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Tell us your I AM OC story!
I AM OC is an effort to highlight the quality of education at Olympic College by showcasing top OC students, OC faculty and OC alumni and what makes them exceptional. Share your story (150 words or less) and tell us how OC has inspired you by emailing us at Your story could be featured as a main story or showcased on the I AM OC Blog.


OC Alum Sarah Eichhorn

I AM…mother, registered counselor, recovering addict, OC alum


I attended OC from 1999-2002 and received my AAS with honors. I was involved in OC’s student government, campus clubs, and campus activities. At that time, I planned to continue my education at Western Washington University in Human Service with an emphasis in Education and Administration.


Then, my life changed dramatically. I fell headfirst into drug addiction and the life that accompanies it. I had a son who was removed from my care by Child Protective Services. I ended up in prison for drug related crimes and behavior.


When I got out of prison, I was unsure how I was going to support myself and my son (who I got back after a lot of hard work and dedication). I decided to use my experience as an asset and got into classes at OC in the Family/Human Service Program.


I am now a Registered Counselor and working in an outpatient addiction treatment center. OC offered me some of the tools to start my life over. I love Olympic College and what it has to offer.


I think that I am OC. I represent a new beginning, a do over. I think that my adversity has become a great university.

OC Instructor Arlene Plevin

I AM… OC faculty, cyclist, animal rescuer, environmental activist


I have a Ph.D. from the University of Washington, a Master of Fine Arts from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, and I was a Fulbright Lecturer in Taiwan. I’m glad to be a part of the OC team. I especially cherish my older students – those who are returning to school for the first time or after a long hiatus. They bring so, so much to the classroom! I love it when my students have this eureka moment after assignments and class discussions. I’ve even had one student discover his life’s passion after doing research for a project, which included interviewing someone in his discourse community.  I’m excited about the Environmental Task Force (at OC) and all the energy and commitment we have toward supporting student, staff, and faculty involvement in environmental matters.  Last year’s first-ever Earth Day Week was fabulous, a huge success (especially BioLyle and the worm bin—separately!).  I can’t wait to see everyone on all the OC’s campuses get involved.

OC Student Jamie Wilson

I AM…OC student, future UW grad, mother of four


I am a full-time working mother of four, who recently returned to OC to provide a better future for myself as well as my children.  I attended college in the past with no direction – now, I am in the Family Services program here. I recently helped start a Human Services Club at the college, which I am a proud member. I also work as a Human Resources Assistant at OC. My boss Judie Jose is my greatest mentor. I have brought my GPA up to a 3.6. I am proud of myself for consistently getting 4.0 grades in my classes. However, I will continue to strive for that 4.0 cumulative GPA that I know now I can and will acquire.  I look forward to obtaining my associate degree and continuing to grow when I attend the University of Washington.

OC Instructor Charles Barker

I AM…OC faculty, community college graduate, amateur psychologist

A former mental health professional dedicated to improving society, I came to OC to expand the range of people who could benefit from my contribution. A community college graduate, I know firsthand how the convenience, small class size and committed instructors help transition the “just curious” to become graduates. My field is very popular with students because we’re all amateur psychologists from the time we are born – we try to figure out why people do things and how to get them to do what we want them to do. OC is a ticket to understanding AND prosperity.

OC Alum Jon Miller

I AM… OC alum, (OC) olympian editor-in-chief, pursing a degree in mass communications


My name is Jon Miller. I am the new Editor-in-Chief of "The Olympian" and I AM OC. I started at Olympic College four years ago in pursuit of a degree in Computer Science. I was working full-time and never got involved in campus activities.  By the end of my first year, I failed a handful of classes and decided that it wasn't worth my money anymore. I quit college for a year and continued at a dead-end job.  Eventually I got tired of living paycheck to paycheck and decided to go back to OC and back to my passion for writing.  In the fall of 2006, I returned to school part-time and slowly got involved with the school's paper.  By the end of that school year, I had become acquainted with a number of wonderful staff and students that I am happy to call my friends. I am now pursuing a bachelor's degree in Mass Communications through Old Dominion University at the satellite campus at OC.  The people and experiences I have gained from this college have been life changing.  Thank you OC!

OC Student Dawn Mower

I AM… OC student, working mother, role model

I am OC because I attend OC currently. I am a full-time working mother of four children. I am attending OC to become a better person, mother, inspiration to my children and an asset to the business economy.

OC Student David Dumbaugh

I AM… OC student, former ironworker, pursing a degree in business management

My name is David Dumbaugh, a 51-year-old OC student. In a previous life it seems now, I was an ironworker out of Local 86 in Tukwila. An injury with its requisite surgery prevented me from continuing that career. After searching for an occupation that would allow me to work with my disability, it became painfully obvious that schooling was in order. Business Management, with its varied career paths, seemed ideal. I took the placement exam, contacted financial aid, and registered for the 2007 fall quarter. As my first day of class approached, I was a little apprehensive. One of my worries was whether or not I would be accepted by the young people in class. As it turns out, my worries were unfounded: I have been fully accepted by my classmates, and am enjoying my college career.

OC Alum Susan Dillinger

I AM… OC alum, early childhood education teacher, married to love of life

I started attending Olympic College in the Fall of 1975 and knew that I wanted to pursue an education in Early Childhood Education. Sometime in 1977, I was hired at the Child Development and Family Center (CDFC), which was located at the old Manette Elementary School. The center then moved to different locations, including the old West High School, the old Kagel Elementary School, the OC Humanities building and then to the old Home and Family Life Parent Co-op Preschool Classrooms. I worked at the CDFC part-time, and went on to earn my associates degree. Eventually I was hired full-time after many part-time years.  I have worked at the CDFC for 28 plus years and feel like the old horse in the Velveteen Rabbit story, but I still love working with children.  I could have been rich writing a book about all the stories I’ve heard here the last 28 years, but then I probably wouldn’t be here. I also found the love of my life working at Olympic College. I married him at the Bremer Student Center (OC Bremerton) in 1999.  Stacey, my husband, has worked at the college for over 30 years and together and apart, we are OC.

OC Instructor/Alum Connie Lieseke

I AM… OC alum, former lab tech, OC faculty


I graduated from South Kitsap High School in 1980, and I just KNEW that I wanted to attend the University of Washington. After battling with living in a dorm and attending classes of 100+ for all of my introductory courses, I decided after four quarters that this was not really for me. I looked at other options, and found that OC provided the prerequisites for the Medical Laboratory Technician program at Shoreline Community College. I enrolled at OC, and took Chemistry from Bob Kieburtz and Mr. Burmaster, A&P from Mr. Winesdorfer, and a few other courses. I then transferred to Shoreline to complete my education. After 10 years as a lab tech at Harrison Medical Center, I was approached about teaching part time at OC. I accepted the challenge, worked full time at Harrison, and taught one quarter a year. After five years, I was fortunate enough to be hired full time as the Medical Assisting program coordinator and a full-time instructor.  I can’t believe how I have come full circle!


I need to tell you about my other associations with OC. Approximately 40 years ago, my mother attended a flower arranging evening course at OC with an instructor named Vic Lennon. She was a happily married housewife with five children. Within nine months, my father had died, leaving her with no means of support. Then, she received a call from Mr. Lennon, who remembered her from class, and he asked her if she would be willing to work seasonally for him as a floral designer. She continued to work in this field, and has now owned her own flower shop in Port Orchard for 24 years. My husband also attended OC on a baseball scholarship in 1975-1977. He still has his letterman’s jacket!

OC Instructor/Alum Joanne Salas

I AM… OC alum, OC faculty, business administration graduate


I AM a success story of Olympic College. I came to OC with over a decade of work experience from all sections of industry. While I had a number of courses and workshops completed, I lacked formal, accredited education. So, I took one class a quarter, sometimes two and three classes, to complete an Associate in General Studies at Olympic College. By that time, my eyes were wide open to the true complement of life-long learning!  Earning my associate degree at Olympic College helped me to realize my potential, and identify career paths and other development options. I had no problem continuing on and earning a bachelor’s and master’s in Business Administration after the excellence I attained while at Olympic College. Having reached my goal of becoming a professor at OC, I strive to give back to my community and the students that I have the opportunity to work with as a Professor of Office Technology.  I AM OC!!

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