Vichi supports, encourages student workers
Before joining RCC’s staff, Cessa Vichi managed the Josephine County Library System for 12 years, overseeing four libraries.
After the closure of the libraries in 2007, she came to RCC as a Human Resources specialist in charge of part-time faculty contracts. For Vichi it marked a homecoming of sorts as she’d earned an Associate of General Studies degree at Rogue.
“As an RCC alum who was a student worker for our college library, the work experience I gained was instrumental in my being hired on at the county library,” Vichi said. “Then the experience I gained through the library brought me the opportunity to work in Human Resources for the college.”
RCC student Amie Martin, who is a student worker in the Human Resources Department, says Vichi has been a role model and mentor to her.
“Cessa is so friendly and helpful,” Martin said. “Everyone in HR is, but she’s the one I go to first. She’s kind and funny and I can really relate to her.”
Vichi enjoys how RCC helps people reach their goals.
“The best thing about working for the college is the positive outcome; RCC changes people’s lives for the better,” Vichi said.
“My wish is to support and encourage everyone who is striving to make a difference in their life,” she continued. “Helping a student worker find their ‘work legs’ and assisting them as they learn skills that will help them attain employment is deeply rewarding for me.”
Merit scholarship drew Amie Martin to RCC
Well before Amie Martin graduated from Grants Pass High School in 2010, she realized that becoming a Rogue Ambassador would be an excellent way to pay for her first two years of college.
“It immediately felt like the best plan for starting college,” she said, recalling when she learned about the Rogue Community College merit scholarship. The award is offered to high school students graduating with a 3.5 GPA or higher.
“Rogue Ambassadors was definitely a big draw because the program seemed to make college more attainable,” she explained. “What really drew me in was that RCC was offering to pay half my tuition the first year and full tuition the second year. I had good grades, so it just seemed like the right thing to do.”
Martin, who began her second year at Rogue this fall, is sure she made the right call.
“I’m very happy at RCC. I love the campus and enjoy my classes,” she said, adding that she runs into lots of former GPHS classmates at the college.
“It’s nice to not have to worry about paying for college and to be getting a good education at the same time,” Martin noted. “The teachers I’ve had are knowledgeable in their subject areas. They take interest in students’ issues. If students have problems, the instructors will engage them and work with them.”
Initially Martin was taking general education classes toward a transfer degree. But a psychology course taught by Francine Gentile captured Martin’s interest in human behavior and gave her a sense of direction.
“That class got me motivated into going further in psychology,” Martin said. (Gentile) really knew what she was talking about and definitely got our attention.”
Gentile, who is a nationally certified counselor, worked years as a child and family and crisis unit therapist before joining RCC’s faculty.
Martin also obtained a student job with RCC’s Human Resources Department, where Cessa Vichi, a department specialist, has been a mentor.
“Cessa is so friendly and helpful,” Martin said. :Everyone in HR is, but she’s the one I go to first. She’s kind and funny, and I can really relate to her.”
They also share an affinity for old school cars. Martin drives a 1975 Plymouth Valiant, in stellar condition; Vichi’s current vintage ride is a 1966 El Camino.
As part of her community service for Ambassadors, Martin worked this summer with RCC’s Recruitment team.
“I sure would enjoy working in recruitment,” she said. “I’d tell high school students, ‘RCC is the best next step you should take because this is a good transition. Class sizes are generally small, and you’re still close to home. Keep working hard in high school. Maintain that GPA, and the college will help pay your tuition.”
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