By Mig Windows
New Student Body President Elect Katilyn Eccleston has a very full plate this coming year. In addition to being Riverside campus’s new student president, Eccleston will also continue to work in the counseling center and continue a full schedule of classes as she works toward an Associate of Arts Transfer Degree in Psychology.
Fortunately, although Eccleston is relatively new to RCC, she is no stranger to Student Government.
“I’ve been in student government since my freshman year of high school,” said Eccleston in a recent interview, fresh from ending a hectic workday in RCC’s counseling department. “So when I was brought the opportunity to run for office I took it. At the snap of a finger I said ‘Of course I will!’”
Eccleston’s campaign strategies included networking face-to-face with students and passing out sticks of gum that read “Choose Katilyn!”
“I’m kind of quirky,” said Eccleston. “So I did quirky things.”
As a Psych Major, Eccleston is a passionate advocate for increasing communications and social interaction at RCC, as well adding more family-oriented events and activities to the campus schedule.
“This is a community college. There are a lot of people with families here,” said Eccleston. “People aren’t going to bring their kids to something that kids can’t come to or have fun with.”
Part of Eccleston’s enthusiasm for family-oriented events comes from a deep affection for her own family.
“My mom and dad weren’t together when I was younger, but they’re best friends. They talk all the time. They’ve always had a great relationship and I thank them every day not being in a bad relationship or making things hard on me. My mom is great. She’s my best friend. I couldn’t ask for a better mom. I get choked up sometimes when I think about it. She’s such a great mom. I don’t know what I’d do without her.”
Eccleston is also extremely grateful for the support of her aunt, RCC Counselor Michelle Gray. “I’ve seen her go through hard times and great times, just like my mom. I think that they share half of the same brain. They’re both really hard working people. I couldn’t ask for a better family.”
A native of the small town of Gold Beach, Ore., where the population was “just a hair above 2,000,” Eccleston enjoyed her high school, although the small budget at times called for some cuts in the fun department.
“Your fun class was usually an extra science class,” laughed Eccleston. “But the teachers were great. It was a great place to live and grow up. I’m lucky to have lived there.”
A big change was in store for Eccleston when she moved to Oregon State University in the fall of ’08.
“It was huge,” said Eccleston. “Oregon State is literally a city on its own. I recommend if anybody goes up there to visit the campus. It’s amazing. The huge brick buildings and the way they have it landscaped is incredible. I think the library was bigger than my high school!”
Although initially impressed with the size of OSU, Eccleston soon realized the shortcomings of attending a large university.
“My biology class had 550 people,” said Eccleston. “I like RCC a lot better. I like the fact that I can meet my teachers and get extra help if I need to. It’s so much easier to meet people and network if you see them every day. At Oregon State, I would meet somebody and not see them again for a month. I like the fact that I can interact with people here on a daily basis.”
Eccleston enrolled at RCC in Fall ’09 and has particularly enjoyed her psychology, human sexuality, and speech classes.
“All of my teachers have been great,” said Eccleston. “I really recommend community colleges to anyone who’s starting out instead of just jumping into university life.”
Outside of school, Eccleston lives in Central Point, where she enjoys horseback riding, photography, and playing with her dogs, a husky and a golden retriever mix. She’s also an avid reader, and loves nothing better than to kick back with a good book on her downtime.
Currently Eccleston is taking things one step at a time, and is extremely thrilled to have the torch passed on to her by departing President Matt Vorderstrasse next week.
“I have a great group of people that I’m working with in Student Government,” said Eccleston in reference to the elected ASG cabinet, which includes Shawnee Anderson (Vice President), her father Jeff Anderson (Director of Clubs), and Naomi Halaas (Director of Activities.)
“They’re great, and will be able to keep me grounded when I start to spin out of control!” laughed Eccleston.
Eccleston will likely be graduating on to SOU next year, although should things change, she will consider staying involved in student government at RCC.
While it is yet to be confirmed whether there is any relation to English actor Christopher Eccleston of Doctor Who Fame, Katilyn Eccleston says “Students have asked me that many times. Sorry everyone. I don’t know if I am. I have done the whole Ancestry.com thing and have not found a link, but if I do I’ll be sure to let everyone know!”