    Early Childhood Education

    Welding / Pipe Trades

    Machine Tool Technology


    Automotive Technology / Heavy Equipment and Diesel

    Non-Destructive Testing 

    Culinary Arts

    The Advanced Manufacturing and Transportation Technology (AMTT) Division of LBCC houses a large portion of the CTE programs. Associate Dean of the division, Dale Moon, said, “Our programs at LBCC are here because these are what local industry has asked us for…we are providing a very strong workforce for businesses who want to come into Linn and Benton counties benefiting our local economy.”

    In turn, the CTE programs at LBCC bring in a lot of funding for both their programs and the college as a whole. Local businesses support the college through both monetary and equipment donations allowing the CTE programs to grow and meet ever changing industry needs.

    Moon also serves as the Perkins Regional Coordinator for the area, working directly with local high schools and school districts to develop CTE programs at the high school level. 

    “One thing we’re trying to accomplish at the high school level is to remove the negative stigma that has been associated with CTE programs in the past,” Moon said. “These programs are highly beneficial to students and are not just a ‘last resort’ for students who don’t do well in the classroom, as was once believed.”

    “In highschools, principals and teachers are seeing the value of CTE programs because they give students more hands-on applications for learning,” Moon continued. “For example, say a student who has a hard time learning math from a textbook is now getting hands-on math examples in a CTE class and being able to physically apply the math they’re learning, this can really help students to grasp those concepts.”

    Marc Rose, an instructor in the Welding and Pipe program at LBCC says, “People who choose CTE and careers in the trades are not given enough credit for how intelligent and educated they are. It takes a special kind of person to do these kinds of jobs. People don’t realize that it takes more brain than brawn for these specialized jobs.”

    “We have students who started out in a four-year college and decided that’s not for them. They come over to the trades and think ‘Holy cow! This is awesome!’” Rose continued. “Twenty years ago we all thought that in order to be successful you have to have a four year degree, and now we’re figuring out that’s not true. There are highly successful people who have two-year technical degrees.”

    Though CTE programs have been growing in popularity over the last decade, there are still many people who don’t know they’re even an option. 

    “I give tours to community partners and educators all the time and when a lot of them learn about our programs and the types of careers and pay people can have with a two-year degree a lot of them say, ‘I wish I would have known this was an options when I went to school,’ because back then we were told the trades weren’t as good as four-year degrees,” said Rose. 

    In an effort to increase awareness of and promote the CTE programs available at LBCC, the college is hosting a Manufacturing Day Open House on October 21 from 9 AM – 2 PM in the CTE courtyard on the main campus. Anyone who is interested in learning more about CTE, a career in the trades, or seeing the brand new facilities and equipment in our CTE departments is welcome to come.