Growing up in Bonanza, just 30 miles east of Oregon Tech, Ashlie Pence didn't have far to go to reach her career goals. After initially studying Criminal Justice at Klamath Community College and earning an associate degree, she enrolled in Oregon Tech’s Communication Studies program. Pence worked as a student ambassador in Admissions and later as a student worker in Financial Aid. After graduating with a bachelor's degree, she decided that working in higher education was the career path she wanted to take, and she chose to remain at Oregon Tech.

"Many people know I grew up around Oregon Tech, and once I started working as a student worker, I knew I loved working in higher education and helping students," Pence said.

President Naganathan awarding Ashlie Pence
the 2022-23 President's Staff Award

Pence held two positions in Admissions before landing in the Office of the Registrar, where she enjoys guiding students in the process of enrolling in their first classes upon arriving at Oregon Tech through eventually graduating from the university. Fall and spring are her favorite seasons at Oregon Tech’s Klamath Falls campus.

"The campus comes alive in the fall. I love the energy on campus and seeing all the new faces on campus," Pence said. "In June, at Commencement and New Wings Admissions events, everything comes full circle. You get to see some of the students you worked with reach their ultimate goal, and then you also get to meet the next group of Owls. There is so much positive energy during this time of year that it is contagious."

Pence’s current Assistant Registrar position in the Office of the Registrar prompted her to also enroll in Western Oregon University's Information Technology and Instructional Design graduate program. After graduating with a Master of Education in December 2021, Pence brought back valuable skills in instructional design that have helped her make more effective instructional guides and video tutorials for using Oregon Tech software.

"I use this work every day when it comes to training faculty, staff, and students on all the software on campus," she said. "It has also helped me create more functional tools to help students navigate the many resources our office offers, including College Scheduler and DegreeWorks."

Pence's enthusiasm for and dedication to Oregon Tech led to her being awarded the 2022-23 President's Staff Award at Convocation in September. Pence said winning the award means a lot to her, especially considering the nomination process of employee recommendation letters.

"I am very honored to have even been considered, and I had no idea this was coming!" Pence said. "I truly love Oregon Tech, and working in the Registrar's Office allows me to help the university while pursuing things I am passionate about. Being a college student today isn't easy, but I like knowing that my work helps students, staff, and faculty achieve their goals."

Pence is also an active member of her community through her work on the Bonanza Town Council and the Bonanza Future Farmers of America Alumni group. She also coaches youth sports when able and looks for ways to lend a helping hand to people when they need it. Being part of a tight-knit community at work or in town keeps her motivated.

"I am a big supporter of the Klamath Basin, and as someone who grew up in one of our smaller rural communities, I can say that the thing I love most is the people," Pence said. "The people of the Klamath Basin take care of their own and are always willing to lend a hand when needed."