Pacific University To Honor Seven Distinguished Alumni

Alumni Award Winners 2024: From left - Eddie Carrillo '15, MA '17; Rony Bhopla MFA '22 and Jim Fitzgerald '68Seven individuals whose journeys embody the Pacific University mission and a dedication to service will receive awards from the Pacific University Alumni Association at the university’s Homecoming and Family Weekend this October.

Jessie (Hand) Lamb ’07, Oliver McCoy ’95 and Brian Swann ’70 will receive the Outstanding Alumni Award. This award recognizes alumni who have made significant contributions to their community or profession, recognizing individuals who have made tremendous accomplishments toward their life goals. Alumni are eligible after their 10-year reunion.

Tony Cox ’74 and Jim Fitzgerald ’68 are the recipients of the David & Sandy Lowe Outstanding Alumni Service Award. The award recognizes alumni for significant contributions of time, service and talents to Pacific University throughout the years. Alumni are eligible after their 10-year reunion.

Rhony Bhopla MFA ’22 and Eddie Carrillo ’15, MA ’17 will receive the university’s Emerging Leader Award. The award recognizes alumni for outstanding leadership in their vocation, community service and/or service to the university. Alumni are eligible to be nominated through their 10-year class reunion.

The awards will be presented during the Alumni Awards Dinner & Ceremony on Thursday, Oct. 10.

Jessie Lamb ’07
has spent much of her professional career advocating for nonprofit organizations that focus on supporting diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice. Since 2023, Lamb has served as senior director of direct response fundraising for Amnesty International USA, leading a team of gift officers that raises $15 million annually in support of human rights advocacy and research. Lamb is also the principal of her own consulting firm, LMB Digital Fundraising & Consulting, specializing in digital marketing and engagement strategies for nonprofits.

Oliver McCoy 95 discovered his passion for international service shortly after graduating from Pacific University. Following two years with the U.S. Peace Corps in Turkmenistan, McCoy began working for the United Nations Mission in Kosovo, promoting post-conflict development and stabilization. Since the mid-2000s, McCoy’s career has taken him from war-torn regions to humanitarian crises in Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, and East Africa. An advocate for human rights and an experienced peacekeeper, McCoy has facilitated reconciliation between divergent ethnic communities and supervised the implementation of an international peace plan. Currently, he is a United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) chief of party working for the International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX) on media independence and business innovation in Serbia.

A longtime dentist in the San Francisco Bay Area, Brian Swann ’70 has dedicated hundreds of hours to providing oral care to underserved populations. A leader in the Black Student Union during his student days at Pacific, his professional work impacted people not only his local community but also in the Caribbean and in Africa. In the mid-2000s, that dedication led Swann to Harvard University, where he earned a Master of Public Health degree with an emphasis in family and community health in 2008. While completing his degree, Swann was named the Harvard Medical School’s first Joseph L. Henry Fellow in Minority Health Policy. A former clinical instructor and a current guest lecturer in Harvard’s School of Dental Medicine, Swann actively promotes the integration of oral care as a critical part of primary care needs. Swann has also served as the chief of oral health for the nonprofit Cambridge Health Alliance and as faculty advisor for the Boston chapter of the Student National Dental Association. At Harvard, Swann was responsible for developing an oral health education project for the Wampanaog Tribe on Martha's Vineyard and Cape Cod.

Tony Cox ’74
used a 46-year career as a teacher and administrator in Washington County schools to serve the university. A founding member of the College of Education Alumni Council, Cox has served as an alumni representative on numerous university committees, including presidential and deans search committees and the College of Education’s Dean’s Advisory Council. Cox was the alumni representative on the 2004 Strategic Planning Committee, which ultimately recommended the development of the Hillsboro Campus. He routinely served students in the College of Education, mentoring student-teachers and offering resume-writing and interviewing seminars for students entering the workforce. Cox also served as a volunteer tour guide for student groups visiting the Forest Grove Campus.

A tax attorney in his professional career, Jim Fitzgerald ’68 has channeled his energy into his alma mater following his retirement from Dell Technologies in 2011. A member of the university’s Board of Trustees, Fitzgerald chairs the board’s audit committee and is a key member of the finance committee. He has been active with the College of Business, serving as both an instructor and as a member of the college’s advisory council. A generous donor to the university, Fitzgerald is a regular attendee at Homecoming events and reunions for the Alpha Zeta fraternity.

Ever since enrolling in the Master of Fine Arts in Writing program, Rhony Bhopla MFA ’22 has given back to the university that she says gave her so much. A recipient of the Kwame Dawes Mapmakers Scholarship, Bhopla has used her Pacific education to not only enhance her own art, but to encourage and inspire other students. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Bhopla created art that she sold to benefit Pacific’s Student Emergency Fund. Bhopla currently serves as vice president of the Pacific University Alumni Association and is board chair of Women’s Wisdom Art, a nonprofit in Sacramento, California, designed to empower women through art. Bhopla works as an educator for Sierra Nevada Journeys, teaching elementary school students the value of outdoor experiences and the importance of environmental sustainability.

Eddie Carrillo ’15, MA ’17 is a vocal advocate for mental health, using his gregarious personality and caring heart to tend to those on the margins of society. Since August 2021, Carrillo has served as the licensed mental health specialist at Sherwood High School, providing mental health support in one of Washington County’s largest high schools. An adjunct instructor in Pacific’s School of Graduate Psychology, Carrillo has appeared on Portland-area television stations discussing youth and mental health and co-hosts a podcast on mental health issues. A member of the Oregon Counseling Association, Carrillo served one year as the emerging leader on the organization’s board of directors, serves as its membership chair and will serve as president-elect beginning in July.

Monday, June 17, 2024