Mike Koontz, Assistant Director of Community Safety

Koontz is a volunteer with Homes for Our Troops. Koontz has helped build two local homes in Oregon in the last 2 years, both for soldiers who lost both legs in Iraq and Afghanistan. One was injured when a roadside bomb exploded under his vehicle and the other was on foot patrol when someone rolled a grenade from behind a dumpster.  The homes are specifically adapted to be accessible for the particular veteran and his or her disability and are built at no cost to the veteran. Koontz has helped by carrying lumber, driving nails, installing windows and siding, using power tools to cut specific dimensions of lumber, and cleaning up around the work site. Koontz and his wife are both involved in the project and he says, “It is truly enjoyable to help out and give back to a person and their family who have sacrificed so much to keep us safe and free.”

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Iven Hauptman, History, Class of 2002

Hauptman co-founded Rak Teh under Youth With a Mission Thailand, a Christian service missionary team that reaches out to homeless people involved in freelance prostitution and street life. On his SEEDS orientation trip, Hauptman had his first personal encounter with people living on the streets. Soon after, during O-Week, he also had his first encounter with Christian scripture at a Bible study in his dorm. Hauptman explains that these two events ultimately led him to Rak Teh.

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Erica Meadow, Psychology, Class of 2013

overlooked high-schoolers find success in school and their lives.

Meadow will intern for White Bird Clinic, an organization that provides a broad range of medical and psychosocial services to homeless and other marginalized people. White Bird states its mission as follows: “White Bird is a collective environment organized to enable people to gain control of their social, emotional and physical well-being through direct service, education and community.” White Bird Clinic responds to over 85,000 service requests annually, and has been serving the city of Eugene for over 40 years. Meadow will work with White Bird’s psychosocial programs, making clients feel welcome and directing them to the appropriate White Bird or outside resource, while also helping with various tasks at the medical clinic, the counseling department, and the outpatient drug-abuse treatment program. She writes, “From this experience, I hope to gain an understanding of the workings of a non-profit clinic that provides psychosocial services and augment my understanding of the psychological theory that I am studying with an actual, clinical environment.”

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Amina Rahman, Anthropology, Class of 2014

Rahman is the Hunger & Housing Intern at SEEDS where she explores and advocates for basic human rights to food and shelter and has the opportunity to share her passion for community engagement with fellow Reedies. Rahman is also an intern at Open Meadow High School, an alternative public high school in North Portland where she spends her Tuesday mornings helping energetic and overlooked high-schoolers find success in school and their lives.

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Shimon Prohow, History, Class of 2002

Prohow previously worked with Population Services International, the world’s largest distributor of condoms in the West and Central Africa. Now Prohow works for the US Agency for International Development’s Office of HIV/AIDS on the Multilateral Team. USAID’s mission is to improve the lives of people around the world by reducing disease exposure and poverty, and by teaching sustainable development. “Above all, Reed taught me how to think critically, which is vital in a field that can tug at your heartstrings daily,” he says.

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Nora McLaughlin, Registrar

McLaughlin initially became involved with Our House, a 24-hour, volunteer-run facility for people living with AIDS, by doing a friend (and volunteer at Our House) a favor. She helped place phone calls to potential donors at the non-profit and became so inspired by the stories people told about their experiences with Our House that she became a volunteer herself. Now, McLaughlin cooks breakfasts on Saturday mornings at Our House and hosts private dinners as an annual fundraising event. Additionally, every Friday night McLaughlin helps to cook an open community dinner at Grace Memorial alongside other volunteers. McLaughlin also provides hospice care at Providence Hospice. McLaughlin says that she  “loves the community and sense of solidarity that volunteering creates, among both the volunteers and the people they serve.”

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Austin Humphrey, Psychology, Class of 2014

In the summer of 2011, Humphrey worked at a cancer and AIDS research lab in Los Angeles.

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Sue Thomas, Biology, Class of 1973

With a BA in Biology, a teaching certificate, and a master’s in Plant Genetics, Thomas now strives to create an environmentally healthy Portland while teaching others how to join in. As the Director of Education for Portland Parks & Recreation, Thomas brings students to help with and learn about the various projects she has started. The students range from all ages and include some of Reed’s own.

Thomas’s goal with her projects is an extension of Portland Parks & Rec’s motto: “’Healthy Parks, Healthy Portland,’ and I’d like to add Healthy People, too,” she says. Thomas currently focuses on two projects: the Migratory Bird Treaty Program and the Amphibian Monitoring Project. The Amphibian Monitoring Project is mainly conducted in Oak’s Bottom, a common service site for Reedies. Thomas observes the amphibians and their interaction with the Oak’s Bottom environment. She then looks for ways that Oaks Bottom and parks across Portland can improve the environment in order to ensure the safety and livelihood of their amphibian inhabitants. The program requires continual monitoring of species populations and human impacts. Thomas said, “When I see changes, I ask myself, ‘Is it bad change?’ and ‘Is there a way to mitigate what has been done?’” She attributes her ability to ask meaningful questions to her education at Reed. She says that asking these questions has become her strength in the program and largely informs her ability to educate children about the work she’s doing. Thomas greatly appreciates this same spirit of enthusiasm and curiosity in her Reed volunteers.

The Migratory Bird Treaty Program, Thomas’s other project, works with U.S. Fish and Wildlife to research and prevent the plight of urban birds’ habitat. The program has four main facets: education, restoration, removal of invasive species, and resolution of bird hazards. Through her research, Thomas is able to track which migratory birds are in the highest danger and can then locate solutions to the issues. Right now, Thomas and U.S. Fish and Wildlife are developing guidelines for homeowners and architects and are lobbying at Congress for stricter tower standards. One of the many changes Thomas wishes to see is non-reflective and angled windows.

Emily Crotteau, the environmental intern for SEEDS, is one of many Reedies who delights in working with Thomas. Crotteau has worked with Thomas at Oak’s Bottom since her freshman year in a variety of ways, from planting trees to conducting amphibian surveys. Crotteau said, “What’s awesome about Sue is the thoughtfulness and sense of perspective she brings to the work she does. For instance, her work is by definition focused on environmental restoration, but rather than cordoning off ‘the environment’ in some pristine, inaccessible box, she actively searches for ways to make it engaging and participatory for people, especially for children.” Crotteau hopes that other Reed students will join her and help contribute to Thomas’s work.

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Richard Brown, Psychology, Class of 1971

Brown worked for Defenders of Wildlife, a non-profit membership organization dedicated to the protection of native animals and plants in their natural communities.

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Noelwah R. Netusil, Professor, Economics

Netusil currently serves on: the Northwest Power and Conservation Council’sIndependent Economic Analysis Board, the board of Mercy Corps Northwest, the Aubudon Society of Portland board, the steering committee for the Urban Ecosystem Research Consortium of Portland/Vancouver, and the editorial board of Land Economics, among others. Here at Reed, Netusil teaches Environmental Economics, a course that involves a highly structured experiential learning component. In recent years, Netusil’s students have worked in small groups and as a class to write and later present reports about complex policy issues to project sponsors such as the Audubon Society of Portland. Netusil began introducing this experiential component in 1992 in order for her students to become better informed about the motivations behind policy-making, and once armed with that knowledge, to be capable of being better citizens and activists. Netusil also expressed her hope that the project would help Reedies realize that the skills they are learning in college are extremely valuable and can be readily applied to real-world endeavors.

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