Columbia Gorge Community College Launches ‘I Am CGCC’ Community Awareness Campaign


Michelle Humphrey
Marketing Coordinator, (541) 506-6104

March 14, 2014

Regular profiles, spotlighting some of the college's most unique individuals, kick off with nursing student Lisa Linker.

There's a lot behind what makes Columbia Gorge Community College (CGCC) unique. But there's no question that the college is distinctive because of its students and the people who work there. That's why the college is launching a new community awareness campaign called "I Am CGCC." The campaign, which kicks off profiling nursing student Lisa Linker, is designed to regularly call out what's extraordinary, unique or simply unknown about some of the individuals who contribute to the distinctive campus fabric and even the region's extraordinary make-up.

"Our students, faculty and staff have some amazing stories to tell, from personal experiences they've had to their volunteer work," says Tria Bullard, CGCC's director of board and executive services. "The goal of ‘I Am CGCC" is to illustrate that while our campus is all about academics, there's a very human side to it as well. Our first profile, Lisa Linker, has both an intriguing past and some surprising interests that, in addition to her experience as a nursing student, we thought would be fun to share."

For starters, Linker is an avid computer gamer. In fact, when she's not buried in the books, she's often fixed behind a computer screen, completely immersed in her favorite activity. Super competitive and driven to trek all the way to Portland to participate at PDXLAN, a major regional and national mega-LAN (Local Area Network) party, Linker will stop at nothing to indulge in the fun.

"When I go to these events, we play against hundreds of people, and it's really exciting," she says. "These PDXLAN events are huge with prizes and all kinds of activity. I get to connect with other people like me, and it's just really a great outlet. People might not know this about me, but it's one of the ways that I maintain a sense of balance with my studies. It gives me a healthy break from the rigors of nursing school, and so it plays a role in my success."

When Linker steps away from gaming, it's quite possible that she's hanging out among the shelves of a local bookstore. She simply loves to read and write and says she can "get lost" perusing for great books. Also, she's been getting involved in community outreach and recently volunteered at the health fair put on at Water's Edge in The Dalles.

"Not only did I get to help out, but I learned so much about the people and resources in our community," she says. "I helped them with basic things like Body Mass Index and blood pressure readings, but it was interesting to learn that many people didn't know what their levels were or what healthy levels are. It was great to provide that education."

No doubt, in terms of her nursing education, Linker is also learning lots. Although she comes from a family in which there are several nurses, she didn't have any healthcare experience prior to CGCC. However, graduating with a bachelor's in computer engineering from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and being commissioned as an officer in the Air Force did afford her excellent opportunities to sharpen some skills that are useful in nursing. Specifically, working effectively as an Aircraft Maintenance Officer with other personnel, having a sharp attention for detail, and ensuring safe, appropriate outcomes were all part of her various roles and requirements at Hill Air Force Base in Ogden, Utah, and are now proving critical to her current career pursuits. However, unlike working with F-16 fighter planes, treating patients will deliver a far different payoff for Linker - it will satisfy her deep-seeded desire to help people heal.

"Nursing isn't just about giving patients medications or helping them get to the bathroom, it's about helping them make better choices that support the healing process," Linker says. "There's a lot of psychological work that goes into that, and that's part of what's so exciting to me."

Linker also loves that CGCC is giving her a solid understanding of what it's like to be a real nurse. Thanks to her expert instructors, diverse clinical experiences and CGCC's state-of-the-art nursing simulation tools, she'll soon be able to do practically anything, from working in a hospital to conducting research or traveling around the world as a nurse.

"I want to live to work, not work to live, and I am already so very happy with this career choice," Linker says. "When I come home from clinicals, my husband says I'm just noticeably very happy. After graduation, he plans to reward me with a trip to Japan."

More about 'I Am CGCC'

To nominate a student, faculty member, or someone who is on the CGCC staff for the "I Am CCGG" profile, please contact Michelle Bose, the college's marketing coordinator at (541) 506-6104 or Media interested in receiving or linking to the student profiles should also contact Michelle Bose for more details.