Jeff Strickland, a Class of 2001 alumnus of the Ford ReStart Program, joined The Ford Family Foundation on Oct. 7 as the student success counselor in the Scholarship Office in Eugene, Ore. Strickland replaces Shamra Clark, who left the position in mid-August for a position with the Oregon Student Access Commission.
Coming from Central Oregon, Strickland holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from Southern Oregon University and a Master of Science in counseling from Oregon State University.
He brings a unique set of skills and experience in academic advising, career services counseling and direct student support in a college setting. He has experience working with a wide range of traditional and non-traditional college students.
Strickland was in the first class of the Ford ReStart Scholarship Program. During his undergraduate studies, he volunteered to work with students in Medford and Ashland, Ore., offering personal, academic and career guidance counseling and even helped graduating seniors fill out their FAFSA forms.
“After I worked with K-12, I decided I wanted to work with older students,” Strickland said.
He received graduate school funding from the Foundation and attended OSU at the Bend, Ore., campus beginning in 2011, graduating this June. While there, he worked as an intern in several clinics, counseling students in mental health, academics and career guidance.
He began looking for counseling work in higher education and saw this job opening. “This is the job Barb (Griesel) used to have,” Strickland said, adding that it was exactly what he wanted to do. He is glad to work with students and Ford Scholars because he knows firsthand how the Foundation can change lives.
Strickland is a first-generation college student. “The Foundation’s encouragement and unwavering support helped instill a belief in myself I hadn’t known before,” he said. “They inspired me to discover my unique strengths and all I have to offer to others.”
“His unique experience and first-hand knowledge of our programs make Jeff the perfect person to provide educational advice, support and encouragement to the students in our four scholarship programs as they travel the path to becoming contributing and successful citizens,” said Director of Scholarship Programs Denise Callahan.
To quote one of his references, Strickland is “positive, fun and understands the importance of a balanced life…It was clear from the beginning that Jeff is a ‘natural’ for the counseling profession.”
Strickland moved from Bend to Eugene in early October. He has two grown daughters – one is a kindergarten teacher in Charleston, S.C., and the other is a nurse in Seattle.