Counselor translates corporate experience to student success
High among the things Joe Momyer appreciates about Rogue Community College is his colleagues’ commitment to students.
“How RCC found such a caring and dedicated group, I don’t know,” Momyer said. “But they are remarkable.”
Momyer’s own commitment to students and the expertise he brings to his work at the college is equally remarkable. An adjunct instructor in the RCC Counseling Department since 2003, Momyer has many years of international corporate human resources and management consulting. He applies that expertise to helping students succeed, including advising students how to successfully apply for scholarships.
Among those he’s counseled is RCC graduate Dan Lebowitz, who received a Ford Family Foundation Scholarship that paid 90 percent of his undergraduate costs when he transferred to Southern Oregon University. Next year it will cover 80 percent of graduate school expenses when he enrolls at Oregon State.
“Joe knows a lot about success,” Lebowitz said. “He helped me prepare for the Ford scholarship interview, told me what to expect and how to present myself professionally. He’s a good person to bounce questions off of.”
Momyer also knows education, having worked in Danville, California schools from 1968 until 1981. His roles included counselor, administrator, and instructor at intermediate, high school and adult levels. He subsequently entered the world of corporate human resources, and his resume includes a stint as director for Leadership and Executive Development with Ingersoll Rand, a $13 billion global diversified industrial company.
At Ingersoll Rand, Momyer was responsible for leadership systems for 45,000 employees in 150 locations around the world. Now he is finding joy in helping guide RCC students.
“As a counselor, I have the privilege of greeting people when they begin their journey at RCC and to follow their progress as they achieve their personal milestones,” Momyer said. “Everyone coming to RCC has experienced a change, and RCC is the bridge that helps them move through the transition to their next career step. It’s wonderful to be part of those changes,” he continued.
“Many times, students have family obligations to aging parents or children–yet they come and study and succeed. They are truly heroic in their personal efforts to improve their lives,” he added. “Watching them, I am inspired as well.”
A certified National Career Development facilitator/instructor, Momyer earned an M.B.A. from Golden Gate University. He also received a master’s in counseling psychology from California State University, Hayward, and a bachelor’s in social sciences and psychology from San Diego State University.
In addition to serving on the RCC Counseling Department faculty, Momyer is a human resources consultant with Pioneer Partners of Oregon, providing executive coaching / counseling, organization and talent development, HR training and change management support.
RCC prepared Dan Lebowitz for success
Dan Lebowitz went from working as a peer tutor at Rogue Community College to being hired as a part-time math teacher. His education at RCC also set him on the road to a career as an actuary.
“RCC was a very good choice for me,” Lebowitz said. “The teachers are friendly and the costs are reasonable,” he continued. “I would most definitely recommend RCC, especially to students just coming out of high school. The best thing about RCC is the great student-teacher ratio.”
Lebowitz, who grew up in Selma, graduated in 2004 from Illinois Valley High School. He enrolled at University of Oregon for two terms and did fine academically but realized he was going into debt. So Lebowitz returned to southern Oregon and Rogue Community College.
He thrived at RCC, becoming involved with student government, tutoring TRiO students in math, and earning a prestigious scholarship that covers his college expenses through grad school. After graduating from Rogue in 2008 with an Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer degree, Lebowitiz attended Southern Oregon University.
“RCC really did prepare me well for a four-year university,” noted Lebowitz, who graduated with honors in 2010 and a degree in math with a minor in math education.
During his time at Rogue, Lebowitz worked three years as a tutor for TRiO Student Support Services, a program that helps students planning to transfer to four-year schools. To participate, students must meet financial requirements, have a disability, or be the first generation in their family to attend college.
“Serving as a TRiO tutor and working on campus was great,” Lebowitz said. “I understood the material better by helping others.” He also benefited from working with transfer advisor Deb Bennett.
Being awarded scholarships through the RCC Foundation helped him succeed, too, Lebowitz said. “They definitely made it easier to focus on education.”
Lebowitz also received a Ford Family Foundation scholarship, which paid 90 percent of his undergraduate costs. Next year it will cover 80 percent of graduate school expenses when he enrolls at Oregon State, another step toward his goal of being an actuary.
This year Lebowitz is teaching Math 60 and 65 courses part time at RCC.
“Returning as a teacher, it’s nice to see lot of familiar faces. I enjoyed tutoring and being a teacher’s aide at SOU. I’m prepared to help students with whatever they need.”
College has been a family affair for Lebowitz. He and wife Kayli Murphy graduated from RCC and SOU together.
“I’m feeling very optimistic about my future. RCC has prepared me to be successful,” Lebowitz said.
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