A mother of two studying business and a father seeking a new career in computer science will represent Lane on the All-Oregon Academic Team.
The Oregon Community College Association has appointed Audrey Barney of Fall Creek and Sean Baker of Eugene to represent Lane on the team, the organization announced April 22.
Two students from each Phi Theta Kappa chapter are given the award each year, and only members of the honor society can apply for the scholarship. Being chosen for the academic team does not guarantee the students will receive the scholarship due to stiff competition.
“They’ll be honored at graduation. The President of Lane will introduce them as the Lane All-Oregon Academic Team members,” Lida Herburger, Student Success Program manager, said.
Halfway through her enrollment, Barney made the decision to change her major to Business Administration. Barney, a 51-year-old mother of two, has attended Lane for four years and will graduate this June with a 3.98 GPA.
“Raising kids and at the same time going to school and work is a big juggle,” Barney said. “I started going to school to inspire my children to go to college. I wanted to normalize the idea for my kids.”
After graduation, she hopes to do administrative work in the office of nonprofit organizations such as Goodwill or The Arc.
“I think they have honorable missions,” Barney said. “It’s nice to know that your work is for a greater cause.”
Barney treats Lane like she would organizations such as these. She is motivated by the sense of community she has helped create on campus.
“I’ve created study groups, sometimes before the class even started. It’s so much better to go through the course with a group of people,” Barney said. There’s no point in isolating yourself.”
She served as PTK vice president in the past. Barney also held a work-study position in the academic and student affairs office.
“I would love to be able to just work at the college,” Barney said. “I know all of (Lane’s) policies and procedures.”
Baker, a 41-year-old father with two daughters, has been a member of PTK for a year and maintains a 3.5 GPA. He graduates in December with an associates degree in Computer Network Operations and Electrical Technology.
“I’ve got a beautiful wife and two daughters. We get to babysit our grandchildren,” Baker said. “To be able to keep that up and care for them after I get out of school is a big motivation.”
Before he enrolled at Lane, Baker worked in TV and radio antenna maintenance. When the technology turned digital it virtually eliminated Baker’s work and he decided to pursue higher education.
“I needed a better education to proceed. I didn’t want to go back to bartending,” Baker said.
During his first work-study job with Applied Scientific Instrumentation, Baker built and repaired electronic lab equipment from scratch.
“I spent a lot of time soldering. I got really good at it,” Baker said.
An opening for a technician at the Lane Work-force Development Department piqued Baker’s interest and he jumped on the opportunity.
“This is exactly what I want to do. I put my head into a computer and figure out what’s going on,” Baker said.
After graduating from Lane, Baker would like to move on to the University of Oregon to pursue his education in computer science and networking.
PTK is the oldest community college honor society in the country. The society provides scholarship, leadership and community service opportunities for its students. The All-Oregon Academic Team is one of those scholarships.
Eligibility is dependent on a student’s cumulative GPA. Students must have a GPA of 3.25 on all Lane and high school coursework and maintain at least a 3.0 to be in good standing.