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Snyder’s mission touches community, UCC

When it comes to accomplishments, Ethan Snyder’s resume boasts a long list of achievements. As the interim director of learning skills, he is much more than the friendly, helpful personality that he so freely offers.

Born and raised in Roseburg, Snyder has not only been involved with this community, but he has also touched the lives of people around the globe in his many travels. After graduating from Roseburg High School in 2010, he went on to attend UCC, where he was elected student body president. “I like to be involved. I like to stay busy,” Snyder said.

Snyder is known for opening doors, and when there isn’t a door, creating one. As part of his community involvement, he helped open doors for males to participate in Altrusa International, an organization formerly comprised only of women. Over 100 years old, the well-established non-profit organization improves the communities surrounding its local chapters, an ideal that Snyder adheres to as part of his personal mission. 

“I was also given the opportunity to present [Altrusa’s] keynote speech at their annual convention, in South Dakota,” Snyder said, who traveled into Europe with Altrusa’s international associates.

After graduating from UCC in 2012, Snyder then went on to study at Portland State University, where he acquired a degree in Political Science and International Criminal Law, and remained an active part of the community. “I can’t even list all the organizations I was involved with,” Snyder said.

Among his many experiences, Snyder recalls a particularly unique situation. “I taught 9th to 12th grade English in Mississippi for a while,” Snyder said. “I was the only English teacher for about 400 kids – and the school was not yet desegregated. It was very difficult working in that environment.”

Despite his many travels and volunteer involvements, Snyder returned to UCC just three years after graduating. He was employed first as a transition specialist then was quickly promoted to the interim director of learning skills in the Educational Services Building, also known as the Success Center.

Although his main goal is to earn his Master of Laws degree, Snyder’s influence has touched Douglas County, where he has chaired several different non-profit organizations, including Umpqua Partners for a Drug Free Future.

Snyder has helped develop a very specific vision for the Success Center. “I want it to focus on more than just tutoring,” Snyder said. When Snyder shares his goals regarding the Success Center, it is definitely a lean-in moment. His main goal is to help students develop independent learning skills. By spring term 2015, in his new tutoring model, tutors will approach students, rather than the current procedure where students approach tutors. “We want people to feel comfortable.”

Snyder also describes a new program called “Student Lingo” as an extension of the Success Center. It offers help with non-cognitive skills to cope with things such as math anxiety, for example. This program, in conjunction with the Success Center’s 24/7 online tutoring and its supplemental instruction, is available for students who can’t stop by the Success Center.

“Some students have jobs, kids and other things to focus on outside of school,” Snyder said. “We want you to know that no matter what community you belong to, you are welcome here. There’s someone to help you here or online.”

Snyder’s vision extends into the Achieve the Dream program, which is also aimed to help students succeed. “Our goal is to break down barriers,” Snyder said. “We’re focusing on studies, policies and procedures within a lens of equity.” The Success Center’s goal is to provide all students with the resources they need to achieve their educational and career goals.