Meet Blanca Aguirre

Working in higher education has giving me the opportunity to learn and grow as a professional. Looking back I’ve realized that coming from a Mexican American family taught me the value of hard work. This value gave me the foundation and determination to pursue my journey in higher education. 

After completing a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Western Oregon University, I started working as an Academic Advisor at Chemeketa Community College. I was working full time at Chemeketa and completing a part time Master’s Degree in Counseling from Oregon State University. I was lucky to have supportive mentors that believed in my success.  

I am currently a Counselor at Chemeketa. My passion is working with students, career development and service learning. As a counselor I provide academic advising and career and personal counseling for students.  It’s truly rewarding to work closely with students and help them reach their personal and career goals.  

I highly encourage women to get involved in their community, I serve as Membership Coordinator for the Oregon Career Development Association. It’s great to work with other professionals in the field and learn about new career development trends. I’ve learned to keep up with career development and implement new concepts into my classes and counseling sessions.   

Teaching is part of my role at the college. As an instructor I teach courses such as First Year Experience, Career Life Planning, and International Development in Action. I am fortunate to lead student service trips to Nicaragua during spring break. Teaching students teaches you so much about yourself. I found this quote that reminds me how lucky I am to work in higher education. “So often you find that students you’re trying to inspire are the ones that end up inspiring you” -Sean Junkins. 

This academic year as part of my counselor duties I will be serving as Program Chair for the Counseling department. In addition to PC duties I will be taking on administrative role as Lead Counselor until the college hires the new Dean of Counseling & Student Support Services. I am ready for this opportunity and excited to work hard in this role. 

During my journey I’ve been blessed to meet some amazing women in higher education such as the Director of Multicultural Student Services & Program from Western Oregon University, Ana Hernandez-Hunter and Sue Orchard, Vice President of Student Services from Lower Colombia College, who have inspired me and modeled exceptional leadership skills. 

In my journey I have learned to build a strong support system. I’ve been grateful to have great people around me that have guided me in my journey. I hope to pay it forward and support other women in higher education. I’ve also learned to take chances and get out of my comfort zone. You will be surprise how much you learn about yourself and will not regret it. 

A little bit of advice:

Go above and beyond, the extra mile! No matter what position you have. 

Stay true to yourself. Life is about discovering who you are and who you were meant to be. Trust yourself!

Challenge yourself. Keep setting goals for yourself, this way you stay motivated and keep learning and growing. 
Enjoy your career journey! I truly believe in value of living in the present moment. You will find joy every day. 

Contact

Institution: Chemeketa Community College 

Position at Chemeketa: Counselor & Instructor

Contact Info: blanca.aguirre@chemeketa.edu 

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