Women Change the World Features Five Incredible Alumnae

Join us on International Women’s Day, Wednesday, March 8 at 4 p.m. PST, for an alumnae panel of women leaders as we celebrate the inauguration of our 18th president, Jennifer Coyle ’90, OD ’93, MS ’00, who is the third woman to lead our university.

Dr. Coyle will moderate the panel discussion with Pacific alumnae who have taken varied career paths as change-makers in their chosen professions.

Denise Aquino ’18, MAT ’19 earned her bachelor’s degree in biology and Japanese on the Forest Grove Campus and then moved on to earn her master of arts in teaching on the Woodburn Campus. She currently works as the lead graduation specialist and family engagement specialist for the Migrant Education Program at Clackamas Education Service District. She has also worked as a science teacher and later as an academic advisor at Portland Community College. Denise’s career has been shaped by her experience as a first-generation student with a migrant background. These experiences enable her to serve her community by helping students and families navigate through the education system in K-12 and post-secondary education.

Lorraine Basch ‘17 attended the Forest Grove campus and graduated with a bachelor of arts in politics and government. She is a member of the Puyallup Tribe and grew up between the Oregon Coast and the Puyallup Indian Reservation. After graduating, Lorraine worked at the National Congress of American Indians as a Wilma Mankiller policy fellow then as a policy associate and special assistant to the executive director. After a stint in the tribal non-profit world, Lorraine joined the Kamala Harris Campaign as a human resources associate before moving into campaign communications, working for a Democratic communications firm. After the 2020 election, Lorraine moved back to Washington where she finished her master’s in political management from George Washington University and is now the federal tribal legislative liaison for the Washington Department of Transportation.

Caroline Bastian ’04 was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Cologne in Germany after earning her a BA in economics, German studies, and international studies on the Forest Grove campus. Caroline is currently a research scholar at New York University's Leonard N. Stern School of Business. She coordinates the Center for the Future of Management's work on data science, statistics, quantitative methods, and data visualization. Caroline was previously a freelance economic and statistical consultant. Her clients included the United Nations Secretariat, the World Bank, and the Economist Intelligence Unit. Caroline began her career as an economist at the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics and she holds a master of science in applied statistics for social science research from New York University and a master of international affairs from Columbia University.

Leah Dunbar MAT '00 is a graduate of the Eugene campus and is currently a language arts/social studies specialist on the School Improvement Team at Lane Educational Service District in Eugene, Oregon. She holds a doctorate in education from the Educational Methodology, Policy, and Leadership Program at the University of Oregon. Her interests lie in Indigenous and Ethnic Studies pedagogies, organizational and societal change, youth empowerment, healing from generational trauma, and dance. Leah has taught a variety of language arts courses during her 20-plus years in public school education and is most proud of facilitating Courageous Conversations, an ethnic studies course focused on healthy racial identity development, critical thinking, listening, (re)storying, and community-building co-designed with students who engage education as a strategy for undoing oppression.

Breanne McGhee OD '16, MEd '16 is a full-time clinical optometrist in her hometown of New Orleans, La. She obtained her bachelor's in science in psychology from Xavier University of Louisiana and continued on to Pacific University where she obtained her doctorate of optometry and master's in education on the Forest Grove campus. Currently, she is pursuing a PhD in education and leadership at Pacific University where her research interests include the impact of educational inequities and inequalities in minority communities. Breanne is an active member of multiple optometry organizations and has authored several scientific posters, presented many clinical lectures and has been published in top optometric publications. She has also recorded Queen, a single, under the name Dr. Bre.

This event will take place virtually and in person on the Forest Grove Campus, following the Caring Through Discovery Exposition on the Hillsboro Campus. Advance registration is required for planning purposes.    

Women Change the World is part of a week-long celebration of Pacific University, culminating with the inauguration of the university's 18th president, Dr. Jennifer Coyle, on Thursday, March 9, 2023.

Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023