"I grew up in Albany, Oregon, which is a small town (pop. approx. 50,000) about twenty mintues southeast of Monmouth on I-5. I attended West Albany High School, where I graduated in 2008. Although Albany is still considered a small town, it is begining to grow, both economically and socially. Their downtown revitilization has made a world of difference; with lots of small businesses popping up everywhere, as well as large restorations of Albany's Historic District, which has helped it to maintain its small town feel.

"I majored in public policy and administration because of an interest in local government and city management. I decided to minor in economics out of sheer curiosity and interest; and as it turns out, economics complements PPA really well.

"The thing that I admired most about Western Oregon is its small class sizes. I only had one class that was outrageously large, and that was because it was a general education requirement and it was a very popular class. All of the classes pertaining directly to my major were no more that 25 or 30 students, which really allows you to make a one-on-one connection with your professors and classmates and dive even deeper into the material; making for a far greater learning experience.

The public policy and administration program in particular is excellent. The thing I like most was the advising skills of the professors. Instead of just pointing you to the student handbook, or giving you a handout; they make a real effort to understand exactly what it is that you're interested in, and then help you design your ellectives to reflect those interests. Additionally, they make a great effort to help you find internships if you are interested. Specifically, Dr. Henkels helped me through my internship process with the City of Independence, which helped me secure a temporary job at the League of Oregon Cities, and eventually to my permanent position at the State Legislature as a Committee Assistant."

Nicholas Herrera | Public Policy and Administration major | Economics minor